Q: I travel a great deal for my job and have trouble sleeping away from home. You once wrote about a sleep sound machine that is small enough to fit in your luggage, and I would like to try it. But its name has slipped my memory. Can you help?
A: Actually, your memory is pretty good if you can remember reading that column. I wrote it two years ago. The model I wrote about was the LectroFan Micro, which has since been replaced with the LectroFan Micro2. It has 11 different sounds to help you sleep, including the standard white noise as well as the newer pink noise (white noise with reduced high frequencies) and brown noise (even fewer high frequencies). It also has fan sounds and two ocean surf sounds.
In addition, it works as a Bluetooth speaker and has a mic for speakerphone operation. The rechargeable battery offers 40 hours of playback as a sleep sound machine and 20 hours as a Bluetooth speaker. It is the same size and shape as a small jar of cold cream and fits easily in any suitcase or travel bag. The Micro2 is available in several colors for $34.95.
I also would consider its cousin, the new LectroSound, which sells for less than $20. It does only one thing: create white noise to help you sleep. The tone and volume knobs allow you to quickly and easily tune it to personal taste. I took the LectroSound on a trip earlier this year and loved both the sound quality and ease of use. It is USB-powered, and a USB AC adapter is included. See both the LectroFan Micro2 and LectroSound at soundofsleep.com.
Q: Thank you for mentioning the ZVOX VoiceBud Hearing Aids in your column. My hearing is adequate for most situations, but sometimes I need a little help. The VoiceBuds are just what I needed, and at $299 each, they cost far less than prescription hearing aids. I mostly use them when I am going out and will be engaged in an important conversation.
Battery cost can be a concern, though. The VoiceBuds are powered by 312 batteries. They can sell for $1.20 apiece, and the cost can run up in a hurry. Is there an alternative?
A: Buy them in bulk. Yes, they can be quite expensive to purchase in small quantities, but Costco sells them in packs of 48 for $8.99, or about 19 cents each, and Amazon sells packs of 60 for $13.95, 23 cents each.
As for the VoiceBuds themselves, they are on sale until the end of May for $199 each, reduced from $299, and no coupon code is needed (zvox.com).
Send questions to Don Lindich at email@example.com. Get recommendations and read past columns at soundadvicenews.com.