QuietOn Sleep Review the Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
As part of my research for this QuietOn Sleep Review, I managed to secure more good nights’ worths of sleep than normal with these state-of-the-art, noise-cancelling earbuds. QuietOn Sleep is not perfect but it is innovative and it does deliver on its promises; perhaps that’s one reason why their original Indiegogo Campaign was one thousand per cent funded and they are still going strong unlike the Bose Noise Cancelling Sleepbuds which were withdrawn from sale then replaced with a Bose Sleepbuds II product that I couldn’t get to work! Sometimes the names you’ve heard of are not the best.
Hopefully, you will appreciate this genuine QuietOn Sleep Review, the pictures show I’ve actually used the latest generation product. NB: There are two versions, don’t buy the older version from pre-2019! Neither am I reviewing the generic Quieton earbuds, I’m looking at the SleepBuds.
Updated: February 14, 2021
The QuietOn Sleep sleepbuds do have some issues and are not the panacea for everyone, everywhere to get a perfect night in bed every single night. BUT THEY CERTAINLY HELPED ME…quite a lot!
Here is a summary of the updated QuietOn review for 2021 followed by the full review for those who need the sleep detail or links to key sections with an index…enjoy!
Summary Review - QuietOn Sleep Active Noise Cancelling Earbuds
Price - 85%85%
Apparent Accuracy - 85%85%
Build Quality & Design - 80%80%
Features, Including App - 70%70%
You insert the mostly-comfortable earbuds and listen to the sound of the foam adjusting in your ear. You press the button and then…nothing. And that’s good, right? No sound.
The QuietOn Sleep really does stop a lot, but not all, of the ambient noise that keeps many of us awake and, yes, that includes your partner’s snoring.
I didn’t expect perfection or perfect silence but the QuietOn sleep was better than my expectations.
For those who have difficulty sleeping (me), the value of a good night’s sleep is immense. QuietOn Sleep scores HIGHLY there but having to fiddle too often with the on/off button spoiled my enjoyment of the product. Most notably it is supposedly auto-on when taken from the charging case but I’m never sure if that happens or not, and then pressing the on/off button to check is fiddly.
Best Use: For me, the best use with the QuietOn Sleep reviewed here was getting to sleep, once I’m asleep I generally sleep well but pings, pops, stores and general ambient noises are the ones that stop me from falling asleep and QuietOn helped me a lot there.
Are they cheap for you at Eur199? Personally, I’d pay Eur499 for a product that guaranteed a good night’s sleep, every night. In a few months worth of usage, I’d say I easily got Eur200-worth of quality sleep.
If you expect QuietOn Sleep to give you perfect sleep every night you will be disappointed, if you want QuietOn Sleep to improve your sleep on two nights each week then your expectations will be exceeded. You can monitor the improvement in your sleep with a sleep tracker like Circular Ring or with the sleep-tracking on a sports watch like the Polar Vantage.
- Small size
- Generally comfy
- Handy charging case
- Less noise !
- Less snoring !
- Also useful during the day in noisy environments
- No obvious indication that it is on/off or charged up
- Not all frequencies and volumes of noise are eliminated
- On/off button could be improved
Jump ahead to the section that most interests you
QuietOn Sleep – Who is it for?
The clue is in the name. QuietOn Sleep is a sleep-aid. We all sleep.
As well as those of us looking to sleep better by reducing unwanted environmental noise (aka snoring!) it doubles up as product to use in the day to reduce many of the unnecessary noises that blight our concentration throughout the day.
How Does QuietOn Sleep Work?
The sounds that surround us come in waves. You might remember when you were 14 and at school that ‘anti waves’ will cancel out wave noise to a degree. That’s the broad principle behind the clever part of how QuietOn Sleep works and QuietOn also include a comfy earbud tip to physically stop some noises reaching your eardrum.
There are 3 general approaches to improving sleep quality with an ear-based device
- BLOCK the noise getting in – QuietOn Sleep partially does this ie it reduces the environmental volume level as would do any earbud, albeit to varying degrees.
- PLAY alternative, relaxing sounds like the sound of rain or white/pink noise. – QuietOn Sleep does not do this at all. They are NOT regular earbuds that play any kind of music.
- CANCEL AMBIENT NOISE – QuietOn Sleep aims to do this over a range of sound frequencies BUT NOT ALL.
How QuietOn Sleep works in more detail!
I’ll show my own tests later. For now, this first chart from QuietOn shows how sounds under 4kHz and below 40db are largely eliminated from QuietOn’s definition of ‘snoring noise’ and the second, independently-sourced chart broadly shows that QuietOn’s choice of frequencies where snoring occurs is ‘about right’ (Source: doi.org).
