Switching genres slightly, I next selected "Hymne" off Vangelis's Opera Sauvage album. The sound was impressively neutral. I'd been concerned that my big fat head would crush the earphones, but rolling on my side (and thus pressing the earphone against my ear) proved only to increase the bass. You'd think putting your head on an earphone would be uncomfortable, but I didn't notice any undue pressure.
Aiming for something a bit more somnolent, up next was "1/1" from Brian Eno's Music for Airports. As the piano phased in and out with its simple melody, I found myself relaxing as the music was designed to do. I could see the SleepPhones really working for some people. They're comfortable enough that you don't really notice them, regardless of your position as you try to fall asleep.
I tried the whole "sleep learning" thing by playing some language lessons, pero hasta donde yo sé, yo no aprendí nada.
I toss and turn a lot in my sleep, giving me pause attaching something with a wire to my head. A wireless version of the SleepPhones for us restless resters would be cool.
As someone who prefers silence in my sleeping environment, I can't vouch for the SleepPhones ability to truly evoke snoozing. They are, however, relaxing and comfortable enough to wear without being overly noticeable, and more comfortable than any other headphones I've ever tried. I'd imagine anyone who wears earplugs or wants some noise around them would find the SleepPhones awesome. They're as close to not wearing headphones as one could hope for. That they sound pretty good is an added bonus.
In all, the Sleepphones are a neat niche product that will no doubt amuse some (check out the full Sheep System), but will likely be a must-have for others. The company also markets a line of sleep-inducing CDs and DVDs, as well as RunPhones, a sweat-wicking sister product meant for those who'd rather not take things lying down.
And hey — if they help you get a good night's sleep, SleepPhones are probably worth $40.
Brent Butterworth and Geoff Morrison combine their years of gear testing and knowledge in one überblog of irreverence and techiness.
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