Does music help you get to sleep? Bedphones will work just fine!

One of the things that, it seems to me, separates headphone enthusiasts from traditional audiophiles is an interest in good inexpensive stuff, or devices with unusual utility. Think Koss Porta Pros or the Riva Turbo X. The Porta Pro has been delivering excellent sound quality for its very low $49 price for decades and for decades headphone enthusiasts have been praising their worth. And when the Riva Turbo X Bluetooth speaker showed up at CanJam a year or so ago, headphone hobbyists embraced it immediately as a great sounding portable speaker. These are cool little gadgets, and it seems to me headphone enthusiasts are more than willing to have a good hard look at matter the cost.

And so, I found myself attracted and curious when confronted with Bedphones last CES. Not long ago I dropped them a note expressing my interest, and shortly thereafter received a pair for review consideration.

Bedphones ($59.95)
Bedphones are a...ummm...very small on-ear headphone? Not really sure how to classify these, they're half way between an on-ear and ear-bud earphone. Using small dynamic drivers (0.9" dia, 0.25" thick) with a foam cover and attached to memory wire ear loops, they hang over your ears with the driver positioned in or in front of the concha. It does have a cable slider to snug up the wires and more firmly keep them in place.

I found, for me, there were two ways the wear the Bedphones: Gently resting up against the side of my ears, and tucked into the concha bowl of my ears.


Both cases were quite comfortable initially, but after many hours (asleep) with them tucked into my concha I awoke to feel a hot spot of localized discomfort where it touched the rear of my concha. Wearing them just touching my ears was very comfortable for any length of time. The sound, however, was quite different in both cases—more on this later.

In either case, they remained securely hooked to my ears—remember to cinch up that cable slider or they may not—through the two nights I wore them to bed. Moreover, I sleep on my side, and the Bedphones were remarkably comfortable in that position. I quite literally felt like nothing was in my ear most of the time. Very nice as a bedtime can.

Build quality seemed acceptable at this price. The Bedphones do have a one-button remote/mic at the cable join. The cheery blue cable is nicely slender and pliable, and its 4 1/2 foot length seemed appropriate for the application. Cable is terminated at the headphone end with a nicely formed rubber molding at the end of the memory wire loops, and into a strain relieved metal housing at the 3.5mm plug end.

The only concern I had with build quality was the driver front screen.


Looking closely at the photo above you can see that the holes in the front screen are somewhat dimpled and deformed. These are very thin drivers with close tollerances, and after assembly some drivers might have problems touching the screen creating some "rub and buzz". It may be hard to tell from the picture, but it appeared to me that after assembly, a worker manually plucks the screen outward by putting a tool into the holes and pulling to deform the screen so it doesn't buzz anymore. After discovering this I did communicate with Eric Dubs, inventor, founder, and owner of Bedphones, and he confirmed that this is exactly what is happening. I applaud his candor. He informed me they are working towards the next revision of the product that will not only solve this manufacturing problem, but will also address improved bass response by lowering the primary driver resonance, and will increase increase driver efficiency—though I felt they were quite efficient already. This is the third generation of this product, and after communicating with Eric I see no reason not to believe that Bedphones will be undergoing continuous improvement over time.

Accessorization was very nice for a headphone at this price. Included with the Bedphones was an nice hard-side clam-shell case with zipper closure, two spare pairs of foam earpiece covers, and, believe it or not, an eye mask to block out light when napping in brightly lit spaces. Bedphones also has a downloadable app that will slowly turn off the music after you've gone to sleep. I did not try the app.

334 SE 5th St.
Bend, OR 97702

OldRoadToad's picture

Yup. Music helps me to get to sleep and get the rest I need. Every night I set the timer on my Grace Digital Encore for 3.5 hours, hit the preset button for either SiriusXM's Escape or my personal "relaxtion station" on Pandora One and lay down for the night. My son's Labratard, Rocky, is usually there too and he seems to enjoy the music almost as much as I do.

