QuietOn 3 Noise-Cancelling Earbuds Review: A Better Night’s Sleep

Last year was my first time using QuietOn’s noise cancelling earbuds. The QuietOn 2 buds were designed to help wearers sleep better. They did a great job blocking low-frequency noises like snoring and I was impressed by how well they performed.

However, they weren’t without problems. They were still larger than the other earbuds that I had tried, but they protruded too far from my ears to be uncomfortable for side-sleepers or front-sleepers like me.

I found that one of the buds was in my “outer”, and the other in my “inner” ear. The foam earplug was in the ear that was touching my pillow. Although it was better than earplugs, it still felt a bit disappointing to get half the benefits.

QuietOn started a crowdfunding campaign in March 2021 for the next model and began production of the QuietOn3 just a few months later. They promise a smaller, more comfortable, longer-lasting battery and a better user experience. I was curious to find out if they would be any different from the previous model. To test it out, the company sent me a pair.

Specifications and Features

The QuietOn3 earbuds have a different design to their predecessors. The flimsy charging box and glossy black plastic are gone in favour of a sleeker design. The matte white case is similar in size to Apple’s Airpods Pro. It’s just a bit taller and narrower than the Airpods Pro and closes with a satisfying snap.

The case’s interior is made of aluminium and has insets for the right and left earbuds. Insets for the left and right earbuds have three small LEDs at the top. These indicate the current charging status, as well as the battery level. Even though the tips can move around in their holders, the earbuds are magnetically connected to their charging pins.

A USB C charging socket is located at the back. Three additional LEDs are also found, each showing the current charging status and the battery level. The box contains a USB C cable, but it is not a wall charger. You will need to plug it into your laptop or charger. QuietOn estimates that the earbuds will last for around 28 hours and the case will hold approximately three charges.

Even though the earbuds are smaller than the Airpods Pro, they still have a lot of functionality. They are approximately the same height as the QuietOn 2 but much narrower and thinner. The box contains four memory foam tips, which range from small to large.

The QuietOn 3 works exactly like the previous version. It is specifically designed to block out low-frequency noises and help you sleep. The QuietOn 3 is not able to stream audio or other audio. It also doesn’t allow you to preload tracks onto your earbuds, as Bose’s Sleepbuds.

You don’t have to worry about Bluetooth connectivity or speakers to drive. This is why the earbuds last for over a day between charges. The charging time for the earbuds is around two hours. While the charging time for the case takes about three hours.

The tiny button at the side of the earbuds that turns noise cancellation on or off is missing this time. This feature was something I never used in real life. It was a hassle trying to find and press the button. I just used one of the earbuds to hear outside sounds. There was no loss.

Real-World Testing

The QuietOn 3 earbuds arrived in an attractive box that contained the buds themselves, four sets of foam tips (with one set attached), a USB-A to USB C cable and a brief instruction manual.

The company name was embossed on top of the case, and each earbud featured a small stylized logo on its outer side. The logo is almost invisible when the buds are worn.

Fit

QuietOn stresses the importance of tight sealing and comes with four foam tips to ensure that you have one. If the earbuds aren’t properly fitted, noise cancellation won’t work as well. The medium-sized tips worked well and filled my ears without becoming uncomfortable.

It was easy to insert the earbuds in my ears. However, it may take some practice for new QuietOn users. To “lock” the bud in place, I simply squeezed the tip and inserted each one with the stem facing up. I found that the foam tips were tight enough to fit my ears every time. This was at least 15-20 seconds after they had dried.

The difference in size between these and the previous model was obvious visually. It was even more apparent when I put them in my ears. The stem that used to protrude slightly behind the tragus (the small flap at the front of the ear canal), now sits in the back.

Operation

These earbuds have a very specific purpose and are therefore not worth much explanation. The noise cancellation is activated when you take them out of their case. They will start charging when they are put back in the case. They don’t need Bluetooth to pair or adjust settings, volume, or volume control. Just stick them in your ears, and you can go to sleep.

The most noticeable difference between QuietOn 2/3 and QuietOn 3 is not the size. It’s the battery situation. You get 40% more from a single charge and there is a battery inside the charging case.

