Frequently Asked Questions

Sound conditioners (also known as sound machines, sleep machines, white noise machines - or one of many combinations thereof) are machines that emit a consistent, soothing soundtrack. Just as air conditioners moderate the temperature of an environment and drapes allow for the control of light in an environment, sound machines moderate the noise level of an environment. Turn one on, and tune everything else out.

A lot of people find that the soothing sound of rushing air is a wonderfully relaxing, all-natural sleep aid. We've received a lot of letters and emails from new parents, nightshift workers, spouses of snorers, frequent travelers -- even pet owners. All of them thank us, and say that we've literally changed their lives. Some people swear by their Marpac sound conditioner for concentration purposes, too, especially in an office or study environment that's too loud or just too quiet. And for privacy, whether you're in an apartment or dorm room, in a physician's or therapist's office, the sound conditioner is a simple and economical sound-masker.

Millions of well-rested people have been surprised at how much their sleep improved, or at how much better they could concentrate while studying. Our sound conditioners are especially useful for:

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People Who Snore

There is no shame in snoring. It happens. But if your snoring keeps your spouse awake, try one of our devices. It's cheap and noninvasive, nothing to wear on your face or ingest. Thousands of people swear it has saved their marriages.

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Noisy Households

Sleep will not come easily amidst noises from the street, construction sounds, crying kids, music-loving neighbors, or the late-night television watcher next to you. If you don't live in a serene country cottage, and sometimes, even if you do, you may want to consider getting a sound conditioner. It's not just a sleep aid, it's a tool for restoring order to your personal

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Infants and children

Our white noise helps children sleep like babies (only better!) at nighttime or naptime. Using a sound conditioner helps to establish a sleepy-time ritual that can travel with you to grandma's house or on vacation. Our machines mask dishwashers, telephone calls, and all of the other not-so-silent things you need to get done without waking the kids, and also provide a consistent sound environment that is especially soothing to infants. We have many “Marpac families” with sound conditioners in every bedroom, and nothing makes us happier than to know that our products are beloved by generations!

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Get more "A"s from more ZZZZZs... and better studying. Is the person next door is too noisy? Is your room is too quiet? Does your roommate snore like a gorilla. Our machines help students focus by providing a consistent audio backdrop even on loud campuses. Stressed students need sleep. We bring it. You can even skin your Dohm with personalized pictures of your school mascot, your dog, college colors or whatever else strikes your fancy.

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Its not easy sleeping when you're out of town. Take along the Zohne, our petite travel sound conditioner, and create a sleepy home away from home. No more hearing people in the hotel hallway or listening to the elevators all night. No tossing and turning in an unfamiliar bed. Many of our customers never leave home without it. A good night's sleep is worth the space in your suitcase.

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Office Workers

If you work in an office, especially in a cubicle, you know how distracting office chatter can be. It's hard to keep your personal telephone conversations private. No more. Our sound conditioners turn cubes into individual sanctuaries with one click. They also keep private offices more “private,” and have the added benefit of enhancing concentration, too!

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Doctors’ Offices

Marpac sound conditioners are ideal for use in settings where you don't want conversations overheard such as in doctors and therapists offices. This not only makes patients feel more comfortable, but also keeps you aligned with the requirements of HIPAA for patient confidentiality.

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Night-Shift Workers

Even if you work from 5pm-9am, you can sleep soundly when you get home. Now you can control your sleep schedule, your sound environment, your job stress and your sanity.

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Tinnitus Sufferers

If you suffer from tinnitus, our sound conditioners may offer some relief. The ability to manipulate the tone of the sound emitted by the sound conditioner to match the tone in your ringing ears is part of what makes our devices so effective. Many sound conditioners are not up to the tinnitus task. Ours gets a ringing endorsement.

It's not really white, and it's not really noise. According to Wikipedia, "a random signal is considered 'white noise' if it is observed to have a flat spectrum over a medium's widest possible bandwidth." What this means to you: White noise can block out sounds across a wide range of frequencies, both more steadily and at a lower volume than, say, your music, which contains a variety of frequencies and is therefore an inconsistent sound-masking experience, no matter how loud you turn it up. That's the "scientific" explanation. What our years of experience have taught us is that all white noise is not created equal, and the simple, singular sound of rushing air is the most popular white noise. Our customers use the following words (among others) to describe it: "familiar," "comforting," "soothing," "protecting" and, our favorite, "deeply pleasing." This makes us deeply pleased, too.

Before we answer your question, it’s important for you to think a little about why you are asking. We have a chart to help you select the product that is best for your specific need. If you have more questions, please contact our customer care team. We love to hear you out and help you find the sound conditioner that will work best for you and your particular situation. No, we won’t push you to buy more than you need. We promise.

For sheer power and volume, the 1288A and DS 600A are our loudest machines. They have a decibel range that is around 90 DB. Second in line is our Zohne model; it maxes out around 84 DB. These three models all have in-line volume control, so the volume range starts at zero and goes up (obviously) from there.

The Dohm, our most popular and best-selling model, has a volume range between 50-75 DB. This masks the majority of the quiet but annoying noises that disrupt our sleep, as well as some louder, more obnoxious tones.


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If you're on the road (or in the sky) frequently, we'd recommend the Zohne, Hushh, or Rohm units - their compact size and compatibility with power sources around the world makes these units your best option.

We do also hear from plenty of people who like to take their Dohm along while traveling to make hotel rooms sound more like home.  Please be aware that because there's a small motor inside, the 120V Dohm does not like to travel internationally.  We do manufacture 240 V (AU, EU, & UK) Dohms - you may purchase one of those here.

Sound machines are most effective when placed between yourself and the greatest source of noise. This may mean that instead of simply placing the unit on the bedside table, it is more beneficial to put it beneath a window to block traffic sounds, near an interior door to mask television or voices from another room, or up against a thin wall to minimize the sounds of noisy neighbors, to give a few common examples. You'll also want to try adjusting the volume of the sound machine tin these different locations. With a little fine-tuning, you'll soon have the ideal noise-masking setup for your personal sound environment.

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We give you a 30 day money-back satisfaction guarantee, but we do ask you to give our products a shot for one week, just because a new sleep sound can take a little getting used to. If you don’t love your purchase after one week, you are welcome to return it. If you think maybe you just had the wrong product, give our customer care team a call or email, and we’ll get the right one into your hands right away!

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