I am one of those highly annoying people who can’t sleep without some sort of background noise, my wife hates it. As bad as it must be for sleep hygiene, I have to have a podcast or old show playing as I drift off or it takes me forever and a day to go. You can imagine then, being in the same bed as me can get on someones nerves who needs silence. It’s not like I haven’t tried various options: Pillow speakers, headphones and even bone conducting headphones – I didn’t get on with any of them. Enter Soundcores Sleep A10 Noise Blocking Sleep Earbuds.
What are the Sleep A10 Noise Blocking Sleep Earbuds?
These impossibly small buds are, in the most basic terms, ear plugs with added technology. If you want to be able to listen to music, podcasts or audio books you can but these buds have one more trick up their sleeve. Not everyone listens to those things though, some people enjoy a dive in to white noise and this is where Soundcore really did a good job. Each bud has a minimal amount of onboard storage that can hold a track uploaded from their extensive sound library – my particular favourite is the rain / thunderstorm.
Side or back sleeper, it really doesn’t matter thanks to the miniature size of the buds. Thanks to the sheer number of options Soundcore provide for ear tips and wings, they remain comfortable however you lay your head down.
The touch controls can be set to what you want and don’t get triggered by the pillow. I might not like touch controls much but these have proven pretty solid.
If you’re a gadget lover, these can also monitor your sleep health but I’ve not succeeded in getting that working.
What about battery life?
Just like every headphone on the market right now, the Sleep A10 come in a self-contained case with internal battery. The earbuds are advertised to have 6 hours battery life when listening to music and 10 hours when listening to white noise in sleep mode. In my tests I’ve found this to be pretty accurate but only when listening with very low volume.
The charging case gives up to 40 hours of additional power, charged using USB-C. It’s a shame that Soundcore chose not to include wireless charging as I feel it would have been beneficial.
So why not just ordinary headphones
That’s a really good question but can only be answered based on how you sleep. I’m a side sleeper so anything that sticks out from the ear is a no no. The Sleep A10 buds are small enough to not protrude and cause discomfort as you lay down. If you’re a back sleeper, normal headphones might just work for you.
The benefits of the sleep buds come from the lack of normal technology we come to expect of buds. With no microphone you won’t be tempted to make a call or send a voice note. The absence of ANC prevents you from wanting to take them outside leaving your other headphones charged.
What’s the Sleep A10 experience like?
Let’s start with the passive noise cancelling: take the time to choose the right tips and it’s amazing. Ensuring you put them in to your ear canal properly results in a fantastic sound isolation, perfect for sleep.
Listening to music or spoken audio is clear and volume can go quite high. If you want to finish listening to something before you drop off, these will do the job. Don’t forget you’re lowering the battery life doing this.
Finally we come to the white noise, not something I would have considered using previous to owning these. The library is extensive and the sounds are of high quality – as previously said, I love the thunderstorm. I should point out at this time, to use sleep mode you must have the app installed.
The Soundcore app is functional and straightforward to use. Assign the touch controls how you want and you can swap between music and sleep mode easily. Finally, you have to use the app to listen to and upload the white noise of your choice.
So should you buy the Sleep A10 Sleep Earbuds?
Priced at approximately £120 (Amazon, April 2023) these earbuds are an expensive luxury. They sit in a similar price range to other modern sleep buds including the Bose product but offer more features. What you really must ask yourself is, can they benefit my sleep? For me, the answer was 100% yes, especially with a wife who needs silence at night time.
Battery life when you consider the size is amazing, it’s a shame that they didn’t include wireless charging. I can’t see that as a reason not to buy the Sleep A10 earbuds but you might. The biggest issue I face with the charging case is that sometimes, the buds don’t sit right and won’t charge. A quick fiddle (ooh la la) and that’s resolved but it could be better.
I’ve worn these for about 75% of the nights since buying them 3 months ago. I wouldn’t change them for the world as they’ve improved my sleep more than I can say with words. Check out these before and after sleep graphs courtesy of my watch.
There are other brands of sleep buds out there and as previously mentioned, headphones might just work for you. I’ve not tested the sleep tracking or even succeeded in getting data from it – watches do that better.
Check out more tech posts using the link here.