PROS / The Conair has 10 different sound profiles, including rainforest, thunderstorm and white noise ones.
CONS / The audio sounds crackly and thin.
VERDICT / The Conair SU1W is good at canceling out some noises to create a quiet environment, but its sound profiles' quality is not that helpful for sleep.
The Conair SU1W features 10 different sound profiles, including sounds from the rainforest, thunderstorms, white noise and ocean waves crashing onto the beach. This sleep machine has an economy price tag, and you definitely get what you pay for – the sound quality is subpar and the looping patterns too noticeable.
In our tests, it only took a short time for all of our listeners to notice glaring loops in the sound profiles. This is not ideal for sleep. Noticeable audio patterns do not represent realism, nor are they soothing. In fact, a repeating pattern often becomes distracting because it gives you something to concentrate on, instead of the sound fading into the background to become relaxing.
The audio itself is a bit abrasive. Many of the profiles sound like static and have crackling qualities to them. The sound profiles don't have much low-end to them, which makes them sound thin and tinny as well. None of our reviewers felt that any of the profiles represented their real-world sounds well.
We had mixed results in the sound-masking tests for this sleep noise machine.
When the vacuum was on, the Conair was no match for it. The white noise generator would barely mask the sounds of someone in your household cleaning with a vacuum while you try to sleep or relax. One of our reviewers felt like the sound machine masked the outside traffic well, though, while the other felt it wasn't as good at masking the traffic as other white noise makers.
Our reviewers agreed that this sound machine did a fair job of canceling out noise from the television. When the sound machine and TV were both on, our reviewers could barely hear the TV. It was evident in our tests that the more abrasive the sound, the worse the Conair is at masking it.
Outside of the 10 sound profiles, there aren't many features on the Conair. On the side of the machine, by the power input, is an auto-timer switch. When this feature is on, it automatically turns the sound machine off after 60 minutes of run time, although other sound machines in our comparisons include timer options for 15, 30, 60 and 90 minutes for flexibility. You can power the sound machine with four AA batteries in addition to the power adapter. This is useful when the sound machine is not near a power outlet.
The Conair SU1W is priced for a budget. It doesn't have the prime audio quality of many of its competitors, but it does have the ability to mask some intrusive environmental sounds with its white noise setting, such as television and outside traffic. It can be helpful to create a quiet sleeping environment, but it doesn't do this nearly as well as the best sound machines in our comparisons.