What We Like
Simple, straightforward design
Compact and portable
Option to run on batteries
What We Don't Like
Very little sound variety
Not the highest sound quality
Since 1987, HoMedics has promoted health and well-being with its line of in-home wellness products. With the affordable SoundSpa Sound Machine, HoMedics aims to block out ambient distractions and create a perfect environment for relaxation.
In order to test its claims and figure out if a device with such an affordable price tag can still deliver on quality, we gave the machine to a willing tester who wanted to improve the quality of his sleep. “For a while now, I have been curious about adding a sleep machine into my nightly routine to help combat some pesky insomnia,” he explained.
He used it nightly for four weeks, evaluating its effectiveness, design, and overall value. Read on to see what this basic machine gets right (and wrong).
Design: Simple and straightforward
The HoMedics SoundSpa has a diameter that's smaller than a typical smartphone and weighs less than a pound, which makes it perfect for moving around your home or taking on the go. The silver and white device is definitely designed with function in mind—there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles. Our tester told us that it's "very simple to use."
It has a few basic controls: a volume knob, a sleep timer button, and buttons for each of the six sound options. If you're placing the machine right next to your bed, you'll be happy to know that the "lighting is pretty minimal," according to our reviewer. "Of all the lights that are on the machine—like the ones associated with on/off and timers—none are bigger than the size of a small pill," he said.
If you need a very basic sleep machine, this is it.
In terms of power, you can plug it in, or there’s the option of batteries (four AAs), which makes it more versatile. Our tester added, “It's also fairly compact—it doesn't take up a lot of space and it's quite portable.” On the other hand, if you’re looking for a sleek, state-of-the-art machine to add to the aesthetics of your room, you’ll probably be disappointed. “The device looks a little cheap,” he said.
Sound Selection: Six basic options
The six digitally recorded sound options are White Noise, Thunder, Ocean, Rain, Summer Night, and Brook, all designed to mimic a natural environment. Our tester found the variety to be "pretty standard" in comparison to other sound machines on the market. But if you're looking for an extra calming effect, he suggests choosing Summer Night (crickets) or Ocean (crashing waves).
Sound quality: Leaves something to be desired
Let’s start with the positives: “The audio quality is fairly clear across the board and the sounds, in general, are pretty distinct, with no two completely identical,” our diligent tester reported back. “Volume control is pretty solid, too,” he continued. “The range is wide, which allows for setting a more serene mood to one that’s a bit more aggressive and may be needed to cover up any loud outside disturbances.” Also, he added that adjusting the volume doesn't affect the sound quality at all.
It’s still worth noting this a budget machine, and you’ll be able to tell when you listen closely. “Don’t expect a lavish spread when it comes to the variety of waves crashing or the different types of bugs chirping—most of the sounds are pretty one-note,” he warned. “If you want to fall asleep to a wild storm with exciting and surprising changes every few minutes, this is not the device for you.”
Extra Features: The sleep timer is convenient
As you might expect with such a budget-friendly machine, there aren’t a lot of special features. That being said, our tester did like the sleep timer, which can be set for 15, 30, or 60 minutes so you can sleep without having to worry about turning the machine off at some point.
Price: The affordable price tag is a huge selling point
At just $24.99, this product is a great value. It has everything you need in a sound machine—albeit without any exciting extras—at a fraction of the cost of most models.
HoMedics SoundSpa Sound Machine vs. Pure Enrichment Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine
Pure Enrichment’s Wave Premium Sleep Therapy Sound Machine is almost double the cost of the HoMedics SoundSpa Sound Machine, however, both devices offer the same number of sound selections. Both devices also have the same three sleep timer options. So why pay more? In terms of sound quality and selection, a lot of it comes down to personal preference. While HoMedics’ machine doesn’t boast superb audio quality, the difference is probably not worth the extra money—especially considering you aren’t getting additional customization with the Wave Premium.
Consider your needs when comparing the design of the two devices. The HoMedics sleep machine includes the option for battery power, whereas Pure Enrichment’s Wave Premium does not, giving the portable edge to HoMedics. In terms of visual appeal, we’d probably choose the Wave Premium, but the additional investment hardly seems worth it. If you’re looking for advanced sound features and exceptional quality, you’ll probably want to skip over both models in favor of a high-end unit.
Interested in seeing other models? Take a look at our list of the best white noise machines.
- Product Name SoundSpa Portable Sound Machine
- Product Brand HoMedics
- Price $24.99
- Weight 8 oz.
- Product Dimensions 6.5 x 6 x 2 in.
- Model Number SS-2000G
- UPC 031262057426
- Power Adapter included
- Batteries 4 AA (not included)
- Warranty 1 year limited