Bose QuietComfort20 headphones

The Bose QuietComfort20 are in-ear noise cancelling headphones.  I will jump straight to my verdict, they are the best headphones that I have ever owned.

I’ve worked my way through a number of headphones over the years, in-ear, on-ear and over-ear kinds.  Being deaf in one ear I tend to lean towards in-ear headphones, you don’t have cover one ear for no reason.  Historically I’ve lingered around the Apple variety, they come free with the phone and I’ve never concentrated that much on sound quality.

I travelled to America in late last year and happened to wander into the Bose store.  I spoke to one of the shop staff about being deaf and how I had not made much effort when it came to headphones as a result.  After a quick demonstration of the Bose QuietComfort20,  I was very impressed.

Bose QuietComfort20 headphones product review

Price

They’re not cheap.  If you buy them from Bose, the QuietComfort20 will set you back £249.95 at the time of writing.  I ended up paying around that but purchased them from John Lewis for the extra years warranty.  I’ve justified the purchase based on the cost per use policy.  At my current run rate, these may end up being one of the best purchases I’ve ever made as I use them every day.

What’s in the box?

  • Your Bose QuietComfort20 headphones.
  • USB charging cable (the noise cancelling function is battery powered).
  • Additional sizes rubber ear inserts.
  • A handy case to keep everything safe in when not being used.

Bose QuietComfort20 headphones product review

Design & Features

Despite the fact that there is a battery pack as part of the cable for the headphones, the design is quite sleek.  You get plenty of cable so that you can place your phone/music device in your pocket or bag and not find that you are getting snagged up.  The battery is flat and at the jack end of the cable, which can easily be folded flush with your music device.  You can choose from black with blue trim or white, I opted for black.

At the business end, you have an audio control for volume, pausing/changing music (or answering/ending calls).  You also have a button to pause the noise cancelling function and a power switch.  It’s worth noting, the power will continue to drain if you do not turn it off after use.  The audio control also contains the microphone and a clothing clip so that you can pin the microphone in a suitable position if required.

The reported battery life on a full charge is 16 hours.  I’ve not timed it but I’m pretty sure it comes close to if not exceeds this.  For my testing below I have used them on long-haul return flights with no issue.  It also doesn’t take to fully charge the battery from empty, a bonus.

How good is the sound quality and noise cancelling function?

It’s the noise cancelling function that does it for me.  A big issue with being deaf in one ear is that you with only one good ear to filter all other sounds.  I often have sound from my headphones going in, as well as whatever is going on elsewhere and it can give you a bit of a headache.  The noise cancelling feature on the Bose QuietComfort20 is something else.  I have owned these for several months now, I waited before reviewing them so that I could them through some rigorous testing first.

I wanted to know, how they would behave when travelling on trains and planes. The jury has returned a verdict, they are awesome.  When flying the main issue I find is that the constant hum of the plane can often mean that you need to turn up the volume so loud that it can be uncomfortable, not anymore.  When you turn the Bose QuietComfort20 power on, you are transported to your own private audio experience.  You can barely hear the noise of the train/plane at all!  As they are in-ear headphones, you may experience pressure changes in your ear from time to time.

In my efforts to give them a thorough test as possible, I have also worn them at the football.  With 26,000 fans droning in the background, the QuietComfort20 once again answer the call.  They are not quite as effective when the background noise fluctuates, but still excellent.

Verdict

You will have already deduced my outcome.  The Bose QuietComfort20 headphones are excellent.  They look discrete and stylish, the sound quality is incredible.  The build quality is very good too.  All of these things are perhaps to be expected for a Bose product, I was pleased to see that the Bose QuietComfort20’s live up to the hype.  Only yesterday I used them on the train to and from London and a busy underground and sat blissful unaware of the noise aroun me.  For more information check out the promotional video from Bose here.

Thanks for taking the time to read my review, I hope it is of use.  Be sure to check out other Share My Year reviews too!

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