There is one thing guaranteed to make you want to commit a murder – a partner who snores. At 2am after waking up 4,524 times, the level of hatred reaches fever pitch. This was the case for me with my ex, whose snoring was quite literally demonic.
No, we did not break up because of the snoring but yes it did drive me insane. These weren’t snores that could be blocked by some bits of tissue shoved in your ears, which believe me I tried.
I walked past Bose’s Sleepbuds at the airport Duty Free one time, and was intrigured. Sleepbuds are basically noise-cancelling wireless earbuds that play a variety of soothing, sleep-inducing or noise-eliminating sounds to assist restless sleepers with getting snooze, and staying snoozy all night. Could they effectively mask my ex’s snoring and help me sleep?
The short answer: hell yes. But let’s deep dive.
The first thing I want to note, because I made this mistake, is FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS if you buy these. There’s this long, complicated (and boring) bit at the beginning of the setup where you’re meant to try the different rubber bud attachments to work out the exact fit for your ears. This is really important, because the first time I just… didn’t do this… and my first night using Sleepbuds was average.
But once I realised I needed the smaller sized rubber buds, things improved. Noise cancelling only works if the fit is perfect, and Bose have ensured that you get this with Sleepbuds by providing a variety of rubber attachments, and noting that you even might need a different size for each ear. Basically – DO THIS BIT OR REGRET IT.
Once in, all sounds were muffled – the noise cancelling had already begun. I could (and did) wear the Sleepbuds without any sound playing and found it lowered the noise levels of my ex’s snoring by 50%, at least.
But they were most effective when I used the soundscapes. Bose Sleepbuds provide a variety of pre-downloaded soundscapes, from noise cancelling white noise vibes to relaxation music. You can basically either use the tunes to block sound, or to help you relax – or both, as I found. I chose the ‘Tranquility’, which is relaxation tunes, and found it soothed me into sleep, while also masking any snores.
The first time I (properly, with the right rubber attachments) used Sleepbuds I didn’t wake up ONCE from my ex’s snoring. And he snored every night, so I know they definitely masked the sound. I also had the soundscape on for a couple of hours (you can set it to run all night, or for a limited time period).
Sleepbuds also have an in-built alarm, so you don’t miss your phone one. I will say the alarms were a BIT… alarming… but that’s because I currently use my iPhone’s ‘Bedtime’ alarm which is gentle birds gradually getting more cacophonous, so I think I am just not used to normal alarm sounds.
Another thing I want to make note of is comfort. Sleepbuds were the comfiest earbuds I’ve ever used… but they’re still earbuds. I found it hard to use them night after night because I’m not used to sleeping regularly with things in my ears – be it earbuds or earplugs. I think you’d definitely need to let yourself get used to these over a period of weeks, or maybe even need to be someone who felt comfortable wearing in-ear things to bed.
Basically, for me, I don’t think (especially now my ex and I have split) I’ll be wearing Sleepbuds every night. And that brings into play the money issue – they’re not cheap, obviously. A pair will set you back $379.95, which is a big investment if you’re not using them nightly. But like I said, my not-nightly stance is simply because I now don’t sleep next to a snoring person every night, and generally am not used to wearing earbuds. If you had to deal with the former or are used to the latter, I think they’re the kind of investment you wouldn’t regret, because they DO work and I noticed a big difference in my sleep pattern.
I also think Sleepbuds would be useful for anyone who travels regularly, like backpacking or for work. I remember back in my hostel days how annoying it would be in a room of 6 when someone was a snorer, or people would crash through the door at 4am. Not to mention long-haul flying – the noise cancelling on these could deffo drown out a crying baby.
TL;DR? My take is Bose Sleepbuds are worth the $$ if you’re going to use them regularly. They work, they’re just pricey. So you don’t want to be investing if you hate things in your ears, or you don’t have an ongoing use for them. If you do – my vote is do the invest, friends.Image: Bose