-[ Snoring ] -Sound familiar?Lots of people lose sleep because of snoring partners,busy streets, and other nighttime disturbances.
Can a gadget help?I'm "Washington Post" columnist Geoff Fowler.
Tech companies are trying to get into your bed.
Bose, which is best knownfor those noise-cancelling headphonesyou see on every single flight,is the biggest yet to dive into sleeping technology.
It just debuted what you might callsnore-cancelling headphones.
These are Bose Sleepbuds --small, wireless headphones you wear in your earwhile you sleep, to mask sounds that might wake you up.
So, do they work?In the interest of science,I set up a very unfun experiment on myself.
I played this terrible recording.
-[ Snoring ] -next to my bed all night long,while wearing Sleepbuds, to see if I could catch some Z's.
Gadget reviewing is not as glamorous as it might appear.
Before we get to the results,a word about how the Sleepbuds work.
They don't use the noise-cancelling techthat Bose is famous for.
There's no microphone actively cancelling out snoresor barking dogs.
Sleepbuds won't help you on an airplane,and you can't even play music through it.
Instead, Bose is getting into the scienceof masking distraction by sealing your ear canal,like with earplugs, then playing low-level soundthat trains your brain not to get distracted.
It's like having two tiny white-noise machinesinside your head,playing a low level of babbling brooks or rustling leavesor any of 10 different all-night sleep tracks.
Their batteries last up to 16 hours and charge in this case.
The other thing to know is, they're not cheap.
A pair of Sleepbuds runs 250 bucks.
A box of earplugs cost $5but, of course, don't do any fancy noise masking.
Back to my experiment.
Yes, the Sleepbuds did successfully maskthose super-annoying snoring soundsfor both me and my partner,but that doesn't mean either of us got a good night's sleep.
My brain was perturbed just enoughby the sound of my own breathingthat I never got into a really deep sleep.
My partner's Sleepbuds kept falling out of one ear.
Getting the fit right is key,and Bose does include three different sizes of tips.
Should you get them?The thing about sleep is that we're all different,and noise is just one of many factorsthat might be keeping you up.
If noise is your main problem,you might have a great experience with the Sleepbuds.
Bose says I might have a great experience with them, too,if I kept using them for a while.
Bose says it worked for years on sleep-masking sciencein making these things comfortableand that it has many happy customers already.
There just isn't any scientific proof,yet Bose says it's planning a study.
Bottom line -- the theory behind Sleepbuds makes sense,but since there's so little proof they'll work for you,I recommend starting with the cheapest option --earplugs then working up from there.
If you do buy Sleepbuds from the Bose store,you can return them within 20 days.
Now, if they could only make a gadgetto turn off the noises inside your headwhen you're trying to fall asleep.