SleepPhones Review – AcousticSheep & Wireless – top 3 models – 2018 update
The top 3 picks among acoustic SleepPhones are a result of over 3,000 work-hours and 32 products tested.
We started gathering data for this guide about 6 months ago, and the ratings you’ll see below are a result of our in-house testing and statistical analysis of over 7000 user reviews.
We did our best to make this buyer’s guide as versatile as possible by including different types of SleepPhones, from classic to wireless (Bluetooth).
SleepPhones – info & ratings of Top 3
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& quick links
‣ Type: Wireless,
‣ Material: fleece
‣ Type: Wireless,
‣ Material: Ultra-thin
‣ Type: Classic
‣ Material: fleece
Last updated – January 2018
SleepPhones Wireless SB5LM
The SB5LM is a wireless set of SleepPhones we found superior in pretty much all quality aspects, from Comfort & Fit, Ergonomics to sound quality (music, white noise and ASMR).
With the user satisfaction rating of 90/100, ergonomics rating of 93 and an overall rating of 92/100, the SB5LM outperformed any similar products we looked at, which created the significant gap in ratings.
The battery life is a solid 13 to 14 hours, while the range of the wireless signal is 15 to 30 feet.
- Comfort & Fit 91%
- Ergonomics / Seamlessness 90%
- Sound clarity 93%
- Ease of use 98%
- User satisfaction 90%
- Value for money 88%
Who will choose the SB5LM wireless SleepPhones?
If you’re the kind of person who puts comfort first and you’re OK with spending a few more dollars to get it, the SB5LM will be your choice.
The electronics used for this set is lead-free, which might be worth mentioning if safety is one of your concerns.
The craftsmanship is unparalleled, from the seams and closures to the soft finish.
Bottom line – this set is the best-rounded product we tested & it’s backed up by a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.
You can see what the owners are saying about it by following the links below.
SleepPhones Wireless Ultra Thin
This set is a combination of the classic AcousticSheep SleepPhones and the modern wireless version based on Bluetooth technology.
As far as we can tell, they easily connect to any compatible device (such as an Android or an iPhone).
The specifications of the wireless technology are similar to that of the SB5LM (13 hours of battery life in a wireless reach of up to 30 feet).
- Comfort & Fit 91%
- Ergonomics / Seamlessness 90%
- Sound clarity 93%
- Ease of use 98%
- User satisfaction 90%
- Value for money 88%
Who will choose them?
The user satisfaction percentage of these is somewhat lower compared to our top pick. The reason for that might be the fact that the material is ultrathin since the set is designed to be as seamless as possible.
The choice between these and the SB5LM will come down to your preference in terms of material. The company calls the material used for this set Breeze fabric, which is a good way to describe it – it’s stretchier and thinner.
You can read the user reviews and answered questions by clicking one of the links below.
AcousticSheep SleepPhones classic
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible and you are comfortable with the corded version of the SleepPhones, the classic model might be right for you.
The material is slightly different compared to the SB5LM. Having the lower price in mind, these performed pretty well.not as well as the SB5LM but they do cost significantly less.
They come in three sizes – medium (which is supposed to fit most people), extra small and extra large.
- Comfort & Fit 88%
- Ergonomics / Seamlessness 89%
- Sound clarity 93%
- Ease of use 83%
- User satisfaction 80%
- Value for money 88%
What should you look for?
The jury is still out on the way sounds, music and white noise influences sleep. You’ll find different opinions, ranging from those who advise sleeping in absolute silence (even with sleep earplugs) to those who see the effects of relaxing music or white noise as nothing short of miraculous.
We don’t belong to either of the two groups, but the body of evidence to support the claim that sound does have a positive impact on both falling asleep and sleep quality is growing.
So if we had to choose, we would say that, for most people with sleep problems, sound is definitely worth exploring.
It’s just a matter of doing it right because it’s easy to simply throw on any headphone set and try to fall asleep. That’s not how it should work.
The choice of a specific set can make all the difference and even if you found that sound didn’t help in the past; wireless and Bluetooth SleepPhones are a whole different story.
Now that we’ve looked at some specificif products, let us take a step back anad analyze the quality aspects that “led” them to the top of this lis.
As we mentioned in the AcousticSheep SleepPhones review, both versions come from the same company.
We mentioned that the effects of sound and music can vary significantly depending on the type of headset you use.
It’s only natural because there’s no comparing the comforts of soft suede-like fabric to a clunky headphone set.
So let’s talk about comfort
The two main types of headset specifically designed for sleep are noise-canceling headphones and headbands with padded fabric and the speakers built-in.
A while back we completed the guide on the best budget-friendly noise canceling headphones – you can see it here.
This guide is dedicated to the latter group. The seamlessness of the headband will probably be the more comfortable choice for most people when it comes to sleep.
