Woman in bed trying to sleep

The Best Earbuds for Sleeping in 2022

By Dave Dean Sound9 Comments

From noisy neighbors and snoring partners to rumbling traffic and all-night parties, the list of things that can stand between you and a good night’s sleep seems almost endless. Especially when you’re lying awake at 3am listening to them.

I suffered from insomnia for years, falling asleep only to wake up an hour later to the slightest noise. A passing car or distant conversation would jolt me awake, and I’d stay that way for the rest of the night. Things have got much better in that regard, but I’m still a light sleeper even now.

As a result, when it comes to ways of keeping sound out of my ears while sleeping, I’ve used pretty much every approach out there. Foam, silicone, and other types of earplugs, earbuds of every shape and size, white noise machines, cotton wool, even several pillows pulled forlornly over my head in one particularly loud, miserable hotel.

None have been perfect, but in general, I’ve found certain makes and model of earbuds better than the alternatives. Note that I’m using “earbuds” in a generic sense here, to cover traditional in-ear buds, flat over-ear versions, and anything similar that pushes sounds or silence into your ear canals while you’re desperately trying to get some rest.

What I’m not including in that definition, however, is headphones. I’ve tried sleeping while wearing a variety of brands and models over the years, and because I lie on my front with one ear on the pillow, none were small enough or comfortable enough for anything beyond a quick nap.

That said, headphones offer the best noise cancelation that money can buy, and can still be useful in certain situations. If you lie on your back and don’t move all night, for instance, or want something that’ll help you sleep while sitting upright on planes, headphones may still work for you.

If so, the high-end noise cancelation of the Sony WH-1000XM5 or Bose 700 will eliminate all but the noisest neighbors or loudest snorers, and the pads are comfortable enough not to pinch or squash your ears when worn for hours.

If you sleep on your front or side or move around while you sleep, however, earbuds or thin earphones are the way to go. These are the best of them in 2022.

Best Overall: QuietOn 3.1
  • Type: Wireless earbuds
  • Battery Life: Up to 28 hours
  • Connection: None
  • Noise-Canceling? Yes

Best for White Noise: Bose Sleepbuds II
  • Type: Wireless earbuds
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth (partial)
  • Noise-Canceling? No

Best for Comfort: Soundcore Sleep A10 Earbuds
  • Type: Wireless earbuds
  • Battery Life: Up to 10 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Noise-Canceling? No

Best Bluetooth Headband: SleepPhones
  • Type: Wireless headband
  • Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Noise-Canceling? No

Sale
Best Wired Headband: CozyPhones
  • Type: Wired headband
  • Battery Life: n/a
  • Connection: 3.5mm
  • Noise-Canceling? No

Best on a Budget: Panasonic RP-HS46
  • Type: Wired earphones
  • Battery Life: n/a
  • Connection: 3.5mm
  • Noise-Canceling? No

Sale
Best Wireless Earbuds: Apple Airpods Pro
  • Type: Wireless earbuds
  • Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
  • Connection: Bluetooth
  • Noise-Canceling? Yes

What to Look For

Because it’s such a specialized subject, knowing what to look for in sleep earbuds is surprisingly complicated. Companies have taken a number of different approaches to solving the problem, some of which work much better than others.

From comfort to connectivity, battery life to blocking out noise, there’s something different to think about with earbuds designed for sleep compared to the usual models we wear in everyday life. I’ve summarized the most important factors below.

Noise Blocking

For most people, the main reason for buying a set of sleep earbuds is, well, because they’re finding sleep hard to come by. Whether it’s a due to a snoring partner, traffic noise, or anything else, anything that helps you block out the world and drift into a blissful slumber is very welcome.

If you’re trying to reduce outside sound as much as possible, noise-canceling earbuds really are the way to go. There’s always be a tradeoff between size, features, and battery life with this style of bud, but in my experience, they help me sleep better in loud environments than anything else.

Next up: noise isolation. This type of bud functions more like traditional earplugs, relying on a physical barrier between your ear canal and the outside world to keep the noise out. They’re not as effective as those with actual noise cancelation, but tend to be cheaper and (sometimes) more comfortable.

