Most people use earphones as a means of audio listening on the go. But audio specialist Bose has recently unveiled an experimental pair of earphones that have a slightly different purpose to them.

In an unprecedented move, Bose has taken to Indiegogo to fund its new Noise-Making Sleepbuds, which – you’ve probably guessed it –  were designed to help you sleep better at night. You can think of them as a fancy alternative to earplugs.

The sleepbuds’ main function is basically to keep unwanted nighttime noise from waking you up in the middle of the night. Bose employs something called “sound masking” to sort and cancel outside noise –  like a dog barking or your partner’s snoring – and replaces it with one of the 10 pre-loaded soothing sounds like ocean waves, waterfall or rain.

Bose has been working with San Diego-based start-up, Hush to develop some of the technology found in the experimental earbuds. Obliviously, the company’s own experience with noise cancellation and earbud design has also been put to good use.

Users can customize their sound sleeping experience via the accompanying smartphone app from which they can set volume levels and playing duration. Moreover, wearers can also set an alarm that only they can hear, so as to not disturb their partner.

But since Bose’s new noise-masking earbuds were engineering especially to solve the issue of unwanted sleep in the bedroom, users won’t be able to listen to music or audiobooks.

As for battery life, Bose says the earbuds come equipped with a silver-zinc rechargeable battery that can last up to two nights of use. A charging case that offers an extra charge is also included.

On Indiegogo, Bose has been selling prototypes of the Noise-Masking Sleepbuds for $150 (super early birds) and up. However, at the moment you can no longer pre-order these experimental earbuds from the crowdfunding website, as all tires are sold out. The buds are expected to ship out to backers starting this February.

Given the experimental nature of the product, we’re not sure whether Bose will make the sleepbuds more widely available. But in case that happens, expect them to retail for $249.

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