Image Source: QuietOn and doi.org
Unboxing, Contents & Comparisons – QuietOn Sleep Review
You get two earbuds and a charging case.
There are also a USB cable and a range of foam ‘Tips’, these are the interchangeable foam bits that go inside your ear and different sizes are provided to get a comfy fit.
The aesthetics and attention to design details on the sleep buds are not perfect and certainly not as polished as you would find on your music earbuds but it’s OK nevertheless.
Similarly, the charging case is perfectly fine and works perfectly well but the design can be improved.
The charging case/carry-case contains a battery which can be charged at any time ie whether or not the earbuds are in your ears or in the case.
The QuietOn earbuds can only be charged when in the charging case and the charging case must either have a charge in its battery or be plugged into a power source itself. This charging setup is not innovative and is used on several other sets of music earbuds that I own; nevertheless, it’s still a ‘good idea’ regardless of who first thought of it!
The main benefits are that the charge in the earbuds can be EASILY topped up when not in use and you don’t have to be THAT organised to remember to charge them. You just put them back in the case routinely each morning. You won’t want to leave earbuds lying around when not in use as this might be a good way to get an ear infection…which is not pleasant. As well as keeping dirt out of them the case also prevents damage if you intend to use them away from home.
TIP: Leave the charging case plugged in all night and put the sleepbuds into it when you get up and take them with you to work if you prefer
Here are the QuietOn Sleep earplugs compared to a Jabra Music earbud and a silicone rubber earplug (for swimming). As you can see the QuietOn compares favourably in terms of size. They all seem relatively small, don’t they? Yet size IS a very important factor if you sleep on the side of your head. Placing something ‘large’ in your ear all night and compressing it into a pillow WILL turn out to be uncomfortable.
Here are some indications of fit and size. The first, female, ear is very small and the bud maybe a tad too big. That ear has the buds inserted correctly. The second image shows a smaller than average male ear where the sizing is fine but you can see here that the earbuds are maybe slightly too big so restricting the ability to properly fit into the ear canal and this then makes the fit slightly ‘wonky’. The final, third image shows much larger Jabra music buds but notes how the flat surface of these is much further away from the head and sticking out of the ear – these are unsuitable for sleeping, IMO.
Is QuietOn Sleep Comfortable?
Generally, I’d say that “Yes” they are comfortable. If I tried to sleep on my side with my head in a certain position then there was some discomfort in that position. At which point I moved my head a little 😉
They generally ‘stay in’ but once in a while might come out of the ear.
Does QuietOn Sleep Eliminate All Noise?
QuietOn makes this claim about what frequencies and what volumes are dealt with “QuietOn Sleep is able to cancel the low and mid-frequency noises from 100Hz – 2,000Hz up to 30dB from the original noise level.”
Thus, some noise can be heard but some frequencies appear to me to be eliminated and others GREATLY diminished.
I used to use my swimming earbuds sometimes when sleeping and they DO eliminate a significant amount of noise by forming an airtight seal, however, swimming earbuds become notably uncomfortable after prolonged wearing at night. To make matters worse, the swimming earbuds seemed to slightly damage my inner ear when sleeping with them and then I found there to be a high chance of a PAINFUL ear infection (acetic acid/vinegar applied with your little finger is the cure). QuietOn Sleep uses generic Foam Tips which are VERY gentle on the inner ear and I had no issues with damage nor subsequent infections.
QuietOn Sleep – My Tests
The most simple test is whilst sitting in an office. You put the earbuds in your ear when they are turned off, get used to the ambient noise and then turn them on. There is an obvious difference but you can still hear certain sounds.
On two different days in different ambient conditions, I tried two online sites that play different frequencies of sound
- http://onlinetonegenerator.com/hearingtest.html: With QuietOn noise cancelling earbuds the sounds stopped at 4-8,000Hz. Without QuietOn Sleep I heard a noise to 9-12,000Hz.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-iCZElJ8m0 Sounds for me started to be audible at 97 Hz, mostly stopped at 9500Hz, definitely stopped at 10500Hz. Without QuietOn Sleep I could hear to over 14000Hz
The overall lowering of the Volume was harder to judge. I would guestimate that the audible frequencies were reduced to 20% or lower with QuietOn Sleep. ie reduced by at least 80%
The results will be affected by the quality of my PC’s speakers and other factors.
You could try either of those sites to prove to yourself there is a difference in relatively controlled conditions. However, as I say, the reduction in sound should be obvious when QuietOn Sleep is turned on.