This may seem odd, as every pair of wireless earbuds that you have ever tried has one. This was a strange decision, but the QuietOn 3 works much better than you would expect. You won’t need to plug the case into an outlet every day to use it. Instead, you’ll only need to do this once per week.

The case also has an additional feature that allows you to see how much juice is left in the earbuds. You can open the lid to check how much juice remains in each earbud as well as the case. Mind you, I would prefer the lights to be a bit dimmer and not stay on for as long. Thirty seconds of white light seems like an eternity when you grab an earbud from a darkened room.

The good news is that the earbuds last a long time. For two weeks I used one bud every night (more details below), and then put it back into the case every morning. The case had about a third of its battery left, and the earbuds were still fully charged.

While you can reduce that time by using both buds, you can still expect to last 7-10 nights before you need to find a charger.

I haven’t had the opportunity to test how the earbuds perform over their advertised 28-hour lifespan. This is not surprising. However, I can confirm that the two battery lights for each earbud showed up when I removed them from the case after putting them in for ten hours. Ten hours later, the last light flashed when I checked the battery level. It indicated that there was less than 30% left.

Comfort

The only problem I had with the old model was its comfort for side-sleepers. The hard plastic earbud casing pressed too tightly into my ear while it was resting on the pillow and amplified every sound. I ended up sleeping on my back or wearing an earbud in one ear and a foam plug in the other.

I was hopeful that the QuietOn 3 buds would be smaller than my previous hope. It’s much easier to find the right position for the “inner ear” because the earbuds no longer protrude. Combining this with the use of softer plastic seems to make small movements noticeably less. But it didn’t happen nearly as often.

The earbuds still have some issues. Although I was able to sleep for several hours without the earbuds, I found that I would wake up with some pain in my ear and need to either roll over or remove the bud.

My partner doesn’t snore so I didn’t need to block any other traffic or bird noise. A single bud sufficed to muffle the outside world. After a few days of testing, I decided to switch to one bud and wore it every night for the next two weeks without any discomfort.

The buds have been worn all day, while I was writing this review and for about an hour while I took a break (on my back) one afternoon. It’s hard work. In either case, I felt no pain or discomfort.

The QuietOn 3 earbuds have a significantly better fit than their predecessors. You’ll have no issues if you sleep on your side or back. You may find it more comfortable to sleep on your side or on your back with only one ear on the pillow.

Noise Cancelation

QuietOn claims it has not changed the noise cancellation in this model and that it is still designed to block low-frequency sounds such as traffic and snoring.  It’s a good thing?. It was a great thing?

The noise from most power tools and the rumbling engines was muted significantly. It was barely audible for most of the time. I could fall asleep or stay asleep using the earbuds. But, it was impossible without them.

Higher pitched tones like the truck’s reversing sound or concrete cutters’ angle grinders and concrete cutters were not as well blocked. In this instance, the earbuds were more similar to traditional foam earplugs. They reduced volume but did not eliminate it.

QuietOn recommends testing inside the house with items like AC units, washing machines, and TVs. These lower-frequency sounds were almost completely blocked, even though the TV was turned up louder than usual.

The QuietOn 3 was significantly quieter than the Airpods Pro and slightly less than the Sony HTML-1000XM2 headphones. These headphones were more comfortable while side-sleeping than the Airpods Pro, but that’s not an unreasonable standard.

Verdict

The QuietOn 3 earbuds have made a significant improvement over the previous model. They are more comfortable for side sleepers, thanks to their smaller and sleeker design.

In the older version, the lack of a charging case meant that there was a missed opportunity. This problem has been fixed and the earbuds last longer between charges. It’s possible to use the earbuds for several days without having to plug them into the wall, which is rare for mobile devices. They will easily outlast long travel days whenever they are available again.

After reviewing the older model, I stated that they were an excellent choice for those who sleep on their backs. They are not for everyone. This is still true for the QuietOn 3. However, I would suggest that anyone who struggles with noise or a noisy partner should consider these.

You can return the product within 30 days. Use the code to get 10% off your order.

 

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