The One

The One Gadget That Terrible Sleepers Should Always Pack

If this white noise machine can’t get you a good night of shut-eye, nothing will.
The Snooz white noise machine.
Photographer: Jamie Chung for Bloomberg Businessweek; Prop stylist: Kody Pangburn

The Characteristics

A Kickstarter project come to life, Snooz LLC was co-founded by Eli Lazar, a mechanical engineering graduate of the University of Illinois. This 16-ounce white noise machine uses a real fan instead of prerecorded sound, and it comes in a knit-wrapped round shape that blends in with just about any environment at home or on the road. The Snooz uses an app that easily pairs over Bluetooth to adjust the fan speed, program automatic start and stop times, and calibrate for nurseries so decibels are within safe ranges.

The Competition

Even the best digital machines, such as the $80 Deep Sleep Therapy Machine from HoMedics, have complicated interfaces and project canned loops from speakers. The Snooz, also $80, costs more than Marpac’s $50 Dohm Classic, the standard-setter since 1962. Both produce sound using a mechanical fan, and both are simple to operate with little more to control than fan speed and tone. But the Dohm only has two settings, compared with the Snooz’s 10, and it has a more institutional look and feel.

The Case

The fan inside makes a real difference, no matter what analog skeptics say. And at less than 6 inches wide, the Snooz is small enough to pack in a carry-on. Touch-sensitive buttons power it up or down and adjust speed; change the tone by twisting the top of the device. The digital interface is also well-designed: You can change from a light setting, which sounds like a standard table fan, to a deep drone that mimics the inside of an airplane cabin, without raising your head off the pillow. $80

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