There’s nothing like a good nights sleep! Waking up totally refreshed and ready to tackle anything the world throws at you. But we all know that it isn’t always easy to drop-off and stay in a restful slumber in today’s noisy world so the Ape has found the best noise cancelling devices for sleeping that you can buy today!
Whether you are plagued by traffic noise, arguing neighbors, chirping birds, barking dogs, or even a snoring partner, your poor old brain does its best to shut out the din but it can sometimes be super-difficult to get to sleep and almost impossible to remain in the “land of nod.”
Just imagine if there was a device to aid your sleep and ensure that you wake every morning fully rested and eager to start your day. Well, fortunately, there are many such devices and in this article, we explore the very best noise cancelling devices that you can get your hands on for a peaceful night’s sleep.
Noise cancelling and noise masking devices have been in huge demand over recent years and are designed to help your brain move into a comfortable state of sub-consciousness whenever you need to sleep.
Noise cancellation devices are engineered to manage noise disturbance in a few ways. They can create a physical barrier (noise blocking), they can also manipulate sound waves (noise canceling), and they can even replace the sounds that are bothering you (noise replacement.)
Noise blocking devices
The most basic sound management solution is to simply block external sound from entering your ears (in a similar way to wearing ear protection devices in noisy factories or on construction sites.) These kinds of ear coverings are designed to isolate any outside noise and to stop it from reaching your ears.back to menu ↑
Noise cancelling devices
A more recent invention, some earbuds/earphones go a step further. They actually cancel external sound waves with the use of electronics. These devices are favored by light-sleepers as they actively remove lower frequency sounds so that you can sleep like a baby!
Active noise cancelling devices, such as earphones or earbuds are fitted with tiny microphones that can hear ambient noise. They actually produce sound-cancelling waves to effectively erase all ambient noise.back to menu ↑
Noise replacement devices
The final option is sound replacement. As you know, not all sounds prevent you from sleeping. There are many sounds that actually aid your sleep – For example, when you hear the sound of an ocean, or rainfall in a forest, or even the sound of a heartbeat, your mind is soothed and it is easy to get to sleep and more importantly to stay asleep.
You may have heard of white noise. This type of sound emits the perfect type and level of sound waves to get your brain into the necessary state of relaxation for a great night’s sleep.back to menu ↑
Should you choose earphones or earbuds?
First things first, when we say “earphones”, we mean the over-the-ear styles. These are actually not good for sleeping and are really better used for listening to music. They tend to be uncomfortable to wear when sleeping and often cost more than earbuds.
Standard earbuds tend to be more comfy for sleeping but are not actually designed for this purpose. You should look for noise-cancelling earbuds as they are made for sleeping and usually provide the white noise that you need to drop off.back to menu ↑
What is the difference between white noise and pink noise?
Specially designed earbuds use white or pink noise to raise the threshold of your hearing so that you actually become less sensitive to familiar sounds. If you think of the sound of a dripping tap, during the day you hardly notice it, but when you’re trying to sleep it can sound much louder and drive you nuts. White or pink noise is designed to mask these kinds of sounds.
White noise is often associated with the static from radios or TV’s (as in the Poltergeist movies) but for some of us, it can be too harsh for sleeping. White noise can sound like an unpleasant hissing to some people and they may wish to opt for a pink noise machine or an app.
Scientific research carried out by the National Institute of Health has shown that pink noise is the best solution for faster and better sleep. Pink noise is better because it is less obtrusive and has a more natural sound (like wind, rain or running water.)
Pink noise has been proven by science to minimize brain wave complexity, which usually results in a better night’s rest. A very interesting study showed that 60 dB of continuous pink noise actually halved the time needed to get to sleep compared to no noise at all.back to menu ↑
How can I sleep better without buying a sleeping device?
Before you spend your hard-earned dough on a noise cancelling device for sleeping, you might want to check that you are giving yourself the best chance of getting to sleep naturally. We have compiled a short list of factors that can affect your ability to get a good night’s sleep.
