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I am often stunned by how people choose to allocate their resources, especially as it relates to comfort and taking care of themselves. Take sleeping, for example.
Sleep is a vital part of the human experience. The average person spends a third of their life in bed yet most people neglect this opportunity to recharge. Even something as simple as a decent mattress or pillow can make a huge difference in how you feel the next day.
Distractions, however, can be a bit more difficult to deal with. A snoring mate, a barking dog or nearby traffic can easily keep you awake at night and leave you feeling groggy the next day. Worse yet, these distractions aren’t always within your control (there’s not much you can do about the neighbor’s dog or traffic, for example, short of move).
It’s a problem that Bose is addressing with its latest product.
The Bose Sleepbuds are in-ear buds designed to neutralize noises that’d otherwise keep you awake at night, replacing them with soothing sounds that are tuned for masking noises. In the product video above, Bose says that a low grumble of a snore, for example, can be masked by playing another sound that is close to it in frequency – like a thunderstorm. The thunderstorm sound will cover the snoring sound, the rep says.
Bose claims its wearable, the smallest product they’ve ever made, is incredibly comfortable. It comes with multiple sizes of tips to dial in the fit and connects wirelessly to your phone so you can adjust settings in the app, set alarms and so on. The technology comes from a company called Hush which Bose acquired not too long ago.
Bose has turned to Indiegogo to fund the Sleepbuds. With 24 days to go, they’ve already raised over $440,000 (the original goal was just $50,000) so demand is clearly there. In fact, if you want in at this point, well, too bad, as all of the pre-order tiers are sold out. With any luck, Bose will add more inventory to meet the high demand but as of writing, that hasn’t happened yet. Early bird tiers started at $150 and topped out at $185, FYI.
It’s an interesting product for sure but I’m quite skeptical. Masking sounds with other sounds doesn’t seem all that sophisticated to me (standalone sound machines already do that) and I’ve never been a fan of in-ear wearables, especially those that are meant to be worn overnight (even the softest earplugs make my ears hurt the next morning). Sure, an individualized solution that doesn’t disrupt others in the room would be nice but there’s also the issue of having to remember to charge them every day.