Shut out the world and lose yourself in your music — or let the world in. It's your choice with the first in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose. The QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones let you enjoy better sound every day, everywhere you go. Turn on noise cancelling to reduce surrounding distractions and focus on your music. Or, at the touch of a button, activate Aware mode to hear what's happening around you. StayHear®+ tips provide a soft, secure fit. The inline microphone and remote let you switch easily to calls on your Apple® iPhone®.
Hands down, these are the best at noise canceling
Posted by: ThisIsNot from: Cincinnati, OH on
I have been looking for a good pair of noise canceling headphones for the past month. I've purchased models from various other companies, including Bose, only to return them less than a week later because they didn't meet my needs. I often work in a noisy environment with multiple pumps and air compressors operating continuously. The combined noises are louder than those experienced on airplanes so I needed a pair of noise canceling headphones that would let me tune everything out.
I tried earbuds from Audio-Technica, over-the-ear headphones from Sony, earbuds from AKG, and even the Bose QuietComfort 25 over-the-ear headphones. None of them were able to match the noise canceling of the QuietComfort 20 (QC20) earbuds. Most noise canceling headphones only focus on canceling out constant, lower frequency sound. That's typical of what you would find in an airplane but they don't help with higher pitched noises or conversations within a shared office.
Not only did the QC20s cancel out all constant, lower frequency sound but they also cancel out higher pitched noises. I cannot hear my office-mates talking with one another, I cannot hear the clacking of my PC keyboard, I can't even hear my office phone ring. All other noise canceling headphones, including the QC25s, would let a lot more noise in.
The QC20s come with three sets of StayHear+ tips so you should be able to find a size that fits you. These are extremely comfortable to wear for hours on end and even allow you to lay on your side without discomfort. Unlike the QC25 headphones, these come with a built-in rechargeable battery that easily lasts for 16 hours. In fact, I typically experience about 19 hours of audio playback with noise canceling activated. The earbuds still work when the battery dies and it takes about 2 hours to completely recharge them using a standard micro USB connection.
The earbuds also come with a small carrying case that holds an included micro USB charging cable and can also house a backup pair of StayHear+ tips (which you can order directly from Bose, on Amazon, or even off of eBay though you have to watch out for 3rd party tips). The whole travel package takes up less space than an iPhone 4 and can easily fit in any bag, backpack, purse, or even pants pocket.
The only area where I have to knock the QC20s is in sound quality. My review would reflect a 4.5 out of 5 star rating if I could use half stars, so I rounded up. I think they sound great and even better than the often muddy QC25s but the QC20s aren't balanced. Like other Bose products, they focus on the lower and higher ends of music while somewhat dropping out the mids. These definitely aren't going to give you a flat, accurate sound like so many other IEMs in the same price. The only thing is that those won't cancel out noise nearly as well as the QC20s. In my experience, noise canceling headphones (even from Audio-Technica) aren't focused on sound quality anyway.
Overall, these are the best noise canceling headphones currently on the market. Bose recently updated them with two new color combinations: black/blue and white/blue. I prefer the black and blue models as they hide dirt better and white headphones, no matter what brand they are, never tend to age well. Bose support is top notch as well and you can buy replacement parts from their stores or their website.
If you are on the market for a pair of noise canceling headphones, do yourself a favor and pay the higher price for these. They outperform every other noise canceling headphone on the market including Bose's own QC25 over-the-ear flagship headphones. It may sound hard to believe but it's true.
47 out of 52 found this review helpful.
No crying baby for me.
Posted by: Deadhead from: on
I was on a plane. At the end of the flight I took off the ear buds and heard a baby crying. I looked at the guy sitting next to me who had a painful look on his face. I said that it is a shame that landing is hard on baby's and they cry. He said that the baby cried the whole flight. I had no idea. These noise cancelling ear buds are GREAT!!!
22 out of 23 found this review helpful.
QC20 Gen 2 Better than QC20 Gen 1
Posted by: Kineticmind from: Fort Thrill, SC on
I purchased the latest QC20 with white and blue ribbon (2015 model), for iOS, for $299. I also have the older version (black and grey cable, 2013 model). I want to report that the sound quality on the latest 2015 Gen 2 QC20's sounds much better.
1) The sound is much richer, with slightly better mid range than the previous version.
2) There is an increase in overall bass level... up to double the amount. The most noticeable is the sub bass. The bass sounds like their speaker system. It goes much deeper than the previous version.
3) Treble is slightly smoother. The previous version might have a little more treble as it sounds thinner.
