Bose Sleepbuds II Review | 2021
I had hoped to share with you a glowing and detailed review of the Bose Sleepbuds II, reality intervened. After the battery disaster that was v1 (link to Bose.com), Bose has solved those issues for this Gen II product and, instead, introduced the ‘inability to pair feature‘. From my experience these Sleepbuds were useless.
Bose Sleepbuds II Review
Price - 5%
Apparent Accuracy - 5%
Build Quality & Design - 85%
Features, Including App - 80%
Other reviews of the Bose Sleepbuds II are reasonably positive, yet I was intrigued by Tom’s Guide who found the Sleepbuds II hard to sleep with. I would tend to disagree with Tom and I found the Sleepbuds II comfortable to wear, the discrepancy probably comes down to our individual ear morphology.
The sleepbuds work in two ways firstly they have “passive noise isolation” which is a fancy way of saying the physically block sounds getting to your ear. Other products like QuietOn Sleep additionally include ACTIVE noise cancellation where they emit anti-sound to cancel out background noise and sounds lie snoring. So, the Bose Sleepbuds are just like fancy earplugs, except they also play pre-determined relaxing noises to help you sleep. To be clear: YOU cannot choose sounds other than those Bose provides, these earbuds are not useful as normal daily earbuds.
However, despite being comfortable the Boase earbuds did NOT form a complete seal and this means that ‘quite a bit’ of sound gets in. If your partner is snoring or even making quiet sleep noise you DO definitely still hear them (I tried). So the audio IS required to mask sounds like snoring and, as I’ve already said, I couldn’t get the audio to work.
I have used speedo earplugs and they are less than $/£5 and they form a complete seal and block out snoring. However, Speedo earplugs are not comfortable if you lie on your side and, after a while, will give you painful ear infections. So they are not a longterm solution.
- Speedo Swimming earplugs – beware ear infections (local Amazon link here)
- Blu Tack as an earplug works for some: local Amazon link here, Zoggs sell a mouldable gel blob for swimming that I find sometimes works
- Disposable Ultra Soft Foam Earplugs. Again people swear by these but I REALLY don’t like them (local Amazon link here)
- Wireless sound-soother headband – there are lots of other models like these, I tried one and found it itchy and sweaty. There is also the issue of the proximity of electromagnetic radiation to your brain. (local Amazon link here)
- Zopiclone- or other prescription sleeping tablets. These really work…for a while. But they are addictive and, after a while, their effect lessens...and you are addicted to them. Not good. Your choice.
- Kalms – A Natural sleeping tablet. These seem to work occasionally for me as a placebo. (local Amazon link here)
- A noisy fan that produces a constant drone – perhaps not so great in winter but fine in summer
- I use my Google Home to ‘OK Google, play the sound of rain‘ and it does…all night. Amazon Echo and Apple products will be similar. (local Amazon link). Smartphone apps can also play similar relacing noises.
- I like and sometimes use QuietON Sleep noise cancelling earbuds
- A memory foam mattress is great. However they can be ridiculously expensive and you’re not sure that they are worth it, right? Well, instead buy a memory foam ‘Topper’ that goes on your existing mattress. That’ll set you back a much more friendly $/£/Eu50 for a similar sleep experience and you could just about take one on holiday with you if you(local Amazon link here)
- Sweet-looking charging case with 30 hours of charge
- Single-use battery life of 10 hours
- Extremely lightweight at 2.4g, you don’t forget you are wearing them
- It’s possible to sleep with them, even when laying on your side
- They don’t work in the sense that I was unable to pair them
- Expensive $249/£229/Eu222
- Speedo swim plugs are about 1/100th the price.
- Even if they worked, which they didn’t, you still couldn’t play music on them
- I doubt the longevity of the rubber ‘loop’ if you lay on that ear as you sleep
Check Google and you will find that I am not alone. Plus, if you check the support pages and forums belonging to Bose, you will find further evidence of the issue I encountered.
I have VERY EXTENSIVE experience in pairing electronic devices to smartphones. With the exception of one other product, it’s only the Bose Sleepbuds II that have been unable to properly pair to my iPhone XR (Android is generally trickier).
Friends have tried pairing my earbuds on other Apple models and on an Android smartphone and the best that anyone managed was to pair one earbud. Bizarrely one person managed to pair the right bud (Android) and the best I managed was the left bud (iOS)…and, before you ask, YES I did ensure that any pairings were removed on all other phones before attempting a new pairing. Because each earbud could be paired by someone, that goes some way to eliminate the possibility of a faulty pair.
Q: Is 2 hours sufficient perseverance to try to pair earbuds?
A: I think so, don’t you?
This song sums up the experience nicely: