Best App for Shutting Out Noise


SoundCurtain Screenshot

Noise buster: Plug a microphone into your iPhone or iPod Touch (the standard iPhone headphones work just fine), and SoundCurtain plays one of five audio themes, adjusting the levels to compensate for surrounding noise. The "Rain Masker" theme is especially soothing, but you can choose from other sounds, including two that play new-agey harmonic tunes. Tap the screen to call up settings to adjust sound level and sensitivity.

Top Pick


Version: 1.2
Website: FutureAcoustic

Got a cubicle neighbor yammering on the phone? Jackhammers going strong outside? SoundCurtain quiets the din so that you can focus on work (or catch some shuteye). The app uses your iPhone’s microphone to analyze the surrounding sound and play a corresponding level of ambient music or white noise, covering distracting sounds with something more soothingly relaxing.

Honorable Mention



Version: 2.2
Website: Urban Apps

Unlike SoundCurtain, Ambiance doesn’t respond to the surrounding environment. Instead it simply provides a big, big collection of calming sounds to drown out the clamor around you. Think iTunes for zen audio. The app comes loaded with three sounds—rain, wind chimes, and loon calls—and you can download more from a free library of hundreds of tension-melting clips. Make a mix of sounds, play them in loops, or set a timer to stop—after you fall asleep, for example.

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