Last up is anything that sits on, rather than in, your ears. This includes sleep headbands with speakers inside, flat headphones, or similar. These are often the cheapest option of all, but they block out the least sound and tend to move around quite a bit on your ear, so they’re not ideal for loud environments.

Comfort

More than most other types of audio gear, comfort is vital when it comes to sleep earbuds, for a couple of different reasons.

First off, they’re likely to be in your ears for eight hours or more, night after night, so even small amounts of rubbing or discomfort become a much bigger issue over time. Waking up in pain in the middle of the night isn’t exactly a recipe for better sleep.

Secondly, if you sleep on your front or side (i.e. with your ear pressed into the pillow), the size, shape, and materials of the earbuds makes a huge difference to your comfort level. Hard plastic pressing firmly into your ear canal makes it difficult or impossible to find and maintain a comfortable sleeping position.

Changing to a softer or different style of pillow can help a lot (I talk more about that at the end of this article), but there are still some models of earbud that won’t be comfortable to lie on no matter how soft your pillow is.

For some people, the only solution is to avoid the issue entirely by using a headband-style model made from a soft, fleecy material with thin, flat speakers inside. These tend to be much more comfortable to wear, but block out far less noise, so they really only work in relatively quiet rooms.

Fit

A snug fit is important with any earbuds, but especially those that you wear while sleeping. Without it, you’ll likely wake up with the buds at the bottom of the bed, especially if you move around a lot during the night.

It also makes a huge difference to the effectiveness of any noise canceling or isolation on offer: even the best noise-canceling models don’t work well when there are gaps for sound to get in. Unless it’s firmly wedged in place, it’s also easy to nudge an earbud out of position as you move about.

To that end, look for one of two options when choosing sleep earbuds: a good range of silicone tips and/or wings to ensure a tight fit and keep the buds from moving around, or a headband that fits firmly around your head and ears without being so tight that it’s uncomfortable.

Connection Type

When connecting sleep earbuds to your phone and other devices, you’ve basically got three options: Bluetooth, physical cables, and nothing at all. Each has its pros and cons, depending on your situation and what you like to listen to (if anything) while falling asleep.

You’ll likely be familiar with Bluetooth from the gear you already own. It allows for wireless connections and has widespread compatibility with other devices, with the downside of reduced battery life. Given how small the battery in most sleep earbuds is, this can mean it runs out before the night is up.

Some earbuds take a hybrid approach, using Bluetooth to load a selection of ambient sounds from your phone or elsewhere onto internal storage, but not allowing streaming of music, podcasts, etc. This saves on battery life, but isn’t as flexible as a full Bluetooth connection.

Wired options have the advantage of typically being cheaper, and not needing to worry about battery life. On the downside, there’s a good chance you’ll end up with the cord wrapped around your neck in the morning, and over time, all of the pulling on the cable tends to lead to loose connections.

Finally, some models are designed to only cancel out ambient noise, and don’t have any way of connecting to other devices. This typically means much better battery life, with the obvious downside of not being able to listen to music, podcasts, sleep sounds, or anything else.

Audio Quality

Unless you opt for general-purpose earbuds and the limitations they come with for sleeping (like size and battery life), don’t expect great sound from sleep-focused buds. Their petite size necessarily means very small drivers inside, so you won’t get much in the way of rich soundscapes or thumping bass.

For most people, though, that’s unlikely to be a problem. You’re trying to fall and stay asleep, after all, not listen closely to your favorite album. As long as it’s so bad that it distracts and annoys you, it’s probably good enough for the job it’s trying to do.

That’s assuming that you buy a model that plays audio at all, of course. If you don’t want to listen to anything while you sleep, you can focus on other features (like noise cancelation) and not worry about the audio quality at all.

Battery Life

I touched on it earlier, but wireless earbuds don’t tend to have amazing battery life. Most of the popular models don’t last long enough to get through the night, and even worse, often announce their low charge level with a loud tone or voice announcement. Not helpful.

