Best Noise Cancelling Headphones for Sleeping 2016

Headphone Advice

Getting the right amount of a good night’s sleep is beneficial for every person’s health and well being. The continuous lack of it usually results to less productivity, mood swings, stress and other health problems. However, due to some external factors and disturbances, getting a good quality sleep is not always possible.

Some people find that listening to music make them more relaxed and help them sleep faster than without, while others resort to making their rooms soundproof to eliminate unwanted noise from outside.

While this option can be effective, it not only expensive but also time consuming as you have to remodel the whole room which leads you to finding alternative ways to reduce or eliminate ambient noise.

One of these options is using a pair of noise cancelling headphones that can be used to play music and also for sleeping to cancel out distractive noise like the snore of your partner.

How do Noise Cancelling Headphones Work?

Basically, noise cancelling headphones create silence rather than noise. There are two types of nose cancelling headphones:

  • Passive noise control – this type of noise cancelling technique makes use of unique headphones specifically designed to physically prevent external soundwaves from reaching your ears. These are popularly known as “noise-isolating” headphones. These headphones use materials that absorb sound like high density foam to make a snugly-fitting external seal around your ears or inside your ear canals.
  • Active noise control – this type of noise cancelling technology is a step up from passive noise control. Aside from blocking out unwanted external noise from reaching your ears, active noise control actually creates its own sound waves to mimic the noise but 180 degrees out of phase. This offsets the unwanted noise ultimately eliminating it. This process is also known as “destructive interference”.

Top 3 Headphones that can be used for sleeping

Two kinds of noise reduction headphones are available for sleeping purposes:

  • Fabric – headphones for sleeping made with fabric block external sounds from reaching your ears through noise isolation. Fabric-made headphones are more comfortable to use when sleeping but may not be able to filter that much sound.
  • Electronic – these more advanced headphones have electronic noise-cancelling features that effectively blocks more external sounds than fabric headphones. However, since advanced technology is used, this type costs more than fabric headphones and is not very comfortable to use when sleeping.

AcousticSheep SleepPhones

Price: $ 39.95

Amazon Rating: 3.7

A noise cancelling headphone made of soft fleece-like fabric in a headband design. Embedded in the fabric is a pair of small, thin and flat speakers with the cord coming out on the back side of the headband which can be plugged into an mp3 player or radio.


  • Effective in blocking out external noise with music playing on your ears.
  • Also works as an eye mask to prevent light from waking you up.
  • The fabric is soft and comfortable to wear when sleeping.
  • The speakers can be moved freely within the fabric so you can adjust them to your liking.


  • Sound reduction relies greatly on the music. If the external sound is quite loud, you need to crank up the volume to offset it.
  • On its own, the fleece-like fabric doesn’t do much in reducing noise.
  • The standard 3.5mm plug can be limited especially if you’re on the habit of keeping your phone under your pillow when asleep.


Price: $ 22.95

Amazon Rating: 3.5

Designed to be used not only for sports but also for sleeping, this product is available in soft-micro fleece material and dryfit material. The speakers are buried in the fabric and can be rotated or moved around easily.


  • Depending on your environment, you can choose the fleece band for a warmer feel or if you are in a hotter place, you may opt for the dryfit make as they are more comfortable to wear.
  • The sound quality is still quite good considering its affordable price.
  • External sounds like light snoring and traffic are effectively blocked from reaching your ears.
  • The headphones are removable in case you just want some noise reduction by covering your ears without any music involved.


  • Depending on how soft or hard your pillow is, there’s a chance that you may feel the speakers on your ears even though its covered with fabric.
  • Like the SleepPhones, it greatly relies on your music to block off noise, and the fabric alone will not prevent most ambient noise from being heard.
  • The fabric can produce extra warmth on your head if you’re sleeping in a hot room which would make it uncomfortable.

Bose QuietComfort 20

Price: $ 299.00

Amazon Rating: 4.5

When it comes to noise cancelling technology, Bose is known for the quality of its products. The QuietComfort 20, is a small and lightweight in-ear headphone great for daily music listening and also popular for its noise cancelling feature.


  • Lightweight and comfortable to wear even when you’re trying to sleep.
  • Because of its advanced noise cancelling technology, most external sounds can be efficiently blocked off.
  • The ear tips are soft and with its exclusive StayHere+ design, the tips conforms to your ear preventing it from easily slipping out.


  • Expensive

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