Hands-on review: QuietOn 3 sleeping earbuds
If you’re a city dweller like me, you might be used to the noise of traffic waking you up now and again, especially if your apartment lacks air conditioning and the weather is as humid as it has been in Auckland this summer.
You probably won’t be surprised, then, that I jumped at the opportunity to review the new QuietOn 3 sleeping earbuds.
With an RRP of NZD$389, they’re certainly not cheap, but if they really were to improve my sleep quality, then that would make them priceless, wouldn’t it?
QuietOn is a small start-up based in Oulu, Finland, with a self-proclaimed heritage from former telecommunication giants, Nokia. Despite only being around for just under seven years, the company has already established itself within the sleeping earbud space, challenging household brands like Bose, selling its products to frequent travellers across various airlines.
As you might expect, these are the company’s third attempt at sleeping earbuds, with the award-winning QuietOn 2 still being available via their website for a significantly lower price tag of NZD$279.
The small packaging contains the QuietOn 3 earbuds, their charging case, a USB-C charging cable, as well as four pairs of foam eartips.
The charging case is sleek and informative in the sense that it displays the battery life of each earbud via three LEDs just under its lid. Although it looks nice, however, it would be nicer to see QuietOn’s next attempt use plastic that has a slightly more premium feel to it, especially considering they went out of their way to include brushed stainless steel around the magnetic housing for the earbuds.
The earbuds are even smaller than I imagined, meaning they don’t protrude from the ear and are surprisingly comfortable.
Putting them to the test
Coincidentally, my first night testing the QuietOn 3 earbuds was at the campsite up at Kai Iwi Lakes, which is notoriously busy during the summer and a hotspot for families.
After trying each of the eartips to gauge the size of my ear canal, I settled on the second smallest. I then switched off the lights, went to bed, and I could not believe how eerily quiet these earbuds made everything.
Compared to the Bose Sleepbuds II (which are more or less the same price), the QuietOn 3 earbuds don’t play any ambient noise, meaning they’re much more like traditional earplugs used by tradies and musicians alike, only so, so much more effective. As a result, I slept like a baby, and I wasn’t woken up by late-night revellers or early risers. In fact, I had one of the best night’s sleep I’d ever had camping.
A couple of days later, I was back at my inner-city flat, and they passed that test, too. Lorries passing by on the motorway at 3am no longer woke me up, nor did any boy racers or those incredibly annoying cars that drive past blaring unbearably loud music through megaphones.
Battery life is excellent - the battery case holds 28 hours of battery life on a single charge (approximately four nights’ worth of juice). It takes around two hours to charge the case fully.
It’s also worth mentioning that, unlike regular music earbuds, there is no set up to worry about with the QuietOn 3 earbuds as they don’t rely on Bluetooth technology - once they’re charged up, and you’ve chosen the right sized eartips, you’re ready to go.
So, how do they work?
To put it simply, the QuietOn 3 earbuds use noise cancellation technology to eradicate low-frequency noise, such as your neighbour’s chit chat, heavy rain or city traffic. Higher frequency sound isn’t cancelled out, so you don’t have to worry about missing your alarm or missing out on pillow talk.
As mentioned, they are comfy due to their size, their use of foam (polyurethane) eartips, and also their weight - they’re just 1.8g each. It’s just important to ensure you have the right sized eartips installed to optimise performance.
There aren’t too many negative things at all to say about the QuietOn 3 sleeping earbuds. Yes, they’re expensive, but they do exactly as they say on the tin - they improve your sleep, and they do so significantly.
Some consumers might be swayed towards the more illustrious name of Bose, especially considering they offer a product slightly different in the sense that they offer ambient noise (which some may prefer), but QuietOn should certainly be considered and not be written off - this small company has already done so much in under a decade.
I already can’t wait to try the QuietOn 3 earbuds on my first international flight post-COVID-19. Maybe I should fly via Finland on my way back to the UK and thank QuietOn for fixing my sleep…