The Lavince headphones are very comfortable to use in bed, with a stretchy and breathable fabric headband to keep the speakers in place. They work wirelessly with Bluetooth, which is more convenient to use in bed than wired headphones.
You can also use them for exercise, if you don’t mind having buttons on your forehead. And they have surprisingly good sound quality for such a low price.
The good points
- Good price.
- Works with Bluetooth, so there’s no cable in bed.
- More comfortable than standard headphones for side sleepers.
- Good speaker quality and volume, with decent bass and clear spoken word.
- Breathable mesh material.
- Stretchy fabric that will fit most people.
- Can be used for sleep or sports, and stays in place well.
- Works with Apple and Android phones or tablets. TV too, if it has Bluetooth.
- You can change track and volume using the control panel on the headband.
- Quick to charge – 2 hours for 8 to 10 hours usage.
- Machine washable.
- The obvious buttons on the forehead look unusual.
- Can only be connected with Bluetooth. There’s no wired option in case you run out of charge in the night.
- It’s fiddly to put the components back in after washing (it took me four minutes when I timed it).
Please note that this written review isn’t an exact transcript of my video. In the video, I do an unboxing, talk about the sound quality and comfort in bed, compare them to normal headphones and then give my final thoughts after a few days of using them.
This article contains the same key points, but I’ve organized it better to make it easier to scan through. I don’t write about the unboxing as I think that’s infinitely more interesting to watch than read. But I do include additional information about the headphones that I’ve discovered since filming.
What you get in the box
The Lavince headphones come in a small box. Inside, you’ll find the fabric headphones, a small charging cable (more on that below), some instructions and a contact card if you need to use the warranty.
Connecting with Bluetooth
The headphones work via Bluetooth, which is great if you prefer not to have a cable in bed with you. There’s no backup wired option though, so if you forget to charge them up, you can’t use them until you do.
They work with Apple and Android devices, and connecting is straightforward. Just hold the middle button down on the front of the headband, and connect them to your phone or tablet.
It was easy to do, and my partner could also connect to her device to borrow them once I disconnected. I didn’t have any issues with random disconnection, which is always a plus.
For me, this is one of the main reasons to use these headphones. I really like how you can listen to music in bed without worrying about getting tangled in the cable in the middle of the night after changing positions while you sleep.
Designed for comfort
In the photo below I’m demonstrating the headphones in bed (I don’t usually wear a shirt in bed in case you’re wondering!)
The headphones are designed with comfort in mind, especially when using them in bed. Standard headphones, both in-ear and over-ear, aren’t always the most practical for use in bed – especially for side sleepers like me.
The Lavince have a lightweight, breathable fabric you wear around your head, with small pockets sewn into them to house the two relatively thin speakers. You can adjust the position of the speakers, but ideally they should sit more or less over your ears.
The speakers are flat and padded, and then there is some additional padding in the headband itself. To be honest, I thought that either the control unit on the front or the speakers would leave a mark on my skin or feel uncomfortable. But they were fine on the whole.
If I wore them all night, the headband left some light mark on my forehead, but it soon faded. Personally, I used them for music when I got into bed, and then took them off to go to sleep, so it wasn’t an issue anyway.
The design is one that I liked and disliked for different reasons. I appreciate that they focused on comfort, and I could happily wear them while lying on my back, front or side, which is great. So for me, they fulfill that function really well.
I also found them comfortable to wear when running, and they stayed in place well, despite my giant strides bouncing me up and down.
However, the design of the control unit on the front didn’t impress me for aesthetic reasons. More on that in the next section!
The control unit on the front
In the photo below, I wore the Lavince headphones on a run. Personally, I’m not a fan of the way the control unit on your forehead looks.
How they look
In the video, I joke about how the headphones made me feel like I looked like an Android (a robot, not a phone operating system!)
And unfortunately, that feeling never went away. Perhaps I’m too self-conscious – I don’t know. But I’m certain I would never wear the Lavince headphones in my gym, because the control unit on the forehead just looks weird.
Even on my run, I was conscious of people looking at me. Admittedly, they may have just been marveling at the giant grey-haired man bobbing along. But their eyes were definitely drawn to my forehead. Maybe they were wondering where they could get an Android outfit too.
It’s not just the fact that you have buttons on your forehead. I also found the decision to sew the word ‘Enjoying’ over them quite unusual. It’s like I’m advertising to the world how I’m feeling about running.
