This week I was the recipient of a ten-year anniversary gift from Pete (meaning I opened a package with his name on it and was all "Hey cool! Is this for me?!"). The gift was a set of AcousticSheep SleepPhones - wireless headphones embedded in a plush headband which receives audio from your nearest device.
The main reason he got this for me was to listen to soundscapes, music and podcasts more comfortably in bed. I use audios to kick start the meditative mind awake/body asleep state which is great practise for lucid dreaming.
But it's also a top selling product among joggers, air travelers, the partners of snorers, and insomniacs. And so AcousticSheep SleepPhones have applications in entertainment, leisure, sport and sleep therapy.
Until now, Pete had noticed I've been listening to earphones in bed at night, which has the major drawback of not being able to lie on your side (or the pressure creates pain in one ear).
I've also been known to roll over and unwittingly drag my tablet off the bedside table by the attached wires. The ensuing crash of electronics woke up all manner of dogs and toddlers who were sleeping soundly in the bedroom moments before.
I thought this was a pretty solution and I was excited to try it out.
Once we agreed I would stop opening exciting-looking packages with Pete's name on them, I was ready to use my new device.
It's a simple set-up job: remove the control pad from the headband and switch it on by holding the middle button down until it flashes red. It then automatically pairs with your nearest Bluetooth device.
The control pad comes out of the box with a 50% charge (with a full battery life lasting 10-13 hours) so you're ready to start using your wireless headphones immediately.
Despite the pictures, I suggest you put the headband on with the logo at the back. This ensures the headphones (which are flat pads, by the way) are aligned with your ears. You can scootch them round further for better alignment or remove them completely to wash the headband, in case you have a smelly head.
I'm not saying you do have a smelly head, I'm just saying you might. It's probably not my call to make, seeing as I've not smelled your head before.
The actual experience of wearing sleepphones is really cool. The sound quality to me is superb. And the fact that the headphones are wire-free and snuggled up against your head makes it an immersive experience listening to gentle music and white noise in your meditation training.
(If you want a recommendation, listen to a free sample of BlissCoded Sound. This is great for meditation and insomnia, especially when your mind won't shut down and the mental chatter is incessant.)
Now, I'm a technological imbecile and have no idea how Bluetooth works - so I wandered around the house with the headband on to see how far the sound would follow me.
As it turned out, I couldn't manage to lose the connection on my travels, so I guess it's just like having wireless internet in your house; it reaches everywhere.
There are three main variations of AcousticSheep headphones and this review is about the latest wireless version. If you're investing in this type of technology I certainly recommend the wireless.
Here's a glance at how the different models compare:
The AcousticSheep Wireless SleepPhones are among the bestselling sleep gadgets on Amazon. It's a neat tool for inducing meditative states and for relaxing into a sleep state at night. I highly recommended it.