Thursday, November 21, 2013

Product Worth the Price: Marpac Dohm Sound Machine

image from Amazon
My closest friend from prep school grew up in Manhattan -- something that made for fun adventures when our school would take its annual trip to New York and allow us to have some free time after visiting museums.

I've always wanted to live in New York, so of course I was intrigued by the idea that she had trouble sleeping without the sound of traffic outside. In her room, she kept a sound machine to help fill the silence of the country, through which she had trouble sleeping.

I've lived in NYC for over a decade now, and during that time I have, of course, had some neighbors who made more noise than others. And of course, some areas of town are also a bit more quiet than others. The Upper East Side is so quiet that my friend and I would say we lived in the suburbs in the middle of Manhattan. Other areas, like the Upper West Side where I live now, are probably not as noisy as Downtown, but still not as quiet as the East Side.

Even so, we've had no real trouble with noise. We hear the occasional drunken singing or extra loud garbage truck on our block, but our building itself has not been too bad. That is, until we got our most recent set of neighbors directly above us.

The two women who moved in are petite things -- neither can possibly weigh more than 100lbs -- but somehow, they walk heavier than any of the other three sets of neighbors who have lived up there! To add to the trouble, they keep very different hours from one another, so it sounds as though someone is stomping from early evening right through ten in the morning.

Since we haven't yet gotten to know them, and don't want to be those annoying neighbors who come upstairs and ask them to keep it down each night, we decided to invest in a sound machine. After talking to friends and reading reviews, we ended up with the Marpac Dohm-DS Dual Speed Sound Conditioner, which has two levels and creates just white noise.

I always thought a good sound machine would cost over $100, so it was nice to see that this one is not that expensive. It works very well, and although one can still make out some stomping if she listens very closely, it cancels enough of the noise to allow us to sleep.

Our sound machine may be doing the opposite of what my friend's did years ago, but I now understand why she needed it -- it certainly takes a long time to get used to noise (or lack thereof) at night.

(I test a lot of products. In order for it to be a Products Worth the Price, it must be an item I've lived with for a while and absolutely will purchase again.)

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