That’s why when it comes to sleep-specific versions, you’ll find manufacturers taking inventive approaches to extend battery life to at least seven or eight hours.

Some limit the maximum volume, for example, while others only let you load a few tracks onto the earbuds rather than streaming from your device. Others just don’t include connectivity options at all: you get noise cancelation and that’s it.

If none of that sounds appealing, you’re essentially stuck with wired versions instead. On the upside, you’ll never wake up in the middle of the night because your earbuds have run out of battery. On the downside, you might wake up struggling to breathe because the cable is trying to choke you in your sleep.


Best Overall: QuietOn 3.1

QuietOn 3 case and buds on bed

QuietOn is one of the few technology companies out there fully focused on the sleep-deprived. Its noise-canceling earbuds don’t play music or podcasts, or connect to your other devices at all. They just cut out the noise to help you get a better night’s sleep, and do so surprisingly well.

Extremely small and lightweight, these are deceptively simple devices. The smarts are inside, with noise-canceling technology that does a good job of suppressing lower-frequency sounds like snoring and rumbling traffic. It’s important to get the fit right to maximize the effectiveness, though, and there are four earbud tips for that purpose.

In my QuietOn 3 review, I found they were more comfortable than most other earbuds and earplugs I’ve used. Even so, when sleeping on my front or side, it could be difficult to position my “lower” ear in a way where it stayed comfortable all night as I moved around.

It’s less of a problem than with other in-ear buds, though, and if you sleep on your back, that concern disappears. Softer pillows help, and the latest model (QuietOn 3.1) also ships with slightly smaller foam tips that were noticeably more comfortable than the old versions when I tried them out.

What surprised me the most, though, was how effective the QuietOn 3’s are even with just one earbud inserted. When I’m woken up at night by loud traffic or noisy conversations on the street outside, I’ll pop in one of the earbuds, put my other ear on the pillow, and drift back to sleep straight away.

I spent several months traveling in Southeast Asia earlier this year, where the dawn chorus of roosters and poorly-maintained motorbikes wasn’t exactly a recipe for restful slumber. If I went to sleep with one of the QuietOn buds in, I usually slept right through the night. Without it, I was up with the chickens at 5.30am.

Battery life is genuinely impressive, with up to 28 hours (or roughly three nights) of sleep between charges. I found that figure to be accurate in my testing, and it dramatically exceeds anything else on the market.

As I say in the review, the QuietOn 3 earbuds may not be the perfect solution for everyone, but the small size, long battery life, and effective noise reduction makes them a good choice for many. They’re the best way I’ve found of drowning out the world while sleeping, and are our top overall pick as a result. You’ll get 10% off with the code TMA10.

Pros
  • Small and light
  • Good noise-cancelling performance
  • Very impressive battery life
  • Useful range of earbud tips for better comfort and seal
Cons
  • Not always comfortable to lie on, depending on pillow and sleeping position

Best for White Noise: Bose Sleepbuds II

Bose Sleepbuds II - Sleep Technology Clinically Proven to Help You Fall Asleep Faster, Sleep Better with Relaxing and Soothing Sleep Sounds

The first version of the Sleepbuds wasn’t great, plagued by random shutdowns and poor battery life. Bose promised to sort these issues out with the Sleepbuds II, and it did, which lets us focus on the bigger question: are they actually any good at helping you sleep?

The answer, in general, is yes. While we prefer the noise-cancelling silence of the QuietOn 3, some people find it easier to fall asleep while listening to white noise. Ocean waves, ambient sounds, or general static: whatever it is, sometimes it’s better to have sound playing in your ears.

If that sounds like you, the Sleepbuds II are well worth a look. These are high-quality earbuds, small and comfortable, with an almost luxurious feel inside the ear canal. There’s also an anti-friction coating to help reduce the noise when the buds brush against your pillow, hair, or anything else.

As with anything that lives inside your ear canal, you may not always find the Sleepbuds II particularly comfortable to lie on if you sleep with one ear on the pillow. Like the QuietOn’s above, this isn’t an issue for everyone, and won’t be a problem at all if you sleep on your back.

