I must admit, I had to read this announcement twice. Bose are discontinuing their Sleepbuds and offering refunds to all owners.

This is a big deal for a company of the size of Bose and also for a company so renowned for their technology and quality.

Sleepbuds were not headphones, they were a specific sleep product, linked to an app they would play soothing sounds to help you sleep – and that is it.

They could not be used as headphones out walking or on a plane.

The discontinuation of the product does not relate to lack of interest or sales. It is all about the product quality.

Turns out there is a problem with the battery taking charge and holding its charge, and for that reason – they are walking away from the product.

Given they cost $379 in Australia, it really is an epic problem for Bose.

Perhaps, but only in hindsight, a result of the process Bose used. This was first launched on Indegogo as a crowdfunding campaign. It sold out fast.

Owners were sent pre production models, which were then replaced with production models free of charge. Those owners must be looking at this with astonishment.

Here is the root issue for Bose – as they have announced “You’ve reported issues with your sleepbuds™ not charging fully, powering down unexpectedly, or both. And you’ve let us know. We’ve heard you. We’ve read your posts. We’ve documented your calls. We’ve torn down returned products you’ve sent us, and replaced them with new ones, sometimes more than once. “

We’ve also relentlessly researched the root cause with a team dedicated to nothing else. Based on what we knew, we believed that software and firmware updates could fix the issues. But the failures have continued, and recently, they’ve increased. That led us to look more closely at each piece of hardware. And we learned that while the battery we chose functions safely, it doesn’t work as consistently or predictably as it should to meet our standards.”

Critically, they are making this a simple process for owners, saying:

1 – Any sleepbud customer – whether impacted or not – can get a no-hassle refund between now and December 31st, 2019.


2 – They can continue to use their sleepbuds, or get another pair from a limited supply of Sleepbuds that are less susceptible – but not immune – to the battery related issues. In either case, if the battery-issue surfaces after December 31st, they’ll be covered under the product’s 2-year warranty, which includes an additional replacement if available, or refund.

More details, and the link for refunds, is available at BOSE online.