While these headphones are marketed to people looking to sleep in a bed while comfortably wearing headphones, we tested the SleepPhones as an inflight way of blocking sound and listening to music while sleeping using travel pillows or the built-in airplane seat headrest.
Pros: The enveloping headphones deliver reasonably good sound without ear-poking discomfort. They allow you to comfortably lean on a pillow while listening for an extended period of time, and create a light sound barrier that facilitates inflight sleep. It doubles as a sleep mask, and there’s a free app you can download with soothing sounds, white noise, or piano music. They’re also useful if you want to dull ambient sounds or like to fall asleep listening to music at hotels.
Cons: Because the earphones are inside the headbands, and the headbands stretch depending on your head size (the headphones come in three sizes), the placement of the earphones themselves is imprecise—but even so sound was never an issue in the test.
How SleepPhones Rate:
- Usefulness: 10/10. A great tool for anyone who wants to be able to fall asleep on a plane while listening to music, meditations, white noise, or anything else.
- Value: 9/10. The $40 SleepPhones Classic model worked well, but anyone looking for a wireless experience, built-in microphone, or built-in volume control can find those features for a higher price.
- Durability: 10/10. The cord is sturdy and doesn’t tangle easily, and the headband is machine washable (you remove the speakers first, of course).
- Cool Factor: 9/10. Usually things that facilitate comfort inflight are embarrassing looking, but the SleepPhones just look like a headband.
Final Verdict: It’s hard to use a travel pillow with large, noise-cancelling headphones, and earbuds can cause a lot of discomfort when you lean against them while trying to sleep upright for extended periods. SleepPhones offer reasonably good sound with no discomfort. These headphones are now part of my standard sleep-on-a-plane trifecta (the other two parts of which are the J Pillow and a Benadryl).
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