Tuesday, 11 September 2018 17:27

Bose sleepbuds launch and want to be your best buddy for sleep

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Bose has announced its new noise-masking sleepbuds, billed as "tiny, truly wireless earbuds that combine an ultra-comfortable design with soothing sounds to block, cover, and replace the most common noises that interfere with sleep".

Bose sleepbuds are the smallest Bose product ever made and are packed with proprietary technology.

They come with 10 pre-loaded “sleeptracks” that mirror the frequencies of snoring, neighbours, dogs, traffic, and more – hiding them beneath a layer of relaxing audio.

Featuring new patented ear tips for "a snug, soft, barely-felt fit", they can run for up to 16 hours, and are the newest solution to "solve a problem for millions of people that’s vexed a multi-billion dollar industry".

The company says its sleepbuds "are the first Bose product to use Bose noise-masking technology", and aren’t active noise cancelling headphones, nor are they in-ear headphones with an added feature, and they don’t stream music.

That's because Bose says "every last detail was optimised for one thing – better sleep, all night, every night".

Bose noise-masking technology

Daniel Lee, systems engineer for Bose sleepbuds said: “Noise-masking is a science. 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.

"During the day, QuietComfort headphones improve focus and productivity, or let you hear your playlists and calls clearly in loud places.

"But at night, you’re trying to shut down completely, and the world is naturally more quiet – and when it’s quiet, even the slightest sound seems loud. Bedside machines can’t cover it, earplugs can’t block it, and earbuds meant for sitting, standing, or moving can’t be worn for hours laying down – especially on your side.

"But Bose sleepbuds can. And if you’re someone who’s tried everything and nothing’s worked, or haven’t tried anything believing nothing will, we made them for you.”

Brian Mulcahey, category director of Wellness at Bose, said: "Sleep deprivation is a growing, global epidemic that impacts our lives and our health.

“It hits close to home for us, too. For years, our customers, coworkers, friends, and family members have asked us to make a product that helps them fall asleep and stay asleep. We took that seriously, and put together an incredible team of experts in noise management, acoustics, psychoacoustics, electronic miniaturisation, wireless in-ear headphones, and neurology.

"They represent some of the top talent in their fields, and their work inspired our entire company. Because behind the staggering statistics are real people, and this product can be a game changer for many of them.”

An engineering breakthrough

Naturally, Bose claims its sleepbuds are "a sophisticated engineering feat".

Each bud weighs just 1.4 grams, and measures just over a centimetre wide and high. On the exterior is a laser-etched antenna for reliable connectivity to a phone or tablet.

Inside, we're told there’s "a rechargeable silver-zinc battery, a minuscule transducer and amplifier, and a micro-circuit board with flash memory to store the pre-loaded noise-masking sound files".

"Both attach to a new noise-isolating StayHear+ Sleep tip – another line of defence 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."

The Bose Sleep app and Sleepbud charging case

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".

"Users can set an alarm for the morning, choose the sleeptrack and volume that works best for their environment — and instantly hear gentle waves instead of a noisy partner, rustling leaves instead of the party next-door, smooth-turning wind turbines instead of busy city streets, and more.

"Bose sleepbuds come in a brushed aluminium charging case that provides up to 16 hours of battery life unplugged — perfect for travel and overnight stays."

Availability and price

Bose sleepbuds have a high-gloss white finish and will retail for A$379, from today (11 September) from Bose stores, the Bose website, and select resellers.

A thank you To Indiegogo customers

Bose tells us that "sleepbuds prototypes were introduced in November 2017 on Indiegogo, and sold-out in six days".

"Non-production units were sent to owners in March 2018, who provided feedback on their performance so improvements could be made to final production units – which all Indiegogo customers will receive as a replacement, free of charge. Bose thanks each of them for their support, collaboration and trust."

So, there you have it. If those stop snoring mouthguards, chin straps and tennis balls sewed onto the back of pyjama tops just aren't helping your partner keep quiet while sleeping, or you've bedevilled by other sounds interrupting your sleep, then maybe Bose sleepbuds are the technological solution you need, when you feel the need for a good night's sleep. 

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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