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Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones

For Android™, BlackBerry®, and Windows® smartphones

22 Reviews | 3 questions - 7 answers

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Item # 018QC20

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Our take on the Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones

Take your music everywhere, and leave distractions behind. The Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones are ultra-portable thanks to their compact in-ear design. So Bose's legendary noise-cancelling technology is easier to take along than ever. They may be small, but the QuietComfort 20 headphones deliver plenty of smooth Bose® sound. And with their ability to minimize external noise, you'll be able to hear every note of your music clearly. 

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

The QuietComfort® 20 headphones let you enjoy your music distraction-free, everywhere.

The first in-ear noise-cancelling headphones from Bose®

Take your music everywhere, and leave distractions behind. The Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones are ultra-portable thanks to their compact in-ear design. So Bose's legendary noise-cancelling technology is easier to take along than ever. They may be small, but the QuietComfort 20 headphones deliver plenty of smooth Bose® sound. And with their ability to minimize external noise, you'll be able to hear every note of your music clearly. 

Stay aware of your surroundings

Powerful noise-cancellation is great for those times when you want to block out the world. But sometimes you need to be aware of what's happening around you. That's why Bose developed "Aware" mode for the QuietComfort 20 headphones. With the press of a button on the in-line remote, Aware mode passes external noise to your ears from two of the four tiny internal microphones. This allows you to hear your music clearly while still keeping aware of your surroundings — perfect for busy city streets or jogging through the park.

Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones

The QuietComfort® 20 headphones are compatible with Android smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy (not included)

A focus on long-lasting comfort

Comfort is key for any pair of headphones. Bose developed their StayHear+ tips to provide a fit that's both comfortable and secure. With their soft, cone-shaped tips and stability loops, the QuietComfort 20 headphones are built for long listening sessions, even when you're on the move. Plus, the StayHear+ tips provide the proper seal required to keep external sound out for maximum noise-cancelling efficiency. Try all three included pairs to find the right fit that will keep these headphones securely in your ears as you go from the plane to the taxi or while exercising at the gym.

Built-in remote and microphone for Android phones and more

Want to take calls on your Android, BlackBerry, or Windows smartphone? The QuietComfort 20 headphones feature an in-line remote with a built-in microphone. You can answer calls and control music playback with the push of a button while your phone stays in your pocket.

Dead battery? Keep listening with passive mode

The QuietComfort 20 headphones feature a built-in rechargeable battery. Just connect the included USB cable to your computer or compatible AC charger. Stuck on a plane and can't recharge? Keep the music playing thanks to passive listening mode. Just switch off the power and listen without noise-cancellation until you're able to recharge the battery.

From our Bose QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones review:

Part of the beauty of music is that it has the power to take you out of your present place and transport you somewhere else. The Bose® QuietComfort® 20 headphones set the stage for this phenomenon by eliminating the outside world from the picture before you even press play. They make it that much easier to get lost in your music.

— David Brown, Crutchfield A/V Writer

Product Highlights:

  • in-ear headphones with active noise cancellation to block out external distractions
  • in-line remote and microphone let you take calls and control music on most Android™, Windows®, and BlackBerry® smartphones
  • Aware mode allows some external sound into your ears so you can remain aware of your surroundings while your music remains clear
  • TriPort® acoustic headphone technology for powerful bass and clearer sound
  • three sizes of proprietary StayHear®+ tips provide a comfortable, secure fit and proper noise isolation
  • slim control module with built-in rechargeable battery, power/mode switch and status lights for battery life and mode
  • up to 16 hours of use with a fully charged battery
  • passive listening mode for use when internal battery runs down (no noise cancellation during passive listening)
  • USB charging cable
  • clothing clip
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Working in an open office can be distracting. My new headphones allow me to listen to my music in a way that makes me forget where I am. The clarity and richness of the music is great!

