QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds Are Perfect for Home, Work, and Travel

Dan reviewed the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds with active noise cancelation a few months ago; he’s happy to report that he still uses them every night. With CES 2022 on the way, I got the opportunity to check out a different use for the QuietOn 3; I wanted to see how well this latest generation worked while on a plane or in other situations where I might find myself needing peace and quiet.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds case

By December 26th, we had decided that covering CES virtually was the prudent thing to do. So  Zek and I changed our Vegas Airbnb reservation and flights, and we met in Miami to cover CES remotely together.

QuietOn sent me a pair of QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds to try while traveling to and attending CES; instead, they came to Miami with me.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds inside their case

This wasn’t my first opportunity to try QuietOn; I had reviewed their original sleep earbuds back in 2017, but the design has been so refined, and the technology has been tweaked much closer to perfection since then.

Original QuietOn Sleep Earbuds

Take a look at the difference in fit and finish between the Original QuietOn and the QuietOn 3! More pics of the original QuietOn at my review.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds come in a small enough charging case that you can easily slip into a backpack or purse pocket, which is perfect for travel. They charge via USB Type-C, and they have an array of LEDs to let you know they are charging or how much battery life remains before their charging case needs to be plugged back in.

It’s worth noting that the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds will last for 28-hours or about three nights of sleep with a full charge. The charging case also acts as an external battery pack; when fully charged, the case can recharge the buds an additional three times; this means that you can get over a week’s use from them before you need to plug the case back in, and the case itself takes about three hours to charge fully.

Apple AirPods on left, QuietOn 3 on right.

The QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds are tiny; unlike most earbuds, there’s just a small, barely noticeable “tail” that tucks neatly into an adult ear’s concha.

Woman sleeping with a pair of QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds in her ears.

The QuietOn 3 earbud’s small size has a very practical purpose: it means you can lay your head on a pillow or recline your airline seat without the discomfort of an oversize bud pressing on your tragus or adding any extra pressure to your surrounding ear.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds with case

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds are so small because they aren’t the typical active noise cancelling wireless earbuds; they don’t have Bluetooth for streaming music, they don’t have a speaker and microphone for making calls, and they don’t even have a power button to turn them on or off.

So why would you want them?

Instead of being a jack of all trades and possibly a master of none, the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds have one purpose — they make things as quiet as possible for you — and they do it very well.

When you remove the QuietOn 3 from their charging case and place them in your ears, their foam tip will immediately expand and block out some of the surrounding noises, as a regular earplug would do. The real magic happens thanks to the QuietOn 3’s active noise cancellation; it cuts just enough of the surrounding noise out so that it isn’t loud or distracting.

Instead of trying to mask outside sounds with white noise or peaceful music, the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds’ ANC simply gives you a blissful, muted silence.

They are specifically made to significantly dampen and possibly eliminate the low rumbly sounds that can travel through walls. You know what I’m talking about — the sounds from snoring, dogs barking outside, music, random street noises, construction next door, a television playing in the other room, a jet engine’s hum, people talking amongst themselves, and many of the other sounds that can make it impossible to concentrate, work, or sleep.


However, QuietOn 3’s ANC is not so powerful that you are completely isolated from the world when you have them in. That’s an important safety issue since you’d still want to be able to hear a smoke alarm if wearing them while sleeping or the pilot’s announcements if you were using them on a plane.

Noises with and without QuietOn 3

QuietOn 3 is efficient in canceling the noise but it will not create total silence. Nothing does. Here is a graph which shows how the QuietOn 3 performs with snoring. QuietOn 3 excels in the lower frequencies in the sound spectrum, such as the heavy bass music rumbling through the walls or the snoring of your partner next to you. When it comes to higher frequencies, the noise cancelling is similar to a pair of high-quality foam earplugs. So, no need to worry about oversleeping: You will not miss out on your alarm clock in the morning. If the snoring is particularly loud, it can be still partially heard, but the noise level is much lower to help you sleep.

Even though you need a good night’s sleep, there are still some things that you’ll always want to be able to hear, right? Like your baby crying over the monitor or your dog barking next to the bed because he needs to go out.

