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Are Kokoon’s Nightbuds the Answer to a Perfect Night’s Sleep?

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The Kokoon Nightbuds are incredibly comfortable and lightweight, making them an excellent option for sleep audio therapy, and making them a superior choice over competing brands. The app has a wide selection of sleep audio, and the headphones work well with other audio applications, too. They’re not headphones for audiophiles to listen to music on, but they could certainly help you achieve a good night’s sleep.

Specifications

  • Brand: Kokoon
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 5.0
  • Additional Tips: Yes
  • Noise Cancellation: Yes, active and passive
  • Drivers: Balanced armature
  • Weight: 22.4 grams
  • Dimensions: 5.4 mm in ear
  • Price: $249.99
  • Charging Case: No
Pros

  • Plentiful sound library
  • Easy operation
  • Simple set-up
  • Very comfortable
  • Works with other audio sources
Cons

  • Limited app customization
Buy This Product

Kokoon first hit the sleep aid market back in August 2019, and since then the brand has been working hard on its successor; the Nightbuds sleep earbuds.

Retailing at $249.99, the Nightbuds offer a comfortable way to enjoy whatever sleep-aiding sounds you choose. Want to know whether these little lullaby earbuds can grant you a full night of restful sleep? Read on…

What’s in the Box?

kokoon nightbuds in box

Kokoon’s Nightbuds come in a nice, simple cardboard fold-over box, with a green printed design, mirroring the brand’s responsible ethic; not only is it looking after your sleep, but it’s also looking after the world around you with recyclable packaging. Thumbs up!

The box contains:

  • One pair of Kokoon Nightbuds sleep earbuds
  • Five pairs of ear tips of varying size configurations
  • One USB-C charging cable
  • One carry case
  • Quick-start guide

Before you start using your Kokoon Nightbuds, you should also grab the app. You’ll need this to get the full experience out of the earbuds, so you may as well prepare yourself.

Download: My Kokoon app for Android|iOS

Fantastic Form Factor

While I personally loved Kokoon’s first outing—its Relax Headphones—I really struggled to keep the things on my head while I was asleep. Not only that, but as I’m a side-sleeper, resting my noggin on an earcup and not my pillow wasn’t the most practical of experiences. As it stood, I used them more for meditation than I did for attempting to sleep.

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The Nightbuds are a totally different kettle of fish. As you might have guessed, these are earbuds, and so they sit inside your ears rather than over them or around them.

kokoon nightbuds bottom front view

The device is gray, with plastic earbuds (and silicone ear tips) attached to the end of sprung silicone-coated wires.

In the middle of the arrangement is the tablet-shaped control unit and Bluetooth receiver. This has a multifunction button central to the top side of the unit, with the volume plus/minus buttons to the right. The bottom side of the unit houses the USB-C port for charging, and the front is upholstered in gray fabric, with a Kokoon logo on the front in rubber lettering.


This control unit is also convex, allowing it to nestle more comfortably against your neck as you wear them.

The unit is nice and light. The Nightbuds weigh in at only 0.79oz (22.4g), with silicone tips installed (not that those weigh much). An important factor as you don’t want to feel like the Nightbuds are pulling on your ears while you sleep. The sprung wires also facilitate this comfort factor.

They are also a mere 0.21 inches (5.4mm) thick inside the ear. This is absolutely minuscule when compared to the likes of Bose’s gigantic 0.5 inches (12.7mm) ear-behemoths, the Sleepbuds. Imagine trying to side-sleep on those

So, a nice simple form factor that is conducive to a good night of sleep. That’ll be the first box ticked, then.

On to the Specs…

kokoon nightbuds front face

Before we move into specs, I would like to remind you that these categorically aren’t headphones for audiophiles listening to their favorite tracks. You could do this, but given that this isn’t really the aim of the Nightbuds, I’m going to avoid talking about the complex technical minutiae that would accompany a review of, say, some planar magnetic IEMs. That said, these aren’t without their techy touches, it is just different tech.

So, in terms of specifications, what exactly are we looking at?

Audio-wise, you’ve got balanced armature drivers. These differ from dynamic drivers in their construction. Essentially, you have two magnets with a small reed between them. When the electrical signal passes through the driver, the reed vibrates and this vibration then creates the sound you hear by vibrating a rigid piece of metal; generally aluminum.

As these headphones are wireless (because nobody likes their headphones to strangle them in their sleep), you need Bluetooth. The Nightbuds are Bluetooth 5.0, so no complaints here; you’ll enjoy seamless streaming from the My Kokoon app or audio player of your choice.

You also get a 100mAh battery to power everything. This gives you enough juice for ten hours, so you can sleep right through—with a lazy Sunday lie-in—and still wake up potentially listening to audio.

kokoon nightbuds ir sensor

Something that the Nightbuds feature, which you don’t find on your standard audio headphone or earbud, is an IR sensor. This is part of the right earbud, and the Nightbuds use it to monitor your heart rate, and thereby guess at your sleep state. Once you nod off and your heart rate slows, the Nightbuds detect that you’re asleep and adjust the audio from the app accordingly.

Nothing too complicated, then. And as we don’t want or need complications at bedtime, we can tick box two on our steps to a successful snooze.

