Violet Noise

What Does Violet Noise Mean?

Violet noise is a kind of sound that increases in volume at higher frequencies.


Violet noise is also known as purple noise.

Techopedia Explains Violet Noise

Violet noise increases at a rate of 6 dB per octave. It is a kind of differentiated noise signal that has a specific trajectory. As a result, it can be helpful in blocking some higher frequency sounds associated with tinnitus or certain kinds of hearing loss.

To some listeners, violet noise might sound similar to other kinds of spectral noise, for example, like the sound of an open water faucet. Others may be able to hear how this type of noise blocks or occupies frequencies at the higher end of the register. The opposite of violet noise is brown noise, where the intensity decreases at higher frequencies, so that brown noise is weighted towards the bottom of the spectrum.

In IT, violet noise can be used for a process called dithering which helps to randomize quantization error. In hardware, violet noise may also be used in audio or sleep aid equipment, such as in high-end speaker systems, or in health care devices for handling tinnitus, an inner ear problem.


Related Terms

Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.