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Bose Sleepbuds. A quiet revolution (Australian review)
4.0Overall Score

Price (RRP): $379
Manufacturer: Bose

Bose Sleepbuds may help you to get to sleep and stay asleep – well at least until its personal alarm wakes you. But there are caveats.

More than half of Australian’s suffer from regular sleep deprivation. Sleep experts have found that apart from avoiding things like alcohol, caffeine and establishing a better circadian rhythm, our environment affects sleep too.

Temperature/humidity (19° and <50% are considered optimal), darkness (a darkened room with no bright light sources like LED alarms), mattress type, and noise all need to be just right for a good sleep.

Studies confirm that external noise (often from traffic) and internal noise (fans, air conditioners, dripping taps, partner snoring) can cause poor sleep and result in long-term health issues.

Those same studies suggest that 50% of participants experience better sleep quality with reductions in both noise and lighting issues.

25 Doctors have a simple guide to getting better deep sleep here.

Enter Bose Sleepbuds

Bose is careful not to make any clinical or health claims. You won’t read that they are the panacea to better sleep, that you will get to sleep faster or sleep longer. What you will read is that they can help control one aspect of the sleep environment – noise.


And after testing we agree – Bose Sleepbuds minimise background noise.

The secret is three things. Sleepbuds reduce sounds using a fitted silicone sleeptip that slips into the outer ear (not the ear canal). It is not noise cancellation that Bose is an expert at. Bose supplies small, medium and large sleeptips. We found that a comfortable fit was more important than a tight fit.


Bose Sleepbuds cover noises and replace them with more palatable ones. For example, if your partner is a chainsaw snorer, it offers a choice of several noises (tracks) – let’s call it anti-noise – to help mask that.

When fitted correctly it does not block all the noise – you need to be able to hear alarms etc. Subjectively we say it reduces that noise by around 50% and then uses the anti-noise to smooth over it.

Daniel Lee, systems engineer for Bose sleepbuds, said:

Noise-masking is a science.  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.

When it’s quiet, even the slightest sound seems loud. Bedside [white/pink noise] machines can’t cover it, earplugs can’t block it, and [Bluetooth] earbuds meant for sitting, standing, 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 [work] we made them for you.

Review. Bose Sleepbuds

Australian website here.

What are Bose Sleepbuds?

A pair of tiny left and right (1cm round, 1.4g) electronic buds placed in either a small, medium or large silicon StayHear+ Sleeptip. The buds are small enough to comfortably side-sleep.

Inside each bud is a rechargeable battery and some electronics to communicate with an iOS or Android app. They are not speakers per se.