Before I was a mom, I always had a difficult time getting to sleep. After kids, it was the challenge of getting them to sleep. Now, when I’m awake, it’s usually not because I can’t sleep but because I have so much to get done and not enough hours in the day. (Can anyone relate?) In the past, I have tried many things to get to sleep…everything from drinking warm milk, keeping a note pad beside my bed to write down things as they pop into my head, even counting sheep, etc. Unfortunately, most of the time, none of these tactics worked. With my kids, I focused on the 5S’s by Dr. Karp, author of The Happiest Baby on the Block. White noise is something that I knew worked well but sometimes I needed a break from all the Shhhhhing and a white noise machine was helpful. Even now that my kids are older, they enjoy something like music or white noice before bed to help them wind down.
Sound Oasis makes sound machines to help you get to sleep. In addition, white noise has many other benefits such as giving sleepers better “quality sleep, enhancing their concentration, and feeling more alert and comfortable throughout the day!” In addition, on their website, they talk about how it can soothe crying babies, help people who suffer from circumvent tinnitus discomfort, stress, and even menopause. That’s a long list of things that white noice can help! Who knew?!
I was talking to the representative for Sound Oasis, he told me, “Sound Oasis is the world leader in sound therapy systems. We are dedicated to making your life healthier and more enjoyable with creative sound solutions that combine superior quality with the very latest technology.”
Sound Oasis has been featured on Extreme Home Makeover – Home Edition and they have received the MBA: Mom’s Best Award.
Sound Oasis was kind enough to offer me the chance to review their S-650 Sound Oasis Sound System with, in addition to each of their sound cards: Sound Oasis Sounds for Baby, Sound Oasis Nature Journey, Sound Oasis Ear Therapy & Sound Oasis Spa Therapy.
This sound system is different from others on the market because it uses authentic nature sounds that have been clinically proven to help people get to relax. To find out more about the research team behind the Sound Oasis systems, please visit Sound Oasis’ research page. In addition, besides the Sound Oasis system, all other sound machines I have seen in the market have one list of songs and that is it; there is really no flexibility. Sound Oasis has come out with a great alternative, which utilizes sound cards to store various sounds. This allows users to switch between different sounds by simply swapping sound cards.
According to the Sound Oasis website, “The S-650 features; extra long, high fidelity sounds for exceptional sound realism, a backlit alarm clock allows users to wake to a buzzer or any sound, our patented Sleep Enhancement® technology that slows down sound playback to lull users to sleep, a multi-position timer (with 4 selections: continuous, 30, 60, and 90 minutes), a unique “gradual off” volume reduction feature for a peaceful decrease in sound volume, a headphone/speaker pillow jack, a one-touch off/ resume button that stops the unit or repeats your last played sequence, and an omnidirectional reflective speaker that projects sound from the back of the unit for rich, deep sound.”
Finally, this system can be used as a stand-alone system or as a portable system by either using the AC adapter that comes with the S-650 or 4-AA batteries (not included with the system). Having both options is great for several reasons. The portability of the system can allow you to take it with you anywhere: your office, the babysitter’s, etc. In addition, I like the idea that you can use the batteries as a backup. That means you no longer have to worry about your alarm clock resetting when the power goes out.
When I received the S-650 system, I set it up immediately. I enjoyed listening to all the different sound cards that are offered for this system. The first thing I noticed was how realistic these sounds were. It even has a heart beat function which is fantastic for babies. The speakers offered with this system seem to be high quality and I was happy with the sound. The first night I used this system, I had an extremely hard time trying to choose which sound to fall asleep to. I finally chose the Secluded Lake – “Experience the peacefulness of a secluded lake with gently lapping water and song birds”. I quickly realized this was not the sound for me. It reminds me of all the times I go camping and the birds wake me up at the crack of dawn.
I love all the different sounds. I especially like listening to the Thunderstorm sound from the Sleep/Relaxation/Wellness sound card. Since the sound of rainfall makes me happy, this one is a great choice for me!
In addition to putting me to sleep and my little ones to sleep, I have found it much easier to wake up in the morning to a relaxing sound than the harsh sound of the radio. I also enjoy that it gradually gets louder instead of blasts on at once first thing in the morning. Waking up gradually seems to be helpful. Overall, I find this is helps me feel more awake in the morning and I actually seem to have a bit more energy throughout the day.
After using the Sound Oasis S-650 system, I have come up with a few things I would love to see in Sound Oasis’ future systems.
1.) Sound cards with completely unique tracks. The sound cards Sound Oasis currently offers have some tracks repeated on multiple cards.
2.) An easier way to change the time. Unlike most alarm clocks, this system does not allow you to change the time by hours and minutes. For example, say your clock says 8:00am but it is actually 8:00pm and you want to change the time. To change the time on the S-650, you have to press the time change button as it goes through every possible time between 8:00am and 8:00pm. It would be much easier if I would just change the hour by pressing the button a few times. I found this process to be rather time consuming.
3.) I would also like to see Sound Oasis add the ability to change the time on the clock backwards or forwards. For example, say my alarm is set for 7:30am one morning and the next morning I need to get up at 7:00am. With the S-650, as it is now, I would have to go through each possible time between 7:30am and 7:00am (forwards). I would love to be able to switch the time or the alarm 10, 15, or 30 minutes backwards or forwards quickly and easily.
4.) I would like a control switch that allowed you to adjust the brightness of the display. I found it to be quite bright and distracting when trying to fall asleep. I fixed this problem by covering the display with a piece of paper. The downside to this was not being able to see the time. Possibly if it had a black background instead of a blue, it would be easier to tolerate.
5.) Finally, my last suggestion would rather be a luxury feature than a necessity. I would love to see Sound Oasis add an AM/FM radio to their next system. Since the current system doesn’t have that option, I have to choose between having a radio or the S-650 set up in my bedroom (I’d really prefer not to have both set up at the same time – I do not need 2 clocks). In the daytime, I enjoy listening to the radio while putting clothes away, etc. I really think the addition of this feature would be something people would enjoy.
Compared to other systems I have tried in the past, I really enjoy the Sound Oasis S-650. I really like the realness of their sounds, as well of the versatility of their sound cards. In addition, I like the idea of making different sound cards for different purposes and people; for example, for babies or people with tinnitus. However, by far, the best feature of this system has to be it’s ability to get me to sleep. To me, this seems like a miracle! If I had to recommend one sound system, it would definitely be the Sound Oasis S-650. Even though there are a few things I’d change, the benefits definitely outweigh those aspects. The S-650 certainly gets 2 thumbs up in my book!
Disclaimer: I was given one of the Sound Oasis S-650 Systems for no charge to review. I aim to provide objective reviews including both pros and cons and receiving the system has not altered my review.