Getting a good night’s sleep isn’t easy. Dogs barking, sirens, snoring and noisy AC units are just a few things that can keep you awake. This is why Bose, which is known for its noise-cancelling technology, is getting into the health and wellness space with its new Noise-Masking Sleepbuds.
A plethora of medical research found lack of sleep can lead to health issues including heart disease, strokes, cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. Not to mention a lack of concentration, memory loss, moodiness and general anxiety.
Launched in NYC, we were there to see how the Sleepbuds can improve the quality of your sleep, and in turn, improve your general health and wellbeing.
Why haven’t Sleepbuds been done before? Simply put, the technology just hasn’t been available concerning battery life, comfort and health. Bose’s new Sleepbuds are tiny, lightweight – that’s 1.4 grams per bud – and wireless so you can insert them into your ears, and rest in comfort, even on your side, for the entire night.
They work by blocking, covering and replacing the sounds that would otherwise keep you up.
First, a flexible ‘StayHear+’ sleep tip helps seal your ear canal and block ambient noise. Next, a variety of sounds or ‘white noises’ cover and replace what’s left.
These sounds are specially designed to mask things like snoring, sirens and traffic noise. Using the Bose Sleep app, you can choose which sound you’d like to hear, select the duration, and set an alarm to wake you up.
Sleepbuds test drive
I was lucky enough to test them out at the launch event in NYC. First, you insert the Sleepbuds into your ear. They are amazingly light, and, using advanced silver-zinc battery technology, they are small enough that you can rest on your side without any discomfort. There are also flexible little fins that hold the buds securely in place, and you can choose between 3 different ‘StayHear+’ earpiece sizes for the perfect fit.
Once seated in my ear, I sat in a demo room that played a variety of nighttime sounds close to my heard, such as snoring. It is amazing how much noise the passive StayHear+ seal can suppress. When listening to the ‘rustling leaves’ white noise track, the last traces of snoring sounds completely disappear.
While the white noise might, in itself, seem distracting, you do get used to it. Bose tells me that the mind kind of “cancels it out” after a while. It’s sort of like getting used to going to sleep with the TV on, or a fan running. You can also adjust the volume based on the intensity of the ambient noise.
You can decide to have the white noise play for only a couple of hours, or otherwise, all night. Also, the alarm setting is fantastic because it only wakes you up, and not your partner, so no more guilt rousing up your significant other when you need to get up earlier – or vice versa.
It’s all about the battery
Technology-wise, the silver-zinc battery technology is a step ahead of lithium-ion batteries and gives you about 16 hours of charge, or a couple of night’s sleep per cycle. They charge in 8 hours, which seems long, but is probably not an issue as you would charge them during the day before your next sleep.
It’s important to note that there’s no active ‘noise cancelling’ with the Sleepbuds. ANC consumes power – it would be difficult to have enough charge to run all night. Audio ‘sleep’ files are resident on the tiny circuit board inside them. New white noise tracks can sync to the Sleepbuds on release.
Streaming music as you would with a normal set of Bluetooth headphones isn’t possible. The buds use a very low energy Bluetooth wireless technology to control them. You don’t want a lot of wireless energy streaming sounds into your head all night. It may not be too healthy.
I didn’t get to try them for an entire night. But I feel Sleepbuds are undoubtedly effective in covering up nighttime noises and could help improve my sleep. My partner would also love them, as, I’m the guy who snores.
In the box
The buds come in a beautifully crafted aluminium charging case. It uses magnets to help you guide the little buds into their charging positions. A bank of white LEDs to indicate the charge levels. My only gripe is that the case uses Micro USB rather than the new USB-C connection type.
The Bose Sleepbuds will be available to buy in Australia in September and will cost $379. You’ll be able to pick them up from major electronics retailers, Bose shops and the Bose website.
A technology that helps you sleep could have a genuine, significant impact on your overall quality of life. It could improve productivity and even your long-term health. So, it’s great to see Bose taking the lead in this space.
Check out our interview below with Brian Mulcahey, Director of Wellness for Bose USA. He tells just about everything you need to know about the Sleepbuds.
Valens Quinn travelled to the New York launch of the Bose Noise-masking Sleepbuds as a guest of Bose Australia.