Step inside for a rare glimpse at our next-generation Sleepbuds™ II and the stories that led to this much-anticipated release. Hear the hidden gems and details from the perspective of the designers, engineers, product managers, creatives and others who obsess over the details to create the finished products you see and use every day. And find out what really happens in our world of audio and sound from behind the scenes.
The journey of our first-generation Sleepbuds™ was filled with firsts, making the path to better sleep bumpy at times. We ventured out into new territory, created something not done before and most importantly, helped people who struggled every night to fall asleep and stay asleep. But in forging new paths, we came across challenges too. No one knows that better than our users. Which makes where we are now all the sweeter. And since we relaunched them in September, the product improvements are definitely resonating with reviewers, who note that Sleepbuds™ II are perfect for sleep.
The next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II are so much more than an upgrade—they reimagine how we experience sleep. Straight from the minds and thoughts of the loyal users who, for the first time, enjoyed a good night’s sleep and have awaited our return. You shared your stories, issues and concerns—which led to improvements to make Bose Sleepbuds™ even better. So now, as we introduce our next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II, we’re pulling back the curtain to share a few extra details and a rare look at how we’ve come back better than ever.
Long-lasting, lightweight and tiny—with enough power to last the whole night through. A lot to ask of a battery smaller than a pea. Our second-generation Sleepbuds™ were rebuilt around a reliable new battery, the same used in hearing aids, putting an end to the charging issues that led to the redesign. But we wanted more.
The delicate balance between function, form and comfort was never more apparent than in talking with our mechanical engineers behind the design. In the search for the perfect tiny, reliable battery, comfort and form were always front of mind. They wanted all the power but without sacrificing fit. Which meant even the smallest sliver of a millimetre increase could throw off the balance between comfort and performance.
To say our designers and engineers obsessed over the details is putting it lightly. Subtle changes customers would never know about or see, like how we miniaturised components to fit around the battery and still sit comfortably in the ear. All while maintaining form and the prevalent circular curved design—now with a reliable battery to last the full night through with one charge.
When it came to connectivity issues, the team took a dual approach: create a faster, more reliable connection from bud to app and make it easier to seat—and connect—bud to case. So next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II users could rest assured that their buds would stay connected while sleeping and charge when docked.
An upgraded Bluetooth® LE radio, revamped Bose Sleep app and the addition of a third prong between the buds and the case all make establishing connection a more consistent and seamless experience. The added third prong not only controls how Bose Sleepbuds™ II “wake up” to connect faster, but also helps manage battery charging for optimal performance. Which leads us to the vastly improved docking and charging of the buds via a smart, intuitive user design. Enter the “satisfying snap” when popping our next-generation Sleepbuds™ II into the case. We’re not sure where the concept originates, but the “snap to case” experience, using magnets to pull buds into place, seemed to reassure users. Add in warm LEDs, to indicate statuses like charging, and updates for an unobtrusive, all-round experience that assures users their Sleepbuds™ are always at the ready.
We test, we tweak and we’re always thinking about how our products fit your life—and can make it better. But some things just can’t be predicted—pillow squeak for some users might be one of them. Who knew that, for some users, Sleepbuds™ rubbing against a pillow could “squeak” and “rub” loudly?
Our loyal first-generation Sleepbud™ users showed there’s a bit of engineer in all of us. Customers were sharing their homemade hacks with other “pillow squeak” sufferers. From masking tape to glued-on fabric to sandpaper, we loved the ingenuity. So, when it came to ensuring comfortable sleep earbuds for our next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II, we kept the squeak in mind. Our team went through multiple materials and a slew of surfaces until a matte coating came along and took the squeaks away for all.
Just as customers were behind the improvements in the next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II, they’re at the heart of expanding our range of noise masking sounds, growing our library of content and rethinking our Bose Sleep app experience.
While Industrial Design worked on form and Mechanical Engineering focused on function, our Acoustics and Digital Signal Processing engineers (Shaun Ente, Richard Herr and Katie Moenkhaus) diligently tuned our masking sounds to optimise them for a new, more powerful driver. This, together with better passive noise blocking from the redesigned earbud and five new masking sounds, meant fewer distracting nighttime sounds like snoring, so customers could sleep better through the night.
With content and the app being so personal, our development team believed in keeping an open dialogue with customers. And it shows. The sleek, redesigned Bose Sleep app features different categories of content in response to feedback from customers who used the original Sleepbuds™ to help relax and calm a racing mind. Naturescapes and Tranquilities feature a variety of relaxing sounds to help you unwind and fall asleep fast. Meanwhile, noise masking sounds were added for more variety and to block out a wider range of distracting nighttime noises. With plans to continue adding new sounds—and new content categories—in the future. Evolving and growing with and through our Sleepbud™ users.
From the colour and case to the circular shape and soft textures, to the entire experience. The collaboration between industrial design and mechanical engineering on Bose Sleepbuds™ II was an achievement in the delicate balance between performance, functionality and design. Bringing together all of the features and benefits users wanted and more, while staying true to the vision of creating a warm, friendly and inviting experience from beginning to end.
Everything with a place and purpose. Like the warmer colour of the case, chosen with low light in mind. But the new colour also lent itself to the infusion, and vision, of overall warmth. Especially when paired with the new warm LEDs to blend into the softer tones of a sleep environment. Both create an ideal experience for falling asleep and staying asleep.
“The layering of tinted soft neutrals in a sophisticated palette is functional in terms of the low lighting, differentiates it as we aspired to do, but aesthetically lives up to the warm, inviting and friendly overall experience we’re trying to achieve.”
The rounded shapes intentionally weaved throughout the design, from the case to the docking, right down to the reshaped bean-like earbuds, all maintain a circular curvature. Exuding a softer look and feel devoid of sharp angles and edges, when taken in all together. And when extended throughout, as intended by our industrial designers, show warmth and comfort in each and every facet of the design.
“We gave our team an ambitious challenge: rebuild Sleepbuds™ around a completely different battery technology, implement several improvements and get to market as soon as possible … I’m proud to say, despite the added complication of the pandemic, our team still met every challenge and stayed on track to get Sleepbuds™ to our customers.”
But it’s the tiniest details and thoughtful nuances conceived behind closed doors that show the true impact of our customers’ words. With every user test conducted at every turn to make sure issues weren’t just fixed, but improved even further. We listened to users, and took it to heart, which is reflected in every carefully considered change. We wanted to return to our customers with next-generation Sleepbuds™ putting prior issues in the past, while thinking ahead to what could be. So, to our customers who joined us in this new journey to help people get better sleep, we thank you and hope our next-generation Bose Sleepbuds™ II show that you were heard. And for the many sleep sufferers reflected in every user test and customer insight, we wish you peaceful minds, restful nights and your best sleep ever.