So far, SleepDeep are Alpine’s only reusable silicone earplugs with an oval instead of a round shape.
This caught my attention. I have had good success with oval tips for earbuds.
In fact, very few companies make any oval reusable earplugs, which is surprising because most people’s ear canal is—oval.
And indeed, SleepDeep (M/L), despite appearing to be a bit on the small side, fit my ears well and are very comfortable.
I can sleep with them on the side for a whole night without any issues.
In terms of noise reduction, I rate them as medium-strength earplugs.
They are good for reducing mid and higher-frequency noise, including chatter, smaller vehicle honking, and creaking sounds.
I like these oval plugs a lot as earplugs for studying—reading and improving focus, and for relaxing. They are comfy and subdue even louder coffee shop noise well enough for me to feel at ease and be able to concentrate.
If this is what you need, Alpine SleepDeep are a good option.
Also, I experience very little occlusion effect with these, which is great: my own voice doesn’t sound amplified, and I don’t hear my heart beat.
Against lower-pitched AC compressor drone, truck rumble, music bass, and snoring sounds, I find them only average.
Noise reduction and character
SleepDeep (SNR 27, no NRR specified) are good mufflers, similar to wax and silicone putty earplugs but with less occlusion effect.
Because they muffle and reduce the volume of speech quite well, they are too effective for holding a conversation but good if you want to concentrate in an office or while studying.
Note, however, they do not completely block speech.
Here is a noise reduction chart, comparing SleepDeep to a few other types of earplugs:
The higher the line at a certain frequency, the more effective the earplugs are at that frequency.
As, you can see, well-inserted foam earplugs (green line) still outperform SleepDeep (dark orange line) by a large margin across the complete range, but in particular against low and lower-mid frequency noise.
For this reason, foam earplugs can provide substantially more relief against all kinds of noise, but in particular snoring, trucks, and music bass.
(This is exactly what I experience when comparing foam and SleepDeep.)
They suppress speech noise, crying, and high-pitched noises more effectively than those.
(See the increasing gap from 1000 Hz between the blue and dark orange lines in the chart.)
For me, this makes them somewhat better for concentrating on my reading or just relaxing in a louder coffee shop or office than both Loop or Vibes (as long as I don’t need to communicate).
On the flip side, for lowering the volume while preserving speech clarity, i.e., if you want to pay attention to conversations, Loop and Vibes are better.
Unlike with Loop, with these alpine plugs, my heart rate, own eating sounds, and own voice appear are not amplified, which is great.
In that respect, they are comparable to Vibes, one of my favorite earplugs for noise sensitivities.
Why consider oval earplugs?
Take a look at the following foam earplugs, which I have just removed from my ears. Before insertion, they were round, but now, after removal, they have an oval shape, the shape of my ear canal:
I am not alone. Many people’s ear canal is more or less oval.
Round reusable silicone earplugs can work, and many people do well with them, but they are not as malleable as foam or putty earplugs.
A design that is closer to the natural shape of your ear can potentially give you a better seal and increased wearing comfort.
SleepDeep come in two sizes: M/L and S, which can be purchased separately or as a combi-pack.
If you are unsure which size to get, I would go for the combi-pack.
I have a large ear canal, so I knew S wouldn’t do anything for me. I was actually surprised that the M/L size works for my ears, but it does. I think this is primarily owed to the oval shape.
It is refreshing to see Alpine innovate.
Most Alpine earplugs, such as the round SleepSoft, come only in a single size, and that size is too small for me.
Insertion and Removal
To insert SleepDeep, pull your ear up and insert the earplug. See to it that the oval shape aligns with the shape of your ear canal.
The removal tag/grip should be towards the back of your head, away from the tragus (the little bump in front of your ear canal).
These plugs are made of a very soft silicone. When they don’t go in easily, I moisturize them a bit with my lips before insertion.
To remove the earplugs, I pull up my ear again. With the other hand I move them back and forth, pulling gently (!) on the removal tag to loosen the seal.
They can be a bit sticky. Do not just yank them out; remove them slowly!
I find Alpine’s SleepDeep to be very comfortable reusable earplugs. In particular, if you don’t do well with round reusable silicone earplugs, these oval ones could be the solution.
And, unlike with the round Alpine SleepSoft, you have two sizes to try.
SleepDeep muffle noises well; I find them soothing. Against low frequency sounds, however, they are only moderately effective.
For me, the optimal use case for them is as study earplugs and for relaxation.
I can also sleep with them comfortably on the side. I would say, as long as you are not looking for snore or bass noise blockers, SleepDeep are also worth a try for sleeping.
I’d prefer them to wax and silicone putty plugs because they exhibit a much smaller occlusion effect in my ears.
Personally, I will mostly continue with foam earplugs at night, precisely because I often need effective low frequency noise blockers.
*Noise reduction ratings and data as reported by the manufacturers.