So how did my experience with the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds go?

I first tried them on the plane from SJT to DFW after getting settled into my seat for the first leg of our CES-East trip. After scooting my backpack under the seat in front of me, wiping down the hard surfaces around me with a sanitizing wipe, and fastening my seatbelt, I popped in the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds.

With them in my ears. I immediately felt a bit more relaxed as much of the tumult around me faded out — without any accompanying white-noise hum or a noticeable inner ear pressure change.

QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds

During all four flights that I would ultimately take for this trip, wearing the QuietOn 3 earbuds let me peacefully doze when I wasn’t reading or working. Even though they silenced much of the background noise, I could still hear the flight attendants when they came by and asked any questions.

On the plane, the QuietOn 3 worked well. They are comfortable to wear and discreet; most importantly, they eliminated or dampened enough of the surrounding noise that I could enjoy a peaceful flight rather than listen to the airplanes hum or the chattering people in the seats around me.

But I would soon find other uses for them.

In the apartment  Zek and I shared with friends (who had also opted to travel to Miami instead of Vegas), the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds once again came in handy. They made it possible to dial into work without distraction; they cut out much of the noise from four people sharing a workspace, so I could instead focus on editing and writing.

I was already a fan of QuietOn for how they had helped block out noise on the flight and in our shared workspace, but there was one more way that they came in handy.

I’ll admit that I’m not a fan of sleeping with anything in my ears unless there’s no other option for a peaceful rest; since my husband (a notorious snorer!) wasn’t coming along on this trip, I didn’t necessarily plan to use the QuietOn 3 at night. Even so, I was soon glad that I had them.

We stayed in an Airbnb that looked like a slightly less fancy version of the apartment complex from the show, Melrose Place. Doors to the various units opened into a central courtyard with a pool. Even though there were strict after-hours noise rules, people were still swimming or hanging around the pool at odd hours, and their voices would carry into our second-story apartment — even with the windows closed.

I usually sleep with a fan running because the white noise helps camouflage the sounds that might otherwise keep me awake. Well, of course, this apartment didn’t have any fans. But I did have the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds.

More than once, I found myself reaching for the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds when voices or other noises from outside would keep me lying in bed and unable to “turn off.” I found the QuietOn 3 surprisingly comfortable, even for a side sleeper like me, and I was grateful for the rest.

Overall, I would say that my experience with the QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds was very good. Their price is something that may give you a bit of pause, however. At $269, they cost as much (or more) as a pair of “full-featured” true wireless earbuds, but they can’t even play music!

But how much is being able to turn off worth to you? Only you can decide if they are worth the investment. All I can say about that is that if you regularly have to sleep on the couch or in another bedroom because of your spouse’s snoring, it’s worth it. If you regularly work in an area with a lot of surrounding noise that makes it hard to concentrate on the task at hand, it’s worth it. If you frequently fly and prefer not to listen to music or watch movies, it’s worth it.

With a 14-day money-back guarantee, you can give them a try and see how much they help!

If you’re intrigued, you can order your own set of QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds here.

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct smaller.com; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

7 Comments on "QuietOn 3 Sleep Earbuds Are Perfect for Home, Work, and Travel"

  1. What you want to be able to hear isn’t always the same. While you’d want to hear your own baby crying, if you’re on a plane and don’t have a baby, you probably don’t want to hear someone else’s baby crying. It’s probably impractical to accommodate this, because it would make a simple-to-use device more complicated, and possibly larger, which would go against making it small and comfortable to wear.

  2. This is exactly what I need during days after working the overnight shfit

  3. I’ve been keeping my over-the-ear headphones on even when not using them just as a noise dampener at home and when traveling. This is a simpler and less intrusive solution.

  4. A good option for those who have a snoring partner. The price is a bit prohibitive for me. Nice review!

  5. I would bring these everywhere I go

  6. I love the fact that I would still hear the smoke alarm while wearing them

  7. These look really nice, they look like they wouldn’t fall out of the ear. The sound quality is the most important thing!

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