High Performance Aviation
4 New Enhancements for the 2015 Bose A20 Aviation Headset
I recently wrote a new review of the Bose A20 vs. Lightspeed Zulu.2 vs. Lightspeed Zulu PFX as a follow-up to my detailed review when the Bose A20 debuted. This week at EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Bose added a few hidden enhancements to their A20 aviation headsets.
These improvements include:
- A2DP – This means you can now stream Bluetooth audio (music, audiobook, etc.) from your cell phone to your headset. In the past, the Bose A20 Bluetooth only supported phone calls over Bluetooth but not streaming other audio sources. Now it supports both calls and streaming Bluetooth audio.
- Improved control module – Rather than icons, the audio prioritization control now features more clearly defined labels, “Mute,” “Mix,” and “Off”.
- Smart shutoff – After your flight, the headset now turns itself off after a few minutes of not being used. This helps keep the battery life going for an impressive 45 hours.
- Auto-on – for panel-powered 6-pin headsets (common in Cirrus and Corvalis aircraft). Once your aircraft is powered on, you no longer have to press the power button for your headset to turn on the noise-canceling.
While these features may seem like small enhancements, they are helpful for keeping Bose as one of the top contenders for premium aviation headsets.
Pricing for the complete headset remains the same ($1095 with Bluetooth), and owners of the previous generation A20 headsets may upgrade their control module/cable assembly by contacting Bose and paying the price differential for the new module. I paid around $150 to upgrade my first-generation Bose A20 headset at Oshkosh. I’m not sure, but perhaps that was a promotional discount or exchange-price for the airshow. The Bluetooth control module alone is usually around $300 without an exchange.
Buying a Used Bose A20 Aviation Headset
How do you know if you’re getting the latest and greatest Bose A20 headset? Check the control module. If it looks like the image below, it is the latest model. Notice the switch labels, “Mute,” “Mix,” and “Off”. This helps you tell it apart from the previous model which had circular icons beside the switch.
If you choose to buy a Bose A20 headset, feel free to use my affiliate links below. To upgrade your existing first-generation Bose A20, you should contact Bose directly.
- Bose® A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth Dual Plug Cable, Black
- Bose® A20 Aviation Headset with Bluetooth 6-Pin Plug Cable, Black
(If you purchase a new Bose A20, you might want to first verify with the seller that you are getting the latest model as I’m sure there will be some leftover inventory being sold during the transition to the newer model.)
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