Even just the word ‘Enjoy’ would have been better. Better still would be a stylish logo instead of a word. And the ideal would be to have the control unit completely disguised so it just looks like a fairly plain headband.
That’s just my opinion and perhaps some people will value function over form more than I do.
When it comes to the bedroom, it doesn’t matter so much and I’d be happy to use them regularly. My partner also thought they looked odd, but was still very keen to have them when I finished my review. She loved how comfortable they were and was impressed by the sound quality.
How they work
Now I’ve finished my rant about the way the controls look, let’s talk about the way they work.
To turn them on and off, you just hold down the middle button for a couple of seconds, which is fine.
To change track or the volume, you need to use the same two buttons, which isn’t my favorite style of interface.
Despite complaining about the buttons looking weird, ironically I actually wish there were two more buttons! When you need to hold down the track change button to access the volume changing function, it kind of annoys me – it just makes it harder to select the precise volume level you want.
It’s great that when lying in bed you can control your music without needing your device. But I just wish it were easier to fine-tune the volume you prefer.
One final note is about the incoming calls. You can accept or reject calls with the buttons on your head, and then talk to people. I personally don’t use this feature though.
Below you can see one of the small flat speakers the headbands use
When I pay $20 for headphones, I don’t usually expect great things. Experience has taught me well. However, I was very surprised by how good the Lavince headband sounds in bed.
The manufacturer doesn’t provide any information about the wattage, but they were much louder than I expected with my phone cranked up.
More importantly, the sound was clear and had a much better bass response than I was expecting. Classical, ambient and pop music sounded great, and the sound didn’t distort with the volume turned up.
When listening to radio or a podcast, the sound of human speech was crisp, both on low and high volume.
Now, if you’re planning on using them for sports, and love blasting techno, heavy metal or rock, you might wish they had a little more power. But even while running, I thought they were good enough.
But for bedtime use, I was really impressed. They were much better than any pillow speaker I’ve tried, and as good as many earbuds in the same, or even slightly higher, price range.
How they compare to standard headphones
In the second half of my video, I demonstrate how they compare to normal headphones.
Unless you lie on your back at all times in bed, over-ear headphones just aren’t viable. You would need a doughnut-shaped pillow to lie on your side!
In-ear headphones vary in comfort on your side depending on their size and shape, and your ear sensitivity. My large Bose Quiet Comfort 20 headphones aren’t ideal on my side. But my small AKGs are relatively comfortable.
Personally, I think you can still feel the Lavince headband speaker when you lie on your side – it’s not like they are so thin you can’t feel them. So it’s just a different sensation from in-ear headphones, and will come down to personal preference. One point to bear in mind though is that in-ear headphones tend to fall out when you switch positions.
Sound quality and blocking out noise
The Lavince headphones hold their own compared to other low-priced headphones. However, the sound quality is no match for my $300 Bose headphones, as you would expect.
And if you have headphones with active noise-cancellation, they will do a better job of blocking out snoring or external noise.
The Lavince will help a little, as you have music right over your ears. But they won’t be able to completely block out a loud snoring partner right next to you in bed, or your drunken upstairs neighbors staggering around on creaky floorboards at 1 a.m.
Charging and power
The headphones come with a short micro-USB to USB cable to charge them. They don’t include a power adaptor, so you’ll need your own, or to charge them from a computer.
It takes two hours to charge them, and they will then last for eight to ten hours, or 100 on standby (which I haven’t tested).
The headband itself is machine washable in cold water, but have to be air-dried. You need to take out the internal parts first. I timed it, and it took just a minute to remove them, and just under four to put them back.
It’s a little bit fiddly. But if you’ve ever managed to thread the whole elastic back into a tracksuit, these will be a breeze in comparison!
It’s my job as a reviewer to point out both the pros and cons of a product, and it’s always easy to find things you don’t like.
But at the end of the day, for such a low price, I think the Lavince headphones are actually a really good option if you want to listen to music, radio or podcasts in bed.
Yes, you can get better speaker quality, and arguably more comfortable headbands too if you pay more money. But the sound quality is much better than I expected for the price, and importantly, definitely good enough to enjoy using in bed.
As I’ve said more than once, I wouldn’t recommend them for using outdoors personally. Maybe if you run in the dark in the middle of nowhere. Or if you’re less worried about how you look than I discovered I am when it came to filming myself running around New York wearing them.
But just to end on a final positive note, they do get a thumbs up from me for use as headphones in bed.