Top 5 Best Earphones For Sleeping Under $250


If you’re a light sleeper or someone who has difficulty getting to sleep, a comfortable pair of headphones/earphones designed for sleep applications can really help you to get the quality of sleep you need.

Whether it’s traffic, neighbours or a snoring partner, these earphones can help to either block out disruptive noises, play calming white noise, ASMR or ambient music, or both! The goal is to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

With a $250 USD price cap, there are plenty of great earphone options for helping us sleep. In this article, we’ll go through the best options to help you pick out the best for yourself.

The top 5 best earphones for sleeping under $250 are:

You may be thinking that $250 USD is pretty expensive for a pair of earbuds and you’re absolutely right. At this price point, you’ll find the top-performing earphones made specifically to help you sleep and some others that happen to perform amazingly well, too.

Since we’re having a discussion within the context of a price cap, I figure I should leave a link to a related My New Microphone article: Are Expensive Headphones (Or Cheap Headphones) Worth It?


What Makes A Pair Of Earphones Great For Sleeping?

Though the term “best” is subjective, we should still list out the criteria used for determining what makes a great pair of earphones for sleeping.

  • Comfort: this is perhaps the simplest yet most important criterion of any pair of earphones. Though highly subjective, factors such as weight; shape, and the overall dimension play a role in comfort.
  • Noise cancellation: active noise-cancelling is a great feature for earphones/headphones to have if they’re being used to sleep with. Oftentimes the ANC is specified in negative decibels. Low frequencies are generally easier to cancel out so listen for higher frequencies when trying out noise-cancelling earphones.
  • Wireless: cables can get tangled easily as we move around during sleep, making wireless earphones preferred. In addition, any vibration in the earphone unit will cause the user to experience noise.
  • Battery life: because active noise-cancellation and wireless receivers require power, these earphones will require batteries. The amount of time it takes for the battery to drain from fully charged is an important factor to consider. A full charge should be able to last throughout our sleep and optimally even longer.
  • Impedance/device compatibility: consumer-grade earphones for sleep should be compatible with mobile devices and other consumer-grade audio sources.
  • Frequency response: a great pair of earphones should be able to reproduce the full audible spectrum from 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz with clarity.

With that, let’s get into our top 5 best earphones for sleeping under $250!


Sony WF-1000XM3

First up on the list are the popular Sony WF-1000XM3 (link to check the price on Amazon) true wireless earbuds.

Sony WF-1000XM3

The WF-1000XM3 earbuds feature Sony’s proprietary HD Noise Canceling Processor QN1e. This processor combines digital noise cancelling, 24-bit audio signal processing, and a digital-to-analog converter with headphone amplifier.

The Sony WF-1000XM3 is also featured in My New Microphone’s Top Best Noise Cancelling Earphones Under $200.

The active noise-cancelling circuit of each earbud utilizes dual microphones: one feed-forward and one feed-back. Each mic is on the surface of the earbud to catch more of the ambient sounds of the surroundings.

The low-power QN1e processor then cancels a significant amount of noise across almost all frequencies.

Unfortunately, a full charge will only get us about 6 hours of noise-cancellation in one go. That’s not long enough for most sleepers. However, if you’re only having trouble getting to sleep, then the Sony WF-1000XM3 can be a great choice.

Beyond noise-cancellation, these earbuds actually sound great when playing back audio. The tiny 6 mm driver in each earbud delivers rich, clear, expansive sound across the entire audible frequency spectrum. You can be sure that you’ll get clear audio with these earbuds if you so desire before falling asleep.

In fact, if you only want audio and no active noise-cancellation, the battery life of a full charge can be extended up to 8 hours.

You can also engage Digital Sound Enhancement Engine HX (DSEE HX) to upscale compressed digital music files. However, this really drains the battery quickly and isn’t really needed during sleep.

