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Ah, there's nothing like the soothing sounds of a cascading waterfall.......


And this is nothing like the soothing sound of a cascading waterfall!! (Drumroll, please.)


I shouldn't mock my new Obus Forme Sound Therapy Relaxation System (also known as a white noise machine.) Yet, I must mock because I'm neurotic and if I wasn't neurotic, I wouldn't need a Sound Therapy Relaxation System.

I bought this gadget last Sunday for the princely sum of $34.99 Cdn (that's about 5 euro, maybe $10 US.) After the earlier bed-buying binge, I thought my shopping days were done.

But with new neighbours moving in upstairs, I decided the best defence against potential racket overhead would be a white noise machine to play when I'm trying to sleep. Just to block out any potential trouble (I said I was neurotic.)

The machine itself, which is about the size of a nice foccacia, is actually very lightweight and could potentially be used for travel. I become extra neurotic on the road -- I think I look for air conditioning in hotels, as much for the noise it emits as for the cooling effect. However, I'm not sure I'll actually want to add yet another small appliance to my luggage (to go along with the travel iron, curling iron, vacuum cleaner for dusty corners -- alright, that last one is a lie. Suffice to say I over-pack.)

The device officially emits 10 different kinds of noise -- almost everything except bleating goats and hooting owls. I can listen to:

Ocean Waves
Summer Night
White Noise
Running Stream
Tropical Forest
Thunder Storm

So far, most of those actually sound to me like the echo my car makes driving inside a tunnel -- but for $35 Cdn, what can I expect?

All mocking aside, I think it's worth the money to mask outside noise. Just so long as I don't accidentally set off the shrieiking "songbirds" some night in my sleep. I'd never be able to shut my eyes again!

(Waterfall photo from the Upper Falls of Johnston Creek in Johnston Canyon, Banff National Park, Alberta. Taken by Roy Tennant.)

Comments (21)

Barb Cabot:

This sounds very relaxing. I'd love to hear the waterfall and falling rain.

"about 5 euro, maybe $10 US." You are too funny! This post made me laugh so hard. I didn't know you were this neurotic! I have never heard one of these but I am curious to what they sound like. Personally I am addicted to ear plugs so I know what you mean.

Maybe I should get one of these to drown out the train sounds! That is a great deal. I thought they went for a lot more than 35 dollars. So which sound is your favorite? Oh and congrats on your fun new purchase! Hey, you can chalk it up to another one of your bed accessories.

The ipod touch I got free with my about to expire air travel points has some things on it that do this.

Um, but I would have to take my earplugs out to hear it! Oh dear. :)

I think that electrical equipment will take up all my suitcase room on my next trip. Well, a lot of it will be in my carry on.

You are hilarious! I almost fell for that "vacuum cleaner" bit (thank god you were joking). I hope you'll report back after you've used this thing for a while - I'm curious about the experience. I think that any of the noise choices would keep me awake but I've never tried one.

And about a day trip to Venice, well of course I'm gonna say "go for it"! You might be ready for a little break from the land of cars. :)

Sandra, I used to have one of these, I do like them a lot. They are very soothing, my favorite is the ocean waves sound.

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, another great post! You are too funny! I love the waterfall photo opener and then voila your new relaxing sound therapy machine. And I also went huh on the dust buster! Another good one! :)

I like all the water related choices your new machine has. I think the sound of water is very relaxing.

Thanks for making me laugh this morning Sandra!


Thanks, Barb -- all joking aside, the waterfall and the rain are actually really pleasant and quite soothing.

Chiocciola, I am pretty neurotic -- mostly when it comes to sleep. I've always lived downtown and in apartments, which should have given me a greater tolerance for background noise -- but it hasn't!

Thanks Girasoli! I was a bit surprised at the low price as well. In the past, I had heard about really posh noise machines that were a few hundred dollars. But I suppose with new technology, they've dropped in price (and mine probably isn't super high quality.)

So far, the waterfall seems to work best for me, the sound is consistent (unlike waves, where the sound rises and falls)

The heartbeat sound apparently was included for babies. I guess some babies are easily disturbed, and Obus Forme seems to think that the sound of heartbeats will sooth little ones. To me, the sound is a bit alarming!

Leslie, I didn't realize that you can download white noise for your i-Pod. Unfortunately, I think I would get tangled in the wires if I tried to use it to sleep.

It's remarkable how many electronics I need for travel -- from chargers for my i-Pod and Italian cell phone, to plug convertors, to curling irons.

