Bose has long been a trusted brand especially for noise cancelling headphones ever since the company’s flagship NC model was launched in 2000. Through the years, Bose’s noise cancelling line was joined by other popular models such as the QC15 (on-ear) and the QC3 with an over-the-ear design. What makes the Bose QuietComfort 20 special is the fact that it is the company’s first ever in-ear headphone that offers active noise cancellation. The Bose QuietComfort 2 is available in 2 versions –  the QC20i is designed for Apple Inc. devices (iPhone, iPod, iPad) while the standard QC20 version is specifically engineered for non-Apple devices (Android, Windows, etc).

Bose QuietComfort 20: Fit and Comfort

The Bose QuietComfort 20 is very comfortable to wear and fit snugly in the ears and weighs only around 1.5 ounces. The headphones come with a zippered cloth case that’s surprisingly small compared to the case of its counterpart, the QC15. The Bose QuietComfort 20 is highly recommended for travelers who find themselves always on a flight or on a train station. The design of the Bose QuietComfort 20 is quite similar to the company’s MIE2i headphones, where users don’t need to jam the device into the ears unlike other in-ear models in the market. With the Bose QuietComfort 20, the headphones hang loosely in your ears, making them comfortable and airy to wear.

This device comes with three StayHear ear tips, which are flexible and has wings to accommodate the cup of the outer ear. It is worth noting that the snugger the fit, the better the noise isolation, which in turn, provides a better and more effective noise cancellation performance.

Bose QuietComfort 20: Design

The Bose QuietComfort 20 adapts the brand’s TriPort design to offer extra space to maximize the company’s proprietary acoustic features – adding two microphones to manage and monitor external noise. Similar to most active NC headphones, external noises such as the hubbub at the train station or the drone of a jet engine, are countered by a mirror soundwave which allows listeners to enjoy their music and other forms of media in peace. It is also worth noting that the processing chip of the Bose QuietComfort QC20 is a new model that is exclusively available to Bose. Cool, huh?

Bose QuietComfort 20: Battery Life

The Bose QuietComfort 20 comes with a lithium ion battery pack embedded in the control pod on the cord. It is rechargeable using a standard Micro-USB cable. The company promises a 16 hour battery life and it is worth noting that this device can still produce sound even if the battery dies. Keep in mind though that the said “sound” is only good when in passive mode. When you turn on the NC function, everything just seems to sound boosted and more dynamic.

Bose QuietComfort 20: Usage

This headphone has a Y-cable and at the joint of the said cable leading to the right and left earbuds, you can find a smaller second remote to control the volume. The microphone is also located here for making calls and you can also find a switch that can be toggled to activate Aware Mode. Once activated, the Bose QuietComfort 20 lowers down the level of noise cancellation so that the user can hear the outside world. This is another nice feature that we like and the Bose QuietComfort 20 also works really well as a headset.

As mentioned earlier, the Bose QuietComfort 20 comes in two versions – one for Apple Inc. or iOS devices and one for non-Apple devices. The control and microphone for Android and Blackberry devices is different for iPhones. The version specifically designed for Apple products has 3 buttons on the controller.

Bose QuietComfort 20: Noise Cancellation Reviews

To say that the noise cancellation of the Bose QuietComfort 2 is impressive is an understatement. It’s actually very surprising that a loose fitting earbud like this, which allows much audio in, works really well as an active noise cancelling headphone. The Bose QuietComfort 2 effectively muffled the majority of street noises and although it can’t really drown out all of the subway noises, this product still does a satisfactory job for its price.

Bose QuietComfort 20: Sound Performance

Similar with other headphones in the Bose lineup, the sound is good, but don’t expect the quality to be really for the purists. Understandably, the sound quality of Bose has a trademark of being safe which means that it is designed to be flexible and versatile enough to take almost any kind of audio and music genres (acoustic, classic, rock, hip hop, etc) and make it sound awesome. With the Bose QuietComfort 20, you can expect a soft, smooth and nice sound sans the high details. You can also enjoy a subtle influence of bass, but not really the tightest bass in the market. Sound-wise, you can’t really lose yourself in the music, but you’ll get close to that.

This may not be common information for all, but active noise cancelling headphones tend to lose a bit of sound quality because of all the digital processing that occurs. Noise cancelling headphones such as the Bose QuietComfort 2 don’t sound as pure or clean as passive headphones which means that you may hear a faint hiss, which is very minimal that some may not even hear it. If you value sound quality more than anything else, noise cancelling headphones, no matter what brand, is not recommended for you.


Bottomline: Is the Bose QuietComfort 20 a good choice?

To conclude, the Bose QuietComfort sound good, offer excellent noise cancellation and are comfortable to wear. It offers one of the most reliable noise cancelling technology in the market, so going with Bose QuietComfort 20 is a good choice. Plus, this product is not bulky so you can bring it with you anywhere without having to worry about it taking a lot of space in your bag.