Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds Review – Worth The Hype?

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Bose’s Noise-Masking sleepbuds™ are an innovative mix of earplugs and headphones.

No, they can’t play music or podcasts from music-streaming apps, but they do wirelessly stream ambient noise from a pre-loaded library that syncs from the Bose app on your phone.

The Bose sleepbuds are a great option if you’re tired of your earplugs falling out at night and are looking for something new to help you sleep.

They’re an investment, but they’re going to last you a long time. Plus, you have control over the sound and volume in the sleepbuds and you can even set an alarm that’s just for you.

Want to hear the good and the bad? Check out the video and detailed written review below and let me know if you have any questions!

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The Bose Noise-Masking Sleepbuds act as noise blockers but can also wirelessly stream ambient noise via an app on a smart device. They're unnoticeable in your ear and you can seamlessly transition from different sleep positions.

Key Features

  • Sleepbuds: 0.94″ height x 1.06″ weight x 0.56″ depth
    • Each bud weighs 0.081 oz
  • Charging pod: 1.06″ height x 3.03″ weight x 3.03″ depth
    • The case is 3.93 oz
  • Sound-blocking design
  • Removable ear tips with three available sizes
  • Wirelessly streams ambient music that syncs with an app that’s pre-loaded with a library of sounds
  • Ability to set an alarm that only you can hear
  • Rechargeable, silver-zinc batteries. It takes eight hours to fully recharge the sleepbuds, but then they’re good for up to 16 hours per full charge
  • Charging case: up to three hours charging time
  • The maximum sound pressure level (SPL) output of the sleepbuds is 70 dBA
  • 30-day full refund
  • Care: remove the tips from the sleepbuds and wash them with mild detergent and water
  • Full price: $249 for the pair

The Box Comes With:

  • Sleepbuds
  • Charging/storage case (You can also use the case battery to charge the sleepbuds while traveling)
  • Three pairs of StayHear+ Sleep tips (sizes S/M/L)
  • Wall charger
  • USB cable
  • Drawstring travel pouch

Who Makes It?

The noise-masking sleepbuds are made by Bose. Bose is a well-known maker of high-tech audio products, including noise-canceling headphones.

When asked how they compare to more traditional earplugs, Bose says on its website that “We started with the fundamental problem of unwanted noise in the bedroom, and we laser focused our engineering on singularly addressing that problem. This design approach led us to optimize around very different variables than normal earbuds do — most notably in the size of the sleepbuds™ and acoustics.”

Pros

  • Virtually undetectable in your ear. You can move around, get up, and change positions without the sleepbuds moving or falling out
  • Wireless and will last for up to 16 hours (when fully charged)
  • The alarm means that you don’t have to wake up the whole house, and you can snooze a few times
  • Wide range of ambient sound options
  • Okay to wear long-term because the maximum sound (70 dBa) is lower than what’s recommended by the World Health Organization
  • Charging pod can charge independently, which makes it convenient for travel

Cons

  • Pricey. Sleepbuds cost $249 for a pair
  • Your device (smartphone, tablet, etc.) must support Bluetooth Low Energy (also called Bluetooth Smart) to work correctly with the Bose noise-masking sleepbuds
  • You’ll need to make sure you attach the magnetized sides of the sleepbuds to the charging pod just right or they won’t charge
  • If you want new sounds, you have to wait for a transfer that should take between 30 minutes and two hours (depending on your Bluetooth signal)
  • It’s easy to lose them in light-colored sheets because they blend in easily with light-colored bedding

My Experience

I’ve personally used earplugs (all different kinds) to help me sleep for at least the last 10 years. I need earplugs to sleep at night and primarily use disposable foam ones.

I was excited but skeptical about the Bose Noise-Masking sleepbuds because they promise quite a few things:

  • They promise to fit seamlessly in your ears and passively block nose.
  • They promise to help you sleep by streaming a range of ambient noises at a volume level that you control.
  • They promise not to move or run out of juice for 16 hours when fully charged.

The best way to describe the sleepbuds is to say they’re basically a cool hybrid between an earplug and a headphone. While they don’t stream music or podcasts, they will wirelessly play ambient noise (think rain, white noise, etc.) to help block out everyday noises and keep you sleeping longer.

In the packaging, you’ll get three different sizes of ear tips, one of which should fit seamlessly into your ear. The sleepbuds themselves are pretty tiny, but they’re easy to remove and put into the ear tips that work best for you.

The sleepbuds are super easy to put in your ears. It’s the same process as putting in any small headphones, except you’ll also hook the tip of the ear tip into the curved part of your earlobe so the whole device stays in place.

Based on my experience, they will not move when you switch positions and you will not feel them, even when sleeping on your side.

The Bose app that syncs with your sleepbuds is important to have. This is where you pick the noise, noise volume, alarm, and other settings for your sleepbuds. The range of sounds is great and the whole app is very easy to use. It allows you to check your sleepbud battery life and create a notification if the battery is going to run out.

You’ll need to have a smartphone or media device that can run Bluetooth Low Energy or Bluetooth Smart. This is important to double-check before purchasing the sleepbuds, as they won’t work without it. I have an iPhone 8Plus with an up-to-date iOS and had no problems using the sleepbuds and app.

When they’re fully charged, the battery can last up to 16 hours. The sleepbuds come with a modern-looking charging pod to place them in and keep them protected when they’re not in use.

Overall

I think the sleepbuds are the best fit for individuals who rely heavily on earplugs to sleep but aren’t satisfied with their foam or wax options.

You get more control and customization with the sleepbuds. If you’re in the mood to listen to rain one night, you can do that or switch to white noise or another sound if you’d prefer something else. You can also decide how loud the sound will be. If you have noisy neighbors throwing a party one night, go ahead and turn up that sound.

To be sure, they’re an investment at $249. That said, if you’re like me and you’re dependent on your earplugs for a good night’s sleep, I highly suggest looking at these high-quality earplugs.

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Katie Golde

Katie manages the day to day operations of the Mattress Clarity news site and reviews sleep products in addition to writing and editing sleep news.She hails from Austin, where she lives with her growing family. She is a Certified Sleep Science Coach and has a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University and has a background in health and science content. Her work can be found in print and online publications like Discover Magazine, USA Today and The Huffington Post.
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