We’ve allll been there, right? We've all experienced those nights when you just can’t sleep because annoying sounds - like your SO's snoring, traffic and rowdy neighbours - are keeping you awake. So Bose, the brand that brought us headphones much beloved by all who work in coffee shops with MacBooks drinking flat whites, decided to do something about it. They created sleep earbuds with built-in noise masking technology🙌 These buds are tiny, shaped perfectly to fit pretty much any ear shape and size, and designed in such a way to mask pretty much any unwanted noise, and then lull you to sleep.
I received a set of these beauties for Christmas (the husband obviously understands my obsession with sleep) and instantly fell in love with the packaging, at first glance. The case, which is part storage and part charger, is slick, magnetized to keep your buds in place while they charge, and made of a gorgeous brushed aluminium material. One charge also lasts about two nights, so it's perfect for taking with you on a short weekend away. Definitely crafted with 'premium' in mind.
When they’re correctly placed in your ear, which is done in the same way any other wireless earphones are (by pushing the sleep tip underneath the contours of your ear), they are completely unobtrusive, perfectly comfortable, and unnoticeable when sleeping, even for long periods such as a full night (and even a lie in).
I was a bit disappointed to find that there is no streaming of music (even soothing, sleepy music) or chilled podcasts allowed with these buds, so they're sadly not meant for listening to your Spotify playlist under the covers. Rather, Bose has pre-loaded ten soothing sounds that perfectly mask unwanted noises at night, instead of cancelling the noises out, which is apparently better for a good sleep. They also only work via a companion 'Bose Sleep' app - which is super simple and easy to use. You can select the amount of time you want the sounds to be playing for, you can set an alarm so this rings (unobtrusively) in your ear rather than you needing to fret about missing the alarm with the earbuds in, and you can also manage the volume of the sounds through the app.
These aforementioned soothing sounds, ten of them in total, like waves 🌊 and an airplane engine, are all related to either relaxation or masking noise.
In my humble opinion, the masking sounds do cover external noises very well, to the point where you can’t hear them at all - although I haven't tested them in ridiculously noisy spaces.
The caveat here is to say that the sleepbuds definitely help to relax you with the comforting sounds that cover up any annoying distractions outside, but they are not a magical cure to insomnia.
You can buy these beauties now for about $249.95/£229.95/AU$379.95 online - so it's not cheap - and with limited functionality and sounds available, you have to REALLY struggle with sleep sounds and/or travel a lot, to get a whole lot of use out of them.
Written by Nina Clark