As long as you get the right fit (there are three different sizes of tip in the box to help with that: we’d have liked to see more), there’s a fair degree of noise isolation. It’s not on par with the proper active noise cancellation in the QuietOn, but it still does a reasonable job of blocking out quiet noises by itself.

The Sleepbuds come with 50+ different sounds that, at least in theory, have been engineered for better sleep. You use the accompanying app to load the various tracks onto your earbuds over Bluetooth and to customize settings like alarms, but that’s the only time you’ll have the buds connected to your phone.

At around 10 hours, battery life is long enough to get you through the night. That’s pretty much the minimum we expect from dedicated sleep buds, and while it’s not a patch on the 28 hours of the QuietOn 3, it’s much better than general-purpose wireless buds like the Airpods Pro.

That battery life does depend somewhat on how loud you’re playing your chosen sounds, which brings up another point: you’ll likely need to experiment with the volume level to find the sweet spot between “loud enough to drown out external noise” and “so loud it keeps you awake”.

That sweet spot varies based on the exact soundscape you’re playing, but chances are you’ll stick with one or two favorites after a while, so it’s not as big a problem as it could be. Still, between finding the right fit, volume, and soundtrack(s), plan to spend a few nights tracking down your perfect combination.

Overall, we like the second version of the Sleepbuds much more than the first, and without the weird shutdowns and other glitches, it’s easier to recommend. While we’d still choose the QuietOn 3 in most situations, if you find it much easier to sleep with sounds playing in your ears than silence, this is the premium option to go for.

Pros
  • Small and light
  • Premium materials
  • Enough battery life to get through the night
  • Good range of sounds
Cons
  • Can’t play your own tracks
  • Only three earbud tips in the box
  • No noise cancellation
  • Not always comfortable to lie on
Buy on Amazon

Best for Comfort: Soundcore Sleep A10

Soundcore Sleep A10 earbuds in white charging case

Anker’s Soundcore brand has been quietly churning out good, reasonably-priced audio gear for a few years now, but until recently it had steered clear of earbuds designed specifically for sleeping. That changed with the Sleep A10, and for a first effort, it’s very impressive.

The A10 are noise-isolating earbuds, which means they block out sound in the same way as an earplug but don’t have any active noise cancelation built in. The passive isolation works pretty well, at least if you use the right size tips for your ears, but it’s not as effective as QuietOn’s approach at blocking out loud noises.

Where the A10’s do excel, however, is comfort. Some of the smallest earbuds I’ve come across, they fit easily inside my average-sized ears. This makes them more comfortable for side sleepers like me: in practice, they’re the only ones where I’ve been able to sleep with my ear pressed into the pillow all night.

They come with a set of four silicone tips and three wings to help keep them securely in your ears, and the approach seems to work: so far, I’ve never woken up to find they’ve fallen out during the night.

The A10’s are standard Bluetooth earbuds, so you can stream music, audiobooks, or whatever else helps you fall asleep from your phone. There’s also an ambient noise setting that’s enabled via the Soundcore app, but with currently very few options, I’d choose the Bose Sleepbuds II (above) if that was my main use.

For listening to music and podcasts while you sleep, however, the A10’s are impressive. I used a pair for several weeks, in a range of environments ranging from “quiet suburban street with noisy birds in the morning” to “loud inner city neighborhood on a Friday night”, and slept soundly the whole time.

Battery life is pretty good, lasting almost exactly eight hours while playing ambient sound. It’s a bit less (6-7 hours) when streaming continually from my phone, but I usually only line up an hour or two of podcasts anyway, and am asleep long before they finish.

The audio quality is fit for purpose, but no more than that. Because the earbuds are so small, don’t expect booming bass or crisp treble: podcasts are fine, but musical tracks sound pretty thin. It doesn’t bother me when I’m trying to sleep, but the A10’s likely won’t double as everyday earbuds for most people.

When sleeping in loud environments, I’d still opt for the QuietOn 3’s noise cancelation over anything else on this list. If I didn’t need to block out as much sound, though, and wanted to drift off while listening to my favorite podcasts or music, the Sleep A10’s are what I’d choose to do it with.

