Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones: History & Innovations

We’ve all been on a plane with crying children and noisy passengers. So, what’s the answer? Many people could put on Bose noise-canceling headphones to block out the rest of the world. Although the headphones are useful for escaping the turmoil and immersing oneself in high-fidelity music, that is not why they were made. It did, however, begin with airplanes. Let’s go back to the beginning!

Amar Bose

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones History

While Fogel pioneered noise cancellation in headphones, Dr. Amar Bose, the creator of Bose Corporation, did not invent the type we know today until 1989.
Many people recognize Amar Bose as the creator of Bose Corporation, but few understand that his popularity was due to his vast experience as a teacher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (official website) , his talent for problem-solving, and his innovative creativity.

Video Review: A brief history of Amar Bose and Bose Corp.

Formation of Bose

Amar G. Bose founded the company in 1964. Bose, a graduate student at MIT, then had bought a stereo system and been dissatisfied with its output eight years before. This prompted him to investigate the impact of reverberant (indirect) sound on audio quality perception.

Early Years

Bose started conducting intensive research to find out what he saw as the inherent shortcomings of high-end audio systems. The general configuration of the electronics and speaker, in his opinion, struggled to compensate for the spatial properties of the radiated sound in normal listening spaces and the ramifications of spatiality for psychoacoustics, such as the listener’s head as a sound diffraction object. He formed the company eight years later, with the goal of creating “Better Sound Through Research,” which became the company slogan.


Bose Aviation Headset

Bose’s headphones have had a lot of success over the years, from making pilots hear audio and messages more effectively with the Bose Aviation Headset (official website) in 1989 to shield the US Army with the Bose Combat Vehicle Crewman Headset (read more on official website) in 1993, Bose’s headphones have had a lot of success and placed the noise-canceling headset innovation in the forefront.

The First Noise Cancelling Headset

The noise-canceling equipment we use today isn’t all that new from what was used in the first prototypes for noise-canceling headphones in 1978. The natural evolution of modern technologies, on the other hand, has resulted in significant advances and developments, such as cellular and digital noise-canceling technology (read more about digital noise-canceling technology on
Noise-canceling headphones, particularly for frequent travelers, are now regarded as a necessity rather than a luxury by today’s standards.
It broke away from the confines of aviation and has become almost a household name, with versions available for both children and adults. It has also infiltrated other niches, such as learning, making phone calls, and gaming.

Video Review: How Amar Bose Used Research To Build Better Speakers | Money Lab | CNBC Make It

Where are the production facilities of Bose?

Bose noise-canceling headphones are made in the United States, Mexico, China, and Malaysia, among other places. Framingham, Massachusetts (also the corporate headquarters), Westborough, Massachusetts, and Stow, Massachusetts are the locations of the company’s factories in the United States. In Mexico, the Bose factories are in Tijuana and San Luis Rio Colorado.
The Malaysian Bose factory is also the company’s manufacturing center for Asia-Pacific and the Middle East and is headquartered in Batu Kawan.
As part of a “global streamlining of Bose’s supply chain,” two factories in Columbia, South Carolina, and Carrickmacross, Ireland, were discontinued in 2015 with the elimination of 300 and 140 jobs, respectively.
Bose used the Columbia facilities for delivery and maintenance, sub-manufacturing and regional manufacturing, and finished products for some headsets, which opened in 1993. The Carrickmacross facility, which opened in 1978, completed final assembly for home theater systems, Wave radios, and other area products.

