Sleep is tough to come by even when there isn’t a pandemic raging. Even when it doesn’t feel like the world is coming apart at the seams every damn day. Bose’s original Sleepbuds pre-date the current desperate moment of “coronasomnia” (not my turn of phrase, mind) by a couple of years, but the timing of the Sleepbuds II could hardly be better.
The new version follows the same principle as its predecessor: comfortable buds that you can wear to sleep. And once again, they rely on Bose’s proprietary content. That was one of my bigger issues with the original buds, and that seems to still be the case here. Bose continues to update its content, but you can’t listen to your own calming music on these $250 headphones.
Per Bose, “They aren’t active noise cancelling headphones or in-ear headphones with an added feature, and they don’t stream music or let you take and make calls — because every last detail was optimized for one thing — better sleep, all night, every night.” That understandably may be a deal breaker for some — particularly at that price point. That said, there are a number of other sleep-focused earbuds that do let you customize content if you’re like me and enjoy falling asleep to weird ambient albums.
The content library is still a bit limited, but expanding. There are 35 free tracks, including:
15 Naturescapes help calm racing thoughts with walks down a Country Road, Shore Line, Boardwalk, and beyond; 10 Tranquilities help lower stress and tension with tones to Lift, Drift, Dream, and more.
The buds themselves are lighter than before, and the noise canceling has been improved. There are also new, proprietary ear tips for added comfort. All welcome additions, no doubt. The battery should give you 10 hours of playback on a charge — more than enough for most nights. The new charging case provides an extra 30 hours — that will be nice for when we travel again. There’s also a tiny bit of storage for up to 10 sound files on the buds.
The Sleepbuds II go up for pre-order today and will start shipping in early October.