Pros
  • Comfortable even for side sleepers
  • Bluetooth-enabled
  • Decent battery life
Cons
  • Limited ambient sound options
  • Thin sound

Best Bluetooth Headband: SleepPhones

New SleepPhones Wireless Sleep Headphones by AcousticSheep | Bluetooth Headband Headphones for Sleeping & Travel | Original and Most Comfortable Sleeping Headphones (Small, Pitch Black (Breeze))

If you’re wanting to drift off to music, white noise, or something else without disturbing other people, you’ve got two basic choices: something with wires, and something without. There are pros and cons to both: wired versions are cheaper and won’t run out of battery, wireless ones won’t strangle you in the night.

The SleepPhones, made by the delightfully-named Acoustic Sheep, offers both options. One of the pioneers of headbands that help you sleep, the basic approach is similar regardless of which version you get. A fitted headband holds a pair of flat speakers, which can be moved around to align with your ears as needed.

Headbands like these are typically the most comfortable option for people who sleep on their side or front, and you can also pull them down over your eyes to block out the light in bright rooms. SleepPhones come in a choice of two fabrics (fleece for comfort, moisture-wicking for hot climates,) three sizes, and a range of colors.

The Bluetooth module also sits inside the headband, and has a battery life of up to 12 hours. To charge, you remove it from the band and connect it to a USB charger. There’s also an “Effortless” version that comes with a wireless charger, so you just place it on top, but it’s more expensive and goes in and out of stock a lot.

I reviewed the wired version of the SleepPhones a few years ago, and passed them onto my girlfriend when I was done. She got a lot of use out of them, at least until the cable broke after a year or so of tossing and turning in her sleep. If you move around a lot in bed, wireless is the way to go.

Don’t expect exceptional audio quality: the small flat speakers are designed for comfort over crisp midrange or booming bass. The goal is helping you sleep, after all, not appreciating the nuances of Handel’s Messiah.

There also isn’t much in the way of noise isolation, so you’ll struggle to drown out very loud environments without turning up the volume so high that it’ll keep you awake anyway. In quieter rooms, however, there’s no such problem.

Easy to use and comfortable to wear, the SleepPhone Bluetooth headband is probably the most practical sleep “earbud” option for the widest range of insomniacs.

Pros
  • Decent battery life
  • Very comfortable
  • Range of sizes, fabrics, and colors
  • Doubles as an eye mask
Cons
  • Wired charging is a bit fussy
  • No noise cancellation or sound isolation
  • Low sound quality
Buy on Amazon

Best Wired Headband: CozyPhones

Sleep Headphones - Over Ear Headphones from CozyPhones | Ultra Thin Cool Mesh Wired for Side Sleepers, Meditation, Running, Laptop, and Phone - Gray Lycra

Like the idea of a headband that helps you sleep, but don’t have the budget for SleepPhone’s Bluetooth version? Acoustic Sheep makes a wired model as mentioned, but several other companies do as well, and charge noticeably less for them. The best example I’ve come across so far? CozyPhones.

Around half the price of the SleepPhone equivalent, CozyPhones come in three fabrics and a wide range of colors and designs. At 52″ the braided cord is slightly longer than the SleepPhones, but everything else is pretty much the same.

Two small, flat speakers slip into the headband, that can be moved around as needed and taken out before washing the band. There’s a small travel bag in the box, which is useful for storing your CozyPhones on the move.

The band only comes in a single “one size fits most” version, which may be something to bear in mind. My girlfriend and I have used a couple of pairs of CozyPhones over the years, and while they fitted both of us to some extent, they were much looser on her head than mine.

As well as adult versions, the company also makes smaller child-friendly sizings with appropriate designs and a volume limit. Licensed versions are also available, featuring characters from Paw Patrol, Batman, and elsewhere.

