I’m used to noise. Having lived in Manhattan for more than a decade just off the subway line and near hospitals, between trains, buses and sirens – well, I’m used to the noise pollution.
So now living by the sea and having the waves as my nightly score, it seems my dream had been fulfilled right? Well, despite paradise as my backdrop, I’ve still got to deal with occasional Bullet zooming down my beach road at ungodly hours. To stay cool, I’ve still got to keep my air-conditioner on. Then there are my village neighbours who are raising about a dozen chickens who sometimes wake up and start acting up as early as 2am! And of course then there are those nights when I’m extremely tired and my own snores become my own worst sound nightmare.
The present me may not have been the target audience for the Bose Sleepbuds but I actually had a real need for them. Bose have designed these tiny wireless earbuds that attempt to mask most external noises to help for a better sleep. Pint-sized and with a charge that lasts more than 16 hours, the Sleepbuds are designed sleekly to fit comfortably into our ears. Even for a tosser and turner like me, I was surprised that the buds lasted the whole night without falling out.
Given that Bose is known for their noise-cancelling technology, I was hopeful. I appreciated that the company made sure that the buds only enhance our routine rather than try and change it. Because of their sleekness, they won’t bother our partners and because they are so small, they travel very easily (I can’t wait to use them on my next overnight train ride!). The magnetic carrying case feels like it was designed to nicely fit onto any nightstand without attracting any unnecessary attention.
So with their steep price (retails for Rs. 22,999.00), did the Sleepbuds aid in my rock-a-bye baby? I’ll be honest, I was disappointed to learn that the buds do not play/stream music. Instead, we’re given a choice of 10 preloaded soothing sounds. Bose reps have said that this was intentionally done given that the design and compact nature of the buds didn’t leave room for this added feature.
Now with 2 of the 10 sounds existing literally just outside my window, I had to wonder if I’d feel any different? After one week using the buds daily, I must say, I did feel a difference. While it doesn’t masquerade all noises, it does muffle it enough that what I heard was constant. In many ways, the buds buffered out the distractions of my reality and let me actually hear the sea the way I always wished to, of course not my sea, but the machine one.
I didn’t experience any discomfort through the night and in fact, the constant stable sound actually seemed to help me increase my nightly average of REM and deep sleep (as evidenced by my Fitbit Ionic sleep tracker). I also realized when I woke up in the morning that I indeed did feel a bit fresher than I did without the buds.
The 10 pre-loaded soothing sounds vary from the swell of the sea to the campfire, from the rustle of leaves to the ambient noise of an aircraft. They vary enough in style that it’s likely every person will find their own sound that works best for them. The choice of the sounds and volume of the Sleepbuds are all managed through the Bose Sleep app. I must say by increasing the volume, the buds truly masked all the background noises that otherwise were part of my nightly sleep routine. The alarm feature is a pleasant addition especially since the wake-up call won’t disturb anyone else.
All in all, while the lack of music, podcasts, and audiobooks as sleeping options may dissuade a section of the population, I do think for those who just wish for sounder sleep for themselves and a non-obtrusive way to mask noise for partners, it is a sound choice. Comfortable, light-weight, easy to travel with and of course sleek like Bose always knows how to – the Sleepbuds are a worthwhile albeit costly option for a better night’s sleep.