The Lectrofan, now called the Lectrofan Classic, (left in the photo) has been my go-to white noise machine for quite a while. It sits next to my bed and I use it most nights.
The Classic sounds good, gets loud, and has a large selection of different pitched white noises and fan sounds. It can be powered via mains and USB (I use it with a USB battery when traveling).
The only thing it lacks is a 3.5 mm headphone jack for those times when I want to listen via headphones.
Recently, the manufacturer came out with the new Lectrofan EVO: EVO for evolution.
It has the same specs as the Classic and it has the headphone jack. It also features two additional ocean surf sounds.
On the photos, it also looked a bit sleeker.
So I ordered myself a Lectrofan EVO to upgrade, planning to use my Classic in the living room.
After putting the Lectrofan EVO through some good testing, here are the (unexpected) results
The Classic is also easier to operate at night. Its three “rocking” buttons are clearly separated from each other and there is no mistaking one button for the other.
It is classic and it works.
With the EVO, all buttons are close to each other and they feel pretty much the same. Sometimes I accidentally press the white noise or the fan selection button when I want to adjust the volume.
Noise masking and frequency range
I often use white noise at night to mask disturbing noises that would otherwise wake me up.
Consequently, I have compared the Classic and the EVO for this purpose: both work well against chatter, barking dogs, and traffic noise.
But the Lectrofan Classic has a slight edge.
Most of its white noises exhibit a larger frequency range, and this helps to better mask higher-pitched sounds, such as the squealing and screeching parts of traffic noise or construction noise.
With most noises, the difference in performance is small, but it is nice to have the extra flexibility.
With the Lectrofan EVO, the manufacturer Adaptive Sound Technologies (ASTI) appears to have made a design decision which I think is somewhat unfortunate:
Virtually all white noise selections have the higher frequencies rolled off. To me it feels a bit as if something was missing.
As a result, most of the lower-pitched white noises on the EVO sound more like fan sounds than broadband noise.
I speculate they took that decision to remove hiss that comes with some of the higher-pitched white noises on the Lectrofan Classic.
But, the lower pitched noises on the Classic don’t have noticeable hiss either.
So people who don’t like the higher pitched sounds can just choose a lower-pitched one.
What’s more, I often use the Lectrofan together with earplugs.
Most types of earplugs don’t reduce all frequencies evenly; in fact, many earplugs attenuate higher frequencies more than lower ones.
To boost the noise blocking performance of foam earplugs, white noise with a large frequency range is very helpful.
The Lectrofan Classic has this.
So whether with or without earplugs, the Lectrofan Classic sounds better than the EVO and offers more flexibility for masking sounds that keep me from sleeping.
Both white noise machines can be set pretty loud. The EVO, depending on the pitch, achieves a maximum volume of 67 to 79 dBA. The Classic can be set even louder, achieving 69 dBA to 85 dBA.
With lower pitched sounds, both are equally loud, but starting from white noise #4 (out of 10) the Lectrofan Classic gets significantly louder.
Finally, in my opinion, the heptagon-shaped Lectrofan Classic with its clearly defined edges also looks prettier than the EVO.
The Lectrofan Classic is the better white noise machine and I recommend you get the Classic.
If you are getting the Lectrofan primarily for its fan sounds, then either machine is a good choice.
I will keep the Lectrofan EVO, but the Classic stays right where it is: on my nightstand.
It’s the EVO that goes to the other room.
I could stop here, but read on for more details to help you decide and tips on how to use either machine battery-powered.
White Noise Comparison Lectrofan EVO vs Classic
Both the Lectrofan Classic and the EVO each offer 10 different “white noises,” ranging from low-pitched brown noise over amber and pink to high-pitched “pure white.”
These sounds are electronically generated and hence don’t exhibit any repetition or loops.
While carrying the same name, the white noises sound quite different on the Classic and the EVO.
Here are short recorded samples of white noises 1, 3, 5, and 7 for the Lectrofan Classic:
And here are samples for the same noises coming from the Lectrofan EVO:
Please note that the way you hear the sounds depends a lot on your speakers / headphones and will likely be quite different from what you hear when you play the real thing, but this is the best I can do.
Next take a look at the dots (ignore the bars) in the spectrum plots (pink noise, noise #7) for the Classic and the EVO. These dots represent the peaks observed over a period 15 seconds.
Note the much steeper decline for the EVO. The decline for the Classic is more gradual and closer to what “real” pink noise would look like.
Lectrofan Classic, Pink Noise (#7)
Lectrofan EVO, Pink Noise (#7)
I compared the spectra for all white noise pitches and while they are all different, a pattern emerges: the EVO’s highs are rolled off too early (<3000 Hz) for my taste.