QuietOn Sleep as part of your quest for a good night’s sleep
I’ve found a notable benefit of using QuietOn Sleep regularly. If you want some other suggestions for a good night’s sleep then try these
- Speedo Swimming earplugs – beware ear infections (local Amazon link here)
- A noisy fan that produces a constant drone – perhaps not so great in winter but fine in summer
- I use my Google Home to ‘OK Google, play the sound of rain‘ and it does…all night. Amazon Echo and Apple products will be similar. (local Amazon link). tip- add that instruction to your nighttime Google Assistant routine “OK Google, Goodnight”
- A memory foam mattress is great. However they can be ridiculously expensive and you’re not sure that they are worth it, right? Well, instead buy a memory foam ‘Topper’ that goes on your existing mattress. That’ll set you back a much more friendly $/£/Eu50 and you could just about take one on holiday with you if you(local Amazon link here)
- Kalms – A Natural sleeping tablet. These seem to work occasionally for me as a placebo. (local Amazon link here)
- Bizarrely I find that freshly laundered sheets and a plumped up pillow help me sleep.
- Of course, you’ve read many times about alcohol, coffee, dark rooms and a regular bedtime routine etc. But you are reading this review because you’ve tried all those…just like I had!
Other people swear by these ideas, some of which I came across while researching other suggestions for this QuietOn Sleep Buds Review
- Blu Tack as an earplug. Some of my tri-buddies use that for swimming as well! (nah #Hygeine: local Amazon link here)
- Disposable Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs. Again people swear by these but I REALLY don’t like them (local Amazon link here)
- Wireless sound-soother headband – there are lots of other models like these, I tried one and found it itchy and sweaty. There is also the issue of the proximity of electromagnetic radiation to your brain. (local Amazon link here)
- Zopiclone- or other prescription sleeping tablets. These really work…for a while. But they are addictive and, after a while, their effect lessens...and you are addicted to them. Not good. Your choice.
Q: What are the best earbuds for sleeping?
A: Cheap Speedo swimming earplugs eliminate most noise but are uncomfortable, can cause infection and degrade after several weeks
Q: What are the best noise-cancelling headphones for sleeping?
A: I don’t know of any noise-cancelling earbud that is better than QuietOn Sleep
Q: Do Earplugs help with snoring?
A: Absolutely, yes.
QuietOn and CV19
QuietOn Sleep’s noise-cancelling technology make it ideal for use when working at home where the hum and buzz of your household’s daily activities might disturb your work efforts. QuietOn SLEEP mutes much of the noise around you but still allows for ‘hear-through’ when you need it.
QuietOn Original vs. QuietOn Sleep, Review of changes
There is also a DENTAL version planned but for now, this second-generation product is QuietOn Sleep.
Compared to QuietOn Original, QuietOn Sleep:
- Is 40% smaller and 50% lighter than 1st gen QuietOn
- QuietOn Sleep has noise-cancelling performance optimized for snoring frequencies and sounds coming through walls.
- QuietOn Sleep does not include the testing sound (‘beep’) of first-gen QuietOn
- QuietOn Sleep also includes the option to switch to hearing mode.
QuietOn Sleep vs Bose SleepBuds and Bose SleepBuds Gen 2
The Bose product is no longer sold and has been withdrawn from sale.
I did a review of the SleepBuds Gen 2, they were awful and I just couldn’t get them to work (pair properly).
QuietOn Sleep Specifications
But note that there are no Bluetooth connections to playback music from your phone.
- Two modes – silent and hearing
- 20 hours per charge, approximately 3 nights’ sleep
- Time to full recharge – about 1 hour
- No connectivity. Music playback is not supported as there is neither radio nor Bluetooth = NO RADIATION.
- It is made out of Plastic (Polyamide, Polycarbonate, ABS), Silicone, Polyurethane Rubber, Stainless Steel and Gold
- Blue LEDs on charging case indicate that QuietOn Sleep is in charging mode. No LEDs = charging complete
Shop QuietOn USA
Buy QuietOn Discount, Price & Availability
Want to buy QuietOn Sleep? QuietOn Sleep is shipping now and you can buy one with 20% off with my discount coupon code ‘the5krunner10‘ – thank you.
EDIT: Code the5krunner10 now gives 20% off as from 15 Feb 2021
As you can see there are good deals for buying additional pairs for friends and family
- 1 pair – Eur200 (Eur160/£152 with code ‘the5krunner10’)
- 2 pairs – Eur 349 (Eur280 with code ‘the5krunner10’)
A post on Reddit suggested that the QuietOn Sleep versions available on Amazon are the earlier Gen 1 product…do your research. My review & links are for the latest manufacturer version.