Operating the Kokoon Nightbuds

Setting up and operating the Kokoon Nightbuds is a straightforward affair. Initially, all you need to do is pair them, via Bluetooth, with your smartphone or tablet, and they are ready to receive an audio signal. You achieve this with the multifunction button on the top, pressing and holding to turn on and enter pairing mode. They’ll swiftly appear on your list of available Bluetooth devices.


Launch the My Kokoon app, and it will then connect to the Nightbuds. This allows it to converse with your headphones in order to receive sleep monitoring information from the IR sensor, or send audio from Kokoon’s carefully curated library of sleep sounds, if that is your chosen source.

The app is easy to understand and use, although you might find the library a tad overwhelming if you’ve never used it—or anything like it—before. This is simply down to the breadth of choice on offer, so novices might find selecting the right sound for them a little hard at first. That isn’t a negative criticism, per se. At least you’ve got plenty of options.

kokoon nightbuds small ear tips

Configuring the headphones to fit your ears might involve some trial and error, though. As mentioned, you get several pairs of tips, so finding the right ones might take a couple of nights.

I eventually settled on the small ear tips. Medium made my ears hurt a little by the time morning came around, and the extra small didn’t provide enough passive noise cancellation to warrant using them; I could still hear my partner listening to cooking videos next to me while I tried to drift off to the land of nod, which kind of interrupted the process.

As I say, they are easy to operate. Another tick for box three. Is anyone feeling sleepy yet?

A Convincing Performance

kokoon nightbuds controls

I’m going to start with a caveat here. We all sleep differently, so my experience with the Nightbuds may be totally different from yours. Therefore, as with any sort of sleep aid, you get no guarantee that they will definitely work for you. They worked for me, certainly, although I had to tailor the experience so that it suited my preferences.

So, how do the Nightbuds perform? As I mentioned, I’m not going to prattle on about how these earbuds fare in representing the sonic register. They sound fine for their purpose; to help you sleep, not listen to banging 1992 breakbeat jungle. With this in mind, you’ll find they work well with the sort of audio associated with going to sleep, much like what you find on the app.

Herein lies my single complaint. I’d like to see more custom options within the app. I totally understand that the sounds that Kokoon provides us with are carefully crafted by sleep experts, but I’d like to see the ability to tailor your own soundscape.

Just playing a few plain binaural beats or isochronic tones on loop, at certain frequencies, is my preferred sleep audio, so I’d like to see something like this in a future update to the app. To this end, I mainly used a different sound source for my sleep, played via the comfortable Nightbuds.

However, the sounds available in the library offer a robust enough choice that they will cover a lot of bases for other people. Plus, Kokoon didn’t make these just for me, and also I’m quite particular, as you can probably tell. There is plenty on offer, from music intermingled with some binaural beats (not just plain binaural beats, though), through to the sound of a purring cat.

kokoon nightbuds in case

I would recommend spending some time in the day testing the sounds out and seeing which ones you like. That way, when you get to bedtime, you haven’t got a tough decision to make right before your head hits the pillow.

A pleasant feature of the Nightbuds, combined with the app, is that the IR sensor will detect when you are asleep, fade out the audio you were playing, and replace it with a white noise (or similar) soundscape. This filters out external noise to help you stay asleep.


You can choose from a range of white noise sounds. White noise is obviously one, alongside pink and brown, but you can choose from less conventional sounds like a crackling campfire, or a woodland walk (complete with footsteps). You can also listen to coaching and meditations instead, to help you drift off.

The Nightbuds also work well to monitor sleep. On the occasions that I used the dedicated app, it did a fine job of telling me what stages of sleep happened, and when. It was accurate, too, picking up when I had woken up in the night before, nodding back off again listening to a soundtrack called Celestial which I had set to loop for the duration of my slumber.

You get a nice report every time you use the app, which tells you the quality of your sleep, rated between 0-100.

kokoon nightbuds no tips

In terms of battery life, as I mentioned, you get around 10 hours. This isn’t a huge amount, so you will need to remember to charge them every day. I’m sure every single one of us has a charger of some sort right next to the bed, though, so this shouldn’t bother you too much.


I never experience a problem with Bluetooth connectivity, either. It never drops out (to my knowledge, but then I am asleep when I use them).

Did the Nightbuds help me sleep? They did. And they did an excellent job of it, too. On occasion, I pulled them out of my ears as I slept, but this is likely to happen and, after a while, you get used to wearing them and stop scrabbling at your ears mid-snooze.

It is the comfort factor that really seals the deal in terms of drifting off. The Nightbuds are barely noticeable, and it is, for this reason, I think they succeed over other earbuds in terms of helping you go to sleep and stay that way until the morning. It doesn’t feel like you are wearing anything if you are a side sleeper, and the curved nature of the control unit means it remains comfortable if you switch to your back.

So, while the app may not have been for me (caveat reminder), I found that the comfort factor alone was enough to convince me that the Nightbuds would make a good investment. I can use them quite happily, and I do, with my own source of binaural beats and isochronic tones. And I get a much better night of sleep for it.

Should You Buy the Kokoon Nightbuds?

If you are looking for a way to assist in getting optimal rest at night, then I recommend giving the Nightbuds a try. Like I said at the start of the review, you can’t put a price on a good night’s sleep. It sets you up for the next day and is invaluable for our mental health and general wellbeing.

With a nice library of sounds covering a range of bases, if audio therapy for sleep works for you, then the Nightbuds represent an excellent purchase purely for the comfort they afford.

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