Bose puts Noise-Masking Sleep buds to the Indiegogo test

Most earphones are designed to keep unwanted noise out and your music in while you go about your busy day. Bose's new experimental earbuds, on the other hand, are designed to work better when you're asleep at night (or during the day). Its new Bose Sleepbuds work pretty much the same way to keep nighttime noise from waking you up prematurely. The idea and the technology, however, is so new and unproven that Bose is taking an unprecedented route to "sell" the product, via Indiegogo's crowdfunding platform.

Originally envisioned to be a way for smaller groups or individuals to bring an idea to life, crowdfunding has taken on a slightly different turn once big companies got involved. Many, like Bose, are using it as a litmus test to gauge market interest or test ideas and products. In the Bose Sleepbud's case, it was pretty much a product beta program you had to pay for to get in.

The Bose Sleepbuds utilize the company's experience with noise cancellation and earbud design with a bent towards helping you sleep. Specifically, it uses what it calls "sound masking" to sort of cancel out unwanted outside noise, like dog barking or even your partner's snoring, and replace it with a more soothing equivalent, like rain or not so loud thunderstorms.

The Sleepbuds connect to a smartphone app that lets you customize your sleeping experience, choosing between soothing sounds, volumes levels, and playing duration. The sounds themselves, however, are stored in the earbuds. You can also set an alarm that only you and no other will be able to hear. The earbuds are advertised to last at most two nights' worth of use before needing a recharge. It's portable case has enough to charge it for one more round.

Bose' decision to go a crowdfunding route is definitely odd. It made no secret that it did so because of the experimental nature of the product. It seems that almost 2,800 people didn't mind paying $150 to $185 to get into that program, even with the possibility of Bose canning the idea should things turn out not so well.