Recommendations for headphones and alarm clocks
July 22, 2010 9:12 AM   Subscribe

What are your recommendations for 1] headphones I can wear to bed and 2] an alarm clock that will vibrate and wake me up?

1] I've seen the Sleepphones. Are these things any good? Comfortable to wear? Do they block out noise effectively? I toss and turn a lot in bed - will I end up strangling myself on the wire? Any other similar products out there?

2] On reading this thread, I'm leaning towards a Sonic Shaker. However, I'd prefer something that doesn't have LEDs on it. Does such a thing exist? Any other models or products that work in the same way?

Personal recommendations and experiences are very welcome.
posted by Solomon to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
For the headphones, why not try a Pillow Speaker instead. You slide it inside your pillowcase, and you'll be the only one who hears it.

You can get them at Radio Shack for like $15.
posted by xotis at 9:15 AM on July 22, 2010

You may wish to explore ThinkGeek for clocks. They have some pretty fun ideas there.
posted by mcarthey at 9:25 AM on July 22, 2010

We have a pair of headphones from RCA which are held on by a soft rubber "accordion" clip behind the ear. The ear pieces themselves are out-of-ear, and the whole is very light-weight and easy to sleep with. Basically like the sleep-phones, but without the headband; only advantage might be being more comfortable on a very hot night.
posted by jb at 9:29 AM on July 22, 2010

I got this vibrating alarm clock a few months ago and had several problems with it: 1) the vibration was so strong that the sound of it would wake my wife up, totally defeating the purpose of a supposedly soundless alarm, and 2) the construction was flimsy and the kids dropped it a few times and it now only works if you don't move it at all, which defeats the vibrating purpose. So don't buy that.

I searched high and low for a replacement and read tons of reviews and almost all of them mentioned that the sound of the vibration was loud enough to wake up a sleeping partner. So here's what I do instead, with great success: I use my cellphone. Set the alarm, switch to vibrate mode, stick it under your pillow (inside the case) and voila - a vibrating alarm clock. Works beautifully.
posted by widdershins at 9:39 AM on July 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I bought Sleepphones. I'm very happy with them.

Comfortable to wear?
Yes, yes, yes. SO MUCH BETTER than the earphones I was using before this. My ears are super happy.

Do they block out noise effectively?
They do not block out noise as I imagine noise-cancelling headphones would. But I can hear what I want to listen to and the rest of the world (including a certain boypublisher's snores) is sufficiently muffled.

I toss and turn a lot in bed - will I end up strangling myself on the wire?
Usually the headband gets pulled off my head while I sleep, either down around my neck, or off the top -- so i've not had any trouble. Once I woke up with the wire wrapped around my neck once, but not tightly. Probably it was because the headband had not slipped down, and any tension on the wire would have just pulled off the headband. Also, inside the headband, the speakers are loose so you can adjust them, so there's a lot of give.

Are these things any good?
Yes! They did exactly what I wanted them to. I use them most nights.

Could they be better? Yes, sure, but I'm content.
posted by girlpublisher at 9:42 AM on July 22, 2010

I have been very satisfied sleeping with the Apple in-ear headphones.
posted by markmillard at 11:42 AM on July 22, 2010

Like floam, I just use my phone's vibration alert for a vibrating alarm clock. Works great, but I'm a light sleeper.
posted by quin at 12:25 PM on July 22, 2010

If you can wear a watch while you sleep, there are many with vibration alarms.
posted by rhizome at 12:41 PM on July 22, 2010

I use the wakeassure by ameriphone as my vibrating alarm clock. It's not portable (wall current), and it's a little bright, if that bothers you, but the thing is a tank. And you can, if you choose, plug a lamp into it (the plug has a pass-through) and use that as a secondary alarm. Or, like me, you can have it only vibrate, but use the snooze button on top of the alarm to turn it off; I find that's a bit easier than fumbling in the dark for a pushbutton, but maybe that's just me.

As for what widdershins said ... any alarm clock with a reasonably strong vibration will make noise. Fact of life. Sorry. Sucks to be hearing now, doesn't it? ;)
posted by spaceman_spiff at 12:59 PM on July 22, 2010

I use a behind-the-head style.
These have been my favorite. The little loop behind the ear is really easy to pop off and makes them a bit less noticeable if you sleep on your side.
Only a couple times in several years have I gotten wrapped up in the cord. I use a headphone extension and put a loop of cord under my pillow or near the edge of the bed. Most nights I'll wake up and take them off. Many mornings I'll find them neatly placed on the floor and I don't even remember doing it.
posted by gally99 at 4:16 PM on July 22, 2010

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