Sleepbuds prototypes were introduced in November 2017 on Indiegogo, and sold-out in six days. Non-production units were sent to owners in March 2018, who provided feedback on their performance so improvements could be made to final production units — which all Indiegogo backers will receive as a replacement, free of charge.
The Bose sleepbuds are tiny, truly wireless earbuds that combine an ultra-comfortable design with soothing sounds to block, cover, and replace the most common noises that interfere with sleep - "the smallest Bose product ever made," they say. They come with 10 pre-loaded “sleeptracks” that mirror the frequencies of snoring, neighbors, dogs, traffic, and more — hiding them beneath a layer of relaxing audio. They feature new patented ear tips for a snug, soft, barely-felt fit, and can run for up to 16 hours.
"Bose sleepbuds are also the first Bose product to use Bose noise-masking technology. They aren’t active noise cancelling headphones, they’re not in-ear headphones with an added feature, and they don’t stream music — because every last detail was optimized for one thing — better sleep, all night, every night," the company states.
“Noise-masking is a science,” explains Daniel Lee, systems engineer for Bose sleepbuds. “It’s more than ambient sound or white noise. You can’t achieve it by simply turning up the volume on calming songs. And depending on the situation, it’s more effective than active noise cancelling — even ours. During the day, QuietComfort headphones improve focus and productivity, or let you hear your playlists and calls clearly in loud places. But at night, you’re trying to shut down completely, and the world is naturally more quiet — and when it’s quiet, even the slightest sound seems loud. Bedside machines can’t cover it, earplugs can’t block it, and earbuds meant for sitting, tanding, or moving can’t be worn for hours laying down — especially on your side. But Bose sleepbuds can. And if you’re someone who’s tried everything and nothing’s worked, or haven’t tried anything believing nothing will, we made them for you.”
“Sleep deprivation is a growing, global epidemic that impacts our lives and our health,” adds Brian Mulcahey, category director of Wellness at Bose. “It hits close to home for us, too. For years, our customers, coworkers, friends, and family members have asked us to make a product that helps them fall asleep and stay asleep. We took that seriously, and put together an incredible team of experts in noise management, acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronic miniaturization, wireless in-ear headphones, and neurology. They represent some of the top talent in their fields, and their work inspired our entire company. Because behind the staggering statistics are real people, and this product can be a game changer for many of them.”
An Engineering Breakthrough
Bose sleepbuds are a sophisticated engineering feat. Each bud weighs just 1.4 grams, and measures just over 1 centimeter wide and high. On their exterior is a laser-etched antenna for reliable connectivity to a phone or tablet. Inside, there’s a rechargeable silver-zinc battery, a miniscule transducer, and a micro-circuit board with flash memory to store the pre-loaded noise-masking sound files. Both attach to a new noise-isolating StayHear+ Sleep tip — another line of defense that creates a physical barrier to unwanted sound. StayHear+ Sleep tips are included in three sizes. They’re soft, pliable, and virtually weightless. And their materials, shape and form were optimized specifically for rest, so they feel great and stay in all night, regardless of sleep position.
Bose sleepbuds use low-energy Bluetooth, are iOS and Android compatible, and come with the Bose Sleep app that makes it easy to update, control, and select preferences. Users can set an alarm for the morning, choose the sleeptrack and volume that works best for their environment — and instantly hear gentle waves instead of a noisy partner, rustling leaves instead of the party next-door, smooth-turning wind turbines instead of busy city streets, and more.
Bose sleepbuds come in a brushed aluminum charging case that provides up to 16 hours of battery life unplugged — perfect for travel and overnight stays. They have a high-gloss white finish and will retail for $249 USD. They’re available in the US and Canada now, as well at Bose stores, bose.com, and select resellers; and select markets in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Mexico and Latin America this fall. It will be interesting how this product develops and how many people are willing to spend that amount of money.