Other Gadgets

Bose QuietComfort 20 review

Mahananda Bohidar September 4 | Updated on September 04, 2013


Noise pollution and road rage are two things that you will never be immune to on Indian roads. Which probably makes it an awesome market for companies to introduce their noise-cancelling headphones. When Bose first announced that it was soon to launch a bunch of new products one of which was the Bose QuietComfort 20, we naturally tried it out. A headphone that claims to shut noise out like you’ve never heard before (or NOT heard before?!), whatever little time we spent with the device did prove that it definitely could walk the talk! We had it over again for a long-ish period of time and here’s what we think of it now!

The weirdest bit about the QC20’s might be the earbuds – silicone-built, shaped like shark fins, the earbuds could take some getting used to. What works in its favour is that they’re built to be light-weight and once you figure out how to pop them in, you might not notice they’re there for a long period of time.

I found this surprising, as I (my ears rather) don’t take to in-ear buds too well. They invariably start hurting after 10 minutes or so of usage.

But according to Bose, these “sit in the bowl of your ear and use the ridge of your ear for added support.” They didn’t hurt, and I’m not complaining.

The second characteristic that stands out is the battery pack which houses the toggle button to activate the noise-cancellation (more about that later). The battery recharges via micro USB, and there’s a power button on the side.

Now, this particular pair of earphones were built to serve one function better than most others and that is noise cancellation. The QuietComfort 20s features what the company calls the ‘Aware Mode’. You know how you miss out on flight announcements while listening to your favourite tracks, waiting for your boarding to begin? Well, that’s exactly what the Aware mode takes care of. At the press of a button, the headphones switches from the noise cancelling mode and lets you hear the ambient noise as well so you don’t miss out on announcements or other alerts in the background. All this happens while the music is still playing on the device! I tried this out while getting to and back from work in an autorickshaw and suffice to say it’s hard to come across earphones that manage to deal noise out this effectively. I listened to a bunch of tracks over a week or so – ranging from some Alt+J to The Strokes to Lil’ Wayne – and the headphones didn’t disappoint with the acoustics at all.

There are headphones that claim to cancel noise and then there are those that do. Thankfully the new Bose QuietComfort 20s turned out to belong to the latter category. While unveiling the pair of headphones company officials said that they’ve applied for more patents for this headphone alone than any other in the past. And, now we know why.

Rs 22,388

Love – Efficient noise cancellation

Hate – Amazing audio not its USP

Published on September 04, 2013

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