Bose A20 Aviation Headset

July 17, 2014
Bose A20 Aviation Headset
  • Editor Rating

  • Outstanding

Review Summary:

Being exclusively Bose for many years, it was hard to go past the A20 when looking for an aviation headset. You don’t have to travel far to realise that Bose is highly regarded throughout the industry as one of the best. Whilst many other contenders are moving in and producing some amazing items, quality is something that Bose has always had in fistfuls.

This review should be your first stop when considering purchasing a Bose A20 Aviation Headset. Check out SPJ’s Bose A20 Review now!


Compared to Lightspeeds Zulu or Sennheisers S1, the A20 could be described as being petite. At first glance, it looks considerably smaller than most. The ear cups initially feel a little small on the ear and do take a little positioning to ensure your lobes are in, however once fitted, provide a level of comfort unsurpassed in aviation headsets.

One thing that always jumps out at me with Bose is the build quality. They just don’t have any of the plastic feel of the S1 or Zulu. Once fitted and turned on, the first thought is wow. The ANR is amazing, I mean really amazing! No echoing or growl, just silence, deafening silence. The engine revs sound different and the slam of the door sounds down right creepy. At first you think it might be a little too quiet and then you hear an ATC transmission and realise why. It’s crystal clear. For music playback, admittedly the volume available is probably a little low, though for comms, when you partner it with the ridiculous silence of the ANR, it’s perfect! The down-line control module is a little hard to navigate and does take a little getting used to. It’s aerodynamic shape and solid, if heavy, construction feel nice in the hand though it appears it was here that Bose ran out of budget and ideas. The volume control is all but useless, and while the Bluetooth is a nice function and is one of the A20’s selling points, they definitely don’t have it mastered like Sennheiser do. For the S1, it’s a simple switch and off you go, however, with the A20’s it’s the old push and hold button found on most mid 2000’s Bluetooth headphones. Music is by way of a cable not Bluetooth as found on most new headsets.

All up, the A20 is everything that we have come to expect from Bose and more. It is by far the most comfortable headset I’ve used with out of this world ANR and Bose trademark quality sound. Whilst it’s not perfect in every respect, either is any other headset. In my opinion, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason to not buy one.

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1. Excellent constant ANR qualities 2. Comfortable headband and ear cups 3. Nice small carry case that is easy to store in a flight bag 4. Crystal clear communications


1. The price is a little more than that of its competitors 2. The control module is a little archaic 3. No Bluetooth for music playback (voice calls only) 4. Ventilation in the ear cups isn’t as good as the S1

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