When Bose announced almost a year ago that it was discontinuing the Sleepbuds due to battery problems, I got several emails from disappointed readers who came to appreciate how well the earbuds had helped them get peaceful, uninterrupted sleep. Unlike regular earbuds, the Sleepbuds didn’t play your own music; they were designed to sit comfortably in your ears overnight and progress through a library of specially composed tracks that masked the kind of noises that can disrupt bedtime.
Now, Bose is ready to try again — and the company seems confident that it got things right this time. The Sleepbuds II are coming on October 6th for $249.95. Preorders begin today. They’ve got an ultra-lightweight design, new proprietary ear tips for a snug all-night fit, and an expanded list of 35 tracks meant to “cover and replace” noise from neighbors, street traffic, dogs, and other late-night nuisances you might be dealing with.
Like the first time around, $250 feels rather expensive for a product this niche, but Bose says it has put a painstaking amount of research and engineering into the Sleepbuds II.
“Bose Sleepbuds II use advancements in our proprietary noise masking technology because covering sound — not canceling it — is better for sleeping,” Steve Romine, head of Bose’s health division, said in today’s press release. Bose says it has conducted a study to help back up claims that the Sleepbuds II genuinely lead to better sleep for most people who try them.
The updated Bose Sleep app has 14 tracks meant for noise-masking that mirror the frequencies of evening disruptions like footsteps, snoring partners, and idling engines outside your bedroom window. But there are also 15 “Naturescapes” that have been composed to help calm your mind and lower stress levels before bed.
Each Sleepbuds II earbud is a quarter-inch deep so that side-sleepers can comfortably wear them with their head against a pillow. There’s now an “anti-friction” coating that Bose says will prevent squeaking if the enclosure happens to rub against fabric. And the Sleepbuds II use a new antenna for an improved, more stable connection with your phone.
The battery was the downfall for the first-generation Sleepbuds, and Bose says it’s using a new NiMH battery that’s good for 10 hours of playback. (The aluminum charging case is good for an additional 30 hours.) You can store up to 10 tracks from the Sleep App directly on the earbuds, and they’re rated IPX4 for water and sweat resistance.
It’s been a busy September for Bose: the company has already announced the QuietComfort Earbuds, Sport Earbuds, and three new pairs of Frames audio sunglasses.