People often listen to music, white noise, or meditation tracks to help them sleep. Each of these can block out noise that disturbs sleep, provide relaxation that encourages sleep, or put an end to racing thoughts that prevent sleep. However, playing audio in the middle of the night might not be pleasing to everyone in your household, so you need a way to listen privately. But if you’ve ever tried to sleep with regular earbuds, you know that they’re not very comfortable to lay on, and the cords can get in the way. This is why a specialized set of sleep earbuds could be your solution.
Quick Look at Our Top 5 Picks
Earbuds for Sleeping— Key Considerations
Comfort: As I’ve already mentioned, most people turn to sleep earbuds because regular sets are too uncomfortable to sleep with, especially when side sleeping. As a result, comfort makes up a large portion of the key criteria for a good pair of sleep earbuds.
Basically, you need to find a pair of sleep earbuds that you can comfortably wear for several hours without adjusting them. If you need to wake up to re-insert the earbuds throughout the night, they aren’t helping you. Plus, you want to find a pair that doesn’t dig into your ear when you are laying on your side because it’s painful and could cause damage to your ear.
Wired vs. Wireless: The benefits of a wireless set of sleep earbuds are pretty clear. First off, it can be dangerous to have a wire that close to your neck while you sleep because of the risk of strangulation. And if you are someone that often changes sleep position, the wire could become wrapped around other parts of your body causing discomfort, or the movement could tug on the wire, unplugging it from your device and interrupting your sleep. Some people have found that they can avoid some of these disadvantages by tucking the wires under a pillow.
Wireless Bluetooth earbuds are best for sleep because they are much safer and more comfortable, although they are usually more expensive than wired sets. Additionally, wireless earbuds can be inserted further into your ear, so they won’t get in the way when side sleeping. Be sure to find a pair that has a long battery life if you plan to wear them all night.
Noise Cancellation: Since one of the main reasons for using sleep earbuds is to block out environmental sounds, noise cancellation is an important feature to look for. There are two kinds of noise cancellation: passive and active. Passive noise cancellation refers to sound being physically blocked from entering your ear, similar to how an earplug works. Active noise cancellation works when the earbuds add sounds to your audio that specifically cancel out the unwanted sounds. The most effective noise cancellation is the combination of both passive and active methods. Earbuds that employ both types of noise cancellation will result in the quietest listening experience.
Sound Quality: Sound quality is not as important as the other features you will find in sleep earbuds because even poor sound quality will get the job done. But, for the purpose of sleep, you will want to find a sound quality that you find to be soothing, inoffensive, and balanced.
In general, sound quality refers to how crisp and clear the audio is, how well the sound blocks out environmental noise, and the amount of sound that comes out of the earbuds that can be heard by someone who isn’t wearing them. Headphones almost always have the best sound quality, but earbuds are a close second. Keep in mind, though, that sound quality can be a matter of opinion or personal preference.
Price: Sleep earbuds can be very expensive or very cheap, but the price doesn’t always indicate the quality. Some expensive earbuds are a letdown, while some cheap sets are excellent. Because of this, it is best to find a set that has the features you want at a price you can afford. For your reference, the recommended earbuds below range in price from $12 to $249, but you may find others outside of this range.
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What Are the Top Five Earbuds for Sleeping?
Here is a summary of the top five earbuds for sleeping, each offering a unique combination of desirable features. All of these products are highly rated, and sleep tested.
Earbuds for Sleeping— Final Thoughts
Listening to soothing audio is a great, medication-free way to beat insomnia, but there are a few other points to take in mind as you look to purchase, and use, earbuds for sleeping. Although using earbuds in bed can seem harmless, there are some disadvantages. For example, it is critical to keep your earbuds properly cleaned and sanitized because bacteria and earwax buildup can occur if you wear them for a significant amount of time, which can lead to irritation or infection in your ear canal. Plus, it’s always a good idea to be conscious of volume, as hearing loss can occur if you listen to loud sounds for several hours each night.
With all of this in mind, you should have a good idea of what to look for in a pair of earbuds for sleeping. In essence, it all comes down to finding a set that cancels out environmental noise and is comfortable and safe enough for you to wear for several hours in a lying down position.