You know the feeling – you really need a good night’s sleep after a busy day, but your mind keeps racing and for some reason you just can’t settle down and stop working. It’s something that’s happened to me a lot in recent months, and I’m not alone; Sleep problems were common during the pandemicEven in people who are not infected with the virus.
The only thing that often helps me drift off is some ambient ocean noise from rainy mood The app is on my phone (with seagull effects turned off), but playing it on my phone’s speaker risks disturbing my husband, and sleeping with headphones is inconvenient.
There are alternatives like The SleepPhones from AcousticSheepThey are basically small speakers built into a soft headband, but wearing anything around your head at night takes some getting used to, and when you’re really pressed, it’s the last thing you need. I discovered an alternative, though – something that’s easy to use, impossible to feel at night, and costs less than my lunch.
The device in question is the SoundLAB Pillow Speaker – a modest little triangle of cream-colored plastic, reminiscent of computers from the early ’90s. brought me back £4.21 on AmazonAnd the It’s available in the US for $9.99. Arrived packed in a plastic bag without box, with absolutely no brand on it. Don’t let its ugliness fool you, though — it’s actually a pretty cool little package (and you won’t see it when it’s under your pillow).
cheap and cheerful
First, it’s worth noting that the SoundLAB connects to your phone, radio, or other audio device of your choice using a 3.5mm headphone jack, which can be a problem if you have a more modern phone than mine. Fire Phone 3. Fortunately, the speaker has a 65cm cable, which is more than enough to run from my bedside table to my pillow without any danger of my phone being dragged on the floor.
You might be wondering why I don’t just use a small device Bluetooth headset Instead, avoid trouble. The answer is that lithium batteries can’t get very warm, and they can get dangerously hot tucked away under a few inches of hollow fibers. In the worst case scenario, an overheated battery cell can explode and create a cascade effect called thermal escape that eventually leads to an explosion.
This is the reason for all E-bike fires You may have seen it in the news lately, and it’s not something I want to happen under my head. It might not happen, but I’m not willing to take the risk.
The under-pad speakers are rather ugly, and the SoundLAB’s textured plastic doesn’t do so from an aesthetic point of view, but it’s actually a reasonable design choice. Unlike some of the others I’ve tried (which I’ll be reviewing soon as part of Sleep Awareness Week), it didn’t slide in and out of its position overnight.
Its weird flat shape means it’s impossible to feel, but when you lower your head you can hear anything playing on your phone (whether it’s an amazing soundscape from calm Narrated by Harry Styles, a podcast, or your favorite downtempo music), audio is emitted by grilles on the sides rather than the top, stopping the throttling of higher frequencies.
This isn’t the best under-pad speaker I’ve tested in recent weeks – that award goes to Roberts Radio and a Talking Pillow – but the SoundLAB is a third the price, and for my needs it’s just as good. If you like to listen to audiobooks, you may prefer the more detailed audio of Roberts model, but for everything else, SoundLAB is easy to recommend.
Now, when my brain refuses to settle down, I can just plug it in and light up the Rainy Mood and enjoy the soothing sounds of simulating the ocean without risking disturbing my husband. The fact that he’s not making fun of me for wearing a silly headband is also a bonus.
This article is part of TechRadar’s Sleep week 2022 (runs from Sunday 13 to Saturday 19 March), a week-long celebration of all things sleep. We’ll give you proven techniques and tips to help you sleep better, and we’ve rounded up all the highly-rated techniques to transform your sleep.
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