What’s the point of headphones if users can’t play music or make phone calls? United States-based speaker maker Bose is introducing its first noise-canceling headphones in China to target the surging sleep-aid market.
The headphones are specifically designed as a sleep aid. The in-ear buds, smaller than a one cent coin, each weigh 1.4 grams. The tiny size and light weight guarantee that even if consumers are sleeping on their sides it won’t be a problem.
The headphones come with three sets of buds of different sizes to cater to different consumer groups. The company said that to realize the “nearly unnoticeable” wearing experience, the first step is to offer consumers headphones in the right size.
Once the buds are inserted, users can choose to play soothing sound effects such as falling rain or soft music, so that noises around them can be masked. A mobile app, called Bose Sleep, designed specifically for the sleep-aid headphones, allows users to select from 10 different soothing sound effects. Functions such as an automatic alarm clock are available.
“People are extremely sensitive to sounds at night. Residential environment noise has now become a critical factor influencing the public’s sleep quality. In China’s urban cities, many residential areas also have commercial and transportation facilities, which adds to the noise of neighbors. Therefore, residents cannot find a quiet sleep environment,” said Lu Yanqing, manager of the health product category at Bose China.
Data from Bose showed that 60 percent of the world’s population suffer from sleep disorders, and noise is the most critical factor that results in sleep problems.
According to Bose, an hour less sleep every night will raise the possibility of having a heart attack by 24 percent. China has a growing number of people with sleep problems.
“Sleeplessness used to bother me a lot. My building is close to the street. Every night, passersby talking loudly and car horns were driving me crazy,” said Ye Qing, a 32-year-old engineer working in Beijing.
“That was when I purchased the noise-canceling headphones from Bose. I chose my size, put the buds into my ears, played some soothing sound effects, and amazingly, the noises that had been bothering me for a long time disappeared.”
Jason Yu, general manager of Kantar Worldpanel China, said that “currently, many consumer goods categories are facing a bottleneck of growth, and companies want to explore business opportunities in subdivided scenarios, to develop new products and attract new consumer groups. Providing a good night’s sleep is an area full of growth potential.”