Modern Living: Louder, Please

With noise pollution under attack across the U.S., it hardly seems a propitious time to produce noisemakers. Yet a few manufacturers are doing just that. Silence, they say, is often a bigger nuisance than noise. Too much of it creates uneasiness, is distracting and reduces work output.

The most widely used of the noisemakers produce a mild form of radio static called "white noise" by engineers. Turned down to a discreet volume, the static masks distracting outside noises and disturbing interior echoes. The white noise has its limitations. "It's very tricky," says...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!