If you move around a lot in the night, the usual issues that come when sleeping with wired earbuds apply here as well: the cord can end up wrapped around you by morning, which can lead to a loose connection or broken cable after a while. Wireless is the way to go if this is a concern.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Doubles as an eye mask
  • Comes in a range of colors and designs
Cons
  • Only one size
  • Wire can tangle in the night, and risks breakage over time
  • No noise cancellation or sound isolation
  • Low sound quality
Buy on Amazon

Best on a Budget: Panasonic RP-HS46

Panasonic- Rp-hs46e-k Slim Clip On Earphone - Black

If you’re on a super-strict budget and are just looking for a set of cheap earphones to listen to music while you fall asleep, it’s hard to go past the Panasonic RP-HS46. They don’t have great sound, extra features, or a catchy name, but they do have two other things: flat speakers and a very low price.

The slim design of the speakers makes them at least somewhat appropriate for side sleepers. While you’ll likely still feel them pressed between your ear and the pillow, they’re more comfortable than most earbuds or (especially) headphones. They clip onto each ear to hold them in place, and there’s a four-foot headphone cable.

The design means you shouldn’t expect much in the way of sound isolation, however, either coming in or going out. These earphones work best in a somewhat quiet environment, and if you sleep with a partner, you may need to keep the volume relatively low to avoid disturbing them.

As a result, these wouldn’t be my first pick for anyone looking to block out a lot of outside noise while sleeping. If you just need to listen to a bit of white noise or a really boring podcast to help you drift off, however, these are an easy, low-cost way of doing so.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Flat speakers are comfortable for sleeping, at least as far as headphones are concerned
Cons
  • Wire can tangle and break over time
  • No noise cancellation or isolation
Buy on Amazon

Best Wireless Earbuds: Apple Airpods Pro

Apple AirPods Pro (1st Generation)

Recommending general-purpose wireless earbuds for sleeping is tricky, as you’ll need to compromise somewhere. You can have small size, long battery life, strong noise cancelation, or decent comfort levels, but right now, you can’t have them all. A dedicated device like the QuietOn 3 (above) is still a better option if sleep is your main concern.

If you want something that can play music and podcasts as well, though, Apple's Airpods Pro are the best (or least-worst) noise-canceling earbuds for sleeping. That’s mainly because they’re smaller and more comfortable to lie on than most of the competition, and the noise cancelation is pretty good.

They’re obviously also an impressive set of true wireless earbuds in their own right. I’m not going to go into a full review of their features here since that’s not the purpose of this article, but suffice it to say that they’ve been near the top of most best-of lists since they were released.

The biggest downside for sleeping, however, is the battery life: at 4-5 hours, they simply won’t last all night. To make matters worse, they announce their low-battery situation with a loud tone that may wake you up… just in time to need to charge them again.

If you sleep on your back and don’t move around much, being able to comfortably lie on your earbuds for long periods is less of a concern. In that case, it’d be worth considering Sony's WF-1000XM4 instead. Their larger size corresponds with a larger battery, and you’ll get a full 8 hours of use before they go flat.

Pros
  • Good noise cancellation
  • Quality sound
  • Relatively small and comfortable
  • Great general-purpose wireless earbuds
Cons
  • Battery life not long enough to get through the night
Buy on Amazon

Tip for Side Sleepers: Use a Pillow With a Hole!

The Original Pillow with a Hole - Your Ear's Best Friend [Made in England]

As I’ve mentioned a couple of times already, having anything sitting in or on your ears can be a problem for those of us who sleep with an ear on the pillow. Even the smallest earbuds designed specifically for sleeping can still be uncomfortable when pressed firmly into your ear canal.

I’ve found that switching to a softer pillow helps quite a bit, but that doesn’t help if you really prefer a harder version. There is a middle ground, though: a pillow with a hole in it. It sounds like a manufacturing defect, but in this case, it’s definitely not.

Originally intended for those recovering from ear surgery or dealing with painful conditions, the circular hole in the middle works just as well for dealing with the discomfort of lying on an earbud for several hours.

Hypo-allergenic and with removable stuffing to adjust the height and firmness, the P.W.A.H. (as it’s known) is comfortable and works surprisingly well despite its odd appearance.

