Bose® - QuietComfort® 20 Headphones (iOS) - Black

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®.

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$249.99

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Bose® - QuietComfort® 20 Headphones (iOS) - Black - Larger Front
Bose® - QuietComfort® 20 Headphones (iOS) - Black
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Overview

What's Included


  • Carrying case
  • USB cable
  • Small StayHear+ ear tips, large StayHear+ ear tips
  • Owner's manual
  • QuietComfort 20 Headphones

Ratings & Reviews


Overall Customer Rating:
96% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (925 out of 964)

Features


Acoustic Noise Cancelling® technology

Minimizes external sounds for clear, uninterrupted audio. Aware mode lets you remain conscious of your surroundings without removing the headphones.

Earbud design

The first in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose delivers rich, powerful sound.

StayHear®+ ear tips

Fit securely in your ears for comfort during extended listening sessions.

In-line microphone and remote

for easy switching between calls and music with select iPhone models.

Rechargeable lithium-ion battery

Provides reliable operation on a full charge You can still enjoy music with Bose® quality sound when the power is off or the battery runs out.

Apple, the Apple logo and iTunes are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. iPod is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries


Customer rating

4.7
96%
would recommend to a friend

Expert rating

4.3

Pros

Cons

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Hands down, these are the best at noise canceling

    Posted
    ThisIsNot
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member
    • Top 100 ContributorTop 100 Contributor

    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.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Buy these... BUT, get the extra warranty!

    Posted
    Steven
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    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.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    Tiny noise canceling

    Posted
    Huck
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite MemberElite Member

    I bought these as a replacement for my QC-3s. I loved the QC3s and wouldn't have replaced them except I was going to have to replace the leather ear pieces, a new cable and figured if I was going to put $50 in them might as well get a new headset. I probably have close to 30 different earphones and have tried just about every brand out there. I seen the QC20s and figured I would give them a try. The QC20s are nice because they are so small. I can have the travel case they came with in my pocket and I'm ready to go. They also take up 1/10th the space the QC-3s did in my backpack and as any frequent flyer knows overhead space is a premium and so the smaller my bag the better off I am traveling. Sound quality is above average but I will say is not the best I have ever heard. It has strong bass, almost overpowering but seems to be missing some on the high ends. Overall a very good sound and sound like most Bose earphones with a overall natural blend.This great sound is sometimes muddied as the ear buds do not seal out all outside noise. On a noisy flight the noise cancelation was trying to make up for the engine noise and just seemed to add to the noise. I could put my finger over the mic and it would clear up. Now walking around in a quieter area and the sound is great. A nice feature these headphones has is a switch on the remote that allows you to hear whats going on around you. It makes it nice to wear these and walk up to a counter to order food or have a conversation with someone without having to pull the ear pieces out of your ears. I kind of wonder about the battery pack life and the short doggle cable on it to plug in. I really wish there was a way to attach this to my phone instead of dangling loose and catching on everything. This is something that could be improved on. I tried to stick velcro to it but the rubber like material but it refuses to let me glue anything to it. As of now I carry a rubber band to attach to the back of my phone. I have also had the earphones give me a loud pop on several occasions (3 so far in a month of use). Not sure where it comes from but it is enough to make me jump. My only other gripe is the high price for these earphones. Is it worth it? Only time will tell. There is more to like about these than dislike but there are many earphones for much less that sound as good. Adding noise canceling technology to these is where they do shine It is nice to have ear buds with noise canceling and in such a small package makes the convenience worth it.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Switching from Shure