The leader in the industry here is SleepPhones; to the point where think that the brand is a synonym for the products.
There are others similar products out there, but the company currently dominates the market in pretty much every quality aspect.
For now, let’s get back to the analysis at hand
We left things at mentioning noise-canceling headsets, so let us take a brief moment here to clearly separate the two.
The two main differences are the ability to block the outside noise and comfort.
As the name suggests, any headset that includes the words “noise-canceling” blocks the outside noise, either by simply being a physical barrier or by creating a sound wave frequency to cancel out the incoming noises.
The advantage of these sets is obvious – they’re better suited if you need to drown the noise around you, whether it’s snoring or a loud the neighborhood. The downside is the classic design that’s not of much use for side sleepers.
The main advantage of the headbands is the comfort. The seamless fabric wraps around your head. You get used to the feeling within a week or two so that you don’t even notice them.
This makes them the superior choice for side-sleepers. The downside is that the fabric can only do so much in terms of drowning out sounds like snoring.The solution in between
Between the SleepPhones and the headphones, you’ll find what might be a sweet spot for many people. It’s acoustic noise-canceling earplugs like the Bose Quiet Comfort 20.
These will offer you a significant isolation from the noise, while still being seamless and thin enough for sleep.
Who might need SleepPhones?
If you have problems falling asleep and found that music helps, you’ll definitely love the SleepPhones wireless models.
After all, for purposes of inducing sleep, the sound quality (like bass or treble) is pretty much a non-factor.
If you have tinnitus
If you suffer from the condition, there’s no need to explain it.
For those reading the guide and are not familiar with it, people with tinnitus hear buzzing or ringing sounds even when there is no source around.
For tinnitus sufferers, relaxing music, ASMR or white noise can be game-changers and finally allow you to get some decent sleep.
If you sleep with a snorer
When it comes to getting your ZZZs, there are few things more frustrating than your sleeping partner being a snorer.
Depending on how loud the snoring is, pretty much every product that we listed above can offer relief. It’s not just something we’re saying, our tests and reviews show precisely what you can expect.
Our criteria for the SleepPhones reviews
To reach the overall rating that saw above we used 6 quality categories. Let’s take a moment here to explain the ones that are not so intuitive.
We always listed all the quality categories so that you can get a better impression of what are the strengths and weaknesses of a particular set and make your decision accordingly.
For some people, the clarity and quality of the sound will not be a big deal, especially if the main purpose of the set is going to be sleep
Quality aspects of the sound such as the bass, treble or volume levels don’t make much difference if you’re listening to white noise, relaxing tunes or ASMR.
Comfort and fit
When it comes to comfort and fit, the SleepPhones (both Wireless of the classic AcousticSheep) are unparalleled.
They gently wrap around your head, and there are no knobs or parts sticking out that would interfere with your sleep. Speakers are flat, built into the headband and seamless.
Seamlessness – Ergonomics
We slightly tweak the statistical formula used for the different types of SleepPhones because the ergonomics rating goes beyond how well they fit.
You’ll notice in the SleepPhones reviews above, the wireless models have high ratings in the ergonomics category.
You want to pay special attention to this quality aspect if you are a side or restless sleeper.
If that’s the case, there’s little to think about because the SleepPhones Wireless will outperform the other types 9 times out of 10 when it comes to seamlessness.
You’ll notice that most of the products among the Acoustic SleepPhones, including the wireless Bluetooth models, will have a similar (or even the same) rating in this quality aspect.
That’s because the differences are very slight, especially if they’re made from the same material.
If you’re concerned about safety and not comfortable sleeping with a cable anywhere near you, the choice is clear – you’ll go with a pair of wireless Bluetooth acoustic SleepPhones.
How does Bluetooth work in SleepPhones wireless models?
Before we get to a more precise explanation about how Bluetooth wireless technology works with SleepPhones, let’s take a step back and look at the technology itself. That will make the issue of pairing SleepPhones with a master Bluetooth device much clearer.
The radio frequency transceiver of Bluetooth works in the ISM range which is around 2.4 GHz. Just as a piece of trivia, let us mention that it’s the same radio frequency that Wi-Fi and a microwave use.
Fading and interference in the operation of the Bluetooth transmission are minimized by what the experts call “frequency hopping.”
The technology of the whole Bluetooth system is known in the RF arena as “star.”
It’s a way of explaining that the devices are connected in a pigeoned network, which includes one master device (in this case of SleepPhones, the master is typically your phone). Using radio frequency terminology, in this pigeoned network, the SleepPhones would be called “slaves.”
The phone provides the synchronization references and SleepPhones are synchronized to the common frequency and clock.
The subdivisions units of the wireless connection are known as slots. The packets of data transmitted between the phone and the set each have a position in one of the slots.
