I'm no stranger to the lure of gimmicky products. Finding the perfect solution to a specific problem [that I didn't even know I had] is sort of my thing. So naturally, when I saw an ad for Bedphones — the headphones that "lie flat so you can too" — I was curious. Having spent a bit of time with them, I'm not certain that Bedphones succeed as the product they're marketed as. They are, however, the perfect headphones to wear under other headphones.
Bedphones: An exercise in compromise
For obvious reasons, bringing headphones to bed offers a number of challenges. Over-the-ear headphones are too large and cumbersome to bring to bed and in-ear headphones can cause a lot of pressure inside the ear if you lay on them. If you can sleep on your back and somehow manage to do so without tossing and turning, you might be able to make it to morning without shedding your headphones during the night. In my experience though, I always have to spend a good 5 minutes in the morning search for where my AirPods ended up.
DubsLabs intended goal with Bedphones was to create an extremely soft, low profile headphone that rests along the outside of the ear. They also designed an "infinitely adjustable memory wire" that wraps around your ear and holds the headphones in place while you sleep so you don't lose them in the night.
On paper — and in the Facebook ad that targeted me — Bedphones sound amazing. In practice, they're a huge compromise between comfort and practicality. For what it's worth, they are comfortable, low profile, and generally unobtrusive. The main problem is that they sort of just hang there against your ear. The memory wire holds them in place on your ear, but it doesn't hold them in place against your ear. Put another way, without force against the outside of the headphones, there will always be space between your ear and the speaker. Depending on how you're laying down — on your back or on your sides — your listening experience may change in each ear.
This may seem trivial, but I found the inconsistency of experience ear-to-ear as I shifted in bed a bit of a letdown. I was experiencing a bit of buyers remorse, but then I discovered that Bedphones were the perfect solution for another headphone problem I often faced: Wearing headphones under other headphones.
Insteadphones: An unintentionally perfect product for a niche audience
Ok, I know what you're thinking. "What the hell are you doing that you need to wear two headphones at once?" Well, I'm glad you asked...
When I play video games, I generally play with headphones on. When I'm playing non-story-based games, I generally like to also listen to podcasts while I'm doing so. I'll generally play podcasts from Overcast on my iPhone to my AirPods and then place larger, over-the-ear headphones over that for the video game audio. Now the AirPods just about fit underneath some of the larger gaming headphones that I own, but they still apply a lot of pressure to my ears and will cause some pain and discomfort after a short time. I've used a number of other EarPods like this in the past with the same result. It's an annoyance that I've had to accept and get used to, until now...
Bedphones are the perfect solution. Because they're so soft and low profile, they perfectly fit underneath all the over-the-ear headphones I have. They even fit underneath on-ear headphones. The ironic thing is, using them in this way actually fixes the problems of their intended use. Having another pair of headphones over the Bedphones holds them perfectly in place and makes sure you have an even pressure on each side. You get even sound across both ears, and absolutely no pain or fatigue during your gaming sessions.
In the end, I was disappointed in Bedphones as the product they were sold as. When it's time for bed and I want to listen to a podcast as I fall asleep, I'm going to stick with my AirPods. I wholeheartedly recommend them, however, as a product for anyone who might ever have the occasion to listen to non-competing audio from two different sources at the same time. For more information about Bedphones or to purchase your own pair, head over to DubsLabs.