Traveling and can’t fit a pillow in your carry-on? A fabric-lined travel version like this offers similar benefits in a smaller, cheaper package. It isn’t as comfortable as a normal pillow, though, so be sure to test it out before relying on it during a trip.


Main image via S L, QuietOn 3 image via QuietOn, other images via Amazon

About the Author
Dave Dean

Dave Dean

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Founder and editor of Too Many Adapters, Dave has been a traveler for 25 years, and a geek for even longer. When he's not playing with the latest tech toy or working out how to keep his phone charged for just a few more minutes, he can probably be found sitting in a broken-down bus in some obscure corner of the planet.

Comments

  1. Avatar

    I’ve got a pair of cheap Encafire wireless earphones from Amazon that I use for sleep.

    They aren’t noise cancelling but they are small and snug and do stay in for a while.

    I normally fall a sleep listening to an audiobook and use the sleep timer to automatically pause it after xx minutes.

    If I wake in the night I usually tap the Earbud to start the story again.

    It’s not perfect h but it sort of works!

  2. Avatar

    I sympathize, but am surprised you made no mention of one of the oldest sleep aids ever, the Marsona Sound Conditioner. I’ve been using one since 1987 and my biggest fear while traveling is that I’ll forget to pack it (I have several, so I actually pack one days ahead of a trip). The basic ones start around $65 and they come with dual voltage power for use anywhere. In fact, they even have a battery option if one gets stuck without electricity. I crank mine up on the waterfall setting and there’s little noise that it can’t block.

    1. Dave Dean Author

      I’ve used a couple of different devices like this in the past, although not this specific one — I didn’t mention them in the article because it was focused on earbuds/earphones rather than standalone devices. I’ve found them somewhat good for blocking out low to moderate amounts of noise (obviously while sleeping alone or with an understanding partner rather than in a shared dorm etc), but the lack of noise isolation or canceling meant they didn’t really work for me in loud environments. Glad to hear they work for you though — and especially that they work well enough to justify owning several!

  3. Avatar

    Thanks for writing this article, Dave.

    Do you know if Sony WF-1000 XM4 or XM3 ear tips can be used on the QuietOn 3? I frequently disinfect my silicone XM3 ear tips with rubbing alcohol with no problem, and I don’t see how I can do that with the stock foam ear tips QuietOn 3’s.

    1. Dave Dean Author

      I don’t have any of the Sony tips to hand to check, but I’d be a bit surprised if you could use them on the QuietOn 3. It’s probably best to contact the company via their website to ask that question.

  4. Avatar

    I have a variety of headphones for all ocations and at the end I found out that the Jabra 75t with software based anc and a good fitting tips are my favorite , they are small enough for side sleepers , the battery goes for longer time than apple pro and you can find them for a relative good price. I set a Spotify playlist for sleeping and usually has piano music and Narada collection new age music

    1. Dave Dean Author

      They look relatively large for side sleeping, so I’m a bit surprised you find them comfortable, but it’s great that you do. The rated battery life is a bit better than the Airpods Pro, but still not long enough to get through the night — please tell me that Jabra is smarter than Apple, and that the 75t’s don’t make an annoyingly-loud low battery sound!

  5. Avatar

    For anyone reading this that is dealing with a loud environment (snoring, neighbors, study area, whatever): you do not need expensive noise cancelling headphones or earbuds. Buy the 3M X5A or 3M X4A hearing protection headset (both relatively inexpensive), and buy cheap wireless earbuds that you’ll wear inside. The 3M X5A is ridiculously quiet, and if you combine that with earbuds producing music inside the head gear, say goodbye to external noise. It takes an extraordinarily loud noise to get through that – you can’t hear someone talking right to your face.

    Oh and if you’re a side sleeper, combine it with a travel pillow with a hole in the middle, that’s where the cup of the headset ear piece goes.

    1. Dave Dean Author

      I can’t imagine a set of industrial-grade earmuffs like this ever being comfortable enough to wear to bed, but I guess maybe they might work for someone.

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