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Babble Noise
Frequency-Shaped Babble Noise Generator
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The Babble Noise, without the guests

In open offices, overheard conversations are often cited as the main source of distraction: disregarding human speech is a very difficult task for the human brain, especially when speech is intelligible. One way of reducing the annoyances of intelligible speech is to mask speech using natural noises such as our Rain and Stream Noises, or this babble noise, as further explained.

Babble noise can be used in an office for privacy reasons as well, when calls or conversations need to remain confidential. Private offices often appear to provide privacy but often do not perform well in terms of acoustics. Sound masking between adjacent offices can be used to ensure that confidential conversations remain confidential. Babble noise is considered as one of the best noises for masking speech. Compared to White Noise, babble noise offers a higher efficiency when it comes to camouflaging voice. This means that lower masking levels can be used while ensuring the same privacy.

If you can't beat your enemies, join them

When the frequency characteristics of the masking noise differ too much from the noise you are willing to camouflage, higher masking levels will be needed to cover the nuisance. When the masking levels becomes too loud for a comfortable use, we suggest trying a strategy inspired from a well know proverb: if you can't beat your enemies, join them!

In our case, this strategy consists of using one babble noise to mask another. Of course, the masking babble noise must be carefully designed to offer a better alternative to the original nuisance. Instead of using a simple babble recording, we use re-synthesis to create an artificial babble noise that sounds totally unintelligible while still sounding human. By sharing the same acoustic properties as the nuisance, our masking signal now achieves higher efficiency and can be used at quieter levels than any other masking sound. And because of the particular nature of our masking noise, even when the nuisance spikes above the mask, it will still be camouflaged.

Try listening to our babble noise for a quarter of an hour, and see if your brain slowly learns how to filter it out from your conscious perception. In most cases, it will, after a couple of minutes. Then, you will realize that not only has the masking noise been wiped from your perception, but the unwanted noise has as well.

Published by Stéphane on August 3rd, 2020

User Stories

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  I recently got new neighbours and they are seemingly unable to control their speech volume level. I ordered an audio file of this babble to put in my sleep sound machine. Now I can just place my little "babble orb" in the corner where their infuriating talking noise leaks through the most and it masks it almost perfectly. Cannot thank you enough for this generator.

  My student housing faces a courtyard with a large screen that is always playing the news or sports. The screen is constantly audible, which is very distracting when you're trying to study or take a test! The bass of the screen is what travels the most, and this is the only speech noise generator I've found that has those frequencies. Now anything that gets through my headphones is masked!

  I'll have to second the suggestion for the person w/ ADHD who stated that combining this generator with Local Bar and any of the water generators. This is helping me mask the sounds of some of my colleagues (especially with Country Southern accents) while focusing on some of my detailed tasks.

  Stéphane really has created the ultimate noise generator. If you use this and find it valuable I implore you to donate because this is such an invaluable tool that deserves recognition. I keep coming back again and again finding solace in the obscure noises I find here. This is so much better than those binaural beats that leave you wondering if you're being subliminally programmed to do evil. Lol.

  I work from home, totally alone. This generator actually helps to focus and get more work done, because I feel like I am in an office with people around. The babble itself soon fades into background noise and my mind moves on to become much more productive.

  I sit near a break room at work... this is a valuable speech-blocker. Pairs well with Night Blue or any other music, to give that open mic night feel.

  Babble noise has become essential to me in blocking out the noise in an open office space so that I can focus, I'm not sure what I would do without it.

  I've got ADHD and it's been so difficult to find the *right* level of stimulation while studying from home. I have many siblings and everyone is home at the moment because of lockdown. But this Babble generator + Local Bar (just the quiet & crowded sounds) + any of the water generators = the perfect mix of chatter to block out noisy housemates, and the water is so relaxing!

  Works wonders whenever I go to the coffee shop. Helps drown out people having annoying conversations and telework calls.

  The phoney audio section makes me feel like I’m on the phone without being anxious, I don’t know how that’s possible. Good job!

  I have Autism, and thus am very sensitive to many sounds; two being the strident and boorish voices of the idiots next door, who seem to enjoy standing outside and talking very loudly. This generator is an absolute lifesaver, as it has prevented me wanting to throttle them both on numerous occasions!!

  I had to check a few times to see if the chatter I was trying to block out was even still there. I couldn't believe how well this noise generator masked it. Amazing!

  I have ADHD and due to these unprecedented times, I'm alone a lot and taking online classes. But, my bedroom is too quiet and still for me to focus well, as weird as it seems. Using this generator, along with some bars from Calm Office and Examination Time, as background noise has been extraordinarily helpful in recreating my busy life and I can focus so much better now!

  Like in the Borg collective. Chilling.

