So, here are the AmazFit ZenBuds: Smart Sleep Earbuds from Huami, a subsidiary of Xiaomi.
Are they really smart and help you sleep better, let’s find out!
I have a lot of trouble sleeping. Sometimes it takes me a lot of time to fall asleep.
Then I saw an IndieGoGo campaign for a pair of smart sleep buds from AmazFit. You know I love AmazFit products. They’re well built, durable, and gives you a lot of features for a cheaper price. So without a second thought, I signed up for that. It was 69 USD for the supporters back then in July and I got it delivered on the 1st of October.
But if you go to the official AmazFit website and buy it for 150 USD! That’s more than double the price! But let’s see if that’s worth it.
First of all, the unboxing experience of AmazFit Zenbuds is awesome. The packaging was high class, just like all AmazFit products. In the package, you get the earbuds themselves inside the charging case, three additional silicone plugs for the earbuds, USB-A to USB-C charging cable, and some documentation, which we usually don’t read.
Be careful when opening the charging case, because it opens by rotation. Not a flip like Apple AirPods.
Setting up the earbuds are quite simple. You need the official AmazFit app, now it’s called Zepp for some reason. If you have multiple AmazFit devices, you can manage all of them with this single app.
Make sure Bluetooth is enabled in your phone (duh!), take the earbuds out of the charging case, and add them as a new device from the app. That’s it!
But make sure you charge them first before trying to pair because they might be out of battery out of the box.
And of course, the earbuds MUST be out of the charging case for the app to be able to communicate with it. So, your app won’t connect unless the earbuds are taken out.
These are super lightweight earbuds each weighing 1.78 grams! That’s so light that I barely feel that I’m wearing them. And it fits perfectly well that I never found them fallen off from my ears. Good job AmazFit!
So, what can this do?
It mainly does three things.
1. Noise blocking
It does not have active noise cancellation, but it does a really good job of blocking out noise.
If you’re sleeping in a noisy environment, could be in a dorm or a hostel, have a busy street next to your bedroom, or even have a snoring person next to you, this does a decent job in blocking them out thanks to the well-fitting earplugs. Of course, you can punch them in the face or chase them out of your room, but this is the non-violent option.
2. Sleep tracking
These earbuds will track your sleep using your movements and your heart rate during your sleep. I have no clue how they put heart rate sensors on this tiny device! Maybe they have some other technology without any LED sensors to read the heart rate. If you know how they do it, let me know in the comments section below.
The app will give you a comprehensive report on how well you slept, how many times you woke up, deep sleep and light sleep durations, and also which side you were lying on. Meaning, how much time you were lying on your right side, left side, supine and prone positions.
That’s really cool. Something I noticed about myself is, that I usually fall asleep on the left-side but I spend on the right-side for more than 70% percent.
I have no idea if that’s useful information, but it sounds cool.
3. Play soothing sounds
These earbuds can play soothing, calming, relaxation music, or however you call them. There is a music library with different sounds such as rain, sea waves, forest, and even some instrumental music tracks.
Whenever you take the earbuds out of the charging case, it will start playing whichever the music track you were playing the last.
I’m using this mode for sleeping. It also has an option to stop music playback when it detects that you’ve fallen asleep. After that, the earbuds will stop music playback, but still continue to track your sleep. But if you’re a light sleeper like me, you’ll find the music had stopped if you woke up in the middle of the night.
And then you have to take your phone, open the app, go to the ZenBuds section and start playing the music again. Well, that’s a bit annoying. So, I have turned this option off, so it will keep on playing music until I dock them back in the morning.
Apart from that, it has two other modes:
The first one is the Rest mode where it will play the music for a defined time and then stop.
The second one is the Focus mode, where it will play music for a given duration, pause for another given duration, and repeat this process until you stop manually. That is super helpful if you need to focus on some work, could be reading or studying, or even at your workplace, even though I don’t see that’s useful any sooner.
Apart from these three main functionalities, it also has an alarm function that will trigger an alarm sound that is audible ONLY to you. So if you have someone sleeping next to you, it won’t wake them up.
With all these features, it surprisingly has good battery life.
On the spec sheet, the charging case has 280 mAh and each earbud has 10 mAh. So, theoretically, 20 mAh for both of them and it should last 14 days. But it’s not quite the case. If you disable the feature to stop the music after you fall asleep, or simply you just play music continuously, it can last up to 8 hours. But it can even last 9 hours for me.
If you enable that feature, meaning it will play music for up to 3 hours, and still do the sleep tracking, it will last for 12 hours.