MadisIya, Maryland

What's in the Box:

  • Pair of in-ear headphones with in-line remote/microphone and control module (52" audio cable terminated by a 3.5mm connector)
  • Clothing clip (installed)
  • Pair of medium StayHear eartips (installed)
  • Pair of large StayHear eartips
  • Pair of small StayHear eartips
  • 13" USB charging cable (Type A USB on one end and micro USB on other end)
  • Soft zippered carry case
  • Owner's Guide
  • Important Safety Instructions
  • Warranty Information card
  • Australia/New Zealand warranty note
  • "We're here to help..." card

Featured Video:


Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(22 Reviews)

Not what I needed

BigEl from New York on 7/10/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After reading all of the glowing reviews I was convinced that this was for me. I have been using a very old pair of cheap noise cancelling headphones for a number of years when on flights, which really cut out almost all cabin noise, but the audio quality is mediocre and they are uncomfortably tight on long flights. So I decided to try these out. I ended up returning them for two reasons; I found that even with the three different ear pieces I could not find one that was both comfortable and stayed in my ears; once in my ears and with the noise reduction turned on I could still here all sounds in the plane, including the crying baby a few rows away. I must say the actually sound quality is superb, but I found them both uncomfortable and not very good at blocking unwanted cabin noise. I am going to purchase a standard pair of Bose over the ear noise reducing headphones instead.

Pros: Superb sound quality

Cons: Doesn't really block cabin noise on airplanes Not a comfortable fit in the ear They tend to fall out of the ear (at least mine did)

Took my work day to a different place

MadisIya from Maryland on 7/8/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Working in an open office can be distracting. My new headphones allow me to listen to my music in a way that makes me forget where I am. The clarity and richness of the music is great!

Pros: Very comfortable; small profile; cancels surrounding noise.

Cons: 'Have not identified any yet.

Cool earbuds

Jim from New York on 6/22/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Greatly reduce the noise. I like it.



Disappointing noise cancellation under certain conditions

WZ from Connecticut on 6/15/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Sound quality and comfort are good, however, while jogging in a slight breeze from any direction other than from behind results in significant noise. Where there is no wind, the problem is not present and the noise cancellation is good.. I have a non-noise cancelling set of Bose ear buds which obviously does not have this problem. Would not recommend for use outdoors.

Pros: Good comfort and sound quality.

Cons: Poor noise cancellation from wind noise even with the noise cancelling feature reduced or powered off.

Perfect for flights and long bus rides

James from New York on 6/12/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Good design of earpiece with the effect of blocking out some noise without even turning on active noise cancelling. Once turned on one is essentially cut off from monotonous sounds in the environment. There is a slight hiss when noise cancelling is on but nothing is playing but it is not annoying and does not persist once there is something playing. Only downside is that the in-ear fit puts some stress on my ear channels. To avoid that one could go for the over-ear QC15 or QC25 but personally I prefer something small and in-ear so no buyer's remorse as of yet.

Pros: - Rechargeable via USB - Discreet looking - Good noise cancelling

Cons: - May not be comfortable for prolonged use

Great portable noise reducing headphone

MarkD from California on 6/4/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

These are not quite as good as the over the ear version, but it more than makes up for it on size, weight and comfort. This is especially true if you wear glasses. Noise reduction is surprisingly good when compared to the over the ear sets.

Pros: Size, portability, and noise cancellation

Cons: Price.

Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones Impressio

Anonymous from the Washington, DC Area on 1/20/2015

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

If you want a small form factor active noise cancellation headphones, then this the best product on the market.

Pros: Excellent active noise cancellation for an in-ear product.

Cons: Bass could be better and the Android version should have the remote volume control just like the 20i version.

fantastic purchase

Sherry from New York on 12/14/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was definitely a small investment but well worth it. I live in NYC and the QC20 is perfect for listening to music and podcasts on my daily commute, especially on the loud NYC subway. BTW this is really great to use for serious phone calls such as taking a phone interview outdoors.

Pros: perfect for traveling or fulfilling the need of having some alone time when surrounded by loud environments.


QC-20 : A Great Buy

Bob from Michigan on 11/5/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A bought this item just before leaving on a month-long trip to Europe to quiet the noise on the airplanes. I was not disappointed. The ear buds were still comfortable even after using them for 8 hours at a time. The noise reduction was very good. For example, my movie volume level was about 1/2 that of my travel mate. Also worked fine with my iPod and my phone. I'm not an audiophile so I can't comment on the audio quality, but after all, I was on an airplane, not in a concert hall. The small size and light weight meant they easily fit in my pocket when not in use.