  Great for an open office floor plan and a distraction prone mind. Thank you for helping me work at my best.

  Babble noise is indispensable in noisy office environments. It helps reduce the interruptions and increase focus levels. I use it often.

  Thank you thank you thank you! I have to work on a computer that's in an extremely public place, and I love how I can adjust the sliders to compensate for certain people being in or out of the room. I just have to turn up the slider that matches their voice range!

  Office noise people talking.

  My neighbors are impressive at testing my patience. I'm not ashamed to admit I deeply, terribly dislike them. At least this helps me not lose my mind. Somewhat.

  I'm a teacher's aid for a middle school class. You can imagine how much I love this generator. (Thank you.)

  Another amazing generator. I use this one to mask affirmations. Perfect!

  This + mostly bass traffic noise and a little bit of rain on a tent makes for the perfect "roadtrip with family" soundscape, truly nostalgic.

  This is an AMAZING noise blocker! I am a young author and this helps me to concentrate when I get time to write. Thank you so much!

  Babble noise is particularly useful when working or trying to work in an open office. I also think the design and user interface of the mynoise website is great. Will donate again.

  I've been playing this to help me get to sleep in a big hotel. It is soothing unintelligibility, helps smooth over all the annoying intermittent noises here of door slamming, drunken shouting and next door's snoring! Another brilliant life-saving creation from Dr Pigeon. Thank you!

  Ahh, this is honestly a lifesaver. Pair it with the Ravenclaw commons AMSR on Youtube and its a absolutely perfect study sound. Helps me focus so much easier than with my usual study music  so relaxing yet not intrusive. And just enough of those library-esqe sounds that it makes me feel motivated.

  I love how it's quiet and generic enough to block out other noise while not being distracting. It's also quite relaxing. It really helps me get in the zone for whatever I'm doing.

  First off, wonderful work! One thing I do seem to find, when using it to block out distracting voices I feel like I can sometimes differentiate between the Babble Noise generator and specific voices in my environment as I can place the source of the voice spatially. Could a version of this be used to mimic binaural recordings?

  This makes me feel so much less lonely.

  This is perfect for two situations: 1) I'm in a crowded public place and I can't stop picking out the conversations of the people around me, this blends in and makes everything one babbling noise. Or 2) I'm in a place that's too quiet and I keep getting distracted, this helps me imagine that there are people who can see my screen and know I'm not working.

  When I write, I like to use sounds to create atmospheres that help me get into the scene of the story. This has been really useful when creating scenes that have crowds, but isn't as distracting as other "crowd" or "coffee shop" noise generators!

  I use this with the TARDIS noise from the spaceship noise generator (it's someone's comment on that page). I think it sounds like a casual trip through time with the Doctor when they're used together. Super relaxing.

  This one is amazing! It sounds so quiet and peaceful. We can make it sound like a wedding party.

  If I combine sound like this with appropriate music from youtube, I can create an RPG Tavern setting!

  For anyone trying to block out a noisy office, this player on animate is the best thing I've ever found. I'm a teacher, and I share an office with 13 other teachers. Students are constantly coming in and out, teachers are talking to one another, and on the days when you're trying to work, it can be impossible. Nothing else I've tried has blocked out the noise as well as this. Thank you!

  As a writer who works at home, I can't tell you how much this has helped me. Too much silence makes my creative mind wander. Often I have to go to a coffee shop to get some background noise. This is a GODSEND for me; I can tune out everything else but the work. It's amazing how the brain works! Genius. Thanks.

  This is perfect sound masking for the library. The library should be a quiet place to study, but when there's always groups talking together it's not so quiet. Instead of turning up the volume of grey noise, I use babble noise to ignore the real life talking around me. I can study for hours with no distractions and annoyances.

  I really like this one better than the individual whispering. Instead of it feeling creepy because they're whispering, this one makes me feel like someone's nearby or in the house and I'm comfortable knowing someone else is there.

  I'm very comforted by the idea of having friends talking and enjoying themselves nearby. I find this imitation helps me sleep at night, and makes me feel safe and watched over.

  I love this! Its so calming somehow and helps me silence the noise in my head.

  This makes me feel like I'm in someplace like a museum where there are people talking about the displays and the video clips that are shown in certain places.

  I always work better with background noise and like working in cafes but then I get distracted by people watching! This setting gives me the noise I want without the distraction of real people!

  ← At the library

  My office-mates have conversations around me. (They can't help it; we're in an open office.) This babble noise helps me to tune them out. Thank you!

  I love using Babble while I'm doing work in class or around my school campus. When the other students are having discussions or making noise, I don't notice it at all. I have ADHD and this has been a lifesaver!

  I like the sound of people under water. Makes me feel I'm invisible to them.