Re: Sleepbuds Discontinuing Discussion - Possible alternative / stop-gap measure
Hi everyone! I've settled on a possible alternative for myself and my wife that seems to be somewhat working. It's not perfect (no white noise in ear, obviously, and it pressure equalization isn't quite as good), BUT it's just about as comfortable, doesn't have the rubbing noises, doesn't have a magnet rubbing the skin, and is relatively cheap to try (excluding the white noise machine, it was about about $15 to prototype).
The short version (see photo below): I used (a) a pair of replacement Bose stayhear+ eartips (Found on Amazon as "Bose Stayhear Tipkit") stuffed with (b) a little ball of Mack's Pillow Soft silicone earplugs, and (c) a LectroFan white noise machine.
I've tried it every night for about a week and it's worked out pretty well. I've just gently wiped them off when I take them out and squish the Mack's material if it's not as pretty as I like :-).
I'm not sure how long it will be until I need to remove the Mack's material, clean out the Eartips, and stuff them with a fresh ball. For comparison, I will say I had to clean the SleepBuds every week (otherwise I'd get squishing/squelching noises from my lovely oil factory ears), and tried all sorts of things to keep the rubbing noises at bay.
I think one of the major unique selling points of the Bose products in the engineering of the eartips. I had a look at some of the patents and it's pretty clear they put some effort into them.
To Bose: Your eartips are great! I'll be you could make some solid silicone "blanks" and sell them as Bose earplugs. I'm sure it would be possible to get fairly complex with an internal geometry, but I suspect that miiiiight not be 100% necessary, given the design of the tips themselves.
Alternatively/In addition to, maybe you could test out some concepts while simultaneously helping out with noise reduction by keeping the modular tip+internal thingy design and product test with a group of people (I suspect you might be able to test lots of edge cases by seeking out "power users" in this forum :-)). Example to test material and the rubbing issue: tips with inert sleepbuds with different tops (matte, glossy, PTFE, dimpled, etc.). Perhaps supply a good white noise machine to help encourage use.
That's all for now folks. I'll try to update if/when I learn anything!