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Bose Sleepbuds II – Better the Second Time Around?

Woman sleeping with Bose Sleepbuds II

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Take II 

You have to admit – a company that actually listens to their customers, takes whatever complaints thrown their way in stride and goes so far as to kill a product to make way for a better one deserves your attention and maybe even your hard earned buckaroos. 

We all know Bose (and if you don’t, what kind of life are you living without music?). A name that is usually prefaced with the phrase, ‘some of the best speakers in the world’, Bose has been dominating the audio equipment world for over 5 decades now (here’s a fun fact: MIT, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is the majority owner of the Bose Corporation). 

Sleepbuds II is the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes of the first iteration of Sleepbuds, which, due to numerous customer complaints predominantly regarding poor battery life, was discontinued in October 2019. Released just a year after pulling the plug on first Sleepbuds, Sleepbuds II promises to deliver what their older, weaker sibling has failed to do. Think of Sleepbuds I as the tester pancake – you know, that not quite fluffy, not quite perfect, still a bit gooey on the inside first pancake that you usually toss off. Let us now take a moment’s silence to pay our respects to the dearly departed. 

Ok, done? 

Buy: Bose Sleepbuds II, $249 from Amazon.com


Let’s get down to the best part. 

Sleepbuds II was designed with one purpose and one purpose only – to help you get a good night’s sleep by masking out noises which could disrupt your much needed rest. A snoring partner, evil howling banshees we sometimes call cats at 3AM, rambunctious roommates, a wheezy dog, living right underneath a flight path or worse, next to an airport.. The list goes on. 

It is important to note though that we did use the word mask and not cancel, which is crucial because Sleepbuds II does not cancel out noise – not entirely. It obscures unwanted noise by replacing it with something else, something deemed to be more soothing and more conducive to deep rest and relaxation. From the sound of waves crashing gently to the shore to rustling leaves to the continuous whoosh and whirr of being in an airplane cabin (not really a good idea for someone in a flight path, no?) to the tender crackle and pop of a campfire (my favorite) to that tinkly, tibetan singing bowl-like meditative music one can find in most spas; ‘Naturescapes’ and ‘Tranquilities’, which is accessed through Bose’s newly redesigned Sleep app, offer a wide range of sounds to cater to every whim and fancy, with more apparently being added to the library very soon.

Encased in a sleek looking, slightly spage age-y compact (but surprisingly giving off warm aesthetic vibes) which, by the way, also serves as its charging dock which also holds 3 additional full charges; it slides open to reveal bean like earbuds – no sharp edges there, all soft and rounded curves – comfortable for even the strangest side sleeper on the planet (admit it, you sometimes fall asleep on a book) and matte coated for a no pillow squeak sleep experience.

These little magic beans also snap into place thanks to the magnetic beds so there are no worries at all of losing a single bean. No flashy, blinky disturbing LED lights either – the redesign features a warmer, softer light on par with the ambience of a 5 star hotel’s dimmer switch. They really thought of everything here.

Too big or too small ears? You’ve got three sizes to choose from. Need an alarm to wake up? You can set it on the app to your desired wakeup time. Breakfast in bed? Oh, wait. That’s for the next one. (Bose, are you listening?) 


Bose Sleepbuds next to a smartphone
The included Bose app does everything you need it to do

Now, for the nitty gritty. 

Pros 

  • All night battery 
  • Sleek and compact 
  • Wide selection of relaxing sounds
  • Simplicity and ease of use 
  • All night battery 
  • Sleek and compact 
  • Wide selection of relaxing sounds
  • Simplicity and ease of use 

Cons 

  • Costs an arm and a leg, throw in a kidney for good measure 
  • Very niche, not quite for everyone (not everyone likes to sleep with ANY noise, especially right inside their ears) 
  • And on that note, not everyone likes to sleep with ANYTHING in their ear, no matter how amazing and non-intrusive a design or object may be 
  • This is highly debatable but this product is not really recommended for those of us who live alone because of too many reasons to list which calls for a different article altogether; please do some personal research to see what works for you 

Buy: Bose Sleepbuds II, $249 from Amazon.com


Want vs Need

Everybody sleeps. It is a basic human function. Without it, we are just zombies going through the motions of a life lived below its maximum potential. But does one really need help to sleep? Absolutely. Nowadays, with computers and mobile phones and televisions and iPads and the latest gaming systems offering endless stimuli plus the faster and crazier pace of life in this 2020 world is enough to keep your mind spinning until you’re probably about 75 and arthritis makes it hard for you to hold your phone to your face. We need all the help we can get. And as consumers with products being thrown at us left, right and center, we learn how to be smart and buy smart. Do I want it? More importantly, do I need it? Do I support the ethos of the company I am buying from? Is it worth it? The Sleepbuds II is like a collaboration between Bose and its customers – we complained, they listened. We asked, they provided. Personally, this is the kind of company I would like to support. This is the kind of company who puts us, the customers, first. 

Ultimately, the choice is yours on whether you need a product such as the Sleepbuds II. But having said that, wouldn’t you like to try something that may give you the best sleep of your life? 

I know I do. I am worth it. 

Buy: Bose Sleepbuds II, $249 from Amazon.com


Bose Sleepbuds II carrying case
Bose includes a sleek carrying case with their Sleepbuds

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