The Lectrofan Classic and the EVO each offer 10 fan sounds.
On either sound machine, I like half of the fan sounds: the Mellow Fan-Low, the Exhaust fan, the Attic Fan, the Vent Fan and the Oscillating Fan.
Despite having the same name on both sound machines, they don’t sound quite the same, but I don’t have a clear preference for which machine I prefer for fan sounds.
As mentioned earlier, some of the lower-pitched white noise selections on the Lectrofan EVO are also pretty close to fan or HVAC sounds, so, including these, the Lectrofan EVO arguably offers a larger selection of good-sounding fan sounds.
Extra Features on the Lectrofan EVO
The Lectrofan EVO has a headphone jack. Perhaps ASTI can add one to the Lectrofan Classic as well?
The EVO also has two additional sounds: ocean and surf.
I like ocean sounds a lot, but the ones on the EVO don’t sound very realistic, so I could do without them. IMO, the oscillating fan (available on both machines) is a better choice.
Power supply and use as a travel sound machine
Both the Lectrofan Classic and the EVO came with a USB cable and a multiple-voltage travel power supply (100 – 240 V).
I have used the Lectrofan all over the world. The only thing you might need is a cheap adapter (available in travel shops, at airports, etc.) so you can plug it in.
These sound machines are quite small and easily fit in my suitcase without taking up a lot of space. The Lectrofan Classic is even a bit smaller, but with 370 g (13 oz) a bit heavier. The EVO weighs 325 grams (11.5 oz).
Can you use the Lectrofan Classic/EVO battery powered?
Yes, you can.
When no power outlet is available (e.g., camping, some hotel rooms), both machines can be powered with a USB battery pack (power bank used for charging a phone).
My fairly small USB battery (6000 mAh, which I got extra) gives me more than two full nights of white noise with either sound machine at a loud volume.
Note: Just to be clear, the battery is not included with the machine.
Because neither the EVO nor the Classic has a built-in battery, I haven’t had any issues transporting them in checked luggage. The battery goes into my carry-on luggage.
Note if you want to get a USB power bank to run the Lectrofan (or other white noise machine)
A reader alerted me that his power bank auto-shuts-off after a few minutes when he attempts to power the Lectrofan.
The current drawn by the Lectrofan, in particular at a low volume, may be too low for some auto-shut-off power banks. The battery thinks there is nothing there and turns off.
Others (like mine) work just fine.
If you already have a power bank, try that first.
If it doesn’t work, consider buying a model with an always-on mode.
Based on recommendations, I have tested a power bank with always-on mode by Voltaic systems.
I got the smaller Voltaic model with a capacity of 6400 mAh.
It works just fine, and I can run the Lectrofan for more than 4 nights before I have to recharge.
This model can be used just like a normal USB battery but is also suitable for running many other low-power devices, such as my LED lamp.
The Lectrofan EVO’s control panel looks modern and, with my bedside light on, it is very easy to use.
Had I not had the Classic before, I would likely not have much to complain. The buttons are clearly labelled and have a well-defined pressure point.
But, the Lectrofan Classic with its “rocking” buttons wins hands down.
The button to the left rocks vertically (up power on/off, down +timer in 60-min steps), the central one rocks-horizontally (left: next fan sound, right: next white noise), and the right-most one rocks vertically again (volume up/volume down).
The buttons may have a bit of a retro-look, but I can find and operate them without fail even in the dark and when only half awake.
It doesn’t get much more user-friendly than the control panel of the Lectrofan Classic.
Both machines are not lit, which is good to keep the room as dark as possible.
Why don’t I use my phone with a white noise app and Bluetooth speaker?
I actually have a speaker on my nightstand as well, but still mostly use the Lectrofan at night.
The Lectrofan is hassle-free and easy to operate with well-designed white noises and fans sounds and an upward facing speaker that makes it easy to fill the whole room.
I don’t need any light to operate it and it isn’t even lit.
Playing a constant sound throughout the night, I experience no interruptions, loops, or hick-ups.
I am also concerned that I might significantly shorten my phone’s battery life if I played sound for hours every night. Changing the battery in my smartphone or iPad is likely going to cost more than the whole Lectrofan.
The Lectrofan Classic wins this comparison.
While I don’t need it all that often, it would be nice to have a headphone jack (like on the EVO), so perhaps ASTI can add one to the Classic as well?
To make the Lectrofan Classic even more versatile, perhaps the manufacturer could also add some kind of equalizer that can optionally be used to create and store 2–3 additional personalized white noises and fan sounds.
Once preset, they should be accessible through the same “rocking” buttons.
The Lectrofan EVO is a very decent sound machine and the fan sounds sound as good as on the Classic.
But all in all it isn’t the evolution I would have hoped for.