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Bose Sleepbuds II review

7.8/10 AVG.
RATING
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Specs / Features


Overview
Type In-Ear
Volume Control No
Playback Control No
Noise Canceling Yes
Specification
Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date October 6, 2020
Size 2.5 x 2.8 x 1.3 cm (1 x 1.1 x 0.5 in)
Weight 2.3 grams
(0.08 ounces)
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Reviews summary section

The "1-Minute" Review

Verdict

The price is a little steep and you can't use them to play your own media, but if you're looking for a pair of sound-masking earbuds to help you sleep, reviewers found the Sleepbuds II effective. If you're a side sleeper, be sure to check return policies as some reviewers found the pressure uncomfortable.

What's good

  • Great new soft texture
  • Comes with a range of sized tips
  • Simple to understand app
  • Sizeable library of sounds and music

What's bad

  • Expensive for being a niche product
  • Some of the sound libraries are more disruptive than helpful
  • Cannot be used as regular headphones

The first Sleepbuds model launched to lukewarm reviews. Bose’s latest attempt hopes to fix any shortcomings and help wearers sleep better. So what exactly do these sleep-centric earbuds offer? And, most importantly, are they worth buying?

Design & Materials

The compact design and smooth finish help to avoid pressure in your ear and alleviate sounds when rubbing or moving around on your pillow. They’re very small and completely wireless to avoid any tangling during your sleep.

Comfort & Fit

Reviewers comfort and fit a mixed bag.

On the one hand, they claimed they were the most comfortable earbuds they’ve ever had. On the other, they also felt uncomfortable when pressed between the pillow and your ears. So side sleepers might want to look elsewhere.

Reviewers also stated that their tiny size made finding them in the middle of the night impossible if they came loose.

Sound

These earbuds are not intended for playing back your favorite podcasts, music, or other media. Instead, they create ambient sound with some music intertwined to keep your sleep from being disturbed. If you’re a light sleeper, reviewers stated that they did remarkably well especially for those who lived in a city.

Wireless Performance

Reviewers had no issue pairing the earbuds to each other or their phones. Bluetooth connections also stayed solid throughout the night.

Software

According to reviewers, the app for the earbuds still needs work. Between the inability to search for specific sounds and having to sample sounds on your phone before you can move them to your earbuds, they found finding a good mix difficult.

They also lacked a menu that would let you see what you had set up to play on your Sleepbuds II and you could only remove things when you run out of space.

Furthermore, a lot of reviewers wished they could choose personal media or sounds to put on the earbuds. But you are limited strictly to sounds and music in the Bose app.

Battery Life

The original Sleepbuds had major issues with the battery. They would randomly shut down, interrupting sleep and providing an inconsistent experience. Reviewers were happy to see that issue resolved with the Sleepbuds II.

While you’ll likely need to charge your earbuds daily, they’ll consistently last through the night and remain on the entire time.

Noise Cancellation

Bose uses noise masking with the Sleepbuds II, which essentially covers up sounds with other sounds. Yes, it’s a form of noise cancelling, but not in the sense that other noise-cancelling headsets like the Sony WH-1000XM4 or Bose 700 are. Reviewers found them effective enough to sleep soundly, however.

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The Takeaway

While Bose got a lot right with these earbuds, there are still some core issues reviewers found questionable.

The price is the biggest killer for something you’ll only use while sleeping. You can't use these as regular earbuds. Instead, you must choose from what Bose offers in their app. Still, if sleep is that important to you, reviewers found them effective despite these concerns.

Tech Radar says, “In a bid to make up for the mistakes the original Sleepbuds made, Bose’s latest sleep-masking earbuds bring plenty of improvements, such as a much better, comfier fit, increased battery life and a better range of sounds to help you drift off. The design is exactly what you’d expect from Bose, with everything exuding a high-end, sleek aesthetic you’d be proud to sit on your bedside table”

The Verge states, “There’s only one more question to ask: are they worth the price? That depends. If you have real problems sleeping because of environmental noise or even tension, it might be worth it to pay $250 for a pair of earbuds whose only purpose is to help you sleep.”


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