Anker Soundcore Sleep A10 Earbuds Review Reting
My initial impression of the Soundcore Sleep A10 earbuds is that they are excellent. They have superior functionality to competing brands while being cheaper.
Initial Impression - 90%
- Cheaper than competing brands / No subscription service / Can be used for music
- Comfortable for side sleeping
- Good audio quality
- App requirement for volume can be annoyuing
Soundcore by Anker has launched its first pair of sleep earbuds. These join a small but growing list of in-ear devices that aim to help sleep, predominantly by reducing external noise.
I have had these earbuds for a bit over a week, but I was unfortunately not provided the beta APK for the Soundcore app at the same time, which has limited the testing I have been able to do. Therefore this is not my final review, and I will update this once I have had a couple of more days to test the app and its features.
- 4-point noise-masking system – blocks up to 35db of volume. Automatically adjusts music volume.
- 70% smaller than regular TWS earbuds
- All the audio – Soundcore app provides a soothing music library, but you can also connect to your own apps if you prefer the calming sound of heavy metal to get you to sleep.
- Sleep monitoring – Gives feedback such as duration of sleep, wake-up time. Music pauses once you fall asleep.
- Personal alarm – Only heard by you, so it doesn't disturb others. Great if you're a set-many-alarms kind of person.
With the app, these will monitor your sleep and provide some information on the quality of your sleep. I haven't had much chance to test this feature properly, but I had mixed results with the Kokoon Nightbuds, and I'd say a smartwatch will likely provide more reliable data (not that they are reliable, either).
The app is then required to change the soothing sounds that are used in the sleep mode. You also have to use the app to control the volume of these sounds, it is a bit annoying, but these sounds are stored on the earbud directly, and they work completely independently from your phone. This will also allow them to bypass any settings you may have on your phone and prevent any notifications from coming through.
Within the app, you can also enable adaptive noise masking, which will adjust the noise cancellation based on ambient noises.
Soundcore Sleep A10 Design & Dimensions vs Anker Soundcore Liberty 3 Pro
The big selling point of these is the tiny dimensions which makes them practical for side sleeping.
Soundcore claims these are 70% smaller than other earbuds. My photos may not do them justice as I use the largest ear tip with mine, but they are tiny, especially when you compare them to the massive Liberty 3 Pro.
Soundcore Sleep A10 Comparison vs Kokoon Nightbuds
The Kokoon Nightbuds are the only proper sleeping earbuds I have reviewed. I liked the hardware, but the app and subscription service left much to be desired.
Kokoon keeps the bulk of the electronics sat at the back of your head in a thin curved unit which minimises the discomfort for side sleeping. This allows the earbuds to be smaller and much thinner than your average TWS earbud.
The Soundcore Sleep A10 have roughly the same footprint as the Kokoon, but they are quite a bit thicker. In theory, this should make them less comfortable for side sleeping, but I haven't experienced any problems yet.
Kokoon does have a bit more functionality within its app, and this is the justification for the subscription service. They have both white noise and meditation tracks. You can then also play the white noise for an extended period after the meditation section ends.
Side sleeping Comfort
Most people are side sleepers, and this typically makes wearing sleeping earbuds uncomfortable. I will often just wear one bud and rely on the pillow to block out as much noise as possible on the side I am sleeping.
As you can see in the above pictures, these are significantly smaller than regular earbuds, and I have had some success with wearing them in both ears while trying to sleep.
I haven't experienced it with these yet, but I did find that the Kokoon Nightbuds were comfortable to fall asleep with, but if I woke a few hours later, my ear would be a bit achy from the pressure of the earbuds. At this point, I'd normally remove the earbuds and go back to sleep.
Without the Soundcore app, the earbuds can be used either in sleep or music mode. In sleep mode, they will play the noise of rain automatically. Without the app, this is at a fixed volume which is a bit louder than I would like for trying to fall asleep.
The white noise does work well, though, and I will extend on this when I have used the Soundcore app a bit more.
Music Sound Quality
I was quite surprised at how good these sound. There is a surprising amount of bass for such a tiny pair of earbuds. I'd probably say I prefer the overall sound profile to the Soundcore Space A40, which I reviewed a few weeks ago.
This helps differentiate Soundcore Sleep A10 from pretty much all other sleep earbuds. The Bose Sleepbuds II and QuietOn 3 can't play music. The Kokoon Nightbuds can play music, but it sounds a bit flat, which is the sort of sound quality I expect from tiny none music specific earbuds.
I'm probably not going to start using the Soundcore Space A40 for music on a regular basis, but it is nice to have the option there should I need it.
Price and Alternative Options
The Soundcore Sleep A10 is launching for £156.99, and they will be available direct from Anker and on Amazon.
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The Kokoon Nightbuds I previously reviewed are £229.99, and after two years, there is a subscription fee to use the app.
The Bose Sleepbuds II cost £219, but they can only play content from the Bose Sleep app.
The QuietOn 3 are available for £229 but play no white noise or music at all. They just have active noise cancelling.
The 1MORE ComfoBuds Z only cost £90. They are essentially normal earbuds, just smaller. There is no ANC, but the 1MORE MUSIC App can play ambient noise for set periods of time.
You then have various affordable headbands, such as SleepPhones, which cover your ears and can play music. They won't block out as much noise, but you can play white noise. Some of them are advertised as being eye masks too.
My initial impression of the Soundcore Sleep A10 earbuds is that they are excellent. They are just as if not more comfortable to wear for slide sleeping than the Kokoon Nightbuds, and they have superior noise cancellation and features, as well as a significantly lower price point.
I need more time to test them thoroughly, but considering the price of the big three options on the market, I think Soundcore are onto a winner with the Sleep A10 earbuds.