Pros / It has 20 sound profiles to choose from.
Cons / You can’t run it on batteries.
Verdict / The Avantek sound machine is the perfect combination of value and performance.
A few of the sound machines we tested masked noise better than the Avantek, but we’re not sure the difference is worth twice the cost. The Avantek has 20 sound profiles, including six white noise sounds, six fan sounds and eight soothing nature sounds. It also has the best volume range of all the sound machines we tested and 30 total volume levels. You should have no problem finding the perfect sound and perfect volume to help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
This is one of the most compact and durable sleep machines we tested. It’s small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, and the buttons feel like you could press them thousands of times without breaking. It doesn’t run on batteries, which is regrettable for some travel situations, but if you are traveling to a place that has access to a wall socket, the Avantek is sturdy enough to take a beating in your luggage and come out unscathed. It has a memory function that saves the last volume setting, sound profile and sleep timer setting. The timer settings are a bit longer than we like, but the memory function comes in handy since there isn’t an LCD screen to tell you which profile is playing.
To test the sound masking capabilities of each sound machine, our reviewers took one white noise maker at a time into our test lab. While the machine ran, another reviewer stationed outside the test lab created noise. For example, they turned on a vacuum or blender or played music through a stereo. The reviewer inside the room with the machine listed the sounds they heard and how loud they were. The Avantek did a good job of masking high-pitched noises that came from the kitchen appliances and vacuum, but didn’t do well with lower frequencies created by the stereo. Only the HoMedics Deep Sleep and Lectrofan performed better than the Avantek in that test, and both of those machines cost significantly more than the Avantek.
We also tested the audio quality of each sound machine by listening for discernable loops and unnatural sound profiles. The Avantek was one of the best performers in this test. We couldn’t hear any discernable looping, and the eight nature sounds were authentic and didn’t have any startling noises. Even the sound profile with thunder claps was natural and soothing.
A wide range of volumes is an important feature of a sound machine, and those volumes should have many levels of adjustment. Although we prefer sound machines with a volume knob instead of buttons, the Avantek’s buttons have 30 different volume settings. We placed a sound meter right next to the speaker to measure the minimum and maximum decibel range and the Avantek was not only the loudest we tested, but also the quietest. You should have no problem finding the right volume to either mask external noises or distract your brain while you fall asleep.
The Avantek sound machine sounds great, and is the perfect price. It’s small enough to travel with, and the design is durable. It’s missing a few creature comforts, like a LCD screen and battery backup, but overall, this is our favorite sound machine.