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  • 2 weeks later...

Here is what I put on another forum:


I bought a pair Thursday at Oshkosh and flew home with them in my Eurocopter EC130B4. I have also flown a couple of times since Thursday. They are very, very nice. They definitely have much better ANR than the X's I have. And the new features are cool. (Bluetooth, optional adapter cable to make them into standard aviation phones, etc)


The new Bose are more comfortable than the "X's", ..they cover the ear better and with less clamping pressure, the top band is more comfortable on my head, etc. They may be slightly smaller and lighter. The noise reduction is better for sure…way less low end rumble. It is amazing how quiet my helicopter is with them on. They quiet the helicopter noise significantly better than the "X's" or several other ANR phones I have.


Now under full disclosure, I am an audio engineer/musician so I am very particular to sound and sound quality...the following comments may or may not bother you....


The new A20s have a completely different sonic character than the "X's". I think I like this, I am just not sure, yet….they are much clearer..less low end mid range sounding. On the other hand, they are higher fidelity. Because they are clearer in my helicopter, you hear the noise gate of the intercom / mics cutting in and out more predominantly. Also, my voice is much louder in my own ears. It is a little distracting, at first. I do believe it is easier to hear radio calls and they are more clear, so I suppose that it is the ultimate goal.


The iPhone to the Bluetooth is very cool. It works great and I understand that on the calls I that I have made to my wife I was very easy to understand, etc.. It is a shame that Bose won't let you inject music into the Bluetooth.


I never really thought about or understood the whole concept of Bluetooth on the headset. Somehow, I just assumed it would inject the complete signal into the aircraft's intercom system, etc.. What really happens though is that the iPhone signal is injected into your headset ONLY. This means the rest of your passengers hear your side of the conversation through the Bose headset microphone via the aircraft's intercom system, but they can't hear the person on the other end of the phone. Obviously, this is much different than Bluetooth in my cars, where via the speakers everyone hears both sides of the conversation.


Alternatively, I can plug the audio out of my phone into the input on my PS Engineering audio panel and then everyone can hear both sides of the conversation, but the downside is that you have to physically hold the phone near your mouth and talk into it's microphone and not into the headset's microphone.


Neither solution is perfect, maybe you shouldn't be on the phone in an aircraft.-


My big beef with them is that I bought the panel powered version and I was disappointed to learn that you have to turn them on every time you start the aircraft. I now have to teach all of my passengers how to turn them on...argh...


On the X they just came on automatically as soon as they saw aircraft power..That is why I wanted panel powered phones. I don't need another thing to add to my checklist..."turn on headset".


I sent Bose my official complaint. Maybe they will change them if enough people complain.


So do I like them? yes!…did I order 6 more sets? not yet…I am not 100% satisfied due to the power problem/hassle.


Sorry for the long winded review.



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I flew last night with my Bose X then switched to the A20 (not mine) for the end of the flight. I did notice less clamping force with the A20 and I would say overall it was more comfortable. It was a little quieter and the radio was a bit clearer. One negative is that you can not get a coiled cord.


Overall I like it and think it is a slight improvement over the X. I will not be upgrading anytime soon as I just got my X when it was on sale a few months ago.

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Hey Everyone -


Got my A20s and I have to agree with pretty much everything ChuckSweet has to say about them. I own 14 pair of the X series and have been using them since they came out, but the A20 if much clearer, much easier on the head, and the bluetooth works awesome.


There is a bit of disinformation going around and I can give you my $.02 worth. When talking first to Bose and then to the folks at Marv Golden, I was told that the LIMO (which is aircraft powered) still needed batteries to work. When I questioned them as to why, I was told that there was some type of amplifier that required this power in the bluetooth part of the headsets.


Well, both were incorrect. I have the first pair installed in my R44 and both the headset as well as the bluetooth work perfectly fine with NO BATTERIES installed at all. After doing more digging, what I did find is that using the LIMO to twin cord adapter you must use the batteries to get the headset and bluetooth to work while using the adapter (which makes perfect sense).


In any case, I thought it was interesting that no one had the right answer! Other than that, I have about 10 hours in the R44 with them now and I absolutely love them!

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