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QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 (2023): Comparing Noise Cancelling Sleep Earbuds

Having a hard time sleeping? Maybe it’s time to consider sleep earbuds. The QuietOn 3 and Bose Sleepbuds 2 are both designed specifically for use while sleeping, to block out external noise and help users rest better. However, there are some key differences between the two. One uses active noise cancellation, while the other relies on passive noise blocking. One plays music, while the other doesn’t even have Bluetooth connectivity. Which one should you buy?

QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 Comparison Chart

ModelQuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds (3.1 version)Bose Sleepbuds 2
 
Price
TechActive noise canceling and passive noise attenuationNoise masking and passive noise blocking
Ear Tip MaterialFoamSilicone
Comfort Options4 ear tip sizes (XS, S, M, L)3 ear tip sizes (S, M, L)
Connectivityโ€”Bluetooth 5.0
Mobile Appโ€”Bose Sleep App
Set AlarmsNoYes
Incoming Call AlertsNoYes
Sleep MonitoringNoNo
Charging CaseYesYes
Weight1.8 grams2.2 grams

Design and Comfort

The QuietOn 3 earbuds are smaller and follow a more traditional design, while the Bose Sleepbuds 2 feature an ergonomic wing tip that delivers a more secure fit.

QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 Design
A closer look at the QuietOn 3 (left) and the Bose Sleepbuds 2 (right)

The latest iteration of the QuietOn 3, also known as the QuietOn 3.1, looks exactly like its predecessor. You get a pair of small wireless earbuds that can easily be mistaken for regular music-playing earbuds. Its diminutive size is because it doesn’t have Bluetooth (more on that later). As such, the earbuds don’t require additional internal hardware like large batteries or a Bluetooth antenna.

Unlike the first-gen QuietOn 3, however, the second-gen models upgrade to memory foam ear tips. The new material offers more cushion, conforms to your ear shape, and minimizes pressure build-up in your ear canal. Plus, at just 1.8 grams, it’s one of the more lightweight models on the market. And as is standard these days, the QuietOn 3 comes with several ear tip sizes and is resistant to water and sweat.

In contrast, the Bose Sleepbuds 2 sports fin-like wing tips made from flexible silicone. While they look strange, the ear tips are soft and comfortable. Their unique design also forms a snug fit without stretching out your outer ear’s ridged cartilage. Compared to the QuietOn 3, the Bose Sleepbuds 2 offers a more secure fit that’s less prone to falling out.

Meanwhile, the earbuds’ housing is plastic and features an antifriction coating. When it comes to the actual ear tips, Bose follows an umbrella-shaped design, similar to the Amazfit Zenbuds 2. This allows the earbuds to extend deeper into the ear canal, although it may feel invasive at times. Bose includes three sizes of ear tips in the box.

Technology

The QuietOn 3 uses active noise cancellation to block out noise, while the Bose Sleepbuds 2 rely on passive noise reduction, noise masking sound, and relaxing music.

QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 Noise Masking and Noise Cancellation
While they don’t completely envelope sleepers in silence, the QuietOn 3 cancels more ambient noise than the Bose Sleepbuds 2

Although the QuietOn 3 and Bose Sleepbuds 2 have the same purpose, their approach couldn’t be more different.

The QuietOn 3 earbuds are active noise-canceling earbuds that use microphones to pick up external noise and then generate sound waves that are the exact opposite, or “negative,” of that noise. This process cancels out the original sound, with the advantage of minimizing low-frequency noise waves like snoring.

Additionally, the earbuds also use passive noise isolation, which physically blocks external noise from entering the ear canal to further reduce ambient noise. However, the QuietOn 3 earbuds don’t have buttons, touch controls, or mobile controls. Instead, it automatically transitions from transparency mode to noise-canceling when taken out of the case.

In contrast, the Bose Sleepbuds 2 employ passive noise-blocking and noise-masking. With its unique wing tip and ear tip design, Bose’s sleep earbuds create a seal to keep out sleep disturbances, although not to the same degree as the QuietOn 3. It also works with optimized sleep sounds that work to mask external noise.

