The Amazfit ZenBuds is another successful product incubated through crowdfunding by Huami, a technology provider for Xiaomi under the Mi brand. In Singapore, the ZenBuds are distributed by Leader Radio Technology (LRT), known popularly as weareready.sg. They retail for S$239, and the launch promo price is S$219 with free eye mask worth S$29.
One of the most impressive aspect about the ZenBuds is the size: they are so tiny! Don’t be fooled by the appearance, as the bulk of the size is the silicon eartip and the ear hook. Once you remove them, the actual hardware is as small as a button battery. Each earbud weighs just 1.78 grams. They fit inside the ears without protruding out one bit, so you can comfortably sleep on the sides.
The earbuds can only be activated to one account at a time. If you change owner, you need to unpair from the smartphone before re-pairing on another product using the Zepp app.
The battery life is impressive for the size. You can listen to soothing sounds continuously for 8 hours, or 12 hours if you listen up to 3 hours and monitor the sleep for the rest of the time. When combined with the charging case, you will get 8 nights worth of sleep use without the need of a charging plug.
One of the main reasons for its power-saving capability is that the earbuds connect to the smartphone via low-energy mode. All the sound tunes are stored independently on each earbud and playback in synchrony without direct communication or audio streaming needed. This sometimes caused the audio from both earbuds to go out of sync. To turn off alarm, you also need to tap on both earbuds separately.
There are no ANC function, just passive noise cancellation. For me, wearing it to sleep takes getting used to, because the ears would be blocked from external noise, I somehow woke up occasionally from the deafening silence.
I usually wear my fitness band to sleep for 2 purposes: to track my sleep quality and to wake me up in the morning. The Amazfit ZenBuds do both and provides additional sleep data, like the sleeping position and frequency. They can also monitor heartrate during sleep. The sleep results between the ZenBuds and my Samsung Gear Fit 2 Pro vary slightly since the devices are at different parts of the body, but I suppose measuring from the head is more accurate than from the hand.
The Zepp app provides direct management of the ZenBuds settings and synchronisation of all data for your analysis. You upload sounds, control the volume of the playback, set alarm clock, select relaxation programme.
The use case for the ZenBuds is not just for sleep: you can wear them during working hours to improve focus where you set a timer with rest intervals. You can also wear them during short naps with countdown timer. I sometimes wear them to shut out external noise instead of wearing true-wireless earbuds as the ZenBuds are way more comfortable.
I cannot think of any significant drawbacks for using these earbuds, except perhaps the fact that you need to get used to having earbuds stuffed in your ears throughout the night. It’s not the physical discomfort but rather the absence of natural ambient sounds. If you keep waking up at night due to this, I suggest turning on the sound effect for the entire sleep duration so that you hear the soothing sound which would draw you back to sleep.
The other dislike is that I cannot upload other sound files to the ZenBuds. Even though there are dozens of pre-defined sounds to choose from, it might not appeal to everyone, which might reduce the effectiveness. Personally I like just 2 sounds out of the dozens.
The Amazfit ZenBuds retails in Singapore at S$239 with 1-year warranty by Leader Radio Technologies (weareready.sg).
- Effective in putting one to sleep
- Comfortable to sleep with
- Does not drop out during normal sleep
- Needs to get used to wearing earbuds to sleep
- Might not offer added benefits for people who has no problems falling asleep
- Relatively limited sound effects without option to use third party sounds