SoundLAB pillow speaker review | Tech Radar
30 second review
Although it is one of the cheapest pillow speakers on the market, the SoundLAB pillow speaker is one of the best on the market. Although it looks like PC gear from the early 1990s, its ‘ivory’ plastic exterior is actually very well designed. Side-positioned speaker grilles mean the sound isn’t excessively muffled by your bedding, no battery means it won’t overheat due to lack of ventilation and pose a fire hazard, and the headphone cable is long enough to comfortably stretch from a phone on your bedside table.
The sound isn’t top notch, and if you plan on listening to audiobooks, you’ll prefer an under-pillow speaker that offers crisper highs, but if you’re one of the many people who like to fall asleep to listening to white noise or precipitation, there is no need to invest more than that.
However, you won’t be able to use it with many modern phones unless you invest in a headphone adapter, which might cost more than the SoundLAB Pillow Speaker itself.
Price and availability
The SoundLAB Pillow Speaker costs $9.99 / £7.99 (around AU$15) and is available from Amazon and other third-party stores. This makes it one of the cheapest under-pillow speakers on the market, and a good option if you’re looking for something particularly inexpensive to use while travelling.
The SoundLAB speaker is a flat, simple device with no branding or logos (which makes sense for a hidden device), and is made from a cream-colored type of textured plastic reminiscent of old PCs. Its rounded triangular enclosure measures 87mm in diameter and 26mm in depth, and sound is emitted through grilles on each of its three edges (designed not to be muffled by your pillow).
It is battery-free, which is a real advantage for a pillowtop speaker. The lithium-ion batteries used in wireless Bluetooth speakers can be very dangerous if they overheat; if a battery cell overheats, it can cause a chain reaction called “thermal runaway”, which could even lead to the ignition of flammable electrolytic liquid in the worst case.
Instead, it uses a simple 3.5mm headphone jack, which is attached to a generous cable that we measured at 68cm. This gives you a lot of slack to reach from a phone placed on your nightstand or on the floor next to your bed, but that means this speaker won’t fit phones like the Google Pixel 3 or iPhone 7. , unless you also invest in a headphone jack adapter.
SoundLAB is a company that specializes in headphones and cheap disco balls (plus the motors to spin them), so we weren’t expecting anything groundbreaking from the pillow speaker, but it didn’t. isn’t too shabby – especially considering the price.
If you’re considering investing in a white noise machine, it’s worth considering as a cheap alternative. Just install a free app like Rainy Mood or White Noise Lite, plug in the SoundLAB Pillow Speaker, and settle in for the night.
The speaker grilles on the side mean the sound isn’t as muffled as with devices like the Sound Oasis Sleep Therapy speakers, and the high frequencies are surprisingly well preserved even through your pillow. It’s one of the best pillow speakers we’ve tried for audiobooks, and details of ambient noises like rain are rendered with impressive clarity. It’s not going to beat a regular speaker for
The lightly textured surface means it won’t slide around like some pillow speakers and stays exactly where you put it.
Buy it if
Don’t buy it if
This article is part of TechRadar Sleep Week 2022 (from Sunday March 13th to Saturday March 19th), a week of celebration of all that sleeps. We’ll bring you proven techniques and tips to help you sleep better, and we’ve rounded up all the top-rated tech to transform your sleep.