Bose is well known for offering some of the best and widely used aviation headsets on the market. Their two most popular products are the Bose A20 over-ear aviation headset and the Bose ProFlight Series 2 in-ear aviation headset. The question frequently arises, which one is better? Should you go for Bose’s over-ear or in-ear aviation headset? We help you decide!
Bose A20 vs Bose ProFlight Series 2 Aviation Headset
We will start with an overview of the specifications of both headsets in a comparison table. Next, we will dive deeper into some of the important differences that could influence your buying decision.
|Bose A20||Bose ProFlight Series 2|
|Around-ear configuration for higher noise environments||In-ear configuration for pilots of moderately noisy aircraft, such as pressurized jets|
|Weight||12 ounces||4.5 ounces|
|Type||Over-ear aviation headset||In-ear aviation headset|
|Battery life||45+ hours||25 hours (Bluetooth ON), 45 hours (Bluetooth OFF)|
|App||None||Bose Connect App|
|Accessories||In-line clothing clip, Control module, 2 AA batteries, Aux-in cable adapter, Carrying case||Carry case, Carry case hook, 2 AA batteries, Control module holder, 3 sizes of StayHear+ tips (S, M, L)|
|Free trial||60-day Risk Free Trial||60-day Risk Free Trial|
|Connector types||Available in twin-plug, 6-pin plug and U174 plug||Available in twin-plug, five pin XLR, or six pin LEMO plug configurations|
|Certification||FAA TSO and E/TSO-C139A certified||FAA TSO and E/TSO-C139A certified|
|Maximum ambient noise level||115 dBC SPL for full active noise reduction performance||115 dBC SPL for full active noise reduction performance|
|Bluetooth wireless technology||3.1||4.2|
|Buy on Amazon||Buy on Amazon|
Let’s look at some of the main differences in a little more detail.
First of all, there’s the most obvious difference: while the Bose A20 is a standard over-ear aviation headset, the Bose ProFlight Series 2 is an in-ear headset, which are usually far lighter and more comfortable to wear during longer flights. With a weight of just 4.5 ounces or 128 grams, the ProFlight Series 2 is one of the lightest aviation headsets on the market.
There is also a different use for both headsets, which Bose itself uses to differentiate each headset in their marketing and sales messages.
While the Bose A20 Around-ear configuration was designed to be used in higher noise environments, like piston engine aircraft or noisy jets, the Bose ProFlight Series 2 was specifically designed and intended for pilots flying moderately noisy aircraft, such as pressurized jets. Although you could of course use the ProFlight Series 2 in a small piston-engine aircraft, you will probably not be able to enjoy the same noise cancelation as with the A20.
Then there’s the price. Bose’s products are well known for their superior sound quality, design and comfort. But those advantages do come with a premium price. Both headsets can be purchased for over $1000, with the Bose ProFlight Series 2 being a little less expensive than the Bose A20. An important side note is that the price does depend on whether you purchase the Bluetooth or non-Bluetooth version of the headset. Although we do recommend buying the Bluetooth version, as this has significant advantages that you will learn to love over time.
When it comes to other features, both models are very much alike. Both the A20 and ProFlight Series 2 offer superior noise reduction, Bluetooth, audio input, auto shut-off to save battery life, audio priority to mute music when receiving or sending radio transmissions and more.
Both headsets utilize standard AA-type batteries, making it easy to quickly change batteries before or during a flight when they run low. The A20 as well as the ProFlight Series 2 have an estimated battery life of about 45 hours, but this depends on battery age, ambient noise levels, temperature, and use of the Bluetooth feature.
The Bose ProFlight Series 2 does utilize a newer Bluetooth Technology (Bluetooth 4.2 vs 3.1) and is compatible with Bose’s new Bose Connect App. This app allows ProFlight Series 2 owners to enable Bluetooth audio sharing, connection management, pairing, unpairing, and renaming devices easy and user-friendly.
Both headsets are FAA TSO and EASA E/TSO-C139a certified, meaning they’ve been engineered to withstand even the toughest conditions.
Both the Bose A20 and the Bose ProFlight Series 2 are great aviation headsets of outstanding quality. Which one is a better fit for you mostly depends on the type of aircraft you are flying, together with your personal preferences when it comes to using either an in-ear or over-each aviation headset.
Although the price of each headset may seem significant, we strongly believe a quality aviation headset is an investment, in your comfort, safety and health.
For the cost of these headsets, you expect the best. They both do an amazing job delivering just that.
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