Bose announced enhanced features to its award-winning Bose A20® Aviation Headset — its best-performing, most advanced aviation headset ever. Recognized globally as the industry standard for active noise reduction, comfort and clear audio, the A20® headset has been updated with Bluetooth audio, customizable audio prioritization, flexible power with auto-on capability (for select headset variants), and a coil cord cable for helicopter pilots.
“We’ve never stopped trying to make a better headset,” said Sean Garrett, Vice President of Consumer Electronics Product Engineering at Bose Corporation. “We’ve added features to our iconic aviation headset for one reason: to make flying better for every pilot who chooses Bose. The A20 remains unbeatable for performance and functionality.”
Enhanced Features for Better Flying
The Bose A20® Aviation Headset now includes Bluetooth audio. Through expanded Bluetooth audio and communications capabilities, pilots can now wirelessly stream warnings and advisories from popular aviation apps from their mobile device. Owners can also stream music via the Bluetooth audio function for unprecedented in-flight music listening with Bose audio quality. For devices without Bluetooth functionality, the headset includes a wired auxiliary audio input.
The Bose A20® headset now includes an updated customizable audio prioritization feature so pilots have full control of what audio source they hear, and how they want to hear it. There are two prioritization settings — Mute or Mixed — accessible via the headset’s control module. Pilots can mute an audio signal when an IC/intercommunications signal is detected, or mix in-bound IC/intercommunications signals with the Bluetooth® or wired audio signal. In either setting, the aircraft’s ICS signal and a Bluetooth enabled call can be heard together. And with these changes, the A20® headset strengthens its position as the industry’s easiest, most intuitive aviation headset to operate.
An optional coil cord configuration is now available to meet the requirements of helicopter pilots. The coil cord, considered a core requirement by many helicopter pilots, allows for a shorter cable to be used in the cockpit. It reduces the problem of bound-up cables, yet can stretch and allow for movement when needed. The boom microphone and cable can easily connect to the left or right ear cup.
Standard connection options are available with the A20® headset, including Dual General Aviation (G/A) plug, 6-pin aircraft powered connector and several others. The 6-pin version can be powered directly from the aircraft or with two included AA batteries, which allows owners to connect an optional adapter and easily change configurations from 6-pin aircraft power to dual G/A or single pin, U174.
For models that can be powered from the aircraft, a new auto-on feature turns the headset on automatically as soon as the avionics are powered on. It also lets pilots switch seamlessly between aircraft and battery power without compromising headset performance.
The A20® headset comes with a carrying case and an aux-in cable adapter. It also offers a limited 5-year, worldwide, transferrable manufacturer’s warranty, and meets or exceeds all FAA/EASA TSO C139 (Technical Standard Order) requirements.
Bose Noise Cancellation, Comfort and Audio Quality
There is no other aviation headset with the combination of powerful noise reduction, audio quality and comfort of the A20® headset. It achieves its noise reduction in the cockpit — where noise levels can reach 105 dBA — through an advanced and proprietary approach.
Sophisticated electronics combine with microphones placed both inside and outside the ear cup to more effectively sense, measure and react to cockpit noise — instant by instant — creating a more precise noise cancellation signal. An exclusive driver, designed for higher output levels, reproduces this signal, enabling the A20® headset to deliver its best-in-class noise reduction in louder environments without the need to calibrate/recalibrate the headset during flight. For passive noise reduction, the A20® Aviation Headset features proprietary ear cushion technology and an ear cup design to block more noise from entering the ear cup — while allowing more room for the ears.
Using active equalization, audio reproduction is clear and natural — no distortion or muddiness. Words are understood, and music is lifelike. And the A20® headset isn’t just optimized for performance — it’s optimized for comfort, too. It weighs just 12 ounces and precisely distributes its weight for 30% less clamping force than most conventional offerings, so you can wear it for hours without continuous adjustments or irritation.
“Owners tell us about flying with the A20, and hearing from them is the most satisfying part of our 30-plus years in the industry,” said Garrett. “They let us know that noise in their cockpit fades further away, that their communications can be heard with real detail and definition, and that wearing the A20 is very comfortable. They also asked for more features as they increasingly use electronic flight bags and other wireless technologies in the cockpit, and today we can offer those, too.”
35 Years of Noise Reduction Firsts
On a flight from Europe to Boston in 1978, Dr. Amar Bose had his first experience with electronic headphones. Disappointed, he started a research program at Bose to develop a headset that would reproduce speech and music with high fidelity and significantly reduce unwanted cabin noise.
In 1989, the first commercially available Bose active noise reduction headset was introduced. Since then, Bose engineers have developed additional products for the military and aviation markets, as well as the National Football League: the Combat Vehicle Crewman headset, the Performance Improved Combat Vehicle Crewman headset, the TriPort® tactical headset, the Aviation Headset X, the A20® Aviation Headset, and the Bose headset for the NFL.
In 2000, 22 years after Dr. Amar Bose’s original noise cancellation research, Bose introduced the original QuietComfort® noise cancelling headphones, forever changing the consumer headphone category.
“We have millions of owners around the world — private pilots, members of the armed forces, pro teams and people all relying on our headphone technology,” said Garrett. “We take that very seriously, and we’re out there earning their trust every single day.”
Pricing and Availability
The Bose A20® Aviation Headset with enhanced features and Bluetooth audio is available beginning on July 20, 2015. It will be sold for $1,095.95. It is also offered without the Bluetooth® connectivity feature for $995.95. The new cable is backward-compatible with older A20® headset models. Current A20® headset owners can purchase a Bluetooth down cable accessory for $295. The A20® Aviation Headset and its accessories are sold at select authorized Bose dealers, Bose retail stores, www.Bose.com or toll-free at 1-800-242-9008.