Bose Sleepbuds Review - Sleep better, Rise better

By Oktay Ozadam

Bose Noise-Masking SleepBuds

Are you a troubled sleeper? Stressed and restless? Let's look at why Bose Sleepbuds might be something you're looking for.

Slow, soothing music can help you sleep better by helping you slow your heart rate and your breathing.

Bose Sleepbuds are unique and not like every other sleep headphones available in the market. They are engineered to provide better sleep by masking unwanted background noises with pre-loaded soothing sounds. Their wireless nature and the snuggly build add on the extra comfort.

However, like all technology-based products; Sleepbuds have their negatives too. Read on to find out if Bose Sleepbuds fits you and your lifestyle.

Before we get into the review, let's be clear about the fact that Bose Sleepbuds are NOT headphones; they're designed for the sole purpose of masking noise for sleep.

Update - October 18, 2019

Bose has decided to discontinue the noise-masking Sleepbuds due to persistent failures in the battery.

If you are an existing customer and had no issues with your sleepbuds, you can continue to use it. Bose will continue to provide the usual full support for their product.

If your sleepbuds™ are still working fine, we encourage you to keep using them.

It is important to note that there is no safety issue with the product, and Bose is not recalling the Sleepbuds.

If you are not happy with your product, you can return the earbuds for a full refund by December 31, 2019.

Here is the link to request your refund.

A Detailed Review of Bose Sleep Earbuds

Progressive Design with Sturdy Quality!

As we all know, Bose is known for its quality and uncompromising design. Sleepbuds are attractive and have a lightweight design with small and compact ear modules measuring about 1 cm in width and weigh only 1.4 grams.

The Sleepbuds come with 3 different snug fit silicone tip sizes that wrap around the little ear module; small, medium, and large.

The design feels and looks premium as well as well made. They also come with a sleek, neat aluminum brushed charging case that has a micro USB charging port (surprisingly not a C-type).

The earbud also provides an extra 16 hours of charge when away from a charging port. The Sleepbuds easily slip into the charging case due to the magnet in place. However, there have been a few complaints regarding the flimsiness of the buds while in the case.

There is a laser-etched antenna placed on the outside of each of the earbuds; to allow the user to connect the device to an external device (to use the app).

Bose Sleep App

So now since you're probably wondering about the app, let's talk about it! Just like the premium quality earpieces, Bose also boasts a well designed and easy to use app for its Sleepbuds users. The app is simple, yet fulfills its purpose.

Bose Sleepbuds app comes with the following tabs; Name, Product Info, Battery, Earbud Setup, Sleep Timer, Volume Safety, Sound. The battery tab indicates the battery level of both, right and left, Sleepbud. Comes with a low battery alert option that will wake you up to notify you of low battery on your buds. Product information includes all the necessary details regarding the Sleepbuds. Users can also read the Earbud setup section to ensure proper fitting of the buds into your ears.

Let's talk about another major point that can be seen as a positive or a negative depending on the user.

This device is controlled by an App on your phone; whether it is the volume, turning it on/off, Bluetooth, etc. But it has a phone-free mode with limited functionality, like no wake-up alarm.

This could be a problem for users that like to keep their smartphones and other devices out of reach when in bed. Some people also complained regarding the connectivity issues while connecting the buds to the app.

Perfectly Comfortable… for Most

Sleeping with earphones on sounds a little uncomfortable and bizarre, but Bose did not only focus on the performance and the noise-blocking feature but also its comfort.

The aim was to create a device that fits and feels comfortable even when sleeping on your side. I'd say it has effectively achieved this! When correctly placed and fit into your ear, they feel not only comfortable but also pretty much unnoticeable in your sleep.

However, for some, the issue with these buds are the fit. We know for a fact that Bose has tried its level best to keep user comfort in mind when it comes to the fit.

However, a few complaints have been about a "too tight" or a "too flimsy" fit despite the 3 different tip sizes it comes with. However, this again depends from user to user and can not really be judged before using.

Since the buds are small, one can say it has a pretty decent battery life. To fully charge the device, it takes about 8 hours (some find it to be too long), but it does give you enough charge to last 2 nights (about 16 hours).

The buds can be wirelessly charged through the charging case which, if it is fully charged, can charge the buds fully. The charging case takes up to 3 hours to be fully charged. This helps as it increases the portability of the device and hence can be easily used during travel.

Soothing Sounds for a Peaceful Sleep

Before we get into the details, let's be clear that Bose Sleepbuds are not designed to act as regular headphones. And they are also not noise-canceling instead just noise-blocking.

The sound aspect of the noise-masking sleepbuds is designed to help the user get a peaceful sleep by covering up unwanted background sounds with pre-loaded soothing sounds. They aimed to help people with their wellbeing by putting them off in a relaxing, dreamy state during sleep.

The Sleep app offers 10 different variety of pre-loaded sounds which are categorized based on; sounds appropriate for relaxation and noise masking.

You can set a timer depending on how long you'd like for the sound to play; either a few hours or maybe even the whole night ("All night long"). Sleepbuds does not let you play your own music.

