May 13, 2011

Tips for Listening to Naturespace on the iPhone or iPad

In my original post about ambient sound, I mentioned an app called Naturespace for the iPhone and iPad.  Since then I've begun using it even more than when I wrote the post, especially for going to sleep at night.  I also use it to help focus whenever I've got a lot of work that requires that I sit in front of my PC for a long period of time.  This increased use for a variety of situations has taught me a lot that I thought I'd share as tips.

General Tips

  1. When choosing to purchase sounds, read the reviews and/or listen to what a friend has.  NatureSpace doesn't have free samples of sounds and has their reasons for it.
  2. Turn on Earbud Optimization if using earbuds, like those that come with the iPhone.  Otherwise, leave it off.  In the picture above, Earbud Optimization is on, as you can see on the third button from the left on the bottom.  If you listen with regular, over-the-ear headphones or with speakers, you want to tap that button to turn that feature off.

Knowing the Right Sounds for the Occasion

Know which sounds to use under which circumstances.  While this may require some experimentation, here are some tips.
  1. In general, don't listen to sounds with a lot of wind over speakers. The wind tracks sound incredible over headphones or earbuds but speakers make them sound too hissy.
  2. Don't listen to tracks that are too "active" when wanting to sleep.  Some of the tracks have a variety of birds chirping at different intervals.  Save these for "focusing" times.
  3. Tracks with rain, soft crickets, or waves work well for sleeping.
  4. Don't listen to gurgling water tracks, like those under the River category, if you have to go to the bathroom.  I guess that goes without saying.
  5. A lot of tracks sound better if kept at a lower volume.

My Favorites

These are some of my favorites, in no particular order:
  1. Vacation - This is the best of the beach tracks because the soft sound of distant seagulls adds a little something else to the experience.  It's great for reading, thinking, praying, or sleeping. 
  2. Liquid Sunshine - This is a rain track with crisp, distinguishable drops, and occasional thunder.  The rain picks up at times for a little variety.  It's great for reading and thinking.  If you don't mind the thunder, it's good for sleeping too.
  3. Back Home - This is a simple rain track that has the depth of Liquid Sunshine without the thunder.
  4. Night at Lake Unknown - This is my go-to track for sleeping at night.  It has a constant rhythm of crickets and/or cicadas along with the sound of lapping water against the shore.  You occasionally hear the faint howl of a wolf in the distant.  I plug this into my iHome clock/radio and set the timer for 30 minutes.
  5. Hansel and Gretel - This is a good daytime reading, thinking, or praying track.  It gives you the sense of spring time in the woods, with wind blowing through the trees and birds chirping (and even an occasional insect buzzing by).  You definitely want headphones or earbuds for this because of the wind.
  6. Life After Life - This is a good daytime reading, thinking, or praying track that has a lot of variety but yet is easy to get lost in without getting distracted.  It has birds, water, and wind.  It is best with headphones or earbuds.
  7. The Legend of Nikola Tesla - If you like thunder and thunderstorms, this is the track to get.


  1. Thanks for this great write up. The Legend of Nikola Tesla is a favorite of mine as well, when it comes to the thunder God tracks (I haven't listened to the others... considering Loki perhaps, I've heard it described as a bog atmosphere, subtle thunder). Peyote is really enjoyable, but a mixed bag if listening to falling asleep - I woke up hours into the night with the head phones still in my ears and the sounds of a shaman whispers, rain sticks, and drums - quite bizarre, slightly disturbing, but overall WORTH IT!

  2. Thanks. I bought Loki after you mentioned it. I like it. It has good night-time sounds (crickets, frogs, etc.) with thunder. There is no real rain that I remember, just sounds of night and thunder. It's actually a thunder track you can go to sleep to.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.