- Significantly reduces ambient noise
- Will help you get a good night’s sleep
- Light and comfortable
- Let you hear the alarm clock
- Also useful during the day
- Does not remove all noise/frequency
We all know how important it is to get enough quality sleep time. But it’s not always so easy. QuietOn 3.1 Noise Canceling Headphones are a product designed to help you wake up refreshed every morning.
The environmental sounds are still there. During the day we hardly notice them, but that changes at night. These types of sounds make it harder to fall asleep and decrease slow-wave and REM sleep. They can also cause an increased heart rate and blood pressure.
I’m unlucky in that my upstairs neighbor has odd sleeping hours. Everything is quiet during the day, but after midnight the noise usually starts. And lasts a few hours. Sometimes I’ve used an industrial strength helmet to get through the night. Which works well for blocking noise, but is extremely uncomfortable to wear.
That’s why I wanted to test QuietOn 3.1. They are dubbed the smallest active noise canceling (ANC) headphones in existence. The gadget comes with the ability to adjust sounds up to 40dB, which includes a lot of ambient noise.
How well does QuietOn work in practice? Keep reading to find out.
Look and feel
Officially unveiled today, QuietOn3.1 represents the new and improved version of QuietOn 3. The company claims that the product brings improvements in both design and underlying technology.
As can be seen in the images accompanying this review, the ear cups are tiny. This is important for something you’re supposed to wear at night. They look like Bluetooth headphones, but QuietOn is not headphones. You may be worried that they appear like hearing aids. But they don’t.
I’ve worn all types of headphones, earphones and such. The only thing they have in common is that they are uncomfortable to wear while sleeping. This is because they all have protruding parts.
You don’t have this problem with QuietOn because the buds are small enough to fit entirely inside the ear. Squeeze the foam with your fingertips and use a twisting motion when putting them in place. This will ensure they are securely in place. In about 15-20 seconds, the headphones will expand to form a full seal. If you don’t crush the foam, you won’t get such a tight seal.
Even side sleepers will be happy. Once in your ear canal, you won’t feel the buds against the pillow or any other part of the bed. And they will stay in place. I’ve found that with headphones they tend to fall off when sleeping on your side. I always end up wasting time trying to find them in the morning.
The Finnish outfit says that QuietOn3.1 comes with a new construction material that offers even more comfort than before. This comes in the form of an upgraded memory foam that is softer and has less bounce than previous versions. The buds also provide better acoustic capabilities and will not change shape if they come in contact with water or sweat.
As before, in the box you still have a few different sized foam tips to choose from. Simply slide them over the buds to secure them and pull to remove them. It is important to choose the appropriate size from the four ear tips available, as this will help with noise cancellation. So play around with different options until you find the one that works best for you. You also need to make sure you put the left and right plugs in the right way round.
Loading, under the hood
Like most headphones, QuietOn comes with a small charging case. Rest them indoors when not in use. Not only will the case charge them, but it will make sure you don’t lose them. It will also help keep the buds clean.
The case offers a total of 28 hours of use on a single charge. Which is enough to charge the buds about three times. As for the individual buds, they should be good enough to get you through the night before needing a refill.
On the front of the white housing is an array of six lights. This is used to indicate the current charge level of each earplug. There are also three lights on the back to indicate the charging status of the case. It takes about 3 hours to fully charge the case and about 2 hours to fully charge the headphones.
Are they safe to wear all night?
What about security? This is an important consideration for something you’re supposed to wear for hours at a time.
I wouldn’t blame you if you’re worried about electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation. After all, the United Nations and the World Health Organization have identified EMFs as a health problem. The good news is that QuietOn has no such radiation as it does not contain any transmitters, receivers or connectivity options.
As for the technology inside, the new earphones contain improved microphone technology. This allows for a better ANC experience. Noise reduction is able to deal with low frequency sounds that ordinary passive earplugs cannot. But more on that later.
Includes: Headphones, Eartips (XS, S, M, L), Charging Case, Charging Cable.
Plastic (PC-ABS, PMMA, polycarbonate) polyurethane rubber, stainless steel and gold
Active noise cancellation technology and passive acoustic attenuation to reduce noise.