If you want to relax, the Sleepbuds 2 work with a companion app that allows you to choose from several pre-loaded soundscapes. These include white noise, nature sounds, and calming music. Bose has carefully engineered and curated over 50 of these tracks to help you fall asleep and stay asleep.

Other Features

The Bose Sleepbuds 2 offer more features than the QuietOn 3 sleep earbuds.

QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 Other Features
A look at the features of the QuietOn 3 (left) and custom soundscapes for the Bose Sleepbuds 2

As mentioned in the Design section, the QuietOn 3 earbuds don’t have Bluetooth connectivity. They’re not designed for listening to music or taking calls. While it may be a drawback for some, you may find reassurance that they don’t emit radiation.

Bose’s Sleepbuds 2 earbuds, on the other hand, are hinged on their ability to play sounds. So, if you simply want to relax in bed, these earbuds are a better option. Aside from customizing the soundscapes, users can also set up an alarm, useful if you oversleep thanks to the noise reduction. And similar to the QuietOn 3, the Sleepbuds 2 can’t answer calls.

For other alerts like smoke or intruder alarms, Bose allows sleepers to set a timer that stops noise masking, typically once you’re already asleep. Unfortunately, you don’t get these safety features from the QuietOn 3 earbuds.

There is a disadvantage to having added features. With the QuietOn 3 earbuds, you can simply put them in your ears, and it starts working. On the other hand, Bose’s Sleepbuds 2 must be paired first with a phone and then opened using the companion app.

Battery

The QuietOn 3 delivers a longer battery life than the Bose Sleepbuds 2.

QuietOn 3 vs Bose Sleepbuds 2 Battery Life
Both the QuietOn 3 (left) and Bose Sleepbuds 2 (right) come with USB-C charging cases

Since the QuietOn 3 has fewer features, it offers a much longer battery life. On a single charge, the earbuds can last for 28 hours. That’s good for three and a half nights and even longer if you sleep less than eight hours. Moreover, the accompanying charging case, which charges via USB-C, looks premium and is more pocket-sized.

Bose’s Sleepbuds 2 delivers a shorter 10-hour battery life or about two nights of sleep. Unfortunately, there have been issues with a phantom battery drain even when you’re not using the earbuds. Moreover, it takes six hours to fully charge the earbuds. As for the charging case, Bose opts for a sophisticated circular form factor with a sliding mechanism. It also charges via USB-C.

Click here for our picks for the best Bose Sleepbuds 2 alternatives.

Verdict

If you want a pair of no nonsense sleep earbuds, the QuietOn 3 is the way to go. However, those who prefer additional features at a lower price might like the Bose Sleepbuds 2 better.

When it comes to keeping out ambient noise while sleeping, the QuietOn 3 earbuds have the edge over the Bose Sleepbuds 2. Its use of active noise cancellation handles all frequencies better, and the lack of ‘bloat’ features translate to reliable battery duration. It’s also comfortable to wear, although not as secure as the Bose Sleepbuds 2, and easy to use.

The QuietOn 3’s drawback is its price. You’re paying close to $300 for a pair of sleep earbuds that don’t do anything but cancel out noise. If you want a few more capabilities, the Bose Sleepbuds 2 plays soundscapes and offers an alarm feature. It also retails for around $250. There are downsides, though, including unexpected battery drain and connectivity issues. But Bose makes up for it through exceptional fit and comfort.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What is the main difference between the QuietOn 3 and the Bose Sleepbuds 2?

The QuietOn 3 sleep earbuds use active noise cancellation, while the Bose Sleepbuds 2 employ passive noise reduction and noise-masking sounds.

๐Ÿ“Œ What type of battery do the QuietOn 3 earbuds use?

The QuietOn 3 earbuds are equipped with a 17mAh lithium-ion battery. For the charging case, QuietOn uses a 200mAh lithium-ion battery.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long is the warranty of the Bose Sleepbuds 2?

The Bose Sleepbuds 2 earbuds come with a limited one-year warranty.

๐Ÿ“Œ Can the Bose Sleepbuds 2 stream your own music, podcast, or audiobook?

No. The Bose Sleepbuds 2 can only play the curated soundscapes engineered by Bose.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.