    Posted
    SwitchedFromShure
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I just purchased the Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear headphones yesterday, so have only tried them out around the house. I am a Bose Aviation Headset user, so I'm somewhat familiar with their Active Noise Cancelling technology. Also, I use Bose SoundSport in ear headphones during my workouts. So, this is my 3rd pair of Bose personal audio equipment. Shure uses foam ear pieces which essentially function as earplugs so that only the sound from the headphones enters your ear canal. Bose uses ear pieces which fit rather loosely - the ear pieces themselves don't block out much noise - that's where the noise cancelling hardware/software shines. I'm in the process of switching from an older pair of Shure SE 530 headphones, which provide a very broad sound stage and reproduce sound very well (using modern "compressed" digital sources). Shure's headphones seem to be getting pricier, so whereas I used to always by Shure without even a second thought, I considered this Bose product. The sound reproduction of these Bose headphones is acceptable for general use. I'd say true audiophiles would probably be unimpressed. But, for general use (around the house, office, and for travel), they are an excellent choice. They seem to be a bit bass heavy, but that might be corrected with your device's equalizer settings. The main feature to tout is the active noise cancelling technology. I was impressed, as I have been in the past, with Bose's command of this function. Believe the hype - this set really can block out ambient noises, to the point where I couldn't even hear myself snapping my own fingers. The obvious drawback is that you have a powered control module in-line, and it sits really close to the plug to your source. But, if you can get past that, you will appreciate this set. There is also a handy in-line control feature with an "aware mode" that allows some sounds to pass through the noise filter. I don't use the in-line controller much, and I haven't tried using the phone function. Bose claims that the USB-charger takes 2 hours to full charge, and will last for 16 hours of active noise cancelling (haven't tested this yet), and there is an LED on the noise cancelling module that tells you status of the device. I'll be flying this weekend so I'm anxious to see how these perform on a commercial airliner. Pros: Active Noise Cancelling, In-Ear design, small packaging (makes for easy travel) Cons: You need to charge the attached module, three supplied ear piece sizes might not be a perfect fit

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Unfortunate Allergic Reaction to Bose Tips

    Posted
    LABB2
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    This Bose noise-cancelling headphone has been a staple to my daily commute via public transportation. Bus engines can be extremely loud and audio is hardly audible even at full volume with other in-ear buds. However, these Bose headphones only require volume to be turned up to around 40% without N/C or only at 10% or less with N/C. Furthermore, the "Aware" mode is crucial when crossing busy intersections and is an excellent feature. Unfortunately, a few months into my use, I developed a strong allergic reaction. The tips caused intense itchiness, redness, and swelling of my outer ears. I am not sure what triggered such reaction as I always washed my ear tips with the same product I use to wash my face (Cetaphil) and air dried the buds. I have never been allergic to any other silicone type buds (Panasonic, Sony, Skullcandy, etc). After 2 weeks of complete misery from not being able to stick anything in my ear to not being able to sleep on my side because of the pain, I finally had to end my relationship with this pair of Bose headphones. I did not reach out to Bose Warranty this time around because I had a bad experience with my first contact. The wing of my size small buds tore within minutes of my initial unboxing of the headphones. I immediately registered my product and submitted information about my situation. It took Bose exactly 1 month to contact me back to ask me for my address to send a new pair. I had even already entered my address into the contact form. Due to the month long wait, I already obtained my own replacement. As a result, I would recommend others to be patient!! Overall, I will still highly recommend Bose Noise Cancelling Technology and one day hope I can reintroduce Bose back into my life.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

    Great headphones but not for me

    Posted
    ACEKING1212
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® Elite Plus MemberElite Plus Member

    I bought these to upgrade from an old pair of sony noise cancelling earbuds I used daily (and never had any issues with) hoping maybe to get better sound quality and with good noise cancellation. The overall sound quality of these are amazing, the bass is good for earbuds, the noise cancellation works great, and the headphones are very comfortable to wear. The issue I had with mine is when I turn the noise cancelling, I feel a pressure in my ears (like when you need to pop your ears) and after about 20 minutes the pressure starts giving me a headache. If I turn the noise cancelling off and use them as regular headphones, the pressure goes away immediately. I tried all the different size tips thinking maybe I was using too big of tips but still with the same result. I really want to like these but after 2 days of trying multiple different times, they keep giving me a headache. The only other thing bad I noticed is that the battery pack is located about 2 inches from the jack and I feel this will cause the wire between the jack and the battery pack to wear out fast, they should've put the battery pack at least a foot a way from the jack. If these headphones didn't give me a headache I would've kept them, the noise cancelling works great, the sound quality is great, and they're very comfortable but unfortunately these aren't for me. I'd recommend trying them out before you buy them.

