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SleepPhones review: Sound asleep

You can put a price on a good night's sleep.

SleepPhones Wireless Sleep Headphones by AcousticSheep V8 | 24-Hour Battery | Original and Most Comfortable Bluetooth Headphones for Sleeping (Medium, Nighttide Navy Breeze)
SleepPhones Wireless
3.5 out of 5 stars
Black, grey, navy, orchid, lavender
Battery life
24 hours
Anula Wiwatowska
Mar 19, 2024
Icon Time To Read3 min read

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Quick verdict: SleepPhones Wireless

When your headphones are simply made to sleep in, a lot of the usual requirements for a good pair become obselete. Despite subpar audio quality the wireless SleepPhones fulfill their brief; they're comfy and have enough battery life to keep your white noise going all night. Hitting these goals notwithstanding, the asking price is too high for the tech under the band.

pro Comfiest pair of headphones you'll ever wear
pro 24-hour battery life
pro Excellent portability
con Old Bluetooth standard
con Poor audio quality
con Expensive
Girl 'sleeping' with the SleepPhones wireless on

Aimed to keep you in a blissful snooze, wireless SleepPhones are sleeping on the sound element. It’s rare to encounter a pair of headphones where the audio quality doesn’t matter, but in all fairness these aren’t your typical headphones. Touted as “pyjamas for your ears” the headphones are designed as a personal white noise machine, aimed to be comfortable enough to sleep in. They’re not the most advanced technology, they definitely don’t have the best sound clarity, and they do live up to their proposition but they don’t live up to their price.

If you’re going to strap something to your head while you’re resting it is going to have to be comfortable before anything else and SleepPhones’ design has taken this into account. Ultimately the headphones are a headband, with fabric coated, flat speakers snuggled into the band around your ears. It comes in three sizes, and two fabric choices of either Fleece (think a comfy blanket) or Breeze, which is a more breathable material. I tested the size medium in the Breeze fabric which proved to be surprisingly comfortable. The headband was secure but not tight enough to be unpleasant, and the speakers were sufficiently padded so as to not cause any irritation. However the Bluetooth Battery Module is a sore spot. The rectangular pack measuring in at 7.5cm x 3cm x 0.5cm slides into the headband too, but it can be tricky to find a place where it sits comfortably. As the powerhouse of the operation, the module is stiffer than the speakers by necessity so finding a position for a flat rectangle on a head that is typically round is difficult. I’ve either had it sitting at the nape of my neck, or across my forehead- neither being perfectly cosy. Despite this niggle, the SleepPhones are easily the most comfortable headphones you’ll ever wear. The headband is a simple solution that takes out the bulk of over-ear headphones, and the discomfort of in-ear buds making them fit for their purpose.

Despite the comfort, this snoozy device simply can’t compete with typical headphones in audio quality. Since the main use-case for the SleepPhones is white noise I won’t dive too in depth on the audio analysis, but it is safe to say that you wouldn’t want to switch them out for your main driver. The bass is dismal, the midtones are muddy, the treble is sibilant, but the clarity and directionality are actually ok. Ordinarily a score as low as SleepPhones achieved in our audio testing would be a red flag to consumers, but in this instance it is of little consequence. If your goal is to use these headphones to listen to rain sounds, or an audiobook as you doze off then the sound quality is perfectly fine. Conversely if you’re an audiophile or you prefer to listen to bangers while you drift off to Snooze Town then you’ll likely be disappointed.

Wireless SleepPhones internals

Wireless SleepPhones retail for $179.95 in Australia, while the wired versions start at $74.95. Although I recognise that these are a niche product, the technology in them simply doesn’t match the price tag. On the technical side of things SleepPhones are simple and a little bit behind the times. Equipped with Bluetooth 5.0 they’re .4 points behind the latest version meaning these will have poorer range, audio quality, and security features than most other headphones on the market. In practice the range held out to about 10 metres before starting to crackle, which once again is perfectly fine for the purpose of the headphones. They also charge via micro-usb which is damn near archaic these days, but still relatively inconsequential. Chances are it will be a bit annoying if you want to take these headphones travelling, and therefore need to remember to pack a mini-usb just for them.

In saying that, I do think travelling is the perfect use case for SleepPhones outside of the bedroom. As a fabric headband the headphones pack down super small, and sport a 24-hour battery life. They’re cosy enough to wear for a whole flight, and there is only a small amount of sound leakage so you’re not likely to disturb other passengers while in flight. Plus they can double as an eye mask even if that isn’t an advertised feature.

Are SleepPhones worth buying?

While I do think SleepPhones are a solid option for those who feel like they could benefit from a personalised sleep sound scape, the price tag on them is too high for what you get. For some specific users the price will be justified. If you’re constantly kept awake by snoring, or your partner can’t handle white noise and you need it to get to sleep then spending close to $200 might be the compromise that gives you back your nights. But unless you’re actually going to get that value exchange then  $179.95 is a high price to pay for low quality speakers, and older tech, no matter how comfortable the casing might be.

Where to buy SleepPhones in Australia

SleepPhones are stocked by a handful of Australian retailers, but Amazon is probably going to be your best bet - plus you can usually grab them there for a bit cheaper.

Sleep Solutions
Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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