For a lot of people, headphones are simply headphones. Step one: place on ears. Step two: play music. Step three: repeat whenever necessary. But for some of us, it’s a little more complicated than this, because there are headphones for every occasion. For example, I have a set of noise-canceling headphones for peace and quiet at home, and for everyday casual use and work I have my trusty AirPods. I also keep my original EarPods nearby in case I forget to charge my AirPods, and I have a set of Treblab’s xFit wireless earphones for exercising, yardwork and vacation adventures. Gotta cover all the bases, right?
Only recently, though, did I realize that my collection was missing a piece. Sometimes, no matter how perfect a resort may seem, there’s little you can do about outside noise. On a trip I took earlier this year, the hotel next door seemed to host outdoor dance parties that ran into the early morning hours, and I’m just not the type of guy who finds electronic dance music soothing. So, I popped my AirPods in and used my own playlist to fall asleep, but that unfortunately led to a morning of the very aggravating game, “Where Did my AirPods Go When They Fell Out of My Ear?”
That was the trip when I decided to add a new device to my carry-on bag: AcousticSheep’s SleepPhones, the “pajamas for your ears.”
Why Would Your Ears Need Pajamas?
Aside from falling out while I sleep, the other problem I’ve had with buds and pods is they can be a little painful on my tender ears, so the prospect of something warm and comforting was immediately appealing. SleepPhones are basically a headband with speakers, which sounds uncomfortable no matter how confident you are in wearable technology, but the combination of soft fabric and lightweight flat speakers and thin receiver makes for a surprisingly pleasant experience.
I Love When They Think of Everything
A headband with speakers is simple enough that you might think there’s nothing else to it in terms of ingenuity and convenience. But SleepPhone’s speakers are detached and removable, which is helpful for those of us with larger heads and ears that are maybe a little uneven, since they can be adjusted to line up perfectly, without moving around on their own. This tiny aspect is important for ensuring that songs or soothing sounds reach your ears, completely drowning out the neighboring resort’s wild party.
Additionally, the Bluetooth connection is quick and consistent, and unlike some wireless headphones, the battery life takes you through the night and then some, before you need to recharge.
What about the Sound Quality?
When it comes to sleep, you’re not looking for crisp audio that makes you feel as if you’re the only person at your favorite band’s live performance. But the SleepPhones speakers are still good enough that you can use this headband in place of earbuds on loud flights, as you can even pull the headband down and use it to cover your eyes, too. (This was especially helpful to me on my return flight, since my movie download didn’t finish in time, and American only has three episodes of 30 Rock available on its streaming app. Blergh.)
There’s an App for Everything
It’s important to add that SleepPhones aren’t just for drowning out hotel noise. Sometimes I can’t turn my brain off, and music doesn’t help because I end up singing along or turning to Netflix with the hopes that watching Oh Hello for the 800th time can help me doze off. I enjoyed having the SleepPhones app and being able to play soothing sounds, like white noise or “Newport Waves,” at a low volume to convince my brain it was nighty-night time, and not, as the neighboring resort believed, EDC 2019.