Marpac Sleep Mate/SoundScreen Sound Conditioner MP980

Marpac Sleep Mate/SoundScreen Sound Conditioner MP980

ratings (6 Epinions reviews)
Share This!
  Ask friends for feedback

Getting a Good Night's Sleep

May 18, 2003 (Updated Feb 11, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Virtually seamless white noise. Lightweight. Economical.


The Bottom Line: The Marpac Sleep Mate/SoundScreen 980 is the best "white noise" product available. It is lightweight, economical, and it's effective.

Do noises interrupt your sleep or make it difficult for you to concentrate? Fret no more! The Marpac SleepMate or Sound Screen is your answer. These quality sound conditioners create a seamless, smooth sound of rushing air. This "white noise" sound effectively masks unwanted noises, making it easier to concentrate, relax and/or sleep. They are quality made in the USA.

The SleepMate and Sound Screen are offered in both Single speed (model 580) and Dual speed (model 980). The tone and volume of the sound are controlled by simply rotating the "cap" (top) and "collar" (side) of the housing. I recommend the Dual speed because it offers even more control of the volume.

Here’s how it works: The cap and collar have small openings in them. By rotating the cap and/or collar, you allow more or less sound to exit these openings which affects the unit’s tone and volume. The 980 has high and low settings (dual speeds) offering a greater range of tone and volume than the single speed setting of the 580. At the bottom rim of the unit, there are tiny openings that allow air to enter.

Please note that the openings at the bottom rim must never be covered or the unit will overheat, malfunction and ultimately, fail.

Don’t be confused as to which one of these to buy. They are virtually identical except for their names. The Marpac Corporation realized the name, “SleepMate” would not be well received by their secondary market: companies who are essentially looking to increase productivity in the office.

To Marpac’s thinking, no company wants their employees to use a product, while at work, with the word, “sleep” in it. Enter the name, “Sound Screen”.

Unlike most other sound conditioners whose sounds are processed, simulated, replicated, digitally enhanced, and then looped, the SleepMate/Sound Screen uses the simple, natural sound of real whooshing air. The 980 and 580 produce white noise mechanically (like a fan) - all other models produce white noise digitally.

To name just a few, the SleepMate/Sound Screen successfully masks out

• Street noise
• Television and stereo
• Barking dogs
• Snoring spouse
• Appliance noise
• Tinnitus (ringing, buzzing in the ears)
• Noisy neighbors
• Air traffic
• Conversation

I own two SleepMate 980s. One is "permanently" plugged in on my nightstand and the other is for staying overnight elsewhere. It is a lifesaver! Now, I need not worry about unwanted noises awakening me. The gentle, whooshing sound of air melts into the night blocking all unwanted noises.

Unless my SleepMate is on, sounds like barking dogs, street noises, lawnmowers, slamming doors, and other sounds that go bump in the night and early morning can and probably would awaken me.

The closer you place the SleepMate/Sound Screen to your ears, the louder the white noise is. On rare occasions, while travelling, the external noises were so loud and so frequent that I had to place the unit literally on my pillow. Needless to say, I slept peacefully.

The SleepMate/Sound Screen has proven to be a durable and effective design. Tests have shown units that are used on average 8 hours per night, last at least 15 years or more.

Marpac Corporation was founded in 1962 as Buck Manufacturing Company in Elkhart, Indiana. The company was formed to produce the original "Sound-O- Sleep" sound conditioner which was invented by Jim Buckwalter for his personal use.

The "Sound-O-Sleep" quickly became popular among his friends and acquaintances, and was to become the first successful sound conditioner for consumer use in the world.

In 1968, operations were moved to the present location in Wilmington, North Carolina. In 1997, Marpac became an employee owned company.

Marpac lists the Single speed Model 580 for $46.95 and the Dual speed Model 980 for $56.95. At the time this is written, Health Devices. Net ( is offering the Model 580 for $44.00 and the Model 980 for $47.50.

• SIZE: 5 3/4" base diameter: 3 1/4" high
• WEIGHT: Model 580: 1.5 lbs.; Model 980: 1.6 lbs.
• COLOR: Fog White
• ELECTRICAL: Normal Household Current
• POWER CORD: 8 feet long
• STANDARDS: UL Listed-U.S. & Canada

Recommend this product? Yes

Read all comments (6)

Share this product review with your friends   
Share This!