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I had a question about sirens in another section that went unanswered, so I like to start from basics and go from there. So if you're sitting at home, and hear a heavy truck go by, the kinds that almost shake your apartment. That's one kind of noise. You hear the wail of sirens from an ambulance or firetruck, and that's another. Then there is someone next to you snoring. That's a third.

I've heard people use the term "white noise" to cancel out or reduce other noise. Granted I have used various earplugs but they only reduce certain kinds of noise and not that well either. But looking at white noise, I realized there is so much about it that I don't know. For instance there is also brown noise and pink noise. There is a sound's loudness, pitch, timber, direction, frequency, etc.

So I figured I ask my question here and get some constructive suggestions or guidance to help me narrow down my search and give it a sort of direction. I appreciate all your help.

EDIT for MODS: A per knzhou's suggestion, this is not as relevant to physics as it is to biology of hearing. I decided to post this in cog sci forum. I can't say it's "solved" because it's not, but just want to let you know you can close this if you prefer.

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    $\begingroup$ Hey, this is actually a biology question rather than a physics question. A white noise generator helps muffle other noises because human ears become less sensitive to noise the more background noise there is. This is called auditory masking. $\endgroup$ – knzhou Sep 6 '16 at 6:41
  • $\begingroup$ However, this has very little to do with sound interference, or the frequency spectrum of white noise, etc. You're better off asking this on the Biology or Cognitive Science SE sites. $\endgroup$ – knzhou Sep 6 '16 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ okay, thanks guys, if this is more suitable for biology, should I copy/paste this in the biology forum or is that not allowed? $\endgroup$ – Raymond Sep 6 '16 at 7:37
  • $\begingroup$ Cross posting is frowned upon, AFAIK. $\endgroup$ – user108787 Sep 6 '16 at 10:24
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this belongs on biology.SE or cognitive science.SE. $\endgroup$ – heather Sep 6 '16 at 11:35

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