The American comedian W.C Fields once said, “The best cure for insomnia is to get a lot of sleep.” He’s absolutely right. Falling asleep is a whole other matter. It’s no wonder many people are turning to sleep tech for help. Personally, I have always been fascinated with sleep and sleep technology. I don’t think people realize how important it is to our overall health. If you want to improve your sleep, or you have difficulty falling asleep, you’ve come to the right place, as I’m reviewing the Livlab Hoomband wireless audio sleep headband. It features adjustable speakers inside a headband, 10 hours of battery life, and over 100 hours of sleep-inducing audio content. Could this be the missing piece to help you get a good night’s sleep? Let’s find out.
Design of the Hoomband audio headband
The Hoomband audio headband is constructed with an elastic fabric. It’s lightweight, breathable, and comfortable to wear. The fabric regulates temperature and keeps your head cool at night.
Inside the headband are two flat earphones and a small plastic block that houses the power button, micro-USB charging port, and LED power light. At only 54 grams, the headphone is lightweight and comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. Naturally, it will get dirty over time but it’s hand washable in cool water.
Flipping the Hoomband Audio inside out reveals a slot in the fabric. Inside you’ll find a thermoformed foam that encloses the flat earphones. The foam can be removed to adjust the positions of the earphones to your ears.
The Hoomband Audio headband uses Bluetooth 5.0 to connect to mobile devices. It functions like traditional headphones, but for use in bed. It can be used with a variety of apps such as YouTube, Spotify, and even Netflix. However, inside the box, users will find a code that unlocks membership access to the Hoomband app.
The Hoomband app provides audio content designed to induce sleep. Here you will find hypnotic stories, guided meditations, and natural white noises like rain against a window. Program and personalize listening sessions and download the audio to mobile devices. This comes in handy for travel when Wi-Fi or mobile data is not available.
How the app functions depend on what you choose to listen to. For example, if you choose a story or guided meditation, the app will automatically shut down once it is finished. If you choose to listen to white noise loops or soundscapes, the app will stay open all night long. This is to block out surrounding noises like traffic or your snoring partner.
Wearing the headband at night
I confess I have a bad sleeping habit. On my bedside table, I have a dedicated tablet to watch YouTube videos in bed. As soon as I turn over to the other side I know I’m about to fall asleep. That usually takes about 10-15 minutes.
For the first couple of days, I wore the headband and kept to this routine. While the headband was comfortable, I felt warmer than usual. It’s like a blanket on your forehead. I turned down the heat in the bedroom and then it became very comfortable to wear. As a creature of habit, it took a couple days to get used to wearing the headband at night. Overall it is very comfortable to wear and over time, you forget you’re even wearing it.
One thing I didn’t like was that it charges with microUSB and not USB-C. On my bedside table, I use USB-C to charge my phone at night. I would love to use the same cable to charge the headband bedside during the day.
Using the Hoomband app to fall asleep
After two days of use, I started to use the app at night to fall alseep. There is no shortage of content available for users to listen to. The first night, it took a long time to choose something. If you ever had that experience choosing something on Netflix, you know what I’m talking about.
I started with the hypnotic stories. In a lot of ways, it’s the same experience as reading a bedtime story to kids. Everything from the voice and the pace of the story-telling induces sleep. Again, after about 10-15 minutes I was asleep.
One thing I tried but didn’t like was ambient sounds. Here you can select between nature, music, destinations, and more. I much prefer stories since I already watch YouTube videos. However, I can see people trying to block out external noises who might prefer the ambient sounds. It really depends on one’s personal preferences and sleeping environment.
Final thoughts on the Hoomband Audio headband
In the coming years, the health tech category will continue to grow with more devices to track and improve our wellbeing. A lot of people are turning to sleep tech to improve their ability to fall asleep or track their quality of sleep.
As someone who follows some of the leading sleep researchers, I’m usually skeptical of most sleep tech products. However, I had a favourable experience with the Hoomband audio headband. It’s comfortable to wear, simple to use, and the app provides an endless amount of content to induce sleep. If you have a partner that snores, or you want to block out external noises, this will do the trick.
That said, I would like to see a couple of changes to improve the user experience. First, they need to support USB-C. In this day and age, we need to put microUSB to bed, pun intended. I would also like voice assistant integration with the app. Imagine being able to turn on a story or ambient sound without having to open the app. The less we use our smartphone at night, the better.
The app should let users quickly choose a random story or soundscape. I have difficulty deciding what to watch or listen to. Sometimes, I’ll spend 10 minutes finding a story only to fall asleep 10 minutes later. A random function would be a great way to quickly listen to stories I normally wouldn’t choose.
As wary as I am about sleep tech, I think this is a good investment. App or no app, this is a great way to listen to your favourite content before bed. That could be YouTube, Netflix, podcasts, or the Hoomband app. If you want to fall asleep faster or block your partner’s snoring, I highly recommend you try the Livlab Hoomband audio sleep headband.