Buying Guide – How to Shop for Pillow Speakers and Speaker Pillows
Pillow speakers are small speakers that can be placed on or underneath the pillow, enabling sleepers to listen to music as they fall asleep. Speaker pillows are pillows engineered to play music from phones and other audio devices. They may be outfitted with cords or pouches to accommodate the device.
Both pillow speakers and speaker pillows are popular with those who like listening to music while they sleep. Read on to learn more about both products.
How Do Pillows Speakers and Speaker Pillows Work?
Pillow speakers and speaker pillows are relatively easy to use, although specific usage varies by model type:
- Under-pillow speakers, as the name implies, fit snugly beneath the pillow and project audio through the interior pillow to the opposite cover. They are flat by design to ensure the sleeper cannot feel the speaker through the pillow.
- Anywhere pillow speakers can be placed wherever the sleeper chooses, including underneath and on top of the pillow. Some come with fabric or cloth covers that allow sleepers to rest their ears against the speakers.
- Speaker pillows come in two general styles. Some models come with cords that can be plugged into phones or portable audio players. Other models are cordless and feature pouches that accommodate these devices; users simply insert their player into the pouch and music plays directly from the device.
All pillow speakers and speaker pillows can be connected to smartphones and portable music players. Additionally, some come with built-in audio recordings, such as white noise and ambient sounds.
While product specifications vary by model, key components of pillow speakers and speaker pillows include:
- Cords: Most models feature cords that connect the speakers or pillow to player devices with a 3.5mm (1/8-inch) jack. Most cords are at least six feet in length, but for some models the cord length will measure as short as one foot or less.
- Bluetooth connectivity: Some cordless pillow speakers models can be linked up to Bluetooth devices via a wireless connection.
- Volume: Volume is measured in decibels. Normal speaking voices register at roughly 70 decibels, while speakers may register anywhere from 90 to 120 dB or more.
- Speaker impedance: Speaker impedance refers to the amount of resistance that speakers give to the voltage being used. Impedance is measured in ohms. Standard-size speakers generally range from 4 to 8 ohms, whereas pillows speakers may range anywhere from 4 to 32 ohms.
- Frequency response: Frequency response, measured in hertz (hz), indicates the output range of a speaker in response to audio stimulus. Most pillow speakers have a frequency response of at least 20 to 100 hz, and no more than 20,000 hz.
Pillow speakers and speaker pillows can be helpful for sleepers who live in loud households or places with a high amount of noise from traffic, pedestrians, or noisy neighbors. By blocking outside noise, they can improve sleep quality and duration, leaving sleepers feeling well-rested and more alert the next morning. However, volume control is important. Most hearing experts recommend listening to music at a reasonably low volume in order to prevent hearing damage and other health issues.
Important Considerations for Pillow Speaker and Speaker Pillow Shoppers
If you are shopping for a new pillow speaker or speaker pillow, here are a few factors to take into account:
- What is your shopping budget? Generally speaking, speakers used beneath or on top of pillows are priced considerably lower than pillows with built-in speakers. The latter are usually available for $25 or less, while the former may cost up to $150.
- Would you rather listen to your music selection or built-in recordings? The ambient recordings some speaker pillows come equipped with are designed to promote relaxation and induce sleepiness. However, these recordings are generally not found on standalone speakers used with pillows.
- What are your volume preferences? Listening to loud music is discouraged due to hearing damage and hearing loss potential. For this reason, speakers with adjustable volume are usually the best option. The vast majority of pillow speakers and speaker pillows sold today can be adjusted for volume.
- How long is the cord (if one is included)? The power cord length can be an important consideration depending on your bedroom’s layout. Longer cords enable you to set your playing device on a bedside table or desk.
- Does the speaker or pillow speaker come with a warranty? Most pillow speakers and speaker pillows come with a warranty that extends one year in length. However, some of these products do not carry any sort of warranty.
For more information about audio devices and accessories for sleepers, please visit the following guides on Tuck.com.