Lectrofan Micro 2 Review: Tiny, but Big Sound?

Lectrofan Micro 2: Travel White Noise Machine Review

The Lectrofan Micro 2 easily fits in the palm of your hand and weighs a mere 3.4 ounces (97 g).

Wow, this little gadget weighs almost nothing…

Yet it is s a fully-featured travel white noise machine:

It has 11 different sound options, including 4 white noises, 5 fan sounds, and 2 ocean surf sounds.

And unlike many other sound machines, the Micro 2 digitally creates these sounds and doesn’t just loop short recorded samples.

I was surprised how good this machine sounds for its size.  All built-in sounds are of good quality, and except for one fan sound, I like all of them…

I had to review the Lectrofan Micro 2 and put it through some good testing:

Can a device with a diameter and height of 2 inches (5 cm) actually produce enough volume and a wide enough frequency range to block noise?

Can it mask barking dogs, traffic noise, and loud TVs coming from neighboring rooms?

Its larger brother, the Lectrofan Classic has often been travelling with me to deal with loud noises and strange sounds that would otherwise keep me awake.

At 13 ounces (367 g), the Classic is still very portable, and together with an external battery, I can use it anywhere.

But the Lectrofan Micro 2 weighs only one quarter of that, and it has a built-in battery that lasts up to 40 hours. It can even double as a Bluetooth speaker (20 hours).

So how well does the Micro 2 perform as a white noise machine?

Lectrofan Micro 2 adjustable speaker

It’s four white noises are arranged by increasing pitch. And the higher the pitch, the louder the noise gets on the Micro 2.

I found white noises #2 and #3 worked well for masking moderate noise coming from the street and adjacent apartments. Noise #1 doesn’t get nearly loud enough and #4 carries too much hiss for my liking.

Take a listen:

 

OK, let’s put the machine to test.

I switched on the TV in the living room, and played it at a volume that someone hard-of hearing would enjoy. You never know who might reside in the hotel room next to you.

Setting the Micro 2 to white noise #3 (max volume) in my bedroom, I was able to completely mask the TV.

Mind you, while my TV gets loud, it doesn’t have a lot of bass. I would say it sounds like something you would get in many hotel rooms.

Actually, I would have preferred lower-pitched white noise #2, but that doesn’t get loud enough to mask the TV, so noise #3 it was.

How well does it mask barking dog noise?

I played the recording of a barking dog I had angered during a recent trip (at about 70 dB, again in the living room) and went back to my bedroom to let the Micro 2 take care of it.

The result: white noise #2 at full volume was not loud enough to render the barking unnoticeable, but noise #3 worked well:

This is a very decent result for such a small speaker: I was able to mask the TV from the neighboring room and a street dog barking outside the house.

But one weakness also became apparent:

The Lectrofan Micro 2 didn’t produce the lower frequencies necessary to completely mask the city traffic that is noticeable in my bedroom in the daytime. Mind you the road outside gets pretty busy.

It also can’t do much against footfalls and noise sources that produce rumbling or bass sounds. If the TV in the next room features a deeper sound than the average hotel room TV, we might be in trouble.

Let’s try Micro 2’s lower-pitched noise #2 to mask the barking noise. For comparison, I have also added my go-to white noise machine, the Lectrofan Classic (noise #4):

In this sample, both machines are set to full volume.

You’ll hear the Micro 2 first, followed by the Classic.

The Lectrofan Classic goes a lot louder and can produce significantly lower frequencies.

Even Rory, the Rottweiler will need to be close to “out-bark” the Classic.

To summarize the results: the Micro 2’s white noise performance is good, considering it is optimized for size.

But, it’s no match for the larger Lectrofan Classic.

For a closer look at the Classic and how to power it, please read my in-detail comparison test Lectrofan EVO vs Classic.

Lectrofan Micro 2 vs Classic size comparison

Fan sounds on the Micro 2

Four of the five fan sounds sound very pleasant to me, provided I play them at a moderate volume.

At a high volume though, with three of the fan sounds the speaker slightly rattles and distortions become apparent.

