Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones Review

By | January 29, 2021

When it comes to sound, very few brands can match Bose’s standards. We set out on a mission to discover what the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones have to offer. Part of Bose's QuietComfort series, the Bose QC20 is the company’s first pair of noise-cancellation in-ear headphones.

They are average mixed usage in-ear headphones that stand out with an excellent noise-cancellation feature for such a small pair of earbuds. So, without hesitation let’s dig in and unravel the Bose QC20.


Featuring Bose’s TriPort design, the Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones look tiny but there’s more than meets the eye. Upon careful attention, you begin to notice the unique features.

The headphones are light and rock smooth with hard plastic oval-shaped earbuds that are a bit large to accommodate with built-in mics and speakers. The earbuds come with soft and flexible StayHear+ silicone ear tips which can be fitted in three sizes; small, medium, and large. Each ear tip then comes with an ear fin that makes it support itself against your ears for a snug and ear-fit listening experience.

Further down, is the earbud stem which flaunts the Bose logo followed by a rubber stretch. Down the stretch, a rounded, thick and tough rubber cord that sports a black-grey color begins. The cord hosts the inline mic and remote as well as the Aware Mode toggle button.

Moving on, the headphone’s cable has a 3.5 x 1.25-inch battery compartment near the headphone jack with a noise cancellation button. The battery compartment appears big and is a bit weighty. The battery is rechargeable via micro USB and also has a side power switch. Additionally, included is a carrying case along with a removable shirt clip that can be fastened to the cord for a firm tangle-free grip.

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones


  • Weight of 1.55 ounces
  • Black color
  • Round 1.3m cable
  • Wired in-line controls
  • Integrated microphone
  • Bose noise-canceling technology
  • 3 pair included Earbud Tips
  • Micro-USB charging port
  • USB charging cable
  • Rechargeable built-in lithium-ion battery


  • Extremely comfortable
  • Clear sound with fantastic bass
  • Incredible Active noise-cancellation


  • Huge battery brick
  • Pricey
  • Irreplaceable battery

Sound Quality

Bose is a boss when it comes to sound. So how do the QC20s sound? Well, let’s find out.

Undisputedly, the QC20s sound brilliant compared to their in-line predecessors; closer to what over-ears headphones offer.

They deliver smooth, slightly soft mid-range sound with superior bass fidelity which can be tweaked in the EQ to suit your preferences. The audio offers a strong presence and just about sufficient sound detail for all users.

Moreover, the soundstage is exceptional for earbuds with a decent engaging and encompassing listening experience for you to immerse yourself in music. However, the soundstage isn’t what we’d call wide and is a bit lacking in sound separation and definition.

Turning on the noise cancellation feature, you instantaneously notice the distinction in sound. The QCs20 blocks out noise vividly while barely leaking sound. If you constantly find yourself caught up in noise-prone environments, these are a solid recommendation for you. However, the audio output becomes muffled with ANC off as compared to when it’s activated.

Overall, these headphones boast clear, smooth and vigorous sound with a slight partiality in treble and bass, while offering decent balance, top noise-cancellation, solid bass response, and decent bass depth. The great sound is made possible thanks to Bose’s Active EQ and TriPort technology.

Bose QuietComfort 20 Headphones Package

Bose QuietComfort 20 Headphones Package


What about Bose performance, you may be wondering? With this pair, you can expect Bose’s signature sound. Though tiny, they talk big in noise-cancellation which is their most striking feature.

From droning sounds, airplane engines, mowers to human voices, and, many more distracting sounds, the QC20 headphones silence them all courtesy of its microphones, audio circuitry and partly by the ear tips. Each earpiece features two tiny noise-canceling mics that detect noise and block it from reaching your music.

Consequently, they create an ideal atmosphere where your music shines without losing the significant music details that are often lost in noisy backgrounds. Still, you can switch to passive mode to deactivate the noise-canceling function but the sound gets significantly weak with poor bass and thin high-frequencies.

On the other hand, the headphones produce a commendable low-end punch with deep bass found in the lows and low-mids. Also, the transition from highs to lows and vice versa is smooth, the mids softer, although they can be dominated by the highs. Still, you should hear the vocals and notes hit in every angle on the underside.

The circuitry may sometimes output hissing sounds but it’s tolerable given the headphones’ other qualities. The four-button remote hosts the volume and music control that function conveniently alongside a slider switch which effectively turns noise-canceling on and off. Besides, the inline microphone/remote equally works well to activate the Aware mode which turns off ANC and allows you to seamlessly switch between calls and music.

Generally, the QC20s offer good and improved audio performance and sound technology but it's not for those who prefer outstanding, flawlessly unbiased audio. It is rather for audiophiles who enjoy rich sound.


The QC20s pack a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which provides about 16 hours of playback with active noise cancellation. Should the battery die, topping it up with a full charge takes 2 hours via a micro USB port on the side.

Remarkably, these headphones will function should your battery die via a passive listening option which allows you to disengage the in-built battery and listen. However, you just won’t access the active noise cancellation feature. The battery also boasts a battery indicator light that displays the power status.

Other Features

The QC20s are also specifically designed to support selected IOS and Android devices while also supporting your favorite digital voice assistants such as Siri and Google assistant along with hands-free calling.


The Bose QuietComfort 20 is one of the best sounding in-ear noisB00X9KV0HUe-canceling headphones available in the market. They are portable for life on-the-go and will effectively block noise and give you that immersive feeling.

Nevertheless, the sound isn’t up to par with what the high-end Bose headphones have to offer. For their price, you can add a few more dollars and walk away with Bose’s premium headphones. Still, they are a brilliant pair.


Official Product Page

About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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