To give you a little bit of context, in the first scenario, I usually have a 10% battery left every morning, while in the second scenario it will have around 40% to 50% percent.
And we can’t forget the charging case. It can charge the earbuds up to 8 nights of sleep tracking. But in reality, it’s usually 5 to 6 days. But still, it’s quite a lot.
Having low energy Bluetooth 5.0 is one another reason it has higher battery life. But of course, you need a phone with Bluetooth 5.0 to get the best out of it.
Either way, I put them into the charging case every morning and pick them up when I’m going to sleep.
One special thing to note here is, you should enable Bluetooth Background Scanning in your phone to make the synchronization smooth between the earbuds and the phone. Otherwise, you have to wait some time until the data is synced to the phone. And of course, it won’t sync when you put them inside the charging case. So, you have to manually trigger the syncing process in the app when you wake up before you put them back in the charging case. But if you enable Bluetooth Background Scanning or whatever it’s called on your phone, this works smoothly. Then everything will be synced by the time you wake up.
So, all good right? So now you should buy this, right?
Well, not so fast!
Like all the electronics in this world, this also has some flaws.
Not typical earbuds
The first one you should note is that these earbuds are NOT typical Bluetooth earbuds. You cannot play any music on these earbuds from your phone. In fact, this is not even identified as a pair of Bluetooth headphones. You can only play music from the Zeep app. No YouTube, no Spotify, nothing. Nada! So you are limited only to what’s provided on the app.
Which brings me to the second point. The music library is very small. By the time I’m recording this, it only has 20 different music tracks. That’s it!
The biggest issue with that is, these music tracks are only 5-7 seconds of music clips, maybe a maximum of 10 seconds, which are played on repeat. It makes sense because the earbuds don’t have a higher storage capacity to hold longer tracks. So, if you play a music tune such as those instrumental tracks, you will eventually get bored with the repetition!
So, I only use tracks like rain, ocean waves, forests, etc., which you won’t feel the repetition that much. I will leave a link below the like button for you to listen to these music tracks.
But I hope they will add more music tracks, especially some longer ones.
Low frequency range
Even with that hope, I will tell the third downside of ZenBuds.
These earbuds only have frequency support for 20Hz to ONLY 8kHz.
To give you a reference, an average human can hear from 20Hz up to 20kHz frequency range. But these earbuds can only 40% of that range. In simple terms, the music tracks you hear will not have the best quality, especially if you put some instrumental tunes. However, the music tracks on the library don’t sound horrible either. They might have carefully chosen music tracks close to the limited frequency range. This is less evident for nature-based tracks like rain. Obviously you won’t hear all the details, but it’s fine. acceptable.
But this definitely is a downside of these earbuds if you’re going to pay 150 USD.
That’s a lot of information!
But did it actually improve my sleep quality? Yes, kind of. Not entirely, but better than before. Is it worth the 69 USD I’ve spent, yes! Will it be worth it for you if you’re buying it for 150 USD? Ehhh…
So you may ask, cut the crap, tell me if I should buy this or not.
That’s a tough question, to be honest. If you consider the other options such as Bose SleepBuds 2, it doesn’t have sleep tracking, only has 6 hours of music playback but still costs 260 USD, which is 110 USD more.
But you will get better sound quality for sure!
If you can sacrifice a little bit of sound quality, you can get accurate sleep tracking for a lower price with ZenBuds for sure.
Or, if you really want to save money, don’t buy this at all! Seriously, you don’t have to buy everything you see on the Internet!
But if you need sleep tracking, get a cheap yet accurate fitness band such as MiBand or AmazFit Bip. For sleep music playback, get a Bluetooth speaker, or even a Nest Mini Google smart speaker to play sleep sounds from whatever the music app you want. It will save you quite a lot of money!
Obviously, it will loud and won’t really work if you have someone sleeping next to you who wouldn’t want that. Then you really have to reconsider if you really need this person on your bed or not!
Well, talking about the Nest mini, did you know I have a Nest Mini giveaway on my channel. Well, I will give out a Nest Mini smart speaker to a lucky winner when I reach 1000 subscribers on my channel. I’ve been saying that for months but it seems nobody wants that. But you can! If you want to learn more about how to enter the giveaway, check the video in the description below the subscribe button. Just a heads up, you need to subscribe to the channel to be eligible!
That’s it from me about AmazFit ZenBuds. If you liked the video, give it a thumbs up and subscribe to get more content like this. And don’t forget to share this video with your friends who have sleeping problems.