I recently attended the launch of Bose’s two new revolutionary devices. Being a music enthusiast and a sound engineer, it was quite impossible for me to turn down the invitation. It’s BOSE for heaven’s sake!
During the event, Bose ushered in a new era of portable audio by introducing its new Bose QuietComfort 20 in-ear noise cancelling headphones and Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker. Both products offer an entirely new experience when listening to a smart device or tablet, delivering performance that redefines what’s possible from mobile audio.
I went to the launch expecting to be impressed, naturally… But nothing prepared me and the other guests for what Bose had in store for all of us.
QuietComfort 20 Headphones: The Most Versatile Bose Headphones Ever
The new QuietComfort 20 headphones are the first in-ear noise cancelling headphones from Bose. They deliver a stunning breakthrough in noise reduction, audio performance and comfort, and offer two ways to listen – one to shut out the world, and one to keep you connected. They fit in your pocket, weigh just 1.5 ounces, and rival the performance of much larger headphones.
For the demonstration of the QuietComfort 20 headphones, we were led to a small conference room specially setup for the test. We were finally introduced to Bose’s newest product which, in my opinion, looked absolutely sophisticated already even just by looking at it.
During the demonstration of this product, we were each given a pair of QC20s to use.While wearing the earphones and listening to music, really loud noise was blasted inside the room which we actually didn’t notice until we were told to remove the QC20s from our ears. Incredible!
“The Bose QC20s are a revolutionary headphone,” said Sean Garrett, Vice President of the Bose Noise Reduction Technology Group. “Just like your phone, you’ll want to take them everywhere, every day.”
How does Bose’s QC20 noise-cancelling feature work?
Bose engineers first placed two tiny microphones in each earbud; one senses the sound approaching, the other measures the sound inside. The measurements are then sent to a digital electronic chip located in the control module found on the headphone cord. The digital electronic chip –- exclusive to Bose, and the first of its kind — calculates an equal and opposite noise cancellation signal within a fraction of a millisecond.
The resulting noise reduction is so dramatic, it has to be heard to be believed. Seriously, folks…
seeing hearing is believing!
Within the quiet environment created by Bose noise reduction, musical detail previously “lost” through conventional in-ear headphone listening can be heard with remarkable clarity. Bose TriPort® technology uses ports to increase the effective acoustic space of the earbud to reproduce deep lows, and lifelike vocals and instruments. Bose active equalization tunes the frequency response for improved, natural sound. All music genres sound better – full, rich, and deep, without artificial boosts or distortion.
The QuietComfort® 20 headphones were made for comfort and performance. New proprietary StayHear®+ ear tips sit at the entrance of the ear canal, and feature an improved conical design that ensures an effective seal to passively block noise, and the proper acoustic enclosure to improve active noise reduction. They are stable, secure, and barely felt.
Don’t get lost in all the technical mumbo jumbo… just know that when you put the QC20s on, you will immediately know that they are one of the best sounding (if not THE best sounding) pair of headphones ever created.
The QC20 headphones can be used in two ways, giving you control over what you hear and when. Owners can choose to block out the noisy world and enjoy their music. Or, with the push of a button on the cord’s Y-joint, the QC20 headphones switch to new Aware mode, which keeps the music playing, but allows surroundings to be heard clearly: a horn beeping, friend talking, a passerby, or gate announcement at the train or airport.
“Aware mode changes behavior,” said Garrett. “With it, you no longer have to remove your headphones to connect with the world. It’s just another reason why the QC20 headphones can be used in more places, in more ways, and more often than any other headphone available.”
A rechargeable battery provides about 16 hours of power; when the battery is depleted or the power is turned off, the music plays on.
The new QuietComfort® 20 headphones include an integrated inline microphone and controls that enable you to take calls. They are available in two different models: the QC20 headphones work with most Android™, Windows® and BlackBerry® phones; the QC20i headphones are designed specifically for select iPhone, iPad and iPod models.
SoundLink Mini Speaker: A New Kind of Ultra-Portable Bluetooth Speaker
When the Bose Soundlink Mini was demonstrated to all of us, we were immediately mind-blown. My first thought was, “How can something so small produce amazing sound that seems to be coming out of a large speaker?”… but then again, this is Bose we’re talking about.
The new SoundLink Mini speaker is a completely new Bose SoundLink family member. It fits in the palm of your hand, connects wirelessly to a smart device or tablet, and delivers a new level of performance for personal, out-loud listening.
“Handheld speakers aren’t new, but none are like the SoundLink Mini,” said Phil Hess, vice president of the Bose Home Entertainment Division. “Developing a smaller speaker wasn’t the goal and it wasn’t enough. The SoundLink Mini had to be small, and it had to offer better sound than any speaker of its size. And we believe it does.”
At 1.5 pounds, the SoundLink Mini speaker weighs no more than the average tablet. It measures just 2.0”H x 7.1”W x 2.3”D — 30% the size and 50% the weight of the original SoundLink® Mobile speaker. With its anodized aluminum housing, it resists scratches and fingerprints, and is strong and durable enough for the rigors of everyday use.
The SoundLink Mini speaker features several engineering advancements precisely integrated in its enclosure: two new passive radiators feature a patented surround to reproduce the lowest low notes. The proprietary passive radiators are driven by new custom-designed, high-efficiency Bose transducers. Debuting in the SoundLink Mini speaker, the new Bose transducers move twice the air as conventional same-size transducers and deliver clear mid- and high-frequencies. To optimize the audio output, Bose digital signal processing is integrated for tonally balanced sound at any listening level. The resulting experience is unprecedented: the SoundLink Mini plays the full range of music — lifelike and powerful.
The SoundLink Mini speaker uses Bluetooth A2DP and a powerful antenna for a reliable wireless connection. It’s easy to pair and play, connecting to a mobile device at the touch of a button on the speaker’s control panel. The six most recently used Bluetooth devices are stored in memory, eliminating the need to pair again.
The SoundLink Mini speaker comes with a charging cradle, making it easy to grab-and-go with your music, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery for up to seven hours of listening. Accessory soft covers in orange, green and blue, and a travel bag, are also available for customization and convenience.
During the post-demonstration program, I was asked on stage about how impressive both products are and I wasn’t BS’ing when I told guests that I was blown away by how both products performed and how they faithfully reproduce music. Being a sound engineer myself, I am always on the lookout for newer (and better) audio devices. Sound engineers are so used to over-ear monitors because it keeps outside noise to a minimum. But with the QC20, Bose has absolutely changed the game. Their noise-cancelling technology is no gimmick. It can most definitely go head-to-head with even the best over-ear headphones and perhaps, even outperform them.
Don’t take my word for it. Like I said, best to check it out personally and be blown away yourselves.