Years ago there was a website called Buddha Box. It was a really great sound mixing web application with all sorts of nature and meditation sounds to create your own little oasis. Sadly, I can no longer find it on the internet. But with the rise of smart phones, apps have come to the rescue. I have tested all sorts of programs looking for just the right mix of ease-of-use and in-depth options. Finally, I stumbled across the company Relaxio. Relaxio is a Slovakian company with several different apps that can suit just about any relaxation occasion.
First up there is Rain Sounds. Rain Sounds has thirteen different premixes, including two water mixes that are not rain. You can then tap in to each one of the thirteen and customize it with extra music, nature, and animal sounds and even volume adjust individual components.
Next is Nature Sounds. Nature Sounds also has thirteen different premixes with similar customization as Rain Sounds, though some of the music, nature, and animal sounds are different. A few of the rain mixes carry over, but Nature Sounds has a nice wide assortment of environments.
One of their most unique apps is called Lullabo, but don’t let the name fool you. There is more than just lullabies going on here. Yes, there are six “calming” selections, but there are also six “playful” selections as well that are more upbeat tunes. And you can not only play just one song, but you can choose to shuffle one category or everything together. There is also a sounds screen with softer versions of their normal ambient noises. There are six nature sounds, three transportation sounds, six household sounds (including a purring cat!), and three different white noises.
Baby Sleep is a less refined version of Lullabo, and I can imagine it must have been the first incarnation. It only has four lullabies and no “playful” songs, but the calming sounds library is expanded with eight each of nature and household, four transportation, and still just three of white noise. If you want less music and more “soft noises” this app might be right for you.
Sleep Sounds is another app that feels like the first go at another now-released app. It has fifteen mixes, a few familiar from Rain and Nature Sounds, and then twenty-nine different sounds you can mix and match to create your own ambiance. However, in this app you can’t save custom mixes.
The more developed version of Sleep Sounds is my personal favorite, Sleepo. There are no preset mixes, but there are thirty-six fully customizable sounds to choose from AND you can save your creations. You can also change the colors of the app to whatever you find most soothing.
If making your own relaxation creations isn’t your thing, Relaxio’s Meditation Music app might be just the thing. It harkens back to Rain and Nature Sounds, with twelve premixes of the most relaxing meditation music they could create. There’s still some wiggle room, though, as you can adjust the components of each mix and add music, nature, or animal elements.
Finally, they have their namesake app, Relaxio (sometimes shown as the White Noise Generator). It is obvious that this app was their prototype. It only has sixteen sounds and eight premixes. The graphics are also blocky and a bit plain. You can save your own mixes, but I just feel that this app is really underpowered compared to the other apps.
Each app offers it’s own take on meditative ambiance. They all have timers so you can set it and not worry about it draining your battery if you fall asleep. And all of them are free, though you can pay a small fee to remove graphical ads (none of the apps have sound-based ads).
Give these apps a try next time you do yoga, need to decompress, or just can’t get to sleep. And let me know what you think in the comments below.