LectroSound and LectroFan Micro 2 sleep sound machines, ZVOX VoiceBud batteries (Week 18, 2019)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 18, 2019

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 take anywhere, and I would like to try it. What was the model?

-T.G., Augusta, GA

A. The model I wrote about in 2017 was the LectroFan Micro. It has since been replaced with the LectroFan Micro2. The LectroFan Micro2 has 11 different sounds to help you sleep, including white noise, pink noise, brown noise, fan sounds and two ocean surf sounds. It also 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 LectroFan Micro2 is available in several colors for $34.95.

While it is not as tiny as the LectroFan Micro2, I would also consider the new LectroSound. Selling for less than $20, the LectroSound exemplifies the adage, “simpler is better.” The LectroSound does only one thing, create white noise to help you sleep, and the tone and volume knobs allow you to quickly and easily tune it to personal perfection. I took the LectroSound on a trip earlier this year and loved both the sound quality and ease of use, and the light weight and small size make it very travel-friendly. It is USB-powered and a USB AC adapter is included.

The LectroSound gets my highest recommendation, and the excellence of the product as well as the $19.95 selling price qualifies it as an impulse buy. For less than $40 you can buy two, one to stay at your bedside at home and one to keep in your suitcase.

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 real concern, though. Would you please pass these tips about batteries on to your readers?

The VoiceBuds are powered by #312 batteries. They can be quite expensive to purchase in small quantities, but Costco sells them in packs of 48 for $8.99, or about 0.18 each. Amazon is a bit more expensive, selling packs of 60 for $13.95 or 0.23 each. CVS sells a single pack of 10 for $11.29, or 1.13 each.

Instructions on the batteries state to remove the cover tab and wait one minute before installing. Supposedly waiting up to five minutes will extend their working life. I haven’t done an extensive study, but waiting longer does seems to extend battery life. For me it is in the 3 day range.

-R.J., Santa Clara, CA

A. Thank you for passing on these great tips. Overall reader response to this product has been very positive, so I am sure you will be helping a lot of people who have them. Your timing is good as they may be finding some new owners this month. The ZVOX VoiceBuds are on sale until the end of May for $199 each, reduced from $299, and no coupon code is needed.