Annie, it will be interesting to see if I can get used to the sound machine. So far, I've played with it during the evening, trying different sounds to see if they become annoying after a while. I haven't tried to run it all night as yet!

In terms of Venice, you have me convinced already! I love your suggestion of getting a break from the land of cars. This gives me an idea of a blog post -- how to spend the perfect day in Venice......

Thanks, Candi -- I'm glad to hear that you have had good experiences with a machine like this. Why did you stop using one? A move to a quieter location perhaps?

I listen to my ipod at night. I've wondered if white noise would help instead so I'm curious to see how this works for you.

For me, I need the droning of a voice. And surprising, I've learned how to drag my ipod with me when I toss and turn. I have also tried a pillow speaker but it broke. The earphone/speaker wires do get twisted an break every three or four months.


HI Kathy, thanks so much! I try to be entertaining, but there's always a risk that what I think is funny, isn't so to others! I agree, water noises can be so soothing. I've always loved the sound of rain on a tent roof, if you're tucked in and warm in a sleeping bag.

Marta, I'll have to look into the iPod for lulling me to sleep. It would certainly be much more portable (since I take my iPod everywhere!)

I hadn't heard of a pillow speaker before, I wonder how that works?

Funny and entertaining post, Sandra! I use my iPod to help me sleep when traveling (sans husband) but I don't use the ear plugs. I have a small traveling case with tiny speakers. At home I fall asleep to Italian music, the instrumental, soothing kind.

Sandra, I broke it:( by accident of course. Never got around to replacing it. And it is very quiet here, and I do have my real ocean waves sound. I most likely will replace once I get back in a city, or noisy place.

Sandra, also check this out http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/candi/2009/03/fabulous_blog_award.html

I have given you a fabulous blog award!

Yeah, a few years ago we would bring no electronics when traveling but now it is a lot! For my trip I want to pack light so I am thinking only my camera... Wonder if I can do that.


Thanks Maria! I really am going to have to look into using my iPod for white noise/soothing Italian music when I travel -- that would be brilliant! And I love the idea of tiny speakers for the road. I often listen to my iPod in the hotel room or rental apartment, when I'm getting ready to go out or unpacking -- that sort of thing. It would be great to be able to actually have small speakers so I wouldn't need to constantly use the ear buds.

Candi, that's so sweet of you -- thanks! I have always wanted to be fabulous!

Chiocciola, maybe it is possible to travel unplugged! I get way too caught up in my gadgets (tho I love my iPod so much!)

Love the idea of planning a perfect off-the-beaten-path day in Venice!

Both ear plugs and any kind of ear speakers give me claustrophobia! The only time I wear ear plugs is when I mow the yard. They really bother me! I'm lucky that I can usually sleep through noise in hotels etc.

Brad'll Do It:

I 'spose earplugs at night are out of the question? As a counter to the upstairs noise, you could always turn your music up higher, or whatever entertainment device you frequent.

You do run the risk of neurotic addiction to your new toy, having to bring it everywhere with you (office, trips, picnics at a waterfall, the beach, a rainforest, the aviary). This could create some racket redundancy, which could lead to yet more neuroses.

Meds, anyone?

Here’s the link to the small speakers in a case that I bought for $10.

I take it with me when I travel to listen to the play lists I make for each destination. Like you, I like to listen to music while I’m in my room or apartment. The sound is quite good for such an inexpensive item.


Great post. We use those machines so people can't hear what clients are saying in the therapy rooms. I hope you have lovely Italian dreams in your new bed with the gentle sounds of water!


Thanks Annie -- you'll be the first person I turn to for advice!

I'm so envious that noise doesn't bother you -- you must be an extremely relaxed person!

Brad, I must confess I do use ear plugs, but they never seem to make a great seal. Loud noise still gets through! (That'll teach me to live downtown on a busy street!)

And you're so right -- once I become addicted to a device, there is no letting go.

Maria, thanks so much for the link -- those tiny speakers look so light and compact, and even with the case they don't look much heavier or larger than a pair of eyeglasses! Just the thing to brighten up a solo hotel room.

Palma, what a clever idea. They would create just enough cover sound that people in therapy sessions could feel assured of privacy.
And thanks for your sweet wish of lovely Italian dreams -- what could be better?

Sandra what a funny post, thank you! Besides the vacuum cleaner, you forgot to add the bottles of gorgeous Canadian maple syrup you bring to Italian friends!


Thanks Letizia! But next time, I'll try to think of something different to bring!

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