We’re including this explanation to clarify why a set may (or may not) perform well when paired with the master device.
SleepPhones wireless – a more specific explanation and review of the pairing
The explanation above is probably not going to be of much use if you don’t know the basics of radio frequency topology, but we just wanted to lay the foundations so that we can explain the inner workings of how wireless Bluetooth SleepPhones are paired with the master device (phone).
In this part, we’ll try to be less “sciency” so that you can understand the whole thing better. The point is to establish a clear reference about why a set might be superior in transferring data (receiving it, to be more precise).
Below, we’ll outline a few steps of pairing the SleepPhones with the master device:
One – step one is obvious, placing the sound source within range. It’s usually not going to be a problem to place the headphones close enough to the master device, since the set has a decent range of up to 30 feet.
Two – find the Bluetooth feature on your phone (typically listed in Settings) and turn it on.
Three – a charged set of Bluetooth SleepPhones will be already enabled. This means that you don’t have to do anything and the phone will find the device on its own.
Four – the headset will appear in the list of Bluetooth devices on your phone. When you select the device, your phone might ask for a PIN code, which is usually supplied within the instruction manual. In most cases, the PIN code will be four zeros (0000).
Five – the devices will pair in mere seconds and you’re good to go. Anything that plays on your phone, like relaxing sleep-induction music, ASMR or white noise will now be delivered through the thin speakers of the SleepPhones.
Issues we have seen & troubleshooting
The SleepPhones have a high-quality Bluetooth unit and there were no significant issues to report, either with establishing the connection or it being interrupted once established.
With some other headsets, we did see a few issues. In most cases, it happens the first time you pair the two devices.
Here’s what to do if it happens:
The good old turning on and off usually solves the problem. In this case that applies to the phone.
The first thing you want to try is switching the Bluetooth off and turning it on again and repeat the steps outlined above. If that doesn’t work in your phone is still not finding the SleepPhones, shut it completely, turn it on again and repeat the process.
The headset might be the issue in one of the following two scenarios – either they’re not charged or, in rare cases (about 2% according to our stats), they might be faulty on arrival.
Even if that happens, you’re covered by the one year manufacturer’s warranty.
FAQs about the AcousticSheep SleepPhones
Since we compiled this guide & initially published the SleepPhones review we did receive a few questions about the sets and, 80% of the questions were regarding the classic AcousticSheep .
So, in the section below, we’ll address some of the frequently asked questions.
What is the headband made of?
The material used for the AcousticSheep set is trademarked by the company as “Sleep Cloud.” It is 5% spandex and 95% polyester woven into a smooth fleece-like fabric.
Is it comfortable enough to be used as a mask?
Yes, you can pull down the headband and use it as a mask. In our experience, we would say that the more substantial material of the as SB5LM is more comfortable and offers an experience closer to that of a real sleep mask compared to the AcousticSheep.
Can the material be washed?
Yes, you can remove the thin speakers and wash the fabric of the headband.
Just make sure that it’s completely dry before you put the speakers back in. To be clear, this is not a safety issue for you, but traces of moisture can damage the circuitry of the speakers. Both the Breeze fabric and the material of the SB5LM can be machine washed.
It’s even recommended that you machine wash them from time to time – it will help with shape retention.
With prolonged use, they tend to stretch and lose a bit of shape like any similar material. Washing them helps retain the original shape and size.
What colors are available?
We mentioned it in the digest of the AcousticSheep SleepPhones review – they come in five colors – Midnight Black, Galaxy Blue, Quiet Lavender, Sunset Pink and Soft Gray.
Are there replacement parts available?
Yes, there are replacement parts both on the website of the company and on websites like eBay. It’s important to note that using parts that don’t come from the company directly makes the warranty void.
Can they be used with a TV set?
Theoretically yes, but you would have to be close enough since these are corded.
If the setting of your living or bedroom allows you to physically plug them into the TV, you can watch your favorite shows without disturbing your sleep partner.
Noise isolation for the people around
If you’re using your the set while sitting down (like on a plane), there will be very leakage of sound and it’s not likely you’ll disturb anyone around you.
It’s the loft of the fabric the “drowns” the sound.
However, once you apply pressure to the speakers (like leaning against your seat or window), the sound leakage increases significantly.
So, if you need to listen to the music higher volume levels, the people around you will probably hear it.
Do the work in stereo (hemi-sync)?
The construction of the cord is dual, which means that if the sound is stereo, they will adjust and provide different sound levels of the two speakers.
How well they cancel out snoring?
There is no active noise-cancellation. This means that canceling out the snoring noise will depend on a few factors.
Noise-isolation relies on the speaker and the band as a physical barrier so, in those terms, they will work better for side sleepers.
Are they reversible?
