I have used this for a while with my girls and it really helps them sleep and I like the noises it makes better than a radio. They decided they wanted some new sounds so I got them an alarm clock with nature sounds on it. So, I don't need this one. It has several different sounds and you can make 24 combination of sounds. Here is some more info:
For the most part they are real sounding. The brook has a little click click in it that my girls decided was some animal stepping on a stick. As to drowning out noises - it can go loud, for us. But, my house is in the woods, 100 yards from the dead end dirt road we live on and a mile from the paved road. Our biggest noise maker is our own AC unit.