I cannot wear any sort of headphone while I sleep so my 40+ year old Sony STR-6800SD takes the music from the Encore and then sends it to a sub and two Klipsch RM15 speakers. I almost always fall asleep within a very short period of time. I have however, passed out in my chair with a set of 'phones on listening to the same sort of format, i.e., "beautiful music", e.g., "101 Strings Does Led Zeppelin".

Old? Indeed.

Thee Toade

bluejimbop's picture

then I got to the part about not very good isolation. For those of us lucky enough to have a spouse, what you don't hear is just about as important as what you do. The search continues for "audiophile-on-a-budget" circumaurals that are comfortable to wear while laying in bed. Gallery?

brause's picture

Too expensive for what they offer. But better Bedbuds than Bedbugs!

vilhoke's picture

I put on my K550 each night. They have adequate sound quality, a very robust design, and good isolation (keeping the music inside and my wife's snoring outside).

Previously I had K272 HD, but their plastic earcups cracked when they fell to floor from the bed. I think it would take quite a drop to break the K550.

I have done a couple of tweaks to the K550. First, I added a TRS socket to the left earcup, and plugged in a 90-degree plug. That way, the cable is not so prone to damage. Secondly, I have made my own earpads of leather and memory foam. The originals were quite short-lived and too low for my jug ears.

In my opinion, what you will basically need for a good bedphone is a pair of robust headphones or earphones with durable cable and sound signature of your flavour.

bluejimbop's picture

I'll check 'em out. The consensus seems to be that the NAD Viso HP 50 is the greatest thing since sliced bread at its price point. I was leaning towards them until I started staring at my current beyerdynamic 150s. The headbands look very similar and my beyers aren't even comfortable when I'm sitting upright, let alone laying in bed. Anyone?

vilhoke's picture

I too believe that NAD Viso HP50 would be the best thing in the class of affordable closed phones. I have not had a change to try them, and based on Tyll's review, I'm afraid that they won't fit with my largish ears.

About K550, I have read a lot of critisism on their fit. They appear to be too loose for many people who do not have very wide heads. I had the opposite problem, as I had to increase the height (or thickness) of the earpads. Initially, I added self-adhesive furniture felt under the earpad.

PAR's picture

Which I bought following Tyll's commnents on them in his CES report earlier in the year. I considered them as good candidates to meet a need and cheap enough to risk a purchase (even with import costs).

I find the sound to be adequate for non-critical listening. No bass or treble but IMO quite well judged for its purpose, reasonably warm and inviting. I don't need a hi-fi spectacular when trying to drift off to sleep.

The downsides are the change of sound as pressure is increased to push the earpads closer on to the pinnae (as mentioned in the review). This is very marked if you lie on your side in bed where the side pressed against the pillow has a better bass response than the lighter sounding other one. However the main drawback for me has been the connector.

The connector is a three pole affair to enable switching on a mobile phone type of device. My source material for bedtime listing is stereo radio from a conventional stereo jack (3.5mm) output socket on a table radio. Unfortunately the Bedphone's plug does not mate correctly with a stereo output socket even after a lot of fiddling around when I get either one channel on one ear only or a mono centre image. Not really usable in these circumstances.

The application which lowers volume over time to enable dropping off to sleep is not available on Playstore - I am an Android user - in this market (UK).

Overall presentation of the product (packaging, accesories) struck me as very good.

LytleSound's picture

I picked up a pair of these and they sound fine for elevator music. But, for me they were lacking. I use music as much to mask tinnitus as to listen to music to sleep by. These 'phones can't play loudly enough for me without being too loud for me not to have a concern about them causing hearing loss. Typically, a good IEM can be played loud enough without being too loud. As I am concerned about masking my own tinnitus (I don't have a hearing loss), I am also concerned about those seeking bass with the these 'phones playing them too loud for safety.

My pair sits in a drawer with many other sets of promising earphones that didn't deliver.

Armaegis's picture

Psst typo... you wrote "badphones" under Summary.