What's this? Overall score is based on sound quality and effectiveness of ambient noise reduction. The displayed score is out of a total of 100 points.
Approximate retail price:
Summary:Portable noise canceling isolating ear-insert earphones that come with three pairs of "Stayhear + tip" ear bowl support earpieces of various sizes, USB charging cable, shirt clip, and a carrying case.
The Bose QC 20i portable noise-canceling earphones have an isolating ear-insert design. These iPod/cellphone-centric earphones can be used with the noise-canceling feature turned on or off, and have a 50-inch audio cord with a modified stereo 4-contact mini-plug that works with iPods, iPads, iPhones, and some cell phones, but it may not be compatible with other audio devices. The earphones have an inline microphone and remote with integrated volume, music player, and call connect/disconnect controls. The QC 20i comes with three pairs of "Stayhear + Tip" ear bowl support earpieces of various sizes, a USB charging cable, and a carrying case. It is covered by a 12-month warranty.
About This Brand
While Bose's best-known headphones are noise-canceling models, it now makes several types, including earphones. Products are usually in the higher price range.
Features & Specs - Bose QuietComfort 20i
Weight (oz.) Reflects the weight, in ounces, of the headphones including the audio cable and batteries, if any.
Cable length (in.) Cable length indicates the approximate length of the cable from the headset or earpiece to the plug, measured in inches.
Cable length (in.)
Battery type The number and type of batteries used.
Works with noise reduction off Will operate without the noise-canceling circuitry activated; allows the model to be used as standard headphones if the batteries die.
Works with noise reduction off
Integrated microphone Has an integrated microphone for use with some cell phones or audio players with a recorder function.
Call connect/disconnect control This allows you to answer or disconnect from a phone call with some cell phones.
Call connect/disconnect control
Integrated volume control This allows you to adjust the volume without having to dig into your pocket or purse for a player.
Integrated volume control
Integrated player control This allows you to control some player functions (for example: play, pause, track skip) via a control without having to dig into a pocket or purse for a player.
Integrated player control
Detachable cable A detachable cable allows the headphones to be used for noise canceling without the cord being connected to a music or video player, or dangling from the headset.
Monitor function (mute) Has a control that turns off the audio, and in the case of noise canceling models turns off the noise canceling function, so that ambient sounds can be heard. Useful for hearing ambience like travel announcements without turning off the audio player or removing the headphones.
Monitor function (mute)
Noise canceling unit in earpiece The electronic circuitry for the noise cancelation function is integrated into headphones earpiece rather than incorporated as a separate module that is integrated into the audio cord.
Noise canceling unit in earpiece
Low battery indicator An indicator to show that the headphone battery power is low and will need to be replaced or recharged.
The Good: <br /><br />My health club plays loud distorted music; I can hardly hear myself think; my car is noisy; my wife watches TV. In all cases, the QC 20I blots out all the noise. Professional reviewers on other sites agree with me; Bose noise cancelling is by far the best.<br /><br />The in ear design is more comfortable than any other headphones I've tried.<br /><br />The Bad:<br /><br />Sound quality is mediocre. I compare the sound quality to that from my less expensive Ultrasone HFI-700 earphones that are rated good but not great by CNET.<br /><br />There is no spaciousness to symphonic music. High and mid range from individual instruments disappears. Base is blurred.<br /><br />The QC 20I does better with modern synthesized music, though again the music seems to come from a single point with no spacial quality.<br /><br />When noise cancelling comes on I feel pressure in my ears. I probably will get used to this.<br /><br />Reviewers from other sites have the following problems with the QC 20I. The battery is non replaceable and when it goes dead you simply have to buy new phones. The chords break easily and the ear plugs tear. <br /><br />Bottom Line:<br /><br />I probably will keep them because even mediocre sound is better than no sound in noisy environments. Comparable noise cancelling in ear phones with better sound all have other serious deficiencies and worse noise cancelling.
How long have you owned it:
A month or less
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Huntsville, AL
(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)
Big sound in small package
I use my 20i's to reduce the noise when I travel as well as at the office. I had someone come in my office and say something to me to which I didn't respond, she told my secretary that I was asleep. my secretary laughed and told her I must be working on something with my Bose earbuds in. I do not listen to music at the office, however the noise cancelling is very good. There is very little white noise that you can hear with the noise cancellation on and you're not playing anything through them. Given the size and application, I don't see how you could do any better. Very good sound and cancellation. You can still hear some things but most sounds are gone or reduced by I would say 90% decrease in volume.
How long have you owned it:
Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.
from Washington, DC
(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)
Love These Earphones
A friend told me about these earphones and how wonderfully well they blocked the droning noise on a recent long-haul flight. I haven't had the chance to use them on an airplane yet, but I use them twice a day on what was an uncomfortably noisy commuter bus. They've made a huge difference -- the engine rumbling is all but gone, the chatter doesn't register at all. I noticed how well they worked the second day I used them when I was waiting for the bus on a rainy evening. Didn't hear the cars swooshing by on the wet streets. I usually listen to audiobooks on the bus, and the external noises don't intrude even during the verbal pauses. A woman sitting next to me had to tap me on the arm to get my attention, since I didn't hear her ask a question. The earphones are also very comfortable and unlike the earlier Bose in-ear headphones, the earpieces don't pull off. A friend who hates the external pressure the over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones cause also loves these. Bottom line -- if I lost these tomorrow, I'd have them replaced before the end of the week.