Overall, the sound quality differences are not small. This is no cable change type of small differences. It's like another headphone with more bass. The new one still has that Bose house sound but it's significantly better than the old version. For $50 more, I urge everyone to get the new version.
14 out of 17 found this review helpful.
Shoulda listened to my gut...
Posted by: SunnyDaysDez from: on
I recently decided to start my midyear New Year's resolution, so to save a few dollars I bought a set a (dead)Beats headphones so I could listen to music while I worked out... WRONG MOVE!! I should've stayed with the brand that has never disappointed me...BOSE! Again, I have been impressed with the quality of the workmanship of a Bose product. The earpieces fit like a glove and are so comfortable almost forget I have them on. The noise cancellation feature is phenomenal! I have purchased Bose Bluetooth earpieces in the past & was equally as impressed with them as I am with the quality and sound of these headphones. I got to learn to trust my judgment a little better.
8 out of 9 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Rlefty from: on
I like them, they shut out the noise on the long flight I took after I got them. Wasn't to sure about the ear buds instead of head set. But they are comfortable and didn't cause me any discomfort.
They work exactly as advertised. Can't go wrong with these.
6 out of 7 found this review helpful.
Good noise canceling
Posted by: Brettsky31 from: on
Blocks out noise better than earplugs. Also the sound quality is better than any other headphone I've purchased.
4 out of 4 found this review helpful.
Posted by: Kimme from: on
We purchased these as a gift for our son who is very picky about headphones. He loves them! The sound and bass are excellent. They fit the ear quite well. They also came with adjustable ear inserts to provide a good fit. They do not fall out of the ear.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Buy these... BUT, get the extra warranty!
Posted by: Steven from: on
I purchased these in September, '15. I had gone in to find a good, sub-$100.00 pair of wired earbuds with passive noise cancelling [tight fitting for some basic level of isolation]. I had absolutely no intention on spending $300.00 on earbuds!!! My brother owns these, however, and rages about how much he uses them and enjoys them. He wears his quite a lot during most days, and after more than a year he has seen no deterioration in the quality. So... I thought I would look at the packaging, at least.
There weren't a lot of choices for in-ear active noise cancelling phones, at the time. I couldn't try these on at the store, but I did try on the Bose QuietComfort 25, over the ear headphones with noise cancelling, and cycled through the demo - I should NOT have done that! I was immediately sold on the technology and sound. I grabbed the QC-20 [for iPhone, with Price-matching!!!] This has all the features I want, except not waterproof. I can use these even when the battery is dead, but they claim 16-hours! It has the inline iPhone controls and mic. Pass-through of some ambient sound - for safety during driving and walking/running in traffic, and for conversing with my wife while listening to music. When I do something stupid... I can turn off the ambient sound for near complete sound isolation [I can't hear her tell me what I did wrong!] During a phone call with my brother and I both using these, I could speak more quietly than I normally do, and he sounded like he was in the room with me. I almost look forward to mowing the lawn - now that I don't have to crank up the music to dangerous levels! ["Almost".... I hate yard work!]
I consider myself a bit of an audiophile - not extreme - but I like a clean, full range. I have never heard so much clean bass from such a small package - and the mids and highs are as good as any earbuds I have worn. My music and my Audible books both sound fantastic. Let these break in a few days, and you'll hear a difference.
After 5 months of moderate use, the "multi-function" button on the inline remote stopped working - as if a spring was broken. I had purchased the Geek Squad extended warranty, but they actually honored the Bose 1 year warranty, replaced the unit, and refunded the extended warranty costs - which I applied to the replacement headphones. You cannot beat the Best Buy Warranty and customer service on such high-cost, delicate items!
I will still say that these are almost perfect for me - except the clumsy battery pack and non-replaceable battery. I love the sound, and the sound cancelling. I am not thrilled with the build quality, but the button was not where I expected failure.
The moral of this story... DO NOT TRY THESE... Unless you are ready to spend the money. Purchase the extended warranty, and be gently with these, but DO buy a pair!
Your mileage may vary - good luck.
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Great to block out spouses snoring
Posted by: Stuckinohio from: on
I bought these to take on vacations where I am in the room with people who snore. They work amazing!
3 out of 3 found this review helpful.
Awesome headphones for traveling
Posted by: BobE from: on
Purchased Bose in ear after using Bose over ear noise cancelling headphones for years. I wear glasses and the comfort of the in ear headphones combined with great noise cancelling made the flights much more enjoyable. Music sounds great on too.
Only issue is how sensitive the mic is when making calls. People comment about other people on the call if there are conversations across the room. Apple headphones do a much better job of eliminating background noise coming through mic.
Overall, great headphones if you fly a lot.