I was very skeptical about going to the Bose launch today for one primary reason. I had a dirty feeling I was going in to a product launch with nothing more than a re-engineered Bluetooth headset with a fancy new name. Spoiler alert: I was extremely wrong.
Bose Sleepbuds: One product, one mission
The Sleepbuds were created by the company to make people sleep better and nothing more. From their body to functionality, hardware and the companion app, everything was engineered to provide users with more peaceful and comfortable sleep in various environments.
The Sleepbuds are 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 optimised for one thing: better sleep, all night, every night.
“Noise-masking is a science,” says 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.”
Bose Sleepbuds: Design and body
This is a sophisticated feat of engineering. Each bud weighs just 1.4g and measures a little over 1cm wide and high. On the exterior is a laser-etched antenna (far left) for reliable connectivity to a phone or tablet. Inside, there’s a rechargeable silver-zinc battery (second from the left), a miniscule transducer (second from the right) and a micro-circuit board with flash memory (third and fourth from the left) to store the pre-loaded noise-masking sound files. Both attach to a new noise-isolating StayHear+ Sleep tip (far right) — 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 optimised specifically for rest, so they feel great and stay in all night, regardless of sleep position.
Bose Sleepbuds: Charging case and battery
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.
They also come in a brushed aluminium charging case that provides up to 16 hours of battery life unplugged.
Bose Sleepbuds: First look
So we got to test the devices for a short bit (unfortunately we couldn’t nap) and the first thing I have to say is that they are extremely comfortable. Bose’s fight to make a very small device seems to pay off since you can barely feel them inside your ear.
While we had the Sleepbuds on, sounds were played off a speaker to recreate situations such as a noisy street at night, a snoring partner and a neighbour’s party, and suitable tracks were played to mask those sounds. The feature works pretty well but one thing we figured out is that it is up to the user to find tracks that suit their needs best. For example, on one of the tracks you can’t hear the sounds of someone snoring but you could hear the sounds of a party.
The Bose Sleepbuds come with ten tracks preloaded on the flash memory of the device. Bose will also be adding a Sound Library to the app for users to download from a selection of tracks.
One thing that I found interesting was the use of a silver-zinc battery. While this will make no difference to the user, it does affect the charging time of the device. The Bose Sleepbuds take an approximate of eight hours to charge and the charging box has approximately one charge for the device.
Bose Sleepbuds: Price and availability
Bose Sleepbuds have a high-gloss white finish and will retail for Dh999. They’re available in the UAE at Bose stores, Bose.ae and select re-sellers.
Do keep an eye out for our upcoming review of the device. What do you think of this new product category? Do let us know in the comments below.