Pilots spoke, Bose listened – launching the ProFlight headset

Last week. Bose launched its new ProFlight Aviation Headset, taking pilots’ feedback on previous models into account. The technology has some unique features and incorporates 30 patents and over a decade of research and development. Glenn Burack, Director, Aviation, Military and Broadcast Headphone Division at Bose, told us what’s new.

Burack said: “We’ve actually been in the market for quite some time with our A20 headset, and pilots for the most part have loved it, but we've heard over the years that it might actually be too good. It has too much noise cancellation and other things. So we've been talking to pilots and we've been studying them for years, and we thought we'd come up with a better solution. That's how we came up with ProFlight.

“We've been working on the underlying technology for almost a decade now,” he adds.

 “We started with comfort,” Burack says.

What's new?

Burack explains: “We've heard from pilots over the years that comfort is the most important thing and there are really three aspects of comfort."

The first is the need for headsets to be lightweight. Bose’s A20 headset weighs 340 g. The new ProFlight headset is just 139g.

“It's almost a third of the weight, and so you feel that as soon as you put it on,” Burack notes.

The second thing is clamping force. The ProFlight headset has side pads which the company says have substantially less clamping force than traditional headsets, including the A20.

Last but not least is the ear tips. 

“Traditional ear tips really go into your ear canal,” Burack explains. “And for pilots, it's very uncomfortable. These ear tips just sit on the lobe of your ears, and you can wear it for hours on end.”

He adds: “What also makes this unique is we didn't want to sacrifice stability. It has to stay on your head, and so with all of that together, we still made a headset that is perfectly stable on the head. So, if [you] look at all of those features, it's really technologically unique.”

 Tap to talk

Another new, and unique, feature is 'tap control' for talk-through communication. Bose heard from pilots that often they have to lift one ear cup of their headphones to talk to their co-pilot. Tap control allows them to double-tap on the ear cup instead to hear what the co-pilot is saying.

“It took us years to come up with this,” Burack says. “It's the culmination of decades of work, and it incorporates over 30 patents. So, we're excited by it.”

The headsets will be available to buy at the end of May.

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