Some of the pre-loaded sounds are; Tranquility, Shower, Campfire, Rustle, etc. To use a specific sound, you will have to load the sound from the sound library onto your buds via a Bluetooth transfer. This can take up to 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the size of the file and the Bluetooth strength.

The storage on your buds are limited, and therefore you can only store a limited amount of sounds at once. The Sleep app will indicate you once the storage is full, so if you need to store a new sound, you will have to do so by deleting previously-stored sounds.

A common issue users face is the lack of choices when it comes to the sounds. It can get monotonous and boring listening to the same set of sounds for several days. Seems like the fact that people have a different range of preferences was ignored during the design of the device.

You can adjust the volume of the sounds as per your preference. Bose does give you an indication of the suggested volume just in case you need help with that.

You can even set the alarm on the app. The sounds slowly transition into an alarm so the sleepbuds wake you up gently and there is no need for a separate device for this purpose.

Is It Really Noise-Blocking?

Let's first understand the difference.

The principle behind noise-canceling devices is to help the user enter a realm of silence by completely cutting off any background sounds that may exist; this includes talking, music, traffic, etc.

On the other hand, the principle behind noise-masking devices is to make background sounds less intelligible. This is where the concept of "white noise system" comes in play. Such a system is responsible for filling in the user's sound spectrum to mask any background noises.

Bose Sleepbuds are noise-masking NOT noise canceling. It fills the user's sound spectrum with a range of soothing sounds from its library. The primary purpose is to keep the user aware of the surroundings to an extent. For example, the user must be able to hear the fire alarm even with the buds on.

However, a few complaints were made regarding its inability even to mask mild sounds such as snoring. Nevertheless, there have been several positive reviews regarding the same. So I'd say it really depends from person to person.

What's in the box?

The box comes with the 1" X 1" Bose Sleepbuds, 1" X 3" Charging/storage case for the buds, 3 pairs of StayHear+ sleep tips in 3 different sizes(S/M/L), a wall charger, a USB cable and a travel pouch for easy and safe portability.

Try It Before You Own It and Return policy

Bose has been very lenient with the return policy of Bose Sleepbuds. It provides a "risk-free 30-day return policy" with a full refund. They also allow you to exchange the product within the first 90 days of purchase.

Since Sleepbuds is a unique product in the Bose line of headphones, they have tailored a specific warranty period of 2 years for this particular product.

Product Price and Where to buy?

This product can be said to be a luxury product considering the price it demands for the limited purposed services.

The Bose noise-masking Sleepbuds can be purchased on the Bose webpage at $249.95 with a free 2 day shipping and also free return shipping (if returned within the first 30 days).

Sleepbuds can also be purchased on sites such as Amazon, Bestbuy, Croma, etc.

Not Satisfied? - Alternatives

So if you're still not happy with the product or find it to be too expensive for your budget, let's look at some other options you could go for.

Quieton Sleep vs Bose Sleepbuds

Unlike Sleepbuds, Quietonis a noise-canceling device. They are easy and comfortable to wear and promise to block low-frequency noises.

However, the buds are a little bigger than the ones offered by Sleepbuds. You could say it has a similar size as that of Apple EarPods. This could cause irritation to few, but they do come with a foam layer that feels softer on your ears.

Just like sleepbuds, Quieteon is not like regular earphones and can not be used to listen music. There is also not much difference when it comes to the price. Quieton is priced at 199,00€.

Sleep HeadPhones vs SleepBuds

If you're still looking for alternatives that offer a completely different design; take a look at CozyPhones Sleep Headphones and AcousticSheep Sleep Headphones. Both of these differ from the 2 models we looked at earlier as there are based on a headband model.

CozyPhones headphones are made for comfort. They are not like regular inline headphones. This could be a viable option if you're someone who does not prefer sleeping with buds in your ear. These earphones are thin and placed inside the headband to offer extra comfort for the user. Another reason this could be perfect for you is the price. CozyPhones are extremely affordable, starting at $18 and hence can easily fall under your budget.

Another similar option is AcousticSheep Headphones. Based on a headband model, they offer a soft and comfortable user experience. Unlike Bose Sleepbuds and Quiteon, the user can play any music or podcast of their choice. They offer a variety of different options starting at $40.

Let's Conclude!

Bose is a great brand and is well known to produce exceptional earpieces. If you think the features of Sleepbuds match your requirements and if it falls under your budget, it's clearly a great choice to go for.

It's pretty much a risk-free option as you will have 30 days to test your product and return if needed. However, keep the drawbacks in mind before you go ahead with the purchase.

If you don't think Bose Sleepbuds is a good option for you, go ahead and take a look at the alternatives mentioned.

  • Noise Masking
  • Small and comfortable to wear
  • Well designed charging/storage case
  • Well designed application to run the buds
  • Has an inbuilt alarm option
  • Small, Sleek and a modern design
  • Price - expensive
  • Cannot be used to listen to your own music (limited choices)
  • Takes time to charge
  • There have been complaints regarding connectivity issues between the app and the buds.