Pros: Small size compared to head phones Very good noise reduction

Cons: None

Really Works

Scotty from Scottsville, KY on 9/1/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

After reading countless positive reviews, I finally bought these, despite the price. The main reason for my purchase was the noise reduction, which is startlingly effective. I found the sound quality superlative, though truly discriminating audiophiles will not want to trust my judgment on such matters. The large earpieces gave me the best sound quality and noise cancellation, but were too tight for prolonged use. So, I switched to the medium size which, for me, are extremely comfortable. I was a bit worried about the electronic module being potentially cumbersome. But it is thin and light, with an effective clip that can be used to secure it to clothing. I would not trust the clip when doing anything too energetic, however.



Bose QC20 a step-up

gldman from Boca Raton, FL on 6/17/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great for noise cancellation on a plane. If you want to screen out noise, this is the set for android users.

Pros: Great Noise cancellation, Nice sound, Has a microphone to take calls, Comfortable

Cons: Price, but I guess someone has to pay for the ads.

Simply Amazing

Bruce N from Los Alamos, NM on 6/11/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Five stars all the way! I bought these for the noise canceling feature, which is excellent, but the ear bud fit was the best surprise for me. I've had numerous different types of ear buds but these are the best fitting and most comfortable of them all. The noise canceling feature is pretty amazing considering they are just ear buds. I'm sure an over the ear style headphone would be better, but I did not want to lug them around. We just used them on a flight to LA and my girlfriend and I were amazed at how clear the music was with the added bonus of not needing to turn the volume up to enjoy it. This is a truly a great product.

Pros: Compact, comfortable and great audio.

Cons: None that I've found.

Bose QuietComfort 20

Glenn from Pacific Northwest on 6/9/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I fly a great deal and use these often. When the switch is turned on the rest of the trip melts away. I am now able to capture all the music and movie dialogue that was escaping in the noisy environments. The ear buds are comfortable and the sound quality when making or receiving calls is excellent. The battery pack is a little cumbersome, however it is manageable. The cost is high but I would pay it again after experiencing the difference in sound quality over non-noise cancelling.

Pros: Sound quality, ease of receiving and making calls on my Android.

Cons: Batter pack a little cumbersome.

Bose Noise Canceling Technology

Beau Thurnauer from CT on 6/6/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was very hesitant to spend almost $300 on ear buds even they said "noise cancelling". But I went ahead and ordered. The real test? Listening while riding a large lawn tractor. I understand white noise but was not prepared to have the engine noise virtually eliminated. Amazing product and so worth the money. I traveled out west last week and used them on the plane. Perfect. I highly recommend this product.

Pros: Delivers as advertised. You hear music not background noise. Very comfortable. Long battery life after charge, over 12 hours.

Cons: I wish the battery unit separated for charging.


semmla from United States on 2/25/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I travel a lot. I purchased this product specifically for this reason. This Bose works superbly by isolating unwanted noise. Also you can switch to a normal background noise with a switch, no need to take them off. Well built, convenient. As far as a sound, it satisfies my taste quite well.

Pros: noise reduction, well built. sound

Cons: Price. Cord from the battery to a USB Port could be longer.

Bose Quiet Comfort 20 Noise Cancelling Ear Phones

jerry from Downingtown, PA on 2/20/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I replaced my Bose Quiet Comfort 2 over the ear head phones with the Quiet Comfort 20 ear buds due the size of the head phones. I did not expect the ear buds to be as effective in noise cancelling, however, I was wrong. I believe that the head phones are more comfortable but not enough to out weigh the size and pack-ability of the ear buds.

Pros: Smaller size, great noise reduction.

Cons: Not as comfortable, Rechargeable battery not as flexible as AAA battery. Length of wire between plug and electronics is too short.. Too expensive but effective

Nice but not perfect

VicR from Saratoga County New York on 1/21/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

There is a bit of mid-range hiss in the headphones, though it is audible only in a very quiet room. Also, I can't seem to decide if the medium or large ear buds fit me the best.

