This is a strange year for sleep. For me, the levels have fluctuated between very low and very high, but have – more often than not – tilted eastward. 2020 did not allow most of us from personal stress to big social concerns to lack of sleep.
And thankfully, in the last few years there has been no shortage of technical solutions to the problem of sleeplessness. Of course, underpinning issues can be difficult to isolate and difficult to treat. There is no silver bullet. This is the lesson I continue in this job – not a single piece of technology is going to cure all my diseases. (I am sure it is nothing that years of extensive and expensive therapy cannot fix.)
Sleep headphones are not, by themselves, an entirely new phenomenon. boss Entered the space in earnest in mid-2018, offering one of the more polished (and price) approaches to the category. The company went in a completely different direction than, say Kokoon, Which provides an over-year solution.
Sleepbuds are – as the name suggests – fully wireless earbuds. This second generation allows Bose to address some major issues with the original – including some major battery complaints. It was a very big strike against a $ 250 pair of headphones, very literally, with a job.
Complaints of battery and connection, I can tell, have been revealed, right off the bat. The units I’ve worked with for a few weeks sleeping and wearing have no major connection to speaking (assuming that you keep your phone near your bed and that entices everyone), and The battery usually gets me a little over 20% of the whole night. After you wake up, you toss them into the case and allow them to charge for the next several hours.
All told, the build is solid, as you’d expect / expect with the company name and price point. I really dig the design of these things, overall, from a lighted metal charging case with a lighted lid with its sliding lid. As someone who finds the slightest disturbance a major obstacle to sleep, I was pleasantly surprised at how uninspired the buds are. They slip comfortably and keep flowing through the ear, so nothing smells. Soft and rubber fins also do a great job keeping them.
The biggest limitation of the buds is actually by design. Like the original, Sleepbuds II only works with the included app. It is used to bind them, locate them and offer Bose’s library. The company generally does a good job improving its own sound of sleep, from nature to self-selected ambient tracks such as rain and wind. I got used to listening to the sound of the sea while reading Moby Dick Every night. All told a very good way to sleep.
I applaud the decision to interrupt the functionality somewhat – I suspect I’ll probably start listening to podcasts and TV shows, left to my own devices (so to speak). But I would like to see what can happen to buds, say, biaxial beats or some other ambient selection. In the end, I think that consumer choice is ultimately a net positive.
That said, the headphones look well for their limited (but expanding) library of sounds. There is no active noise cancellation, but passive cancellation of the buds plus on-board sound does a good job blocking things like environmental noise or snoring. There is probably no match for construction noise, he says, but subtitlers for sleeping do a good job with obstacles. They will also be a good option for longer flights, when we start doing this again.
Currently there are a handful of headphones for the sleep market, but Bose’s look is the most polished package at the moment. The price will be a handicap for many – and a limited sound library may be a bargain for some. But if you have the money – and are difficult to meet and live with – they are well worth exploring.