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Bose A20 Aviation Headset Owner’s Guide

Bose A20 Aviation Headset feature


Bose A20 Aviation Headset

Bose A20 Aviation Headset product

About Bose
Bose is a company that designs and manufactures audio equipment, including speakers, headphones, and home theater systems. The company was founded in 1964 by Dr. Amar G. Bose, an MIT professor, and audio engineer. Bose is known for its high-quality sound systems and innovative technology. The company also sells automotive sound systems, professional audio equipment, and noise-canceling technology.

Important Safety Information


  • Do NOT use the headphones with noise canceling mode at any time the inability to hear surrounding sounds may present a danger to yourself or others, e.g., while riding a bicycle or walking in or near traffic, a construction site, or railroad, etc.
  • Keep batteries out of reach of children.
  • Please dispose of used batteries properly, following any local regulations.
  • The danger of explosion if batteries are incorrectly replaced.
  • Batteries may cause a fire or chemical burn if mishandled. Do not recharge, disassemble, heat, or incinerate.
  • When a replacement is needed, use only AA (LR06) alkaline batteries.

Please read this guide

Please read this owner’s guide carefully. Save this guide for future reference and make it easily accessible for passengers and third parties who use the headset.

  • Turn the headset off if it emits any loud noise. As with any complex electronic device, it is possible for this headset to fail during operation. Symptoms of failure, which may include loud tones, distortion, feedback squeals, and loss of communications signal in the headset, can occur in either the Acoustic Noise Cancelling® mode (turned on) or in the passive mode (turned off). If the headset emits any loud noise and the related loss of communications in the Acoustic Noise Cancelling mode, turn off the power switch. The headset will continue to provide communications in the passive noise-reducing mode. If the problem persists, see Troubleshooting on page 31.
  • Switch to an alternate communications method in the event of a headset issue. In the unlikely event of any headset issue or failure in the passive noise-reducing mode, switch to an alternate communications method and use standard cockpit resource management skills to minimize distractions.
  • Be aware of sound differences while wearing the headset. With the headset’s active and passive noise reduction, typical aircraft sounds (such as from engines, propellers, and stall or gear-up warnings) will not sound familiar on your first few flights. Such important sounds may be quieter than you are used to. You are responsible for making sure that you can hear, notice and recognize these sounds when using the headset while operating any aircraft.
  • Use the headset at a moderate volume level. To avoid hearing damage, use the headset at a comfortable, moderate volume level. Limit the headset volume to safe levels that do not interfere with your ability to hear informational sounds and warning alarms, such as stall warnings or gear up, while piloting.
  • Do not make phone calls while piloting. During flight operations, do not use the headset for telephone calls.
  • Make sure your aircraft communications system volume control is easily accessible. Make sure you can understand critical communications even with Acoustic Noise Cancelling turned off. We recommend that you set the audio system volume so that you can understand radio communications in passive mode, in full aircraft noise, then use the control module’s volume controls to set a comfortable level with Noise Cancelling on. In passive mode, the control module will automatically switch to maximum volume. If your headset is aircraft powered, connect the headset to the aircraft power sources only as described in “Connecting the headset to the aircraft” on page 14.
  • Make sure portable devices do not interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems. It is a pilot’s responsibility to ensure that portable devices do not interfere with the aircraft’s navigation and communication systems, as well as to determine if the portable device is suitable for use with the Bose® A20® Aviation Headset.
  • Make sure the AUX source volume is turned up. If the AUX source audio volume is set at a low level, it may be below the detectable threshold or may cut in and out.
  • Do not use the headset with a helmet or as part of a crash protection system. The headset is not intended for such use and has not been certified for crash protection. Dismantling, reassembly, or modification of the headset, or any part, for use in a helmet or other crash protection system, could result in severe bodily injury and such unauthorized use will void the limited product warranty.
  • Use only AA alkaline batteries. Replace the batteries only with AA alkaline batteries (IEC LR06). There is a danger of explosion if batteries are incorrectly
    replaced with any other battery chemistries. Batteries may cause a fire or chemical burn if mishandled. Do not recharge, disassemble, heat, or incinerate batteries. Dispose of used batteries properly, following any local regulations. The headset will not operate properly if used with any battery source other than the Bose A20 Aviation Headset control module.
  • Keep batteries out of reach of children.
  • Do not repair the headset yourself.
  • Do not attempt to remove, replace, or repair the protective inner screen on the inside of the earcup, which is critical to the headset’s performance. If screen replacement or other repair seems necessary, contact Bose Technical Support. See “Contact information” on page 42. If the screen gets wet or any foreign objects become lodged on or adjacent to it, follow the instructions in “Headset Care and Maintenance” on page 27.
  • Keep the earcup free of debris. Proper headset operation requires that the headset TriPort® and microphone openings located on the outside of each earcup are kept free of debris to ensure clear communications. See “Cleaning the headset” on page 27 for cleaning instructions.
  • DON’T immerse the headset or any parts in water or any other liquid. See “Cleaning” for cleaning instructions.
  • Contains small parts which may be a choking hazard. Not suitable for children under age 3.
  • This product contains magnetic material. Consult your physician on whether this might affect your implantable medical device.
  • Do NOT expose this product to dripping or splashing, and do not place objects filled with liquids, such as vases, on or near the product.
  • Do NOT make unauthorized alterations to this product.
  • Do not expose products containing batteries to excessive heat (e.g. from storage in direct sunlight, fire, or the like).

