Bose just announced their first in-ear noise cancelling headphones, the QuietComfort 20, which offers dual functionality so you can hear what you want and when. Users can choose to block out the noisy world and enjoy their music. Or, with the push of a button on the cord’s Y-joint, the QC20 headphones switch to new Aware mode, which keeps the music playing, but allows surroundings to be heard clearly: a horn beeping, friend talking, a passerby, or gate announcement at the train or airport.
Bose engineers first placed two tiny microphones in each earbud; one senses the sound approaching, the other measures the sound inside. The measurements are then sent to a digital electronic chip located in the control module found on the headphone cord. The digital electronic chip –- exclusive to Bose, and the first of its kind — calculates an equal and opposite noise cancellation signal within a fraction of a millisecond. The resulting noise reduction is so dramatic, it has to be heard to be believed.
Within the quiet environment created by Bose noise reduction, musical detail previously “lost” through conventional in-ear headphone listening can be heard with remarkable clarity. Bose TriPort technology uses ports to increase the effective acoustic space of the earbud to reproduce deep lows, and lifelike vocals and instruments. Bose active equalization tunes the frequency response for improved, natural sound. All music genres sound better — full, rich, and deep, without artificial boosts or distortion.
The QuietComfort 20 headphones were made for comfort and performance. New proprietary StayHear+ ear tips sit at the entrance of the ear canal, and feature an improved conical design that ensures an effective seal to passively block noise, and the proper acoustic enclosure to improve active noise reduction. They are stable, secure, and barely felt.
A rechargeable battery provides about 16 hours of power; when the battery is depleted or the power is turned off, the music plays on.
The Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones include an integrated inline microphone and controls that enable you to take calls. They are available in two different models: the QC20 headphones work with most Android, Windows and BlackBerry phones; the QC20i headphones are designed specifically for select iPhone, iPad and iPod models.
Pricing and Availability (August 2013)