Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling In-Ear Headphones Review

Editor rating

4.8/5 on March 6, 2016 Reviewed by: Peter Alexander

User’s rating

1,645 reviews


  • Good sound quality
  • Excellent noise cancelling
  • Long-lasting battery
  • In-line remote control


  • Expensive
  • Non-replaceable battery


Customers looking for a more compact alternative to full-sized noise-cancelling headphones shouldn’t be deterred by the high price. Bose charges for quality; not a brand name. These small, comfortable in-ear headphones work wonders and will easily get you through the entire working day.

When it comes to high-quality noise-cancelling headphones, no other company is as widely recommended as Bose. Their first pair of noise-cancelling headphones hit the market in the year 2000, and they have since then become synonymous with premium quality and performance for a premium price.

Design and Build quality

Most design elements are purposely chosen to accommodate company’s TriPort design and proprietary StayHear+ eartips, which securely hold the earbuds in place without causing any discomfort or painful sensation.

Right at the joint of the Y-cable is an in-line remote controller with high-quality microphone for voice calls and voice commands via Siri or Google Now. The remote has four buttons: three for playback control and one that activates the so-called Aware Mode. This special mode temporarily switches off the noise cancellation and uses the built-in microphone to let you hear everything that goes on around you.

The earbuds are powered by a lithium-ion battery located inside a module right at the very end of the cable. It charges in just 2 hours with the included USB cable and lasts for 16 hours.


Bose knows its audience and sticks to the proven formula that has served them so well in the past. The sound of these earbuds is smooth, non-fatiguing, and reasonably accurate. It’s not bass heavy, nor analytical. The resulting sound signature is perfect for long, continuous listening when the music isn’t a centerpiece of your attention, but, instead, helps to keep you focus on whatever task you may be working on. Classical music and smooth jazz sound marvelous.

The noise-cancellation works great, despite the shallow fit and low amount of passive noise-isolation. You can really hear the difference when you switch it on and off in a loud environment. Like all noise-cancelling headphones and earbuds, the technology works best with steady, predictable type of noise, such as the one produced by airplane engines or cars on the street. Just make sure you don’t forget to turn of the noise-cancellation when you go to sleep; your earbuds would end up with an empty battery the next morning.

What is in the box?

Generous accessories include a firm carrying case with zipper, a micro USB cable for charging, and 3 sizes of flexible eartip with wings.


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