Since the fabric is very thin, you can reverse them (label on the outer side) but that’s not what they’re designed for and you might find the positioning of the speakers to be slightly off.
Do they include a microphone?
The AcousticSheep SleepPhones (the classic model) doesn’t come with a microphone, but there are other products from the company that do include one.
Is there a timer setting?
The basic model has no timer setting and you control how long they stay on by setting the timer on your phone.
Are they comfortable for back sleepers?
The seam of the headband is in the back, so it’s reasonable to ask whether that can be a problem for back sleepers.
Unless you are particularly sensitive, we don’t see this as an inconvenience if you’re sleeping on your back because both the seams and fabric are very thin.
For the sleeper to feel the seam, the pillow they’re using would have to be extremely firm.
Can I replace the battery?
We didn’t see any issues with the battery, but if you do want to get an extra, you’d have to get the whole Bluetooth module (sold on their website separately).
Are they suitable for use with a CPAP mask?
We didn’t mention this part in the AcousticSheep SleepPhones review digest – they can deffinitily be used with the sleep mask; it’s only a question whether you use them over the mask straps or under.
This will depend on the type of mask you have and whether you choose the classic headband or the thinner, Breeze fabric.
What’s the difference between fleece and Breeze fabric?
The classic fleece fabric is 5% spandex and 95% polyester, while the ratio of the two materials in Breeze fabric is 12 to 88%.
This means that the Breeze fabric is thinner, lighter and more breathable. It’s also more elastic and, in our experience, retains shape longer.
The conclusion will be that the Breeze variety of the material will be more convenient to use with a CPAP mask.
How to make sure the size fits?
First of all, let’s look at the table of the three available sizes. The numbers and indicators should tell you which size is the right fit for you. We found that M-size is a good fit in a vast majority of cases.
If you’re still unsure about which size to go with it, here’s the proper way to measure the dimensions of your head (this is the number you’ll need to compare to the chart).
Use a tailor’s tape and measured the circumference of your head by placing the tape slightly above the ears (which will approximately be the middle of your forehead) & all the way around to the back of your head.
Length of the cord
Based on our measurements, the cord is approximately 49 inches long, which is approximately 4 feet.
We can’t see anybody having problems with it since it’s not sturdy and can be easily “manipulated.”
Most people use it by placing their phone under the pillow, but even if it’s on the nightstand, there’s very little chance of pulling it down, unless you tangled in the cord.
If you are a restless sleeper and there is a chance to tangle in the cord, the most elegant solution is fixing it under the headband and tucking it around the corners of your mattress.
What if I receive a faulty product?
We mentioned that we saw a very low incidence of on-arrival defects, like speakers not working. But just in case you’re unfortunate enough to belong to the small group, claim your warranty is pretty easy.
Simply go to the company’s website, find the return form and print it out. Once you filled in the form, enclose it in the package along with the faulty speakers and the proof of purchase (which can be your Amazon receipt).
Based on our experience, the customer service of the company is efficient and reliable and you will likely receive a new set of speakers within a week.
If your scenario is different, like an issue with the headband itself, it might be smart to contact them directly before sending the product back in.
The email to use (to the best for knowledge and at the time of completing this guide is service (at) AcousticSheep.com). Since emails can change, the more reliable way is going directly to their website and filling out their contact form.
Can the volume be controlled?
This is a common question because it’s not obvious based on the pictures of the product. But yes, you can control the volume, which is a nice plus especially if you’re into meditation and need the sound to be at a very low volume level.
Are the speakers dual?
What we mean when we say “dual” here is simply a response to one of the questions people frequently asked us – whether they should hear the sound coming from both speakers.
The answer to that is yes, both speakers should be functional and the sound should be symmetric. If you noticed that one of the speakers is not working properly, the first thing to try is adjusting the position to make sure it’s just over your ear.
If the issue persists, it’s also covered by the manufacturer’s warranty and you can claim the product is faulty by following the steps we outlined above.
The effects they have on your hair
Women are commonly concerned about the hair breakage from using the headband, so let’s put that one to rest. The band is snug but the fabric is too soft to cause any significant damage to your hair, such as breakage.
Making sure that your device is compatible with the set
The tip plug-in is a standard 3.5 mm, so AcousticSheep will be compatible with a vast majority of devices, there might be a few exceptions among white noise machines.
If you do plan to use it with a sound machine, just make sure that has a 3.5 mm outlet.
Summary and future updates of the SleepPhones review
This guide is updated every three months to include new data, which primarily applies to the user satisfaction rating.
We re-test the products if we notice a significant drop in the statistics. The whole process is designed so that we can always stay on top of things, present fresh information and reliable ratings.
We encourage you to use the comment section below to reach out with any specific questions, recommendations of products we should test or your experiences.
We’ll respond to all comments within 24 hours.
The Sleep Studies Team