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A Comparison of the Marpac Dohm vs Rohm vs Hushh Sound Machines


White noise and other ambient sounds can create a calming environment and has helped many children (and adults) to sleep. 

A sound machine can mask annoying or disruptive din in the surrounding environment, such as traffic or noisy snorers. People use sound machines to sleep better, calm babies, relieve tinnitus, and soothe barking dogs. 

We are here to explore three popular sound machines manufactured by Marpac: The Dohm Classic, the Rohm and the Hushh.

Marpac Dohm Classic (White) | The Original White Noise Machine (Renewed)| Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan | Noise Cancelling | Sleep Therapy, Office Privacy, Baby, Travel

Dohm Classic vs Rohm vs Hushh: Comparing Sleep Sound Machines

The Dohm Classic

The Dohm Classic, the original white noise machine invented in 1962, features:

  • Dual speed fan-based sounds
  • Mid-range price
  • 2-speed adjustable volume
  • Comes in white, black, tan or gray

The Rohm 

Features of the Rohm:

  • Multi-sound electronic white noise
  • Low range price
  • Push-button adjustable volume
  • USB rechargeable
  • Travel sized
  • Comes in white 

Marpac Hushh Portable White Noise Machine for Baby | 3 Soothing, Natural Sounds with Volume Control | Compact for On-the-Go Use & Travel | USB Rechargeable | Baby-Safe Clip & Child Lock

The Hushh

Specs of the Hushh:

  • Multi-sound electronic white noise
  • Low range price
  • Push-button adjustable volume
  • USB rechargeable
  • Night light
  • Child lock
  • Comes in gray

Comparing the Dohm, Rohm and Hushh

Sound

The Dohm Classic features fan-generated white noise, which sounds like rushing air. 

The Rohm and Hushh both offer three, volume-controllable sound options: bright white noise, deep white noise, or gentle surf.

Many users like the variety of sound choices, but the electronically generated sounds of the Hushh and Rohm models may bother some people who are used to the natural sounds of fan-based white noise. 

More than one parent review mentioned that the Rohm and Hushh are louder in volume than the Dohm Classic, although some users prefer the sound quality of the Dohm.

Price

The Dohm Classic is priced the highest of these three, the compact Hushh is mid-priced, and the travel-sized Rohm is the lowest in price. 

Power

The Rohm and Hushh can both be recharged with their convenient USB cables and will operate through the night on a single charge; sometimes longer. 

The traditional Dohm Classic uses an 8-inch 120V AC plug and some customers have worked out the math: if you left your Dohm Classic on 24/7/365, it would cost a maximum grand total of $15 per year on your electric bill.

Controls 

The Hushh and Rohm offer push buttons to control their sound choices and volume, while the Dohm Classic features a switch and a rotating collar to find the ideal sound.

Since it is designed specifically for baby, the Hushh also provides a gentle, amber LED nightlight and child locking feature. 

Size

Weighing in at 3.84 ounces, the portable Hushh is easy to tote around in a diaper bag. It measures 3.5 x 1.8 x 3.8 inches.

Similarly petite, the Rohm is lightweight at 3.8 ounces and it’s travel-friendly. It measures up at 3.75 x 3.5 x 1.75 inches. 

The Dohm Classic is the largest of the three, weighing around two pounds and measuring 5.8″W x 5.8″L x 3.2″H.

Color Options

The Rohm comes in white, the Hushh is available in gray, and the Dohm Classic comes in white, black, gray and tan.

Guarantee

Marpac offers customers the 101 night trial and backs all three machines with a one-year limited warranty. 

Customer Likes & Dislikes

Marpac Dohm Classic (White) | The Original White Noise Machine (Renewed)| Soothing Natural Sound from a Real Fan | Noise Cancelling | Sleep Therapy, Office Privacy, Baby, Travel

Dohm Classic

The Dohm Classic is not only a favorite at home; it’s popular at the office, too. Some customers who have tried the Dohm Classic have found the sound quality superior to the travel-sized sleep machines, and some prefer the natural, fan-generated white noise to the electronic sound of the Rohm and Hushh. Other users purchase the Rohm or Hushh because of compact size, portability and ease of charging. The Dohm Classic has no battery or USB charger; it’s just a plug-in. 

Marpac Rohm Portable White Noise Machine for Travel | 3 Soothing, Natural Sounds with Volume Control | Compact Sleep Therapy for Adults & Baby | USB Rechargeable | Lanyard for Easy Hanging

 

Rohm

Users like the Rohm‘s travel-friendly size, because it basically fits in the palm of a hand. The Rohm’s volume level is said to be more powerful than the Dohm Classic. Customers like the Rohm for the variety of sound choices, such as bright white noise, deep white noise and gentle surf. The electronic sound bothers some users.  Customers who have tried sleep sounds with a phone app have reported that they prefer the Rohm to the app, since sleep sound apps often have gaps in the sound loops. Users say they can use the Rohm two nights without charging. 