Regulatory Information

NOTE: This equipment has been tested and found to comply with the limits for a Class B digital device, pursuant to Part 15 of the
FCC Rules. These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This
equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications. However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a
particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by
turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:

  • Reorient or relocate the receiving antenna.
  • Increase the separation between the equipment and the receiver.
  • Connect the equipment to an outlet on a circuit different from that to which the receiver is connected.
  • Consult the dealer or an experienced radio/TV technician for help.

Changes or modifications not expressly approved by Bose Corporation could void the user’s authority to operate this equipment. This device complies with part 15 of the FCC Rules and with ISED Canada license-exempt RSS standard(s).

Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

  1. This device may not cause harmful interference, and
  2. This device must accept any interference received, including interference that may cause undesired operation.

This device complies with FCC and ISED Canada radiation exposure limits set forth for the general population. This transmitter must not be co-located or operating in conjunction with any other antenna or transmitter.


About your Bose® A20® Aviation Headset With the Bose® A20® Aviation Headset, you can rely on crisp, clear audio and significant noise reduction for all cockpit communications. You can also connect the headset to secondary audio sources such as smartphones or tablets. Our commitment to you

We take great pride in designing each of our products with the goal of providing the highest performance possible in the price range of that product. We strive to reproduce the musical sounds as closely as possible to those of the original performance. And we strive to avoid flashy sounds such as those associated with accentuated bass and/or treble frequencies. While those sounds may be initially attractive to the novice, they are not real and are not enduring.

In addition, we use only the highest-quality parts and the latest assembly and quality control techniques to ensure the reliability and long life of our products. Our reputation rests on our steadfast pursuit of this policy in music and entertainment systems for the home, the automobile, and businesses. At Bose, we are committed to investing in research that continually gives rise to new technologies for improving sound reproduction.

When you purchase any product from Bose, we encourage you to compare it, as we do, to competitive products. We believe that this process will enhance your appreciation of the product you select. With best wishes from all of us at Bose for many years of enjoyment.

What’s included

The headset includes a control module, cable, and carrying case. The type of control module and connector configuration depends on the options you chose for your headset.

There are two options for the control module:

  • Control module with Bluetooth® compatibility
  • Conventional control module

There are several end-plug configurations for the headset. Your headset falls into one of two general categories:

  • Battery powered: Operates with battery power only.
  • Dual powered: Operates with either aircraft or battery power. No battery is needed when connected to aircraft power. This version is often called Flex powered and comes with an Auto On function.


Bose A20 Aviation Headset (1)

Note: Cable connector types will vary based on the model of the headset. See “Power and cable variations” on page 10.

Warning: *Replace batteries with alkaline batteries only. Do not use any other battery chemistries.

Control module variations

If you purchased the Bluetooth version of the headset, you received the Bluetooth control module. If not, you received the conventional control module.

Bose A20 Aviation Headset (2)

Note: When the Secondary Audio Mode selector is in the Mute or Mix position, you will hear a maximum of two audio sources – the intercom plus one secondary source. See “Secondary Audio Mode selector” on page 25.

Power and cable variations

The Bose® A20® Aviation Headset is available for purchase in different standard aircraft connector options, including:

Battery powered options


Operate with battery power only

Dual powered options


Operate with either aircraft or battery power

No battery is needed when connected to aircraft power

Dual G/A 6-pin*
U174 5-pin XLR
U384 8-pin

* An adapter is available from Bose to convert a 6-pin connector to a dual G/A or U174 plug for additional connection flexibility.

Note: Many different combinations of the control module, microphones, connectors, and cable types are available. Contact Bose Technical Support for more information.

FAQs About Bose A20 Aviation Headset

Q: What is the Bose A20 Aviation Headset?

A: The Bose A20 Aviation Headset is a noise-canceling aviation headset designed to provide pilots with clear communication and superior noise reduction during flights.

Q: What makes the Bose A20 Aviation Headset stand out from other aviation headsets?

A: The Bose A20 Aviation Headset is known for its advanced noise-cancellation technology, which blocks out external noise in the cockpit, making it easier for pilots to hear important communications. It also features a comfortable and ergonomic design, with soft ear cushions and a lightweight frame.

Q: What types of aircraft are compatible with the Bose A20 Aviation Headset?

A: The Bose A20 Aviation Headset is compatible with a wide range of aircraft, including helicopters, small planes, and commercial jets.

Q: How long does the battery last on the Bose A20 Aviation Headset?

A: The battery on the Bose A20 Aviation Headset can last up to 45 hours on a single charge, depending on usage.

Q: Can the Bose A20 Aviation Headset be used with Bluetooth devices?

A: Yes, the Bose A20 Aviation Headset features Bluetooth connectivity, allowing pilots to connect to their mobile devices, music players, and other Bluetooth-enabled devices.

Q: Is the Bose A20 Aviation Headset FAA-approved?

A: Yes, the Bose A20 Aviation Headset is FAA TSO and E/TSO-C139a approved.

Q: What is the warranty for the Bose A20 Aviation Headset?

A: The Bose A20 Aviation Headset comes with a 5-year limited warranty.

Q: How much does the Bose A20 Aviation Headset cost?

A: The cost of the Bose A20 Aviation Headset varies depending on the configuration and features, but it typically ranges from $1,095 to $1,495.

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