While running an experiment here today, I told Google Assistant/Google Home
to "Play pink noise"—and without a word it seemed to comply. I also told
it to "play white noise"—and it also complied without a word.
But—hmmm—I couldn't seem to hear a difference between the two. Well,
hell, my hearing can't be what it used to be, let's pull out the spectrum
analyzer. And ... uh ... the spectrums for both look identical. And it's
the spectrum for white noise. And in fact, someone with a Hub (which I don't
have) checking my results says, yes, Google is playing white noise when you
ask it for either white noise or pink noise.
Does this matter? Well, yeah, it does. You can find articles around the Net
saying that "play pink noise" actually does play pink noise through these
Google devices, and there are generally believed to be physiological
differences in our reactions to pink noise vis-a-vis white noise. In
general, pink noise is viewed as being easier on the ears and more useful
for sound masking and relaxation purposes than white noise.
There are some alternate ways to get genuine pink noise from these devices,
but they require calling up third party apps, videos, or sound files.
And really, this shouldn't be necessary. If you tell Google to play pink
noise, it should either play pink noise or admit that it can't ... OK