By Oktay Ozadam
Sleeping with noise-canceling earphones can be difficult, but for some, it's a necessary evil. I've personally tried the uncomfortable Apple Earphones, Sony Earphones that weren't much better, and even some over-ears by Bose. None of these really "did the job for me" though.
It wasn't until I came across QuietOn's Sleep headphones that I truly started to research more about noise-canceling earphones and finding which pair could work the best for me.
- A Detailed Look at the QuiteOn Sleep
- What about Design and Build Quality
- How comfortable are These Earplugs?
- QuietOn's Performance
- Questions I Really Wanted to Answer
- So, What Comes in the Box?
- What if I Don't Like Them and Want to Return?
- How Much Did It Cost and Where Can I Get Mine?
- What Are Some Alternatives to QuietOn Sleep?
- Final Words
A Detailed Look at the QuiteOn Sleep
What about Design and Build Quality
- The design, for in-ear wireless headphones, is interesting. If you're a gamer-buff like me, then you might also draw the comparison to it looking like something out of Portal 2. If not, basically the design is very modern, almost futuristic.
- As for build quality, users found it a little rough at first. Upon trying them out for a couple of nights, users complained there was noticeable ear pain. Some testers found that this was slightly alleviated by only using one earphone to sleep in their ear that wasn't submerged in the pillow.
- When sleeping flat on their back, users wearing both earphones found sleep possible and I think this is due to their smaller size and snug fit into the ear. I think the comfort problem could be alleviated by using a softer material on the outside of the device, but apparently, this would compromise their small size.
Utilizing the smallest foam tips that come with the earphones does help to alleviate the pressure stress on the ears as well.
How comfortable are These Earplugs?
- I know I already touched on comfort, but I think it deserves a little bit more depth to make it absolutely clear how to use these effectively.
- The way I see it, these earphones are still usable for sleep whether you try the one-ear method or the flat-on-your-back method of sleep.
- It would be interesting to see if there was a way to make the plastic material, something that was more "rubberized" or more ideal for sleep.
- Whether or not the initial decision for a rubberized body was canceled due to production reasons or costs, I think that as an investment, it might have eliminated the comfort issues entirely.
- Battery Life: The battery life was effective, and users rarely found any issues with running out of charge.The marketed 20-hour battery life is more than enough for 2 nights of sleep and then a recharge during the day.
- For what QuietOn is marketing, I would say that these earbuds met their mark. These function as snore-canceling earplugs and certainly have a shot at being the best earplugs for sleeping with a snorer.
- Now, I know that I mentioned earlier that these earbuds inspired me to do more research on what noise-canceling earphones do to cancel out bothersome frequencies. To keep my word, I'd like to tell you more about active noise cancellation.
- Active noise cancellation is QuietOn's innovative ploy at eliminating outside noise that can cause difficulty when trying to sleep (such as snoring).
- Active noise cancellation uses an in-ear microphone that samples the sound around you, and a speaker to synthetically create a "phase-shifted" sound that cancels out the original sound.
- QuietOn calls this "anti-sound" which isn't such a unique concept – nor is it the first of its kind. Sound, in and of itself (if you remember from math class), is all sin waves. Playing the exact opposite sin waves will cancel the sound. This is what they mean by phase shifting.
- Secondly, QuietOn uses acoustic attenuation to double its effect on the overall noise being reduced.
- Acoustic attenuation is simply the calculation of sound energy lost as it travels through a medium. By the very design of these earbuds, noise is almost entirely "canceled" as it goes into your ear.
- QuietOn suggests that their device has the attenuation ability of up to 40dB, which against that of something as loud as an airplane engine makes it sound like a person humming down the hall.
I certainly hope that wasn't too scientific, but I think it's important to know just how these devices work to understand the marketing behind them.
Questions I Really Wanted to Answer
Do the Ear Plugs Block All Sound?
In short answer, no. However, they do their job at effectively minimizing annoying frequencies. Whether it's a stressful airplane engine or my terribly loud significant other's snoring. When people purchase these earbuds, they may expect total silence, but for what these are, that simply isn't possible.
I encourage you to look at the world's quietest room… now that is total silence. You'd find that total silence might drive you more insane than snoring does.
Will I Still Be Able to Hear my Alarm?
Yes. QuietOn recommended that you turn up your alarm all the way, but the sound produced from the alarm is usually at such a frequency that it is more noticeable even with active noise cancellation and acoustic attenuation technology.
