Using active noise cancellation technology along with traditional earplugs, the QuietOn 3.1 cuts out background sounds effectively to create an oasis of silence that can help you sleep better. If you have trouble sleeping because of noise levels, then these earbuds are money well spent.
- Long battery life
- Makes it virtually silent
- Tricky to switch to hearing mode
- Battery lifeThese will last up to 28hrs on a single charge, with the battery case providing power for three charges.
- Active noise cancellingUsing ANC, these earbuds block more noise than standard earplugs alone.
If you have trouble sleeping because of noise and find that traditional earplugs can’t cut it, the QuietOn 3.1 sleep earbuds could be for you. Using active noise cancellation (ANC) technology alongside traditional earplugs, these cut out far more sounds, offering a quiet and restful night’s sleep.
Design and Features
- Multiple ear tip sizes
- Charging case
- Moves from hearing mode to ANC
The QuietOn 3.1 looks much like any other set of true wireless earbuds, although there’s a difference here: these aren’t actually earbuds and can receive no audio. Instead, these fancy earplugs use ANC to filter out background noise.
They’re a lot smaller than most earbuds and are designed to sit flush in the ear. QuietOn says that when you face a mirror, you shouldn’t be able to see them.
A good fit is most important, which is why QuietOn provides three different ear tip sizes in the box. It’s worth trying them all and picking the set that gives you the tightest fit. The foam expands slightly in the ear canal to block out noise in the same way that traditional earplugs do.
I found that the middle size worked best for me. With these tips on, I needed to insert the buds and give them a gentle twist to lock them into position. It took a couple of nights to get it right. When I first tried the earbuds, I woke up to find that one or the other had fallen out before I mastered the art of getting them securely in place.
Of course, the big difference here is ANC. The Quieton 3.1 uses a microphone to record background noise and then generates an inverse wave to cancel out the sound.
Removing the earbuds from the case puts them into the hearing mode, where the microphones let through all noise. This is common on headphones, providing a way to listen out for traffic or a public service announcement.
Here, it’s more likely to demonstrate that the buds are working: there was a sense of sharp cut-off when ANC turned on and the world around me went quiet.
There are no controls on the QuietOn 3.1. To turn on the hearing mode again, the case can be brought close to each bud while they’re in your ears. However, trying to get the case lined up properly to do this is something of an art form that I didn’t master. Every time, I found it easier to remove a bud than to faff about, attempting to hold the case to my ear.
Even when I did get it right, the QuietOn 3.1 buds only stayed in the hearing mode for about 20secs before turning on the ANC again.
In the morning, the QuietOn 3.1 buds can be dropped back into the charging case to top up the battery. Once the case has run out of juice, it can be charged using a USB-C cable, taking 3hrs to reach full battery.
- Comfortable to wear but takes some getting used to
- Effective at blocking out low frequencies
- Good battery life
Wearing earplugs takes some getting used to, and the QuietOn 3.1 is no different. Testing them over a period of a few weeks, I found that during the first few nights, I’d wake up and have to remove them. As I got used to the buds, I could wear them for longer periods and get through the night. The key to this is getting the fit right so that the buds would lie flush with my ears and make sleeping on pillows comfortable.
The noise-cancelling technology on the QuietOn 3.1 is impressive. Again, it takes a little getting used to. When ANC first kicks in, the lack of external sounds amplifies the noises that the body makes: I could hear little clicks in my neck as I stretched, for example. But after a few minutes, my senses adjusted and I got used to them.
Noise cancelling works brilliantly here. Testing the QuietOn 3.1 buds side by side with my Bose QuietComfort QC20 in-ear headphones, the former were clearly better, blocking out more noise.
ANC and earplugs work best with low-frequency sounds and constant background noise. I found that the QuietOn 3.1 would completely cut out the sound of washing machines or cars driving past. It’s also good at blocking the sound of snoring.
Higher-frequency noises, such as alarm clocks, aren’t filtered as well. That’s good news, as I could wear these buds and not worry about missing my alarm in the morning.
The QuietOn 3.1 isn’t very good at blocking out people talking. If you’re trying to sleep and someone has the TV on nearby, then the soundtrack is likely to leak through enough to make it difficult to sleep.
For general nighttime noise, I found the QuietOn 3.1 excellent. I’m quite a light sleeper, so sudden sounds will wake me. With these buds in, I slept through the night without hearing anything.
I also found the QuietOn 3.1 good for when I wanted to concentrate on work. Out in my garden office, the general noise of traffic, building work and people going about their business can be distracting. Sticking the earbuds in, I discovered an oasis of calm, with only the sound of my mechanical keyboard cutting through.
Battery life here is excellent, with the QuietOn 3.1 lasting for up to 28hrs on a single charge. That’s enough for three or four nights’ sleep before having to drop them back in the charging case, which provides enough juice for three charges. As I put the earbuds back into the case each morning, I found that they never ran out of battery during the night, and I only needed to charge the case roughly every week and a half.
Should you buy it?
If you have trouble sleeping because of noise levels, these earbuds will give you a cocoon of near silence.
If you have moderate noise around you or you are a deep sleeper, these are expensive, and a passive set of earplugs may do the trick.
At £249, the QuietOn 3.1 is quite expensive. These earbuds are more expensive than the excellent Sony WF-1000XM4 and not far behind the Apple AirPods Pro 2. That said, the QuietOn 3.1 is designed to do something different. They are more compact than regular wireless buds and are built to be comfortable to sleep with.
The question of whether this is money well spent will come down to how much difficulty you have sleeping because of external sounds. If the answer is a lot, then the QuietOn 3.1 buds will cut out more noise than standard earplugs and help you sleep better.
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No, these are just earplugs with built-in ANC.
It will last for around 28hrs on a single charge.
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