The QuietOn 3.1 headphones are a nice technical discovery: they are very small and use the ambient noise cancellation function to help you sleep better. But lo and behold, they cost $349 and are no more effective than $2 wax plugs.
Posted at 12:23 p.m.
The Finnish-developed QuietOn noise-canceling headphones, version 3.1 of which we tried, are based on a brilliant idea: using the ambient noise cancellation feature (“ANC,” as the acronym is), which is now built into most headphones , is not intended to improve the experience of listening to music or phone calls, but simply to sleep better.
This function is based on two methods: passive through the shape of the headphones and active through the use of software that emits an antagonistic sound wave and cancels the noise. The QuietOn 3.1 uses both. We first insert these two small 1.8 gram tips, which are covered with memory foam, as deeply as possible. Included are four sizes and a charging case that allows these headphones to be charged three times with a battery life of 28 hours.
At this weight and size they don’t bother you. You take it out of the case, place it and about twenty seconds later the ANC function kicks in and reduces ambient noise. Everything works smoothly and these QuietOn 3.1 are just as efficient as, for example, AirPods Pro for $329 or Pixel Buds Pro for $260. But they don’t play music.
We tried them over several nights in very different environments, sometimes while sleeping or just for testing, while traveling, in the car or on public transport. The QuietOn 3.1 are at their best when playing deep sounds, such as the background noise of a subway, ventilation or your partner’s snoring. At high frequencies they are less noticeable for more selective noises.
Do they make a difference? Yes, noticeable if you are a light sleeper and are tormented by frequent bass noises. Its autonomy delivers what it promises and its design and layout are clearly of high quality.
We like less
We read many very positive reviews, including in Forbes, The Verge, and CNet, and regretted that we weren’t as enthusiastic. Finally, we changed our habits and made a comparison with wax plugs, which were sold in all pharmacies for less than a dollar each. Result: These upper limits were also effective. Certainly bigger and less pretty, but these flaws are easily forgotten when their price is 175 times lower.
That’s all we have to criticize them for, but it’s a big criticism.
You buy ?
It’s obvious that the QuietOn 3.1 are more comfortable to wear than music headphones and their autonomy is unbeatable. It is conceivable that you will find the QuietOn 3.1 more comfortable than wax plugs for several reasons. More effective? QuietOn publishes tables showing this on its website, but we have not observed it.
We praise the QuietOn’s undeniable quality and advanced technology, but we can’t recommend purchasing it.
- Manufacturer: QuietOn
- Price: $349.99 (online at QuietOn.com)