Can a Marpac DOHM-DS Sound Machine Cure All Noise Problems?

marpacdohmdssoundmachineSound machines such as the Marpac DOHM-DS have a lot of uses. The white noise it’s supposed to bring out is meant to help with things such as noisy neighbors, helping light sleepers actually sleep better, and help block out any unwanted noise from outside sources. 

I did buy this machine because I have very “lovely” neighbors and before I had, I read reviews on Amazon which were very positive. A 4.5 rating out of 5 and this was after over 6,000 reviews. The reviews I was most interested in were those that talked about how this machine had helped people be better able to deal with noise from bad neighbors and after reading a number of them saying it did help, I went ahead and got it.

Did the Macpac DOHM-DS white noise machine help my problem?

Well here is my official review: If you want to know if this machine can help curb the noises from neighbors, the answer is yes, in fact VERY much YES. Will it get rid of every single noise no matter how loud? No. 

I live in NYC and you can guess that it isn’t exactly the quietest place on earth. But I do live in a fairly peaceful neighborhood, yet we can’t pick out neighbors and I’m not exactly lucky with mine. 

I am glad I got this machine and it has made a noticeable difference. When I didn’t understand it well, it worked well enough for me to not hear most of the noises, but now that I figured out how to maximize it’s effect, it’s even better. 

When I read this machine was supposed to improve sleep, I didn’t believe it, but for the past week that I have been sleeping with it on all night, I really have been experiencing a much deeper, more fulfilling sleep. So in total:

  • It works very well if you have: Noisy neighbors, loud noises coming from the outside and anywhere around you.
  • It’s very portable so if you travel, it won’t take up much space.
  • My quality of sleep has improved.
  • It can stay on for many hours and doesn’t cause high energy bills to rise.

How this machine works:

You may be new to white noise machines, but the way they work is really simple: They make their own noise which substitutes most noises. It acts as a shield against noises basically. Although most of us who seek silence want peace, it’s surprising to know just how easy it is to fall and stay asleep under the sound this machine makes. I’m still very surprised.

What has happened is that now instead of having my silent room and every outside noise, including from other apartments being heard loud and clear, the machine now occupies most of the sound space and it helps block out a huge amount of noise, not just from neighbors, but from the outside.

The sound itself feels like a combination of a light air conditioner and fan mixed together. There are 4 different levels you can adjust on the actual machine to change the sounds, 2 on the top and 2 on the sides. You can mix them in different combinations to see which you’re most comfortable with. There are a number of holes and openings in the machine from which the sound resonates from. By changing the options on the machine, you close up a few holes, open up others and this changes the overall sound you hear.

There are also 2 levels of output you can select. I am on the first one right now and it seems to be enough. The second level is basically twice as powerful. The ace up my sleeve in case I ever need it. There are altogether, 8 different noise levels you can have with this machine.

Another visual analogy for you is to imagine being in a traffic jam and having your AC on at full blast. You’ll notice a major difference when it’s off and you can hear a lot of cars honking, people yelling and all outside noises bearing down on you vs when your AC is on full force and that will actually cover up most of those noises. That’s how this machine will feel when used. See what other reviewers are saying.

Product specs:

The machine weights about 2.5 pounds.

It’s about 5 inches in diameter and 3 inches in height. 

This machine can be left on for hours with apparently no major problem on energy costs. It is a meant for sleep so at least 8 hours of use is normal for this thing.

The good thing about this machine is that you can pretty much carry it anywhere. I’ve read reviews from people who say they take it with them when they travel for things like sleeping peacefully in noisy motels.

Can everyone benefit from this machine?

I am a light sleeper. Ironically, I can sleep through things like a thunderstorm, but for me this machine is very helpful. On it’s lowest setting, I can still somewhat hear noises from the neighbors and the outside, but when it’s turned up to one of it’s other options, I don’t really hear anything but the machine at all anymore. 

If ANY kind of sound irritates you when you’re trying to sleep or just relax and want peace, the Marpac DOHM-DS will help get rid of most of them and help with that.

Now if you have things like extremely loud neighbors who blast music, stomp on the floor and do things that make your apartment shake, then this machine is probably not going to help, calling the police might. I still recommend testing the machine out anyway to see the difference.

How to improve the use of this machine!

I figured out a way to make this machine’s use even better. Where you put the machine impacts how much less or more you hear other noises:

My main noises were coming from my downstairs neighbors, so instead of putting it on a shelf, I put it on the floor, basically the point from where most of the noise was heard and it VERY much improved the situation, even to where I would no longer hear them. 

If your case is the same, do exactly what I did. If it’s not, identify where the main noise is coming from. If it’s behind a wall, identify which side it is and put the machine there. This really makes the machine MUCH better than I originally though.

I actually have it on right now as it’s past 1 AM here (NYC). So far, so good and it’s still not on the highest level.

If you have used this machine, I’d love to know if it has helped improve your quality of sleep! You can get the machine from Amazon.


  1. Teresa

    I am intriqued reading about the ‘white noise’ machine. I have previouysly done the apartment living with noisey neighbours for 5 yrs. I heard our neighbours below us mention they use one. Luckily now my husband and I are in a house. Our neighbourhood is generally quiet and outside noises tend to NOT be an issue. However, both of us snore. I hear HIM and he occasionally he hears ME. I have lost many hours of sleep from this annoying disruption.
    It is really lucky for the first person who falls asleep.
    Do you suppose this might work for our own noisey room?
    Do you ever get feedback about this machine, for drowning out your partners noise?
    I’de be curious to hear if this helps.
    It could be the solution to both our problems when the ‘other bed mate’ is the noisey one.

    • admin

      Actually, one of the reviews on Amazon spoke about this and said this machine saved her relationship from her snoring husband. It may also help you as well Teresa.

  2. Nancy

    Help! My son IS the noisy neighbor. He’s in a 2nd floor studio and the neighbors below complain about the noise he makes. He has an autism disorder and it’s called “stimming” which for him includes vocalizing, at times quite loudly. He sometimes does this to fall asleep, and doesn’t realize how loud he is. If we get a sound machine in HIS apartment, will that provide any relief to the downstairs neighbors, or does it only work the other way – do the neighbors have to get the machine? Thanks for any advice! (btw – having the neighbors do anything is not an option in this case)

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