Bose has been on the cutting edge of audio technology for several decades, especially during the 2010′s. They may not be first at every type of product, but Bose — much like Apple — perfects things other companies have failed at.
This time, Bose is trying a different kind of product, and it has me both intrigued and laughing. The sleep buds, which cost $249, are not designed for listening to music (and won’t work for that either), but have what Bose calls “noise-masking” technology. The buds allegedly “deliver uniquely engineered sounds that mask unwanted noise and lull you to sleep.”
What are these “engineered” sounds? They are the sounds of beaches, thunderstorms, waterfalls, etc. They are supposed to mask the sounds of snoring, loud cars, noisy neighbors, etc.
First of all (and I hate to be a critic before actually trying them), why can’t you just use regular wireless earbuds, download several soothing audio files, and play them wirelessly through Bluetooth? At the same time, you would only pay a fraction of the price. And is sound masking really good without actual active noise cancellation?
Speaking of noise cancellation, this is what I have used for the past five years in order to sleep. Some may find it uncomfortable, but I fall asleep wearing noise-cancelling over-the-ear headphones, noise-cancelling neckband earphones, and even earbuds. I just leave the headphones on without playing any music. As a person who wakes up easily to almost any type of sound, I can comfortably say that noise cancellation technology has saved me from my days as a frustrated insomniac. And if I want a little added layer of protection, I play slow EDM mood music.
But I am not everybody. And battery life, for many, is an issue. Bose claims that their new sleepbuds can last though two nights of sleep. The battery life on many regular wireless headsets is too limited. But the best thing about the sleepbuds is that you don’t need to tether them to a wireless phone; the sleep-masking sounds are stored in the buds themselves.
The Bose Noise-Masking sleepbuds will be available starting next week. I’m sure, because of the novelty of the product, they’ll sell out quickly. But will this be a long-lasting type of product, or will the sleepbuds make the list of the biggest technology flops of the decade — right along with the Google Glass?