Bose: The Innovation

Bose used their noise-canceling technology to create headphones in 1986 to shield the pilots’ ears on the first non-stop around-the-world flight. Ever since then, Bose did not stop innovating until today.
1. Noise Cancelling Headphones (1989) In 1989, Bose introduced the first noise-canceling headphones to the general public.
Bose launched its first consumer-level noise-canceling headphones for pilots, the Aviation Headset, in 1989, after about ten years of research and development. Electronic equalization (non-adjustable) is used in the new standard.
2. Bose QuietComfort 3 Headphones (2006) On June 15, 2006, Bose launched its first pair of on-ear headphones, the QuietComfort 3 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones (official website). While headphones that surround the ear have better passive noise protection, Bose reports that the QC3s provide the same overall noise suppression as the QC2s thanks to enhanced active noise cancellation.
Memory foam is used in the QC3 to fit the ear and has a strong acoustic seal without putting too much weight on it. Alternatively, a rechargeable lithium-ion battery with a battery life of at least twenty hours drives the earcups.
The first headphones to win a Sound & Vision Editor’s Choice award were the QuietComfort 3 in 2006.
3. Bose QuietComfort 15 Headphones (2009) The Bose QC15’s were released on August 19, 2009. Both the QuietComfort 2 Revision 2 and the QuietComfort 15 have the same cosmetic style, but that’s where the comparisons stop. Bose improved the Acoustic Noise Cancellation engine so that each ear cup has two microphones instead of one on the inside and outside.
The updated headphones have a port for a AAA battery, as well as a “High / Lo” option to compensate for outlets of high and low output speeds, and the cushions have been redesigned to further assist the listener with volume control. The $299 QuietComfort 15 was released on August 20, 2009.
4. Commercial Flights On certain long-haul flights, American Airlines offers passengers in elite flight classes (sometimes even business-class) with Bose QuietComfort 15 or Bose QuietComfort 3 headphones, based on the flight. Beginning with the initial QC1 with blue ear cups and an American Airlines icon, Bose produced several limited-edition models of the QuietComfort for American Airlines.
5. A20 aviation headset (2010) These are noise-canceling headphones for pilots, and they were launched on July 26, 2010, as an update to the original “Aviation Headset X” (aka A10). It is operated by the airplane’s electrical system or operates on two AA batteries for 45 hours. It has an Aux-in port for connecting a single audio unit, as well as improved noise control and less clamping power than its early counterparts.
6. AE2 (2010) Bose launched the AE2 on-ear headphones on October 15, 2010, with a style that covers the whole ear. A detachable cord attaches to the left side of the headphones for connection. Similarly to the QuietComfort versions, the foam on the initial TriPorts headband has been substituted with synthetic rubber, and the earpieces turn flat for better storage.
7. OE2 (2011) In October 2011, Bose removed the previous On-Ear headphones. It has a smaller size and weighs less. This version is available in white and black. Aside from the color, the OE2’s and OE2is are two distinct varieties. The only distinction is that the OE2is come with an integrated three-button iPod/iPhone remote and microphone that allows users to pause and forward their songs.

Bose: State of the Market

Bose is the market’s gold standard, and despite being privately owned and not disclosing financial information, it is expected to have annual sales of $2 billion. Bose reinvests a “major” part of its earnings back into the business for Research and Development (R&D).
For their next step, the company will continue to make changes to its headphones. According to their scientists, Bose could also provide a much-requested “pass-through audio” feature, which would enable the headphones to play music like normal headphones without noise suppression.

What’s New?

The Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 is a brand-new flagship model from Bose that looks much slicker and more stylish than the QC 35s. They have a USB-C charging slot, which Bose has been promising for a long time, and the company also promises 20 hours of “full-featured” playback.
The headband’s shape is strikingly close to Sony’s 1000X M3 headphones, which are now the most comfortable NC headphones ever invented. But it’s what’s on the inside that Bose is most fond of, as voice assistants are a key feature of the NCH 700s.

What’s Next?

The SoundSport Free is the first truly wireless earbuds from Bose, according to the company. Bose is betting that the AirPods, which are designed to compete with Apple’s AirPods, will find a spot among the best truly wireless headphones in the industry.

Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones: Products Today

Products Today

1. Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds (official website) The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds come in black or white and are sleek but bulky in design. The style is similar to the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: subtle curves and a low profile. Bose got a lot of flak for the first truly wireless earbuds, which were unnecessarily bulky. Though Bose’s QC Earbuds have been reduced in size, they still protrude more from the ear than other alternatives.
The earphones are housed in a chunky carrying case with a matte black exterior. The case is lined with four LEDs that signify the remaining battery levels. A button sits between the two earbud slits on the inside, which you can click to manually start pairing mode.
2. QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones — Apple devices (official website) The Bose QuietComfort 20 and 20i are small in-ear headphones that sound great, are very easy to use, and have remarkable noise cancellation (more info about why we need less noise on An advanced rechargeable lithium battery powers the noise cancellation and provides up to 16 hours of battery life. However, in this price range, they don’t sound as fine as many rival in-ear headphones.
3. QuietComfort® 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling® headphones — Samsung and Android™ devices (official website) The Bose QuietComfort 20 headphones have Acoustic Noise Cancellation, as well as an in-line microphone and remote for making phone calls. With Aware mode, you can listen to the sounds around you or get lost in the music. It is compatible with select Samsung Galaxy phones and allows for easy hands-free communication.
4. QuietComfort 35 wireless headphones II (official website) A dedicated button for Google Assistant has been added to the Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphone, but it can also be configured for other purposes. It has the same top-of-the-line active noise cancellation, superb wireless Bluetooth sound, and extra-comfortable build as its predecessor. If the battery dies, the device can be used in wired mode using the provided cable.
5. Bose QuietComfort® 35 II Gaming Headset (official website) When it comes to gaming, the QuietComfort 35 II attaches to a PC with a USB controller that comes attached to the device. The puck-shaped gadget has a solid and relaxed feel to it, with a dial that helps you to easily adjust the sound. You can also use the remote to turn on and off mic monitoring so you can hear yourself (which is useful for those aspiring Streamers).
6. Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700 UC (official website) Bose has entered the market for advanced UC headphones. The Bose 700 UC is a high-end wireless headphone designed for audiophiles who want great sound clarity, a wide bass range, and active noise cancellation (ANC).
The Bose 700 UC headset is explicitly configured for Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, which ensures you can communicate with the software using the headset’s buttons. Of course, you can use the headset for any software; however, the controls on the headphones would not be designed for them specifically.
7. Bose Noise-Canceling Headphones 700 (official website) The NCH 700s reflect a new direction for Bose headphone design, and that direction can be summed up in one word: clean. There are no obvious hinges or pins, giving the QC35s a much more futuristic appearance than the QC35s’ early-2000s industrial style (as we said earlier).
The core of it all is a stainless steel headpiece that runs down and shrinks to a cylindrical shape that slices across the center of each earcup. Through slipping the earcups up and down the steel pole, you can fine-tune the fit. There are no clicks or feedback in this movement.


Why is Bose so expensive?

While the majority of the other responses come from a marketing perspective, they ignore one of Bose’s most significant philosophies: research. Rather than investing in deceptive market activities, Bose channels the income back into research in the hopes of making new breakthroughs. Making it relatively more expensive than other brands. It’s easy to ignore technical advances like Noise Cancellation, but the fact is that it took them 15 years to build the technology in the first place. So the consumers are paying for the technology.

Why do audiophiles hate Bose?

Many audiophiles dislike Bose because their devices are more concerned with aesthetics than with sound quality. Audiophiles, by design, are Hi-Fi (high-fidelity) fans who are constantly striving for professional studio sound. In this regard, Bose falls short. This isn’t the only explanation, however.

Is Bose The Best Noise Cancelling?

The Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones are perhaps the best wireless noise-cancelling headphones available. Although these headphones are costly, many people claim they are well worth the money for regular travelers who enjoy durability and comfort. They have more adjustability than most other noise-cancelling headphones in rival companies as well as the excellent noise cancellation that Bose itself is recognised for.

Is Bose better than Beats?

Beats headphones normally have more bass and are quieter than Bose headphones. The Bose headphones, on the other hand, normally have an equalizer built in to make music sound better. However, it will almost always sound different from the original.
Neither pair of headphones is a poor option, and although the Bose cans have better audio output, the Beats aren’t bad either. When you spend $350 on headphones, though, you want more than “not poor” audio quality.

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