Weight of an earplug / Charger
1.8 grams / 59 grams
28 hours with case, 17mAh Lithium-ion in each bud; 200mAh lithium-ion in case
While QuietOn 3.1 is very reminiscent of headphones in terms of appearance, it’s important to note that they don’t transmit audio. So there are no relaxing sounds to help you fall asleep or the ability to listen to music or a podcast. The buds also do not generate white noise. This is not the purpose of this product.
What you get, instead, is something exclusively focused on noise cancellation. Whether it’s household appliances, a snoring partner, traffic and other street noises or a noisy neighbor, headphones will help you disconnect them. The product is also useful for travel by plane, car, bus. The end result is a calmer and more peaceful environment. Think of it as your own personal bubble of silence.
Using the buds is simple. There’s nothing you really need to do except take them out of the case and insert them into your right and left ear canals. No buttons to press, no pairing or setup required.
As mentioned, just make sure you’ve chosen the foam tip that best fits your ear. A tight seal will help with passive noise isolation.
The other part is active noise cancellation technology. It works by using a small microphone built into the thing. It samples the background sound, sends the information to the speaker which then creates out-of-phase sound that cancels out ambient noise.
The chart above is from the QuietOn website. It shows the frequency range where this product makes the most difference. It also shows its greater efficiency compared to typical foam earplugs. Sounds below about 3k Hz (and below 40db) are largely eliminated.
Two distinct modes
From the moment they are removed from the case, the transition from transparent hearing mode to active noise cancellation mode will begin. It takes about 20 seconds for it to fully kick in.
What you will notice is interesting. I would liken it to turning down the volume on a TV. A general attenuation of ambient sounds. You will immediately notice that they work.
Another comparison would be if you put your hands over your ears. The effect is somewhat similar. Gradually, much of the low frequency noise will disappear.
It’s only when you try out a product that you realize how much background noise there is. But we have become accustomed to these sounds, so we hardly notice them.
To return to transparent listening mode, simply bring the charging case closer to the headphones. You will need to do this for each individual bud.
But even in pure noise-canceling mode, you’ll still hear some sounds because the earphones mostly eliminate low-frequency noise. So if someone is next to you talking, you’ll hear them perfectly fine. It’s a good balance. It also means that if you wear QuietOn at night, you will still be able to hear the alarm clock in the morning. A good idea would be to turn up the alarm clock volume just to be safe. Or test it before going to bed.
For me, this type of product is incredibly useful. As mentioned, inconsiderate upstairs neighbors have been ruining my sleep for a while now. No more industrial type headphones or the choice to listen to music to fall asleep.
QuietOn isn’t perfect, but the product is good enough to eliminate a significant amount of noise. Enough to make the difference between falling asleep and staying up at night waiting for my neighbors to finally calm down.
Loud noises keeping you up at night? Try QuietOn.
They’re not just the smallest, but they’re probably the best noise canceling sleep buds out there. But these buds don’t come cheap. It is therefore important to know what you are getting for your money.
QuietOn are passive and active noise reduction earplugs. This means they can eliminate unwanted environmental sounds more effectively than a standard set of earplugs. Beware, the buds aren’t perfect, so don’t expect complete silence. For that, you might want to opt for industrial grade earmuffs. But good luck trying to fall asleep with one of them.
Active noise cancellation works by using a microphone to test background sound. A speaker creates out-of-phase sound that cancels out the original sound. Passive noise cancellation works via the soft foam tips.
QuietOn will significantly reduce low frequency noise. Sounds coming through walls, such as an annoying neighbor or the rumble of city traffic, will be dampened. The same goes for a snoring partner. The buds are also suitable for people who travel a lot by plane, car or bus. Background noise should be very low or even completely gone.
But the device will still allow you to hear the world around you, to some extent. For example, higher frequency sounds like an alarm clock at your bedside or someone next to you talking. You will be able to hold a conversation while wearing the buds. In that sense, this product is better than a pair of regular foam or silicone earplugs.
What also works in their favor is that the QuietOn headphones are very small and therefore comfortable to wear. And they’ll stay in your ear even if you toss and turn in your bed at night. Most other products are bulky. Just make sure you get the right fit by choosing the right tip size.
If you’re looking for something that will help you get a good night’s sleep, the $289 QuietOn 3.1 headphones are definitely worth considering. This is a well-designed product that will bring some peace and quiet to your life. You can view them at Quieton.com. You can also buy them on Amazon (Check the price) in some countries.