Not getting enough sleep is a common problem. This may in part be caused by working long hours or too many Netflix binge sessions, but distracting noises such as traffic or a snoring partner can be a major hindrance to a good night’s sleep as well. While it can’t do anything to prevent you from marathoning Stranger Things, Bose has now presented a solution to the noise problem in the form of its “noise-masking sleepbuds.” After first introducing these guys via an Indiegogo campaign late last year, these Sleepbuds are now widely available for everyone.
These little earbuds are truly tiny — they weigh in at just 1.3 grams (compare that to AirPods, each of which weighs four grams). They’re powered by a silver-zinc rechargeable battery that lasts two nights per charge, and you can recharge them using the included charging case. But because they’re so teeny, they can’t really play much other than soothing sounds. You won’t be able to play any music, for example, and the sound files are stored locally on the earbuds.
You can transfer sounds via Bluetooth using the companion iOS or Android app, and for starters, the app has 10 sounds to choose from. You won’t be able to add any of your own sounds, though Bose seems confident that what it has provided is sufficient. “These sounds were engineered to maximize masking efficiency and/or facilitate relaxation,” the company claims. You can either program the Sleepbuds to play for a short amount of time, or to go all night.
They’re apparently quite comfortable to wear given their diminutive size, even if you’re a side sleeper. Another useful feature is the ability to set an alarm via the app on your smartphone. While those who don’t share a room with anyone else may not have much use for this option, we can see it being very helpful if you need to get up without waking your partner.
Alas, because the Sleepbuds are not actually noise canceling, they’re not great at actually drowning out outside noise. Rather, they create more noise (white noise, that is) in hopes of lulling you to sleep. So if you’re someone who wants complete silence in order to get some shuteye, these probably aren’t for you. After all, while white noise does help many people fall asleep, there are doubtless some who find it more harmful than helpful. Secondly, there are plenty of products and smartphone apps designed around this premise so it remains to be seen how useful this one will be.
Likely as a result of tapping into the market for tiny, unobtrusive earbuds that assist sleep, Bose’s Sleepbuds were very popular on Indiegogo, ultimately raising over $450,000. You can now buy them for $249 in the United States, and they’ll be made available in the fall in Asia and Europe.
Updated on June 21: Bose’s noise-masking sleepbuds are now available to buy for $249.