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Understanding White Noise and Its Placement on the EQ Spectrum

May 17, 2024

White noise is a unique audio phenomenon known for its characteristic constant background sound associated with a wide range of frequencies. It plays a crucial role in sound masking, sleep improvement, and even tinnitus relief. But, where does white noise fall on the equalization (EQ) spectrum? In this article, we'll explain what white noise is, its characteristics, and its specific position on the EQ.

White noise is defined as a random signal with equal intensity at different frequencies, which gives it a flat power spectral density. Essentially, this means that white noise distributes its energy evenly across the whole audible frequency range (20 Hz to 20,000 Hz). On a graphic equalizer, this would be depicted as a flat line, with all frequencies set to the same level.

The uniform distribution of frequencies in white noise is what makes it ideal for masking sounds and creating a consistent acoustic backdrop. Our ears are designed to pick up on changes in the frequency of sounds, which is why sudden noises or speech can be distracting. By covering the entire audible EQ spectrum, white noise can effectively reduce auditory distractions, allowing the mind to focus or relax more effectively.

White noise can be easily generated using digital methods, such as through dedicated white noise machines, smartphone apps, or even some digital audio workstations (DAWs). In many cases, the generated white noise signal may be subject to some amount of equalization itself to match the desired application, such as sleep improvement or tinnitus therapy. As an example, pink noise As an example, pink noise is another popular type of noise that has a different distribution of frequencies, focusing more on the lower end of the spectrum and diminishing in power as the frequency increases, making it less harsh to the human ear.

In conclusion, white noise occupies an equal and consistent position across the entire EQ spectrum, with equal intensity at all audible frequencies. This unique characteristic is what makes it an excellent tool for sound masking, sleep enhancement, and more.

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