QuietOn 3 vs. Bose Sleepbuds 2: White noise or no noise?

There are some nights when I just want a quiet space where I can fall asleep without interruption and stay that way until morning. It doesn’t seem like much to ask, but sometimes it can be difficult to achieve, and that’s when I turn to technology for help.

For the past few months, I’ve been using the Bose Sleepbuds II and QuietOn 3 in-ear headphones, which are designed for sleeping. Bose uses ambient sound to lull you to sleep, while QuietOn uses the silence generated by active noise cancellation (ANC). But which one has sent me to the Land of Nod most effectively?

the headphones

Before we get into which one has worked best for me, let’s talk about how they work. On the surface they both seem pretty similar, they’re things you put in your ears to help minimize noise while you sleep, but once you start wearing them it’s clear they’re very different. The QuietOn 3 buttons have ANC and work completely without a Bluetooth connection. They resemble traditional in-ear headphones and come with a foam tip, similar to the Comply tips that come with some headphones.

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Andy Boxall/Clear Tips

The Bose Sleepbuds 2 use different ambient sounds and passive noise cancellation to mask outside sounds. The earbuds are small and curvy, with a very flexible, soft silicone tip and little wings to help them stay in your ears. The Bose requires a Bluetooth connection to your phone to work. Each set of earphones fits into a custom case. QuietOn chooses a standard pill-shaped case with a plastic body and brushed metal interior, and Bose opts for a very stylish puck-shaped case with a slide-on top.

Looking at the hardware, the Bose Sleepbuds 2 look and feel more expensive than the QuietOn 3. The case is really fantastic. From the cushioned movement of the sliding top to the bright charging indicators, everything is of a very high quality. The QuietOn case’s rough plastic lets you down, as does the way the earbuds wobble with the magnets inside, and the tiny earbuds don’t have the Bose design flair. However, the QuietOn 3’s lack of Bluetooth means they’re more convenient, and will also satisfy any concerns about using headphones that emit signals for many hours at a time.

in your ears

I sleep on my side, so I was worried about how the buds would feel at night. It doesn’t matter how much noise they mask if I can’t sleep because they are uncomfortable. I’m not worried about the Bose Sleepbuds 2, which are amazingly comfortable. The silicone tips are so soft they don’t stretch my ears, the body is small and barely noticeable, they are snug enough that they never fall off and they sit flush so I don’t really feel them when I lie down. side.

Bose SleepBuds 2 in ear.

The QuietOn 3s are different. They fit much like tiny versions of regular true wireless in-ears, but without silicone wings to keep them in one place. While they don’t move, I found one that fell in my sleep on a few occasions. The body doesn’t sit in my ear as naturally as the Bose either.

However, it’s the foam pads that frustrate me the most. The QuietOn 3 comes with four sizes of foam eartips, which expand in the ear to form the seal. I had trouble getting the right fit. While the medium-sized tips were more effective at isolating sound, they were too big, and the expanding foam made my ears hurt after a while. Small tips are better, but I don’t feel they isolate as effectively.

QuietOn 3 headphones placed in the ear.

It takes me a while to get used to the QuietOn 3s after I put them on, whereas I can put the Bose on and instantly feel comfortable. It’s quite unnatural to sleep with something in your ears, so comfort is paramount. For the first 30 minutes using QuietOn 3, I’m much more aware that I have something in my ear than I was with Bose.

sleeping with the cocoons

QuietOn argues that while the background noise generated by devices like the Bose Sleepbuds 2 are great for lulling you to sleep, they’re not as good at keeping you asleep. Masking the noise completely is the best solution for this, he says. On the other hand, many people already use ambient noise to fall asleep, either intentionally or simply because they like the sound of a running fan or air conditioner, making it a familiar and proven method.

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