- Keep a regular sleep schedule – It is best to sleep and wake up at the same time each day.
- Try not to take naps – Napping during the day can make it more tricky to sleep at night.
- Establish a good nighttime routine – It’s important to relax completely before you “hit the hay.” For some, it can be by reading a good book and for others, it could be as simple as drinking a cup of hot cocoa in a warm bath.
- Don’t watch TV just before bedtime – This also goes for computers and cell phones. The light produced by these devices can make it much harder for your brain to switch off.
- Be aware of the temperature in your bedroom – Your sleeping area should be at a constant temperature throughout the night (not too cold and certainly not too hot.)
- Keep a good exercise schedule – Exercise is great to help most people sleep but should be avoided 2 – 3 hours before your bedtime.
- Be aware of your diet – Eating large meals in the late evening can cause difficulties when sleeping. Some foods that can keep you awake are ice-cream, pizza, pasta, garlic, chocolate, and surprisingly alcohol.
- Avoid caffeine if you can – Caffeine can be found in many food products so make sure you look at ingredient labels before consuming any drinks or desserts.
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The benefits of sleeping devices
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Best noise cancelling devices for sleepingback to menu ↑
Marpac DOHM white noise machine
The Marpac DOHM is our choice for the best noise cancelling sleeping device available today. This device is very effective at masking ambient noise by creating a soothing and calm environment for rest or sleep.
The Marpac DOHM sound conditioner is constructed by durable plastic and uses a motor and a fan to create authentic masking sounds (note that they are not digitally created.)
The Marpac DOHM is fitted with an internal fan which creates a continuous flow of white noise that sounds both natural and calming. The DOHM produces a natural white noise that is audible at first but quickly becomes ambient as it appears to fade into the background. The sound produced by this cool gadget is definitely apparent initially, but after a few minutes, it will virtually mask all noises from outside traffic to TVs.
This noise canceling device is so subtle that it can also be used in your office to block-out your colleagues’ chatter without upsetting them. It’s not only good for aiding sleep but for times that you need to concentrate, too.
We love the simplistic design of the DOHM with its half-dome shape twists which you can use to adjust the tone and volume of the white noise. Other than on/off button, there are no extra buttons or displays.
It has two fan settings (fast & slow) and the tone can be adjusted by twisting the top and body of the machine which alters the airflow within the unit. Users should take a few minutes to adjust the sound machine to find the perfect sound for them.
The unit measures 5.8”x 5.8”x 3.8” and weighs 1.5 pounds. It comes with a one-year limited warranty and is assembled in the USA.
The Marpac DOHM has been around since the 1960’s and has truly stood the test of time. It is also the official sound conditioner of the National Sleep Foundation (which is some accolade!!!)
Buyers should note that this is a white noise machine, which means that it ONLY plays white noise. It does not play pink noise such as rainfall, waterfall, or forest sounds. If you would rather a device that plays natural sounds, check out the Sound + Sleep SE white, pink & brown noise machine featured below.back to menu ↑
Sound + Sleep SE Special Edition white, pink & brown noise machine
If you have your heart set on a pink noise sleeping device that can bring the sounds of our beautiful planet into your bedroom then look no further. The amazing Sound + Sleep SE Special Edition not only features pink noise but white and brown noise, too!
State of the art technology enables the Sound + Sleep SE to adapt to the ambient sounds in your bedroom. It features naturally recorded non-repeating sounds that could make you abandon your old standalone white noise machine.
The naturally recorded sounds are very authentic. For example, with the “city” soundscape, you can even hear the occasional car horn amidst the gentle hum of the city. While it takes a few minutes to get used to the unusual sound, this device beats the heck out of devices that use canned artificial loops.
The Sound + Sleep’s best feature is the ability to adapt to any ambient noise that is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. This doesn’t mean that the device just gets louder. Although the volume increases slightly the machine uses the richness of sound to cover annoying ambient noise rather than just drowning it out.