The ergonomic design of the WF-1000XM3 earbuds makes contact with 3 different points of the ear for a secure and comfortable fit. This allows the ANC to work so well as it provides the necessary passive noise-cancellation (physical blocking of sound reaching the eardrum).

To learn more about passive and active noise-cancellation, check out my article Passive Vs. Active Noise-Cancelling Headphones.

The true wireless earphones are completely cable free meaning there’s no risk of tangling the cable or yanking the earbuds out during sleep, which is a huge plus.

There’s a lot more to be said about the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds but I believe I’ve covered everything as it relates to sleep. To learn more, feel free to check out Sony’s website.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 0.24″ dome type Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Weight: 8.5g per earbud (79.38g charging case)
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

To learn more about headphone specifications, be sure to read my article Full List: Headphone/Earphone Specifications w/ Examples.

Sony is featured in My New Microphone’s Top 14 Best Earphone/Earbud Brands In The World 2020 and Top 13 Best Headphone Brands In The World.


ZQuiet QuietOn

Next on the list are the well-received ZQuiet QuietOn (link to check the price on Amazon) earbuds designed specifically for sleep applications.

ZQuiet QuietOn

ZQuiet’s QuietOn earbuds/earplugs combine the best of passive earplugs with the best of active noise-cancelling earbuds. Earplugs generally block high-frequency noise without doing anything to the low-end while ANC earbuds can often rid of the low-end without really affecting the high-end.

The QuietOn earbuds tackle both for optimal noise-cancellation.

These earbuds don’t have Bluetooth compatibility. They don’t even play audio! They’re built solely to cancel out noise to help improve your sleep.

Because the ZQuiet QuietOn is so stripped down relative to actual earphones/headphones, it benefits from excellent battery life. QuietOn earplugs only take an hour to recharge completely and last for a whopping 20 hours. That’s a long sleep!

These earplugs come with 3 different changeable ear tips of varying sizes. Choose the option that provides the best fit for your ears and you’ll get the best results. The variety here is to ensure that the earplugs offer full passive noise-cancellation by blocking the entire ear canal and stay put throughout the night by having a secure fit.

QuietOn features two modes: hearing and silent mode. Firmly press the mode button to change the mode to your desired noise level blocking. This makes it easy to hear the environment and block it out again without having to adjust the fit of the earbuds.

ZQuiet offers a 60-day money-back guarantee and they’ll even pay return shipping if you’re unsatisfied.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Weight: no info
  • Wireless/Wired: neither

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Effortless

Next up is a headband/headphone combination known as the AcousticSheep SleepPhones Effortless (link to check the price on Amazon).

AcousticSheep SleepPhones Effortless

Let’s start with the headband, which is made from a comfortable proprietary SheepCloud fabric (95% polyester and 5% spandex). Choose between a fleece headband (super soft, luxurious, and warm) or a breeze headband (breathable and moisture-wicking). This is the basis of the comfort of this unit.

The removable headphones are positioned inside the headband, over the ears, completing the wireless unit. They’re charged via magnetic induction on the charging base and can be taken out when it’s time to wash the headband. Charging time is listed as 3 hours and the battery life is a long 10 hours, long enough to handle a healthy sleep.

So those are the basics, now let’s discuss the headphones themselves.

The headphones connect wirelessly via Bluetooth to a Bluetooth compatible audio device. The wireless range is between 15 and 30 feet (5 to 10 meters).

These headphones don’t offer superb noise-cancellation but they do provide a comfortable pair of over-ear headphones to fall asleep listening to.

For that, I’d recommend these for people who prefer listening to something as they fall asleep rather than to those who want to block out external noise to sleep better. That being said, the SleepPhones could certainly help in either scenario.

SleepPhones offers a One-year limited warranty and 30-day return policy.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: no info
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: over-ear
  • Weight: no info
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth

Here are a few more options from SleepPhones that cost less and are worth checking out:


Dubslabs Moonbow Bedphones Wireless

The fourth option here is the Dubslabs Moonbow Bedphones Wireless (link to check it out at Dublabs) earphones.

