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Finding it hard to get to sleep? Regularly put on music or white noise to help drown out the world? Check out the Kokoon noise-canceling sleep headphones designed for relaxation. But these headphones do so much more than play music.
Visually, the Kokoon headphones look like a more streamlined version of the old-school headphones. They feel very well made and robust, and yet are lightweight and unobtrusive.
The moment I popped them on my head I was impressed by two things. First, I was instantly blown away by how comfortable they were. They literally felt like two pillows cupping my ears. They didn't squeeze of pinch or make me feel like my ears were blocked.
Turn them on and activate the noise-canceling, and it's like the world outside disappears.
Secondly, just putting them over my ears with no audio playing blocked out much of the noise and hustle and bustle of the world around me.
Kokoon noise-canceling headphones in pictures
But the Kokoon headphones are more than just noise-canceling headphones. Inside each earcup are electrodes that monitor EEG brainwaves. Built into the headphones are sensors that monitor movement and sound, and all this data is collected and machine learning processed by the Kokoon app (available for iOS and Android) and used to both monitor sleep and also find out what works and what doesn't, customizing the experience to the wearer's needs.
The app also has some cool tricks up its sleeve. It has a number of different customized sleep aids, including making use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), to help guide the wearer to sleep as quickly as possible.
There's a lot of thought been put into the Kokoon headphones too. The build quality is excellent, combining robustness with a lightweight design. These headphones exude a premium feel.
There are also nice touches, like the way that each earcup is well marked with L and R, and even have markings in Braille, which I've not seen before.
So, I suppose the million-dollar question is this - do they work?
Yes, and very well.
First off, they are super-comfortable. They don't feel hot or hard or like cups over my ears. This is important if you're going to sleep with them on. I've worn them for hours, and the ventilated earcups kept my ears feeling fresh the whole time.
On top of that, audio quality is excellent, and the noise-cancelation is spookily good.
But it's the app that really sets these headphones apart. So often good hardware is let down by bad software.
Not so in this case.
I'm not going to go into too much detail about how the app works because the experienced is a customized one, but I feel it strikes the right balance between sleep tracking and tools to help you get to sleep as fast as possible. I found the app reliable, easy to use, and, above all, fun to use. I particularly liked the sleep exercises, not only because they were fun, but they were informative and helped me learn more about how I sleep.
I found them great for both long periods of sleep, and also for getting to sleep as fast as possible when I had 30 minutes for an afternoon nap. In fact, I found myself using them more for naps than sleeping at night (I'm a pretty good sleeper and live in a quiet area).
The case stores them safely, and it perfect for taking them with you when you travel.
Interested? The Kokoon headphones are priced at $314.99, which is steep, but do come with a 30-day risk-free trial. There's also a "couple's package" offering a two headphones bundle, saving 20 percent on the price.