Smart device that cancels embarrassing toilet noises invented

When the device is activated it evokes a serene forest and the chirping of songbirds.

Japan is well known to be the home of cutting edge inventions that pushes the known boundaries. Many public toilets feature a wall-mounted device that, when pressed, creates a sound that masks that of urination. However, electronics company Roland has come up with an improved version that drowns out embarrassing bathroom noises completely.

Mask sound

Before the technology boom of the 1980s, toilet users would either flush the toilet or turn on a sink to mask the sounds they made when relieving themselves. However, as this was a needless waste of water, a more eco-friendly solution was sought, and thus the concept of the toilet sound generator was born.

Japanese homeware brand Lixil has partnered with instrument maker Roland to address the sensitive issue of bathroom noises.

They’ve created a new device called the “Sound Decorator”, which, unlike current solutions that only try to mask noises by emitting another sound, generates a pattern that makes the original sound less audible altogether.

Auditory masking

They achieved this by engineering a sound with a similar but stronger wavelength to that of urination, and, through what is known as the “auditory masking” effect, they were able to neutralize the weaker wavelengths and thus cancel out the unwanted noise.

When the device is activated, it evokes a serene forest, with a babbling brook and the chirping of songbirds.

As Lixil’s press release says, “We brought the equipment up to the mountains and recorded many samples such as ‘Ogawa no Susoragi’ and wild bird’s chirping. You can taste relaxation with the sound that makes the image of the forest.”


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