by Leo Jakobson | June 14, 2013
Bose’s QuietComfort noise canceling headphones have long been a heavily redeemed incentive award, particularly among road warriors who spend enough time on airplanes to make them a must-have for protection from rumbling engines, screaming babies, and chattering seatmates. 

Now there’s an option for travelers who prefer light and discreet in-ear headphones to Bose’s larger and more bulky over-ear (QuietComfort 15) or on-ear (QuietComfort 3) models.

The new QuietComfort (QC) 20 in-ear noise-canceling headphones weigh just 1.5 ounces while rivaling the performance of the larger models, according to Bose.

The QC 20s utilize two tiny microphones in each earbud — one measuring the external noise and another the internal noise when the earbud is in place — which feed data to a digital noise-canceling chip in the control module on the headphones' cord. The headphone speakers use Bose’s TriPort technology to reproduce deep lows and crisp, lifelike medium and high signals. 

The QC 20 headphones use new StayHear ear tips that are designed to be stable and secure, yet hardly noticed by the wearer. There is an Aware Mode button on the cord that will keep the music playing but cut off the noise-cancelling feature, allowing the user to hear safely when doing things like walking in traffic or listening for a gate announcement. 

The QuietComfort 20’s rechargeable battery is rated for 16 hours of noise-canceling power. The QC20 is designed for most Android, Windows and BlackBerry phones, while the QC20i is designed specifically for the iPhone, iPad and iPod. Both models will be available this summer for $299.95.