If you’re wondering about the difference between the special edition (SE) and the basic model, it just comes down to ports and a few additional sound profiles. If you don’t need the extra ports, you could get away with getting the basic model. If you have a habit of sleeping anywhere and everywhere, there is also a mini version available, which is rechargeable but has fewer sound profiles than the SE.
The Sound + Sleep SE is equipped with 64 different sound stories which constantly evolve and never repeat. It works by automatically adding similar natural sounds from its extensive library to vary the user’s listening experience. This ensures that you do not hear identical sounds even when listening to the same story.
A final point is that this noise cancelling device for your home isn’t just for aiding sleep, it’s also very useful for meditation, relaxation, speech privacy, and study. This sound maker is one of the best on the market and has an excellent track record for helping folks fall asleep easily when it’s time to hit the sack!back to menu ↑
Bose QuietComfort 20 acoustic noise cancelling headphones/earbuds
The electronic giant Bose has been working hard on noise cancelling technology for over 30 years. The technology was first used in their over-ear headphones – the QuietComfort 25. Thankfully the tech has been miniaturized and introduced to their flagship in-ear headphones – the QuietComfort 20.
They feature a battery pack located near the 3.5mm aux plug. It’s long and sleek, but not too heavy that it can cause damage to the headphone socket of your phone or tablet. The battery brick isn’t the smallest we’ve ever seen (measuring approx 9cm x 3cm) and there are two LED lights that keep you informed of remaining battery life and whether or not the noise cancelling function is in use.
Bose claims that these headphones offer 16 hours of noise cancellation music, but in our tests we got an average of 13 hours on a single charge. However, when the battery runs out, the earbuds will continue to play music, just without the noise cancelling feature.
The earbuds have a cool and funky design. They have rubber tips at the back of the earlobes which are attached to cone-shaped corridors near the eardrum. The design gives the QC 20 and excellent playback sound. The second advantage of this design is a perfect fit for most ears which means that no external noise cannot be heard.
In our opinion, the QuietComfort 20 have the best active noise cancellation technology of any earbuds on the market today. This is achieved by using an array of microphones located in the buds and an electronic chip found just behind the inline remote.
The earbuds work by identifying unwanted sounds and creating opposing signals to cancel them. They also play music exactly the way the artist originally intended as no particular frequency is favored during playback.
Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs
The Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs earplugs are a cheap and effective way to cut out noise when you need to get some sleep. They are also recommended for stopping harmful noise at concerts or even on construction sites.
These unique triple flanged design earplugs are great for sleeping because they provide a muffled sound experience. But you don’t need to worry because you can still hear loud sounds such as fire alarms or alarm clocks.
You get two pairs in each package, one pair for smaller ears and one for larger. They come with a handy elongated pull tab so it’s easy to remove them. They are made from soft, non-toxic, hypoallergenic silicone and feel very comfy in the ears.
We love the waterproof storage case to keep them safe and dry and this also prevents bacteria from growing inside it. The ergonomically designed aluminum case can also be clipped on to your keyring or a backpack – when you’re traveling.
Getting technical, the proprietary attenuation filters in these earplugs reduce all noise evenly across all spectrums, but they will not muffle voices or music – they simply reduce the overall sound level so you can get silent sleep without worrying about not hearing your alarm clock in the morning.
In short, the Eargasm High Fidelity Earplugs are a great way to reduce the effect of sound while you are sleeping and they’re comfortable and cheap, too!
SleepyTi.me – A calculator in which you input the time you need to wake up, and it gives you the recommended time that you need to fall asleep.
Rainy Mood – As you have probably guessed, this website will play you a soothing stream of rain and storm sounds to help you sleep. If you scroll down to the bottom, you will see a link to “Today’s music,” which is updated daily.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like to discover the life-changing benefits of breathing through your nose while sleeping from our health section.