Due to differences in alarm sound, I think it is crucial that you test your own alarm sound before going to sleep with the earbuds in and on.
Are These Earbuds Only Effective for Sleep? Can I Use Them for Work?
I don't see why you couldn't use these for work or even in a greater metropolitan area. Users that live right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a city found that these proved to make their workflow a lot more efficient by eliminating unwanted background noise.
In fact, the QuietOn Sleep earphones aren't the only ones they offer. QuietOn lists an alternative noise-canceling earplug that are not as light and designed with sleep in mind, but the technology is still mostly the same. You can find those here. (These also come with 20 hours of use on a single charge, which is pretty good).
So, What Comes in the Box?
When you get your hands on the QuietOn Sleep earplugs you can expect to find:
- The QuietOn Sleep earplugs
- A charging case (with magnets that aren't the best quality, but it does its job)
- A charging cable for the case
- Several foam ear-tips for different ear canal sizes
- Lastly, a pretty informative user guide.
What if I Don't Like Them and Want to Return?
The Sleeps are currently under a pre-order through an Indiegogo campaign. Because of this, there is no guarantee that QuietOn's return policy will apply the same.
For their other products, QuietOn states that: "You may return a fully functional and undamaged QuietOn product for any reason within 14 days of purchase for a full refund."
I'm assuming this policy will apply the same towards their Sleep product.
How Much Did It Cost and Where Can I Get Mine?
The QuiteOn for a single user costs about $250 including shipping. The other price options are:
- QuietOn Sleep Single $219 + plus shipping (Worldwide shipping) [1 pair]
- QuietOn Sleep Couple $384 (Worldwide shipping) [2 pairs]
- QuietOn Sleep Family $684 (Worldwide shipping) [4 pairs]
QuietOn is now readily available through an Authorized Distributor (ZQuiet) in the US. You also get a free shipping (with a special pricing offer) throughout the United States for all orders.
What Are Some Alternatives to QuietOn Sleep?
To keep things fair, I'll only compare these to the Bose Sleepbuds as a similar market-competitor.
In terms of strategy, Bose Sleepbuds utilizes pre-installed white noise options that are designed to counter/cover unwanted frequencies and help you sleep. Essentially, this is their means of active noise cancellation.
As for acoustic attenuation, both earbuds are materialistically made to support this concept and block incoming sound.
The Bose Sleepbuds are apparently more comfortable, but their size was an issue for several users. QuietOn is essentially trying to step into the market and alleviate this problem. Both products are being marketed as wireless earbuds for sleeping, but the superior comfort will likely take the cake.
Bose Sleepbuds start at $249.95 through their website here. You can check them out for yourself and see if their white noise strategy is more your speed.
Bose Sleepbuds has been discontinued due to consistent battery issues. Therefore, we can't recommend Bose sleepbuds as an alternative anymore. You can read more about why Bose has decided to stop offering sleepbuds anymore.
|QuietOn Sleep vs Bose SleepBuds|
|QuietOn Sleep||Bose SleepBuds|
|Technology||Active Noise Cancelling||Noise-Masking|
|Requires Bluetooth & Smartphone||No||Yes|
|Who is it for?||Sleeping in silence||Sleeping with white noise|
|How it works||Programmed for snoring noises||Comes with pre-loaded sooting sounds|
|Size||Low profile for sleeping - 3 eartip sizes||Low profile for sleeping - 3 eartip sizes|
|Battery life per charging||20 hours||16 hours|
The QuietOn Sleep earbuds are effective when it comes to their active noise cancellation technology. The earbuds work as promised for reducing unwanted noise and frequencies.
In terms of comfort, these may not be the best option on the market, but there are methods to assist in making them work throughout the night.
Both the QuietOn Sleeps and Bose Sleepbuds will block out snoring, but it will boil down to design, size-preference, and methods when it comes to making your purchase. Given that QuietOn is still operating at an early stage, improvements to comfort and other details should be expected!
All in all, the QuietOn Sleeps will be a very competitive player in the wireless earbud market.
- Lightweight and small
- Reduces bothersome frequencies (Such as snoring and airplane noise)
- Charging case works and keeps them safe when not in use
- Very modern design that doesn’t look weird
- Usable for more than just sleep
- Long battery life
- QuietOn also comes with dental earplugs made for dental professionals, found here.
- Still in a development phase so that changes can come!
- Known comfort issues
- Button for turning on "hearing mode" (talk mode) can be tricky to hit
- Charging case magnet isn’t the best