 

At full volume, the deeper-sounding fans are a bit too much for the tiny speaker.

I can use these fans to enrich a room that is too quiet, but the available volume would only be enough to mask moderate background noise.

Ocean surf sounds

The ocean surf sounds are surprisingly good (considering they are digitally created and not recorded). The Micro 2’s speaker produces higher frequencies very well, making the ocean surf appear much livelier than on the Lectrofan EVO, reviewed in a previous article.

However, at a higher volume, one of these sounds becomes clearly distorted.

If I play that sound at about 50% volume, I enjoy it.

Bluetooth speaker

Switched to Bluetooth mode, the Lectrofan Micro 2 is ready to pair with your phone.

Lectrofan Micro 2 Bluetooth White Noise Switch

The speaker does reveal a lot of detail in the music and speech is very clear. It has the size of a tweeter, and it is a good one.  It also produces the higher mid-range well.

But, as expected, owing to the very small size, it seriously lacks bass.

I compared the Micro 2 to my phone and also my newest iPad Mini, and the Micro 2 sounds a lot better than their built-in speakers. It also gets louder, so it is definitely an improvement.

Operation

As can be seen in the previous image, a switch allows you to choose between Bluetooth, off, and white noise mode.

Underneath the switch is a standard Micro USB port for charging. A USB cable is included, but no charger. I just use my phone charger.

Additionally, there is a control panel with small protruding rubber buttons:

In Bluetooth mode, the skip forward/backward buttons allow you to change the track. In white noise mode you use them to cycle through the 4 white noise, 5 fan, and 2 ocean surf sounds.

Lectrofan Micro 2 Controls

The play/pause button in the center and the volume +/- buttons round out the panel.

While you can also pause white noises with the center button, this doesn’t turn off the power. To keep the machine from consuming power, you have to actually put the switch in center position.

Unfortunately, unlike on the Lectrofan Classic, there is no sleep timer on the Micro 2. That’s a pity.

Thoughts for improvement

The machine is tiny, which limits the space available for the speaker. I get that.

But, most people also take earbuds or even Bluetooth earbuds with them.

I would love to see both a headphone jack and the ability to stream the Micro 2’s well-designed sounds via Bluetooth to wireless earbuds. (Currently the Micro 2 can only function as a Bluetooth receiver but not as a transmitter.)

Also, the manufacturer (ASTI) definitely should put in a sleep timer. While the machine’s battery easily lasts for multiple nights, not everyone wants to play the machine for the whole night.

Conclusion

I recommend the Lectrofan Micro 2 as a travel white noise machine if you want to seriously optimize your luggage for size and weight.

If you are hiking, are on a multi-day bicycle or motorbike tour, or can only take a very small day pack on your plane trip, the tiny Micro 2 (3.4 oz.) is a good option.

It even fits in most handbags without taking up much space.

The Micro 2 is also great to take along to soothe your toddler to sleep.

Despite its tiny size, the Micro 2’s white noises allow you to mask a lot of environmental noise and three of the white noises go quite loud.

The fan sounds and ocean surfs are pleasant, provided they are played at a moderate volume.  The Micro 2 can also double as a Bluetooth speaker (sounding a lot better than a phone).

If you can tolerate more weight (13 oz) and size, the Lectrofan Classic is the better white noise machine.

The Classic gets a lot louder, features more sounds, and with its larger frequency range (in particular at the lower end), it is a more effective noise blocker.

It also doesn’t distort when playing fan sounds at a high volume.

(It doesn’t have any ocean surf sounds or Bluetooth functionality though.)

Because the Lectrofan Classic doesn’t have a built-in battery, I put it in my checked luggage. To power it when no outlet is available, I take a small USB battery (4.2 oz.) with me and put that in my carry-on bag. The battery also serves as my phone’s emergency charger.

I hope you have enjoyed this review and I wish you a beautiful day and safe travels.

 

PS: I only recommend playing white noise machines at a moderate volume, unless you are also using earplugs. Combined with good earplugs though, extra sound power can be very helpful to get rid of environmental noise.

 

 

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