Dublabs Moonbow Bedphones

The Dublabs Moonbow Bedphones feature a patented on-ear headphone that’s incredibly thin and infinitely adjustable. These headphones/earphones are designed specifically for sleep applications. They don’t push into your ear canal; they’re less than a 1/4” thick, and they’re covered in soft foam for maximal comfort.

The ear hooks keep the Bedphones in place and are infinitely adjustable for a custom fit. They’re made of gentle, rubber-coated memory wire for comfort.

The cable can be worn in front of or behind the neck and can be tied to help keep the Bedphone more secure throughout the night.

The general design philosophy here is to make an on-ear headphone that’s so thin and so lightweight that it’s barely noticeable even as the user lays on it. I’d say Dublabs succeeded in making this happen.

These headphones are inconspicuous to the user from a tactile sense and unnoticeable to nearby people in an auditory sense. Wear these wireless headphones to help mask sounds without disturbing your partner, helping you both to sleep better.

Unfortunately, these earphones do not provide any active noise-cancellation. They simply mask the noise around you with the audio you provide which may or may not be the best option for your situation.

An inline microphone with a single-button remote allows you to answer phone calls and play/pause/skip music without ever touching your paired phone (if you’re into that while sleeping).

They come with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty; a 30-day money-back guarantee; a soft travel bag, and a satin eye mask.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: 23mm Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: no info
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: on-ear
  • Weight: 23.5g
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth

Amazfit Zenbuds

Let’s wrap this list up strongly with the Amazfit Zenbuds (link to check the price on Amazon).

Amazfit Zenbuds

Amazfit Zenbuds are designed specifically to help you sleep. They are smart, active noise-cancelling earbuds with a sleep monitoring function to help you form healthy sleeping habits.

These ergonomic true wireless earbuds weigh only 2g each and come with 4 pairs of silicone sizing plugs to ensure a snug fit into your ear canal. This will provide some amount of passive noise cancellation to block out external noises. It will also keep the comfortable earbuds secure throughout the night. Unfortunately, the Zenbuds do not have active noise-cancellation circuits.

The Zepp application is required to use these earbuds and, unfortunately, we cannot upload or listen to our own audio files through the app. However, there’s a lot that the Zepp app can do with the Zenbuds. I like to think of this product as a hardware/software package rather than as a pair of regular earbuds.

To help get you to sleep, the Zepp app and Zenbuds can play different sleep-inducing sounds, imitating different scenarios and natural environments. There are audio files for meditation, pink noise, seabird calls, beach and waves, forest birds, rhymes of grace, frog calls, night in the forest, rainfall, and rooftop raindrops.

The Knowles full-range balanced armature receivers play these files with pristine quality.

Here’s where things get cool. The Zepp app, along with the Amazfit Zenbuds, will record your sleep status and stages to provide sleep reports. Using the Zepp App, you can check your sleep quality and get recommendations for a better sleep, helping you form healthy habits.

After you fall asleep, the earbuds automatically pause playing to preserve battery and help you to sleep soundly throughout the night.

In addition to all of this, the Zenbuds also provide a personal alarm clock that will only go off in your ears without disturbing those around you.

The app is still in need of some improvements in terms of tracking and there’s reason to believe these improvements will come. That being said, even with reduced functionality, the Amazfit Zenbuds are a great tool to help you fall asleep.

The micro lithium-ion batteries provide up to 12 hours of battery life on a single charge which is plenty more than is needed for a single sleep. With the rotatable charging case, there is an extra 56 hours of power, bringing the total battery life up to 8 nights of sleep.

Key Specifications:

  • Transducer Type: Dynamic
  • Impedance: no info
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 8 kHz
  • Sensitivity: no info
  • IP Rating: no info
  • Open/Closed-Back: in-ear
  • Weight: 1.78 grams per earbud (50g charging case)
  • Wireless/Wired: Bluetooth 5.0

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