Once I started reviewing them (and was working from home), I quickly became a fan of earbuds and headphones with active noise cancellation (ANC). One thing I had not considered was trying to use an ANC headset to try and make it easier to sleep in noisy solutions. Then again, standard audio – even in earbud form – tends to be bulky, and stick out a bit. The QuietOn 3 tackles all of that head on.

To put it simply, the QuietOn 3 are the smallest earbuds I’ve ever encountered. This is great in this particular application (sleeping) for a couple of reasons. First off, it makes them very light. Secondly, they set quite deeply into your ear, meaning you’re less likely to have them fall out or be knocked out by moving in your sleep. How do they accomplish that?

Well, you see, the QuietOn 3 is not going to pipe any music or podcasts in to your eardrums. They have no wireless connectivity at all. So, removing those bluetooth radios, as well as the larger drivers needed to reproduce sound, makes for a much smaller package. Also no need for any touch surfaces to interact with things. Pull the earbuds out of the case, and they’re on and ready to go.

The big question, of course, is how well the QuietOn 3 actually works. The first layer of sleep assistance they give is of the passive sort. They’ve got foam tips on there (in four sizes) that you squish down, and then insert the earbud into your ear. You let it expand for 15-20 seconds, and then rotate the earbud to lock it into place in your ear. At that point, the active noise cancellation is also on, counteracting the noises it hears around you.

I tried them a few nights when I went to bed, and it sure does eliminate the noise you might hear. No worries about the fan running in the room, or even noisy birds in the morning. Still, with kids in the house, I feel like I need to be able to hear what’s going on at night if there’s an emergency, so I didn’t use them at night much after those first few nights testing it.

Where the QuietOn 3 really shone – for me – was when I had to sleep during the day. I was a bit under the weather, and needed a nap to recharge. Normally, it’s just cranking the fan up and putting a pillow over my head to block noise from the family. With the QuietOn 3 in place, that was all just blocked out. I was able to sleep peacefully, and didn’t have any interrupted sleep due to noise.

So, while I may not use the QuietOn 3 much at night, if I’m needing to sleep during the day, these are going to be all but required. I could see them being helpful as well if you’re the sort who gets anxious by all the outside noises when you camp. Then of course there’s all the usual uses of sleeping near noisy roads, or if you happen to be in a rather noisy hotel. Whatever the setting, the QuietOn 3 should work quiet well, and stay tightly in your ear once you’ve got the right eartip selected.

If you think the QuietOn 3 is just what you’ve been searching for, you’ll need to bring $269 along for the price of solitude. Sure, that’s a bit pricier than whatever affordable ANC headset you’re more accustomed to using. But for something purpose-built for comfortable sleep, it’s a small price to pay if you’re the sort that cannot sleep with any noise going on around them. To get your pair, you can head on over to quieton.com

Tech Specs from QuietOn

By Patrick Kansa

A big data developer and leader with a penchant for gadgets, books, watches and beverages. You can find my work on WristWatchReview, Knapsack.News, and Slushpile. If you're on Twitter and/or Instagram, you'll find me there as @PatrickWatches.

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