Hearables continue to be the fastest-growing segment in the global wearables market, according to IDC’s most recent quarterly Wearables Tracker report. We’ve written often about hearables that help people with hearing impairments. We’ve also covered several developments in noise cancellation technology to help with sleep deprivation, starting with QuietOn. As we mentioned in the QuietOn post, Bose is both the pioneer and the biggest name in noise cancellation. Bose recently introduced Bose Sleepbuds II, a new hearable-format device that enlists three approaches to improve users’ sleep. Bose chose the name Sleepbuds to differentiate this technology from earbuds used to stream audio content and make or take phone calls. Sleepbuds II use Bose proprietary noise-masking technology, a point Bose emphasizes to make the point that Sleepbuds II do not cancel noise, they mask it. The hearables uses 14 noise-masking tracks to mirror common night-time noise disruption frequencies. Sleepbuds II is a second-generation product, with new acoustic and electronics design, a new enclosure that’s lighter than a dime, and new tiny ear tips that Bose describes as “ultra-comfortable.” Noise-masking is one of three sleep-enhancement tools in Sleepbuds II. In addition to the 14 noise-masking tracks, Sleepbuds II uses psychoacoustics including 15 Naturescapes to help calm users with common sounds of nature and 10 tracks Bose refers to as Tranquilities that use tone to reduce stress and tension. In a Bose study at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus, 55 people between 21 and 65 years old who reported sleep issues due to environmental noise tested the Sleepbuds II for 10 consecutive nights. Data from the study consisted of subjective self-reporting and EEG monitoring with the Sleep Profiler home monitor. Overall, 100% of the study participants reported the Sleepbuds II noise-masking helped with common disturbances, 86% reported greater ease in falling asleep, 76% claimed it helped them stay asleep, and 80% said they had improved sleep quality. Bose Sleepbuds II measure about a quarter-inch deep and have a new anti-friction coating to prevent noise from movement over fabric. The hearables run for up to 10 hours between charging the NiMH batteries. A storage charging case can recharge fully-depleted Sleepbuds II batteries three times, helpful for short pre-pandemic-style business trips. Bose Sleepbuds II are available now on the Bose website for $250.
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