Bose launched its first pair of Sleepbuds in June 2018, and although we initially fell in love with their comfortable design and ability to mask external noise, the product was ultimately ceased next year due to battery life issues.
Now Bose has launched the aptly named Sleepbuds II, which aims to solve the most important problems with the original buds and also promises a better night’s sleep. The new buds will be available in October for $ 249 / £ 229 / AU $ 379.
For those wondering what Sleepbuds even is, they are basically a pair of genuine wireless headphones that offer powerful “noise masking”
It’s important to note that (in Bose’s words) these headphones “are not active noise canceling headphones or in-ear headphones with an extra feature, and they do not stream music or allow you to make and receive calls”, so those looking for everyday music machines have to look elsewhere.
Some notable improvements over the original devices include a design overhaul, ergonomically, acoustically and electronically, as well as an expansion of the available sleep content in the Bose Sleep App, which now includes “over 35 methodically produced and tested tracks”.
The aforementioned battery problems are not explicitly mentioned in Bose’s release material, but it is stated that the devices will have a new battery that can have a life of 10 hours in the buds themselves and another 30 hours in the charging bag.
The noise masking technology that Bose uses here differs from the usual noise reduction that we see in other consumer headphones, in that it layers new sounds over problematic environmental noise to “cover and replace” sounds rather than actively interrupting them.
Bose partnered with the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and the UCHealth CARE Innovation Center to run one study on the improved version of this technique shown in Sleepbuds II, and found that 86% of participants thought the buds helped them fall asleep, and 76% claimed that it helped them sleep.
It remains to be seen how successful Bose Sleepbuds II are in their endeavor, and how worthy of their relatively high price tag they are, but if the stated improvements have really been implemented, we are cautiously optimistic about their capabilities.