By ‘Doctor Dave’ Greenbaum
If you’ve ever tried to sleep while listening to music on your iPod, you may have realized it was an exercise in futility. The earbud style connectors too often fall out and headphones with a band are incredibly uncomfortable. While you could use a speaker, if you sleep with others, this will surely disturb their sleep.
Enter the US$39.95 SleepPhones (http://www.sleepphones.com): a great way to listen to audio while you are sleeping. As someone who suffers from chronic insomnia, I frequently listen to MP3s designed to help me relax and fall asleep. In order to do this I either need to sleep in a separate room or use headphones.
The problem, of course, is that headphones are uncomfortable and interrupt or prevent sleep. The SleepPhones have found that balance of a comfortable solution that stays in place and doesn’t get in the way.
The soft fleece headband can be worn over the forehead or, as I often do, use it as a sleep mask to protect your eyes and block out the light. Two adjustable speakers are encased in the headband and can be moved to an exact position on top of your ears. At the beginning I didn’t quite realize this and found the volume too low and disruptive to my sleeping companion.
Once I found the proper placement, volume issues were resolved. Note that as you sleep they may move so each night that I have to use them, I have to spend a minute or two to find the proper placement. The long headphone jack allows me to clip the iPod onto the side of the bed or pillow case without encumbrance.
The headband is machine washable with the speaker buds removed, but I’d suggest hand washing as the fleece headband probably is not sturdy enough for continued run-ins with an agitator. I was disappointed the product only had a six-month warranty, but I’ve used it for over four months without incident. I’m a bit wary of any product with such a short warranty.
If you are looking for a great solution for audio on your way to dreamland, SleepPhones delivers on its promises. The headband speaker combination allows you to fall asleep and not disturb others in the room.
Pros: Works great as part of a sleep solution
Cons: Speakers frequently fall out of alignment, paltry six month warranty
Rating: 7 out of 10