Posted on 5 Jun 2013 at 10:41, by Gareth Halfacree
Bose has announced new products for smartphone and tablet users; the QuietComfort 20 headphones and the SoundLink Mini Speaker.
The Bose QuiteComfort 20 headphones are the company's first in-ear noise cancelling headphones, designed for easy portability while, the company claims, rivalling the performance of much larger, over-ear models. "The Bose QC20s are a revolutionary headphone", claimed Sean Garrett, vice president of the Bose Noise Reduction Technology Group, of his company's latest design, "Just like your phone, youll want to take them everywhere, every day."
The headphones use an active noise cancellation system; rather than just plugging up the ears to block out exterior noise, the headphones have two microphones in each earbud. The first microphone picks up external sounds, while the second measures the sound inside the ear. These waveforms are sent to a proprietary sound processing chip which plays back an inverse of the waveform, so cancelling out all exterior noise.
According to Bose, this, combined with with TriPort technology for a wider frequency response, active equalisation and improved StayHear+ ear tips, helps the headphones allow the wearer to hear detail in music normally impossible to discern using in-ear headphones. The QC20s can be used in full noise cancellation mode or in Aware Mode, where the music continues but is mixed with exterior audio.
The active noise cancellation engine does, however, require power. A small rechargeable battery provides up to sixteen hours of use per charge, and the headphones can still be used when the battery is flat - just without the active noise cancellation system.
The SoundLink Mini Speaker, meanwhile, is a portable hand-held speaker which connects to mobile devices over a Bluetooth link. The speaker measures 180mm x 58mm x 50mm, which makes it a third the size of the original SoundLink and around half the weight. An anodised aluminium housing protects the internals, which include two new passive radiators (speakers without the magnets) which help to improve mid- and high-range frequencies.
Both devices are expected to launch in July, with Bose accepting pre-orders on the SoundLink Mini at £169.95 and the QuietComfort 20 at £259.95. A special version of the QuietComfort 20 headphones with support for controlling iPhone and iPad devices, dubbed the QuietComfort 20i, is also planned for the same price.