Earlier this year, Bose abruptly decided to pull the plug on its ultra-tiny Sleepbuds, a set of wireless earbuds that featured noise-masking technology. At the time, we figured it was simply another instance of the company walking away from one of its ideas, as it had also done with its audio-based AR platform.
But apparently Bose had simply gone back to the drawing board and today it’s announcing the fruits of those labors: The $250 Sleepbuds II, which can be pre-ordered immediately and will start shipping October 6.
Preorders have begun already. 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 leads 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 the fabric. And the Sleepbuds II uses 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.