PROS / The machine is easy to operate.
CONS / Its noise masking abilities are not up to par with top-rated products.
VERDICT / This is a good travel-sized sleep machine, but don't expect superior sound masking ability.
The HoMedics SoundSpa SS-2000 is a small and lightweight sound machine that fits nicely on your nightstand without taking up much room. The white noise machine is powered by an AC adapter, but it can also be powered by four AA batteries. The SoundSpa has a nice look, with the gray controls and buttons highlighted by a white exterior. You turn the machine off by twisting the volume dial to 0, and you can set a timer turn the device off after 15, 30 or 60 minutes of running time.
The SoundSpa SS-2000 has six sleep sounds: thunder, ocean, brook, summer night, rain and white noise. The sound buttons encircle the speaker. The thunder loop is approximately 21 seconds long, and within that time frame you only hear two thunder booms, both of which are similar in volume and resonance. You never get the impression of a rolling thunderstorm due to the lack of sound variance.
Unfortunately, the ocean sounds like the ocean on a windy day. Frequent crashes and swells leave little time for other ocean sounds. There is also very little bass response, so you don’t receive the deep undertones that give you the soothing aspect of ocean noise.
The brook and rain sounds have similar characteristics. The brook sounds like heavy rainfall in puddled water, while the rain sounds like steady rain beating down on the street. The rain noise is one of the most relaxing noises on this sleep machine.
White noise on this sound machine resembles soft television static when your cable goes out. It is not obtrusive and is nice to fall asleep to, if you enjoy white noise. The white noise setting didn’t stand out in our sound masking tests. As one reviewer sat in a room with the sound machine running, another reviewer outside of the room created noises by turning on a vacuum, TV, stereo and blender. The sound spa struggled to mask the intrusive sound of a vacuum cleaner as it turned on. Also, the white noise maker didn't succeed at fully masking the street traffic outside of our testing facility, a feat that most sound machines in our comparison were able to accomplish. Its failure to mask noises that others did with ease makes us wary of this sound machine's sound masking ability.
The HoMedics SoundSpa SS-2000 is an ultraportable sound machine with six different sleep sounds. It has a simple design and is easy to operate. The overall sound quality isn't as good as our top-rated products, but it does boast relaxing sleep sounds. The SoundSpa is relatively inexpensive and is worth consideration, especially if you travel with your sleep machine.