Pros: Much smaller than my previous Bose Quiet Comfort headphones. Very good sound quality.

Cons: Mid-range hiss.

Great Product

AJSweet from Stuarts Draft, VA on 1/16/2014

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I purchased these specifically to block noise during air travel. They work very well. My purchase was validated when a baby erupted one row ahead of me. The Bose headphones converted this potential migraine into a non-event.

Pros: The noise blocking feature works; and the sound quality is superb.


Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones

Hal from New York, NY on 12/5/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)




Unbelievable performance

Tom Boy from NW Ohio on 9/20/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

When I was looking for noise cancelling headphones, it never dawned on me to look at ear buds. When I talked to the advisor at Crutchfield, they told me I'd be amazed at the ability these buds have. Still skeptical, I went ahead and purchased them. When they came, I changed to the large buds from the medium ones that came with the headphones, plugged it in and tried them out. I was amazed at how little outside noise came in! Then I took a trip and put them on in a plane. I was expecting so-so performance. I was dead wrong. I already own the over the ear Bose noise cancelling headphones and liked them a lot, but wanted something smaller. However, not being convinced the new ones would work, I took the old ones with me. Very long story short, I gave the old ones away. Again, I was totally amazed at how much noise cancelling these ear buds provide. I love the switch that allows you to "cancel" the noise cancelling so some outside noise comes in....makes it very easy to have a conversation with your flying partner without actually taking the headphones off! I love these and highly recommend them. I gave it five stars on "coolness factor" but not sure what that really is. I don't see these as so much "cool" as just "outstanding"! They are a tad expensive, but worth every dime and the Bose quality is there throughout.

Pros: Light weight, easy to pack, switchable "off" "on" for noise cancelling, great noise cancelling ability.

Cons: When I bought them I thought they were expensive...after using them, that is not a con. Worth every dime.

QuietComfort 20

laugrous from Middlebury, CT on 9/1/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Have used these headphones during Flights (US- Europe), they are as efficient as the Quiet Comfort 15 I also used (Maybe even better). I like the in ears so you can better rest on the uncomfortable flight seats. I would recommend these to anyone who can support in ears headphones. They are great !!

Pros: Excellent Noise canceling, Small size, rechargeable battery. Two level of noise canceling.

Cons: After a few hours you start to feel some discomfort.

Bose® QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones

Alan from Boton, MA on 8/18/2013

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I had an opportunity to test these before they were available. I have a pair of on ear noise canceling headphones from Bose for about ten years and was looking to get a new pair. The noise reduction and sound are incredible. Noticeably better than the pair I have been using. One of the things that drew me in was the compactness of the system. I use them a lot when I travel and the on ear headphones are bulky to pack. My only concern is using an in ear product and effect long term hearing loss.

Pros: Compact for travel. Great noise reduction and sound.



Hands-on research

Features and Specs

Fit Style In-ear/Earbud
Earcup Type Closed
Earcup Width x Height 1 x 1.25
Noise-canceling Yes
Bluetooth No
Mic For Taking Calls Yes
iPhone Control ---
Lightning Connector No
Android Control ---
Frequency Response Not Given
Sensitivity Not Given
Impedance Not Given
Weight 1.55 ounces
Cord Length 52
1/4-inch Adapter Included No
Volume Control No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research


Overview: The Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphones combines the audio performance of the Bose IE2 in-ear headphones with the patented Acoustic Noise Cancelling technology. The QC20 comes with an in-line remote/microphone that is compatible with most Android, Blackberry, and Windows smart phones.

Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphone Technology: The patented Acoustic Noise Cancelling headphone technology in Bose QuietComfort headphones provides full-spectrum noise reduction for a better audio experience. Microphones on the outside of the earbuds actively monitor what you hear, including unwanted outside sound. The difference between the unwanted sound and the desired sound is then electronically processed, creating a correction signal that acts to negate the unwanted noise. The speaker within each ear-cup is then fed the correction signal. This signal, combined with the passive noise reduction of the StayHear+ ear tips, dramatically reduces the outside distractions that reach your ears.

