(Pocket-lint) - If you have trouble sleeping then maybe you just need a helping hand? Or helping headphones. That's what Kokoon promises with its Sleep Headphones.
This over-the-ears gadget is designed to help you relax, unwind, and therefore get a better night's snooze. This is not just some headphones you wear in bed, but comfortable sleep-inducing cans that are built to adapt according to your personal experience.
Kokoon Sleep Headphones feature EEG (electroencephalogram) brainwave sensors, motion-sensing tech, and noise-cancellation (ANC) hardware, used in combination to help you ease into a peaceful slumber. But does it all really work?
Comfortable sleep-inducing design
- Built with natural fibres and silicone ear cups
- Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy/3.5mm audio cable, Micro-USB charging
- Active noise cancellation (ANC), passive noise isolation, active white noise
If you've had trouble sleeping, whether due to struggles winding down from the stresses of the day, or merely from disturbances to your sleep in the night, then you might have turned to music or white noise solutions.
Imagine Kokoon as being several steps further than that. After all, popping on some standard headphones and trying to listen to some white noise from your phone is going to be a messy, uncomfortable affair with bulky cans strapped to your head.
- Best noise-cancelling (ANC) headphones for blocking out noise when you're working from home
- Best Bluetooth headphones: Top on-ear or over-ear wireless headphones
The Kokoon Sleep Headphones is instead lightweight, flexible, and made from comfortable materials including soft silicon and natural fibres. These over-ears are also designed with both passive noise isolation and active noise-cancellation features - meaning as soon as you put them on, even without any sound playing, you're transported to a more peaceful, distraction-free world.
But again, Kokoon is much more than just a set of comfortable headphones. It's a complete package. The Sleep Headphones come with an accompanying app and a wealth of guided sleep programmes, music files, relaxing soundscapes, and more. It's this system, combined with the clever sensors inside, that offer a personalised experience to help you relax and unwind depending on the results you get.
- Motion-sensing tech
- EEG brainwave sensors (electroencephalogram)
- Personalised audio, programmes and soundscapes
- 500mAh Lithium-ion battery - for over 13 hours battery life
The Kokoon Sleep Headphones feature EEG brainwave sensors built into the earcups. These sensors come into contact with your ears while you're wearing the headphones, but in such a way that you don't notice. That's because the sensors are built on a wobbly silicone base to maintain comfort.
An EEG is a non-invasive way to record electrical patterns in the brain. At a clinical level it's used to help diagnose conditions, here it's used to understand and tailor your personalised programme to aid sleep.
This feature, along with motion-sensing technology, allows Kokoon to work out when you've fallen asleep, how long it took, and how deep your slumber was.
This, in turn, means the system can then recommend programmes and audio that's likely to be the most useful to you based on how you react.
This not only results in some pretty nifty data, but allows the headphones to adjust audio levels to account for you drifting off. Thus avoiding disturbing you once you do actually fall asleep.
You can find out more about how the system works here, but what we found was it meant a nice relaxing bit of sound before we fell asleep and less disruption to our slumber during the night.
Obviously something like this takes some getting used to. If you've been resting your tired head on a pillow every night and just battling it out with your brain to get to sleep, then wearing headphones and listening to sounds instead might not seem immediately intuitive.
But Kokoon is designed to help get you in the zone. When you first start using the Sleep Headphones, you're introduced to how things work with a number of short (10 minute-ish) guided sessions. Simply pop the headphones on, settle down somewhere comfortable and listen to the sleep-inducing tones of the narrator who talks you through it all.
From there you're guided through various breathing and relaxing exercises designed to help you loosen your limbs, relax your body and generally unwind your mind into a peaceful sleep.
These sessions are supported by various background audio sounds including those of summer meadows, the ocean crashing softly on a beach, a babbling brook, gentle autumn rains, a campfire crackling, or a flowing river. These as peaceful white noise options that continue once the guided audio sessions finish and help send you off to sleep.
We quickly discovered these sessions to be joyful. The gentleman who does the voice work has an incredibly relaxing tone and the make-up of the guided sessions quickly teach you how to unwind in various effective ways. You're taught how to focus on your breathing and relax your body while removing distractions from your mind. All of this is done in a satisfying way.
You can use Kokoon in various other ways as well. Whether unwinding in a "buffer zone" before bed, or relaxing during the day. We also found the combination of facemask (that's included) and active noise-cancellation to be perfect for naps during the day - when you're working, educating and child-minding all at the same time, it's needed - or sleeping when the sun is starting to spill through the curtains or the birds begin chirping outside the window.
Premium headphone fit
- Weigh: 350g
- 40mm drivers
- Washable ear cushions
The Kokoon Sleep Headphones is a fantastically designed product with a really comfortable fit.
We won't deny it takes time to get used to wearing headphones in bed. But they're narrow, comfortable, lightweight and not too bulky. If these over-ears do get too much, you can pop them off at any point in the night and they'll automatically go to sleep to save battery power. The entire system is cleverly thought out that way.
The one downside for many users may be adjusting to the sensation of wearing a headset at night. If you sleep on your side, the pressure of the earcups may be too much on occasion. Kokoon recommends soft, plump pillows to alleviate this issue. And we have to say, the comfortable design of the headphones is certainly better than it would be wearing normal earphones in bed.
As well as working with the associated app, Kokoon is also designed as standard headphones - if you want to play your favourite tunes. The headphones can connect via Bluetooth or with a 3.5mm cable. You can stream Spotify through your phone into these cans easily enough and with the active noise-cancellation turned on, you can enjoy some immersive listening too.
The two buttons on the headset not only act as controls for turning the headphones on and adjusting ANC, but also allow for pause/play and skip media controls.
Kokoon makes a point of saying that the Sleep Headphones is designed not just for sleep, but also for use in other places too - like on a plane, for example - where you can relax while blocking out the surrounding noise.
It's worth noting that these headphones aren't particularly loud though. We assume they're level-limited so you're not accidentally given a heart attack in the middle of the night, but during the day in a noisy environment, this might be problematic.
Bluetooth connectivity, of course, means these headphones need charging every now and then. We found we could get a few days use per charge, but that's going to vary depending on whether you make it through the entire night wearing these cans or use them during the day as well.
All told, despite our initial cynicism, we're impressed with the Kokoon Sleep Headphones. These over-ear sleep assistants don't come cheap, but as a comfortable and capable sleeping aid we've found it a help.
Once you adjust to wearing the Sleep Headphones in bed - and that may take a bit of time, especially for some people - we soon found we were snoozing more easily and unwinding in the most satisfying way too.
If you need something to help you nod off or to unwind from the stresses of the world, the the Kokoon Sleep Headphones really do have value.