PROS / This sound machine has Bluetooth capabilities and can be used as a portable speaker.
CONS / This Sound Oasis was the worst performer in our sound masking test.
VERDICT / This is a good option if you want a sleep machine that doubles as a Bluetooth speaker.
The Sound Oasis BST-100 is a compact sound machine that has Bluetooth capabilities. This white noise machine can be used as a portable Bluetooth speaker to stream music from your mobile phone, laptop or other Bluetooth-capable device, but it did not perform well in our sleep masking tests.
The first thing we noticed is that this sound machine is much smaller than the other sound machines we tested. The BST-100 is about the size of a baseball. This means it won't take up much room on your nightstand and can be moved around easily. The base of the machine boasts a circular rubber pad that sticks to the surface it's placed on. This keeps the sound machine in place as you press the buttons at the base of the speaker.
For an undersized unit with a small speaker, this machine has good sound quality. It doesn't sound tinny like most small speakers do. It has good bass response, which is evident in some of the white noise profiles and the heartbeat sound option.
The BST-100 boasts 10 preloaded sleep sounds on a microSD card. The sleep sounds include three different types of white noise, plus rain, thunderstorm, summer night, rainforest, heartbeat and two ocean sounds.
The three white noise profiles differ in frequency. The one with the deepest tone is used to mask unwanted exterior noise. Another sounds like loud television static, and the third is a subtle white noise to help you relax. We tested the white noise setting to see how well it masked external environmental noise. One reviewer was inside the room with the sound machine playing white noise. A reviewer outside would randomly turn on a vacuum, stereo, TV and blender, as well as outside traffic. Unfortunately, this white noise generator was the worst performer in our sound masking testing. The TV and traffic – two noises that were masked by many of its competitors – were easy to hear through the white noise. More abrasive sounds such as the blender and vacuum cut right through the white noise easily. The white noise did little to create a quiet environment.
The thunderstorm sleep sound is similar to the rain sound, especially at the beginning of the loop. Rain and thunderstorm are almost mistakable for the same sound until the thunder starts crashing. The thunder is mostly in the distance, which is nice and relaxing.
The two ocean sleep sounds are similar as well. The difference between the two is that one of them sounds like you are standing on the beach as the water touches your feet then recedes back into the ocean, while the other sounds like the ocean crashing into rocks along the shoreline. Both ocean noises sound good, especially since this small speaker has good bass response.
This sound machine does not have a display of any kind. Since you don't know what sound you are playing until you hear it, it can be inconvenient trying to find a specific sound. You just have to click the Next button and listen to find specific sounds.
If you want to listen to this white noise maker in private, you can plug headphones into the Sound Oasis via the headphone jack. There is also a 1/8-inch auxiliary input that lets you use the sound machine as an external speaker for music or videos. You can also stream audio from your Bluetooth-enabled devices. This is the only sound machine we reviewed that boasts Bluetooth capabilities.
To take full advantage of the BST-100's Bluetooth capabilities, you can download a Sound Oasis app on your phone and stream the sounds via Bluetooth. There are a few such apps that vary in price range. This features lets you expand your sound library without having to load new SD sound cards. With the app you can adjust the volume and set a timer for your sleep sound to stop. You can set the timer to play for five minutes all the way up to 120 minutes, or to continuously play until you manually shut it off.
The BST-100 is powered by a mini USB connector and doesn't come with a wall jack. When the sound machine is fully charged, it boasts anywhere from five to eight hours of battery life depending on how you are using the speaker.
The Sound Oasis BST-100 is the only sound machine we reviewed that boasts Bluetooth capabilities. It is small yet projects good sound quality with decent bass response, but it's not good for masking external noise. This can be an issue for graveyard workers who sleep during the day. The Bluetooth capabilities and small portable size make this sound machine worthwhile, but don't expect it to cover up environmental noise.