Marpac Hushh Portable White Noise Machine for Baby | 3 Soothing, Natural Sounds with Volume Control | Compact for On-the-Go Use & Travel | USB Rechargeable | Baby-Safe Clip & Child Lock

 

Hushh

The Hushh was designed specifically for use with infants, and it features a gentle amber nightlight. There’s also a child lock mechanism, which locks the volume so a child cannot change the volume level.  The electronic sounds include a bright white noise, a deep white noise and a gentle surf sound. There’s a ring attachment that allows the Hushh to be connected to baby’s stroller. Some parents say that the inflexible, plastic ring has broken and they have used something else to secure the machine. The volume buttons are easy to use, even in the dark. The Hushh is a winner with many parents because you don’t have to mess with batteries and it is easy to charge. To prevent accidentally powering up the machine, you have to press the button for a few seconds.

Sound Machines 101

If you are new to the idea of sleep sound machines, white noise and whatnot, here are some basics about these popular devices: 

  • Some sound machines use only noise generated from a fan. These natural noises include white noise, pink noise, brown noise and other sounds. For more information on types of sound machine noise, see our  best sound machine article.
  • A number of sound machines offer the choice of fan-based noise or electronic noises. These electronic noises may include nature-based sounds, like waterfalls, rain and ocean waves.
  • These devices can mask unwanted noise in the environment, such as construction or traffic sounds.  
  • People have found that sound machines assist them in falling asleep faster, staying asleep, and improving the quality of sleep.
  • Office workers use white noise machines to block out surrounding chatter and help them focus on their tasks. 
  • Moms, college students and other busy people enjoy sound machines to help them relax or ease tension. 

Using Sound Machines for Baby

Researchers are still discussing the pros and cons of sleep machines, but some parents wouldn’t want to do without a sound machine to help their child get a restful sleep.  A recent study found that white noise can be helpful for getting newborns to sleep faster. Some babies encounter sleep regression, which is a shifting of sleep patterns, and a sleep sound machine can be a good solution for some parents. A projector soother is another good choice for babies.

Baby sleeping in crib

 

Who Else Can Benefit From Sound Machines? 

Sleep sound machines such as the Dohm, Rohm and Hushh aren’t just for infants and children. One mom I know uses a sound machine only for a midday nap when the home is busy. 

A recent study showed that hospital patients experienced more and better sleep with a white noise machine. The ambient sounds were able to mask the noises in a busy hospital environment. 

Another clinical trial showed that healthy people who struggle with insomnia benefit from white noise. By using a sound machine, the time they spent struggling to get to sleep was reduced by 38%. 

Research shows that ambient noise played for older people allowed them to sleep longer and deeper and actually boosted their memory.

Patients who suffer from tinnitus often find relief when they use white noise. 

Travelers enjoy portable sound machines to block out the unfamiliar and sometimes noisy surroundings. Check out these sleep tips for travelers. 

One Concern About Sound Machines

The popularity of sound machines for sleep is growing. However, some pediatricians and other experts have concerns. Dr. Blake Papsin, who is a pediatric ear surgeon, got interested in white noise machines when he noticed that patients were using them at dangerously high volume levels. After measuring the decibel level, he discovered that one patient had the noise cranked up to 85 decibels, which would mimic the tone of a loud hair dryer.

Dr. Papsin and other researchers assembled 14 of the top sound machines and turned the volume to the maximum, finding that three of them produced a toxic level of sound. Although only three had hazardous levels of sound, all of the machines had the potential to exceed 50 decibels, the level considered safe for hospital nurseries.

Some doctors are pushing for companies to provide an automatic shutoff for machines when they exceed safe noise levels, and they advocate using machines for only short periods of time with modest volume levels. 

History of the Sound Machine for Sleep

The idea of a sound machine for sleep was inspired in 1967. A traveling salesman named Jim Buckwalter often took his wife Trudy along as he worked from state to state. Trudy noticed that she always slept better in hotels than in her own home. The couple figured out that it was the constant hum of the room’s air conditioner unit that lulled her to sleep. 

Jim went to work, trying to copy the whirring sounds of the air conditioner into a compact invention that his wife could use at home. He called his protoype a sound conditioner.

Jim’s first sound machine was a turntable motor and small fan blade fit into a dog bowl, which was fixed to a circle of foam-covered wood. 

Although not very pretty, it produced a constant, pleasant sound that masked household noises. It worked so well that people began requesting these sound conditioners, and a new company was created. That first sound machine has been improved and upgraded over the years, eventually becoming The Dohm Classic.

Wrap Up

From the original “dog dish” sound conditioner, sound machines have come a long way. Whether used for sleeping, focusing or relaxing, these devices are increasing in popularity. It’s interesting that adding noise can be such a helpful addition to any mom’s arsenal.

If you want a solid and dependable machine to keep at home or in the nursery, the Marpac Dohm Classic is the way to go. But if you want a portable and baby-safe sound machine, I’d pick the Marpac Hushh sound machine over the Marpac Rohm.

Lisa Luciano
Lisa Luciano
Lisa is a homeschooling mom, freelance writer and power napper. She and her husband are raising their eleven children in the rural Midwest. When she's not cooking for a crowd, Lisa loves reading, thrift-shopping and walking around her favorite lakes.

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