The two can work together, however. And one great example is using your smart speaker to create ambient background sounds, which cancels out the need for a white noise machine. If this idea sparks serious joy for you, you'll be thrilled to hear how simple it is to do.
You seriously just have to ask Alexa—she knows what to do. Or say, "Hey Google, play rainstorm sounds." Or birdsong, or crickets, or white noise—whichever variety brings you serenity. There are endless (and free) possibilities if you decide to go this route. It's worth noting, though, as one of my fellow editors points out, "strangely, some white noise or pink noise can be irritating."
Because of this, she and her husband, who use their smart speaker to create ambient sounds in their son's nursery, no longer let an AI assistant handle the selections. Instead, she synced hers to Spotify. (You could do the same with your Amazon, Apple, or Google music accounts depending on your device.) That way, she can pick white noise playlists that aren't annoying, which would defeat the purpose, amirite?
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