Bose recently announced development of its first in-ear bud design specifically for sleeping. Will this be the game changer light sleepers are looking for? Those familiar with Bose products know its patented noise-cancelling products are the best on the market. Many currently use its model 20 for sleeping despite the form factor limitations.
But the Bose Sleepbuds do not use this noise-cancelling technology. Instead, they are noise-masking. They play sounds aimed at drowning out surrounding noise. The buds come with an accompanying Bose app that plays soothing sounds similar to the countless sleep apps currently available. You might wonder: can’t I already do this with sleep-friendly earphones and my iPhone app? Yes, but Bose promises a design that’s a step above the competition.
Even slim earbuds can be painful for side or stomach sleepers [see our recommended side and stomach sleeper pillows]. The Bose Sleepbuds promise to be more comfortable for any type of sleeper, thanks to their cordless, slim design with an earpiece that stays comfortable longer.
The biggest downside, potentially a deal breaker for some, is Sleepbuds can only play the Bose-selected sounds and won’t plug into other 3rd party music apps. So don’t expect to be lulled to sleep by your favorite NPR podcast. Included on the Bose app is an alarm option to wake you up in the morning.
An early-adopter trail of Sleepbuds, promoted through Indigogo, is already full. Several trial product price tiers were offered ranging from $150-$185. These Sleepbuds will ship to this early customer group in February 2018. The mass market release is currently slated for later in 2018, with an anticipated price of $249.
Sleepbuds come with tiny internal batteries that last for 2 nights without charge, so sleepers will need to remember to plug them in every other day. A USB wall charger is included.
If the concept of Sleepbuds sounds familiar, you’re not mistaken. Bose purchased a company called Hushbuds that debuted a very similar product, but never made it into the hands of consumers. We can assume Sleepbuds will be an iterative improvement on the original Hushbuds.
What are some alternatives to Sleepbuds while you wait to try them? As mentioned above, the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones are popular with sleepers and employ real noise-cancelling tech. If noise is a real issue, it doesn’t get better than these — and they work without any music playing. There are numerous cheap noise-masking earplug options available on the market as well of varying quality. Below is a sampling of what’s available on Amazon. Issues with currently available products ranges from over-heating face masks to uncomfortable wires, but a compromise for better sleep is one many are willing to make.