    I would recommend this to a friend

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Awesome Sound and Comfort for a limited time only

    Posted
    BicyleMan0056
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I am a devoted customer of Bose and have talked many friends, coworkers, and employees into spending the extra bucks for Bose products. I am very disappointed with these SoundSport and Bose for one reason they don’t work long but the do sound awesome, super comfortable, easy to install, and stay where they are put. I commute daily 22 miles from work to home on my bicycle and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the weather. It has been 94 – 99 degrees and very humid here in Texas with no rain and have gone through three pairs in two weeks. The FIRST PAIR developed a static in the left ear and would not work stop either powered off or on after 65 minutes of riding (99 degrees that day with clear skies). The SECOND PAIR a few days later lasted about 48 minutes into the ride and developed static in the left ear, 10 minutes later just went dead (96 Degrees clear skies). The THIRD PAIR after 54 minutes of riding did the same as the second except they went dead in less than three minutes (96 Degrees clear skies). I do sweat a lot due to the humidity, heat, and rigorous workouts and think they do not hold up well in heat combined with sweat. They did work great for two days indoors on the second pair because I was sick at home playing games and watching movies and these were used the whole time without a glitch. I have tried all the major brands of sports earbuds and these are definitely the best by far but they will only last an hour if you believe in a good workout. If you just want to use these indoors you will love them but if you work out you will just get frustrated and disappointed like me. It definitely has a design flaw.

    No, I would not recommend this to a friend

    • Brand response

      Bose support

      Thanks for sharing your feedback.
      We engineered the SoundSport wireless headphones to be stable and comfortable, sweat and weather resistant, and provide amazing sound. While they’re delivering on this promise for the vast majority of owners, we’ve found that a small percentage of customers, like you, have experienced a problem under specific conditions related to extreme levels of sweat and moisture.
      We’ve taken every SoundSport wireless headphone that’s been returned to us, tore them down in our labs, and now have a solution. Going forward, every SoundSport wireless headphone will include this update, and they'll be ready by the end of August.

      Since it appears you’ve had this issue, we want to help you. Please give us a call at 1-800-819-7032 or email us at review_support@bose.com. Bose

  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds

    Posted
    DRMIKE
    • Verified PurchaserVerified Purchase
    • My Best Buy® MemberMember

    I purchased the Bose QC-20 earbuds to replace my old Sony noise cancelling earbuds. I tried the QC-20's out at the airport and was shocked at how well they worked. They cut out almost all the external noise and still provided a great audio sound. I used them on my trip to Europe last month and they worked great. The airplane noise was almost completely eliminated which allowed me to lower my sound volume. The sound quality is very good with a rich base which gives everything a surround-sound feel. PROS: - Best in class Noise Cancelling - Rich full sound - Audio is very clear when talking on the phone (send/receive) - Long Battery life - Batteries charges up very quickly - Able to control my iPhone volume, skip track, answer phone - Able to work even when batteries are dead - However, no noise cancelling or audio processing - Awareness button to turn-off N/C to listen to other people or announcements - Cables are quality and do not tangle - Right-angle connector fits well when connected to my phone and in my pocket. - Nice travel case - Stay put in my ear without falling out (includes 3-different sizes of earbuds) - Also great for mowing lawns, vacuuming, or operating lound equipment - just put a pair of hearing protection ear muffs over the earbuds for extreme noise cancelling. CONS - Costs $250.00 - No auto shut off to prevent battery drain Summary: Buy if you travel or need noise cancelling. The cost is very reasonable for these earbuds.

    I would recommend this to a friend

What experts are saying

Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars with 20 reviews

Click to visit alaTest website
The analysis of all aggregated expert reviews shows that the reviewers are positive about treble quality, noise isolation, sound and comfort. Editors are less positive about price. Using an algorithm based on product age, reviewers ratings history, popularity, product category expertise and other factors, this product gets an alaTest Expert Rating of 87/100 = Very good quality.
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    The Best Noise-Cancelling Earbuds
    After researching and testing two dozen pairs, we think the Bose QuietComfort 20 are the best in-ear noise-cancelling headphones for most people.Full Review
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    Bose QC 20 Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphone Review
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