Bose set the standard for General Aviation active noise cancelling headsets in 2010 with the launch of the A20. Now, they’re looking to do the same in the airlines with their ProFlight headset.
Bose is marketing the ProFlight headset as the industry’s smallest, quietest, and most comfortable active noise cancelling headset. Noise attenuation is not as great as the A20, but that’s because the ProFlight is designed for the lower noise environments of airline and corporate jet flight decks.
To ensure nobody can copy their work, the ProFlight has more than 30 US design and utility patents. The headset weighs just 139 grams and consists of a lightweight headband for stability with silicone earbuds that rest in the bowl of the ear, which Bose promises are more comfortable than other earbud-style headsets and remain comfortable on those long-haul flights.
There are three user selectable levels of active noise cancellation and a tap control for a ‘talk-through communication’ function that allows pilots to hear anyone on the flight deck who’s not connected to the intercom – without removing the headset or an earpiece – useful when asking the cabin attendant to please bring that eleventh cup of coffee.
Additional features include a quick release, side-swappable down cable and microphone, and Bluetooth to connect wirelessly to mobile devices and electronic flight bags. The headset can be set to mix wired communication with Bluetooth audio, or have in-bound transmission temporarily mute Bluetooth audio.
Importantly, the ProFlight headset is FAA TSO C139a and EASA E/TSO-C139a certified, a requirement that is increasingly necessary for use in many airlines and corporate flight departments.
Although announced at Sun ‘n Fun in April 2018, the ProFlight headset will only be available in South Africa in June. List price is US$995 (around R12,200), which is cheaper than the A20, and will come with a carry case, 2 x AA batteries, control module holder, and three sizes of ‘StayHear+’ earbuds.