review

Bose Noise-Masking SleepBuds Review – Buds or Duds?

Bose is a brand that one would generally associate with premium audio equipment like headphones and speakers. The Bose Noise Masking Sleepbuds, however, is not your average pair of earphones, but a unique accessory that as the name suggests, masks unwanted noise in the background while you’re trying to sleep and lets you play soothing and calming tracks which can help you fall asleep faster and improve your sleep. How effective is it though? And does it really warrant that exorbitant price tag? We got a chance to use the device for a considerably long period and we’re going to tell you if this is the ultimate solution to your insomnia problems!

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We are going to split the review into five major components that we feel are vital. They are – Comfort, Ease of Use, Effectiveness, Value and if you really need them to help you sleep better. Let’s begin.

Comfort and Physical Form Factor

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The Sleepbuds are extremely tiny in size and have soft ear-tips with attached hooks that fit snugly into your ear. Frankly, the fit of the Sleepbuds is one of the best aspects of it. Due to its light weight, you do not feel it in your ear once it’s on for a few minutes and given that it is supposed to be worn all night, the way it feels in the ear is extremely comfortable.

However, this also leads to a slightly contradictory point. Having a foreign object inside your ear throughout the night while you sleep can be slightly frightening, especially one that has a battery inside. While having it on all night isn’t too uncomfortable, the fact that you have a thought running on your mind all night that you have something in your ear might actually have an inverse effect on your sleep. Quite the irony. However, when used regularly over an extended period of time, you eventually get over the paranoia. Nevertheless, it’s an important point to keep in mind especially when you’re investing a hefty amount like this.

Once you have the right fit by replacing the ear-tips as per your required size, there’s no way they’re falling off in the middle of the night, so don’t worry about losing them while you’re asleep!

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The Sleepbuds can be stored and charged in a metallic case which also feels extremely premium and has a slide-out mechanism which can also act as a nice fidgeting tool if you’re into that sort of a thing! The Sleepbuds, overall, along with the case is built extremely well and that is what you would expect from a premium brand like Bose.

Ease of Use

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To switch the Sleepbuds on, you just have to remove them from the case and they automatically connect to your phone using the Bose Sleepbuds app which can be found on both iOS and Android. The pairing process is extremely simple, and once set up, you can straightaway start using your Sleepbuds with the 10 pre-loaded sounds. There are 10 more sounds that can be downloaded and transferred to your Sleepbuds but that’s pretty much it. You just have 20 sounds to choose from and you cannot side-load any other tunes. Also, downloading a single sound from the app requires an entire overnight’s time which is too slow and doesn’t really make sense.

Effectiveness

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The preloaded sounds include rain showers, airplane at an altitude, stream of water, waves on a beach etc. They’re essentially soothing sounds that calm your mind which can prevent you from getting distracted while trying to sleep, hence letting you sleep better. The main highlight of the Sleepbuds is that it masks unwanted background noise by isolating you from the environment, including noise from your fan or traffic from the roadside, so it’s pretty effective in that regard.

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To what extent does it help with putting you to sleep, though? To be fair, we didn’t really notice much of a difference with and without the Sleepbuds. Of course, it’s nice to listen to soothing music, but more often than not it can get quite distracting as well when you are trying to go to bed. It’s more of a placebo effect that goes on in your mind that if you have an accessory which claims to put you to bed, it might as well work!

Don’t expect it to do magic though. It’s not meant to induce sleep, it’s just an accessory that assists you to fall asleep by cutting off background noise and making your mind feel relaxed by playing calming music. The gist of it is that there was no major difference in sleep quality with or without the Sleepbuds. In fact, more often than not, sleeping without them felt like a relieving experience since you’re not really worried about them falling out of your ears or completely being cut-off from any ambient noise.

The battery life on a single charge lasted up to 3 nights during our usage which is pretty impressive. What isn’t impressive though is that you cannot sideload any of your own racks onto the Sleepbuds or you cannot use them as standalone earphones with your phone to listen to music. Yes, they’re specifically meant to help you with sleeping better, but an added functionality to be able to listen to music using them would have justified the price better.

Speaking about added functionality, you can set alarms on the Sleepbuds which can be helpful if you do not want to wake up anybody else with a loud alarm, and it is also a must since you’re isolated from the background noise and may not be able to hear your regular alarm sound.

Value

Value is a very subjective term and its proposition may differ from person to person. The Sleepbuds can have immense value to someone who just cannot fall asleep with ambient noise. There are also people who want some kind of white noise in order to fall asleep and such users may fancy the Sleepbuds. To an average consumer, however, spending Rs.22,900 on a pair of duds that do nothing other than play 20 odd soundtracks of nature might not sound like a value proposition, so make sure you take the right decision before investing in the Sleepbuds. Again, just the added functionality of being able to use the Sleepbuds as Bluetooth earphones while not using it for its intended purpose would have easily increased the value twofold.

Do You Really Need Them?

To answer this question, we’ll need to ask a few more questions – Do you really need isolation from ambient noise while sleeping, and if yes, how badly do you want to mask it with sounds from nature? Also, the extent to which a generic earplug with no tech masks the background noise is very similar to that of the Sleepbuds. Just that you won’t be getting fancy sounds in-built, but you’ll be saving yourself big money.

As we said earlier, if you really (stressing on that really again) need something like this and if you feel that the Sleepbuds can indeed help you sleep better, you can pick one up from Bose’s official website and try a pair out for 10 days, and if you feel they’re not really helping you or you start getting dreams of guilt having spent 25 grand on a pair of buds that can play hardly 20 tunes, you can return them and go back to sleep, and maybe, just maybe, the thought of having saved your hard earned money might just let you sleep better next time!

Buy Bose Wireless Sleepbuds

Review Overview
3.50
Overall Score
Comfort and Physical Form Factor
Ease of Use
Effectiveness
Value