Bose introduced the A20 Aviation Headset on opening day of AirVenture in Oshkosh.
The new headset is the result of more than 30 years of Bose research in noise reduction technology, according to company officials, who note it has been engineered to deliver greater noise reduction — even in louder environments — and offers improved comfort, clear audio reproduction, and new features, including a Bluetooth communications interface, auxiliary audio input, and priority switching of audio sources.
“Since introducing the industry’s first active noise reduction headset in 1989, we’ve continued our aviation research with a very specific goal: To improve the flying experience for pilots,” said Sean Garrett, general manager of the Bose Noise Reduction Technology Group. “With the A20 headset, several proprietary technologies work together to deliver a combination of benefits that wasn’t available until today.”
To achieve a greater level of noise reduction in the cockpit — where noise levels can reach 105 dBA — the A20 uses a new approach to active noise reduction, leveraging the technology used in the Bose QuietComfort 15 consumer headphones for the more demanding applications of pilots, according to company officials.
Bose engineers developed new electronics and a new, proprietary driver specifically for the A20 headset, officials note. The electronics combine with microphones placed both inside and outside the earcup to more effectively sense, measure and react to cockpit noise, creating a more precise noise cancellation signal. The driver, designed for higher output levels, reproduces this signal, enabling the A20 headset to deliver its improved noise reduction in louder environments.
For better passive noise reduction, the A20 Aviation Headset features new proprietary ear cushion technology and a new earcup design to block more noise from entering the earcup, officials note.
The headset includes a new Bluetooth communications interface (Bluetooth 2.1 hands-free profile) with a new portable control module. Using integrated sidetone technology, pilots can hear their own voices when the headset is disconnected from the aircraft, and communication is done via a Bluetooth mobile phone. An auxiliary audio input allows users to connect the headset to an external audio source, such as a portable GPS or a traffic warning system.
Pilots can also choose between two distinct listening settings for more control over what they hear. In the mixed audio setting, the aircraft’s intercommunication system (ICS) signal can be heard along with the auxiliary input signal. With the prioritized audio setting, the auxiliary signal is muted when the ICS signal is present. In either setting, the aircraft’s ICS signal and a Bluetooth call can be heard together.
Standard connection options are available with the A20 headset, including Dual General Aviation (G/A) plug and 6-pin Installed. With the G/A plug, the headset is connected to an aircraft’s ICS and powered by two alkaline AA batteries for a minimum of 45 hours of operation. The 6-pin installed version can be powered directly from the aircraft or with two included AA batteries. When combined with an optional adapter cable, it provides pilots with a new level of flexibility; they can choose aircraft power or the mobility of battery power. Bose advanced electronics switch seamlessly from aircraft power to battery power and back, without sacrificing performance.
The new Bose A20 Aviation Headset is made in the U.S.A. and weighs less than 12 ounces. Along with two AA batteries, it comes with a newly designed carrying case and an aux-in cable adapter. It also offers a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty, and meets or exceeds all FAA/EASA TSO C139 (Technical Standard Order) requirements. The A20 replaces the Aviation Headset X and is available now for $1,095. It is also offered without the Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity feature for $995. For more information: Bose.com or 800-242-9008.