TriPort Technology: Bose proprietary TriPort technology allows the drivers of the QC20 headphones to create deep lows while keeping the headphones small and lightweight. TriPort technology, combined with Active EQ, give you lifelike sound for your music, videos, and phone calls.

StayHear+ Ear Tips: The Bose headphones come with StayHear+ silicone ear tips in three sizes (Small/Medium/Large) to help assure a more accurate and comfortable fit. The StayHear+ ear tips offer greater in-ear stability during exercise and other active sports. Advanced materials and design allow the tips to nestle inside the bowl of the ear, while also naturally conforming to the ear's upper ridge. The natural oblong cone shape of the ear tips provides a gentle seal that helps keep unwanted ambient noise out. StayHear+ ear tips also are designed to remain more securely on the headphone itself.

Aware Mode: The Aware Mode temporarily turns off the Active Noise Cancelling to allow you to hear ambient noise while continuing to listen to your music. Whether you're crossing the street, waiting on airline gate announcements, or just wanting to be more aware of your surroundings, you can engage the Aware Mode by pushing a button on the in-line remote.

In-line Remote/Control Module: The QC20 gives you control over your headphones and your phone calls. The 2-button in-line remote/microphone is compatible with most Android, Blackberry, and Windows smart phones, and features answer/end call and Aware Mode. The microphone enables you to make phone calls and perform voice commands with your smart phone. The control module contains the rechargeable battery, and includes the power switch for Active Noise Cancelling and LED status indicators.

Rechargeable Battery: The QC20's Active Noise Cancelling is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery in the Control Module. The battery is charged with the supplied USB cable in approximately 2 hours. A fully-charged battery provides approximately 16 hours of battery life. Even if the battery is exhausted, you can still use the headphones without Active Noise Cancelling.

Clothing Clip: The included clothing clip help keep the headphones in place when you're on the move. Use the clothing clip to fasten the cable to your clothing, for convenience, stability, and to help manage the cable. This can be helpful during rigorous activities or when using the headphones in a single earpiece configuration.

Storage Case: The headphones come with a small carrying case that protects your headphones and cables when not in use. The case has a small mesh inside pocket for small items, and a zippered closure.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

3 questions already asked

I agree with S E. These will work fine for jogging, BUT, noise cancelling make them not the earplug of choice if you are jogging in areas where there could be traffic! The noise cancelling of this product is excellent and I would not suggest running with them if you need to be able to hear and be aware of your surroundings. Other than that, they are great. [ Thomas  Oct 22, 2014 ]
The earpieces fit snugly enough to stay in place during most physical activities, however, I don't have any information on how resistant they are to sweat and other fluids. My use has been mostly on an airplane. [ Frank  Oct 13, 2014 ]
Don't know about the effect of sweat (unlikely a problem) but the design is excellent for clinging in your ears for any activity. The cabling is three times the thickness of other headphones so will likely hold up to whatever you have in mind. After one year I am very happy with the purchase (especially after sitting next to that baby on a plane by the engine). Still think $300 is overpriced but my friends that have tried the other options are happy to now have these. [ JOHN J  Oct 13, 2014 ]
You can certainly use them in the gym. and you can do running with them. They are light. Fantastic noise cancelling and a good sound quality. But you may find it kind of awkward running with them because of a plastic part that regulates a noise cancelling. To run in the gym may be the best of your interest. To run out in the streets with practically complete silence maybe rather dangerous, plus that plastic part dangling around your body. That is my opinion. I bought them specifically for travelling on the planes. And they serve it perfectly. As noise cancelling there may be nothing better than them. [ LEONID  Oct 13, 2014 ]
6 to 8 hours of continuous use. No idea cost to replace. [ Scott  Feb 25, 2014 ]
That is a question for Bose, not another user. [ Victor  Feb 25, 2014 ]
The 20i is designed for use with an iPhone. You will be able to use to listen to music on an android device, but the the mic and in-line remote will not function. [ Jeff  Dec 09, 2013 ]  Staff