Just when we all thought that Bose had reached the pinnacle of headset quality and functionality, along comes the A30 which lifts the bar higher than ever before.
The A30 is the most comfortable, full-featured, around-ear active noise-cancelling headset to date. It features the best balance of attenuation and audio clarity of any headset on the market. Its optional Bluetooth® interface and three selectable modes of active noise cancellation with talk-through communication offer versatility for pilots across all aircraft. It has a sleek, modern design and is made with materials chosen for strength and durability to ensure stability over hours of use. The A30 is engineered to provide a new level of performance without the usual bulk and clamping force of typical headsets. Additionally, it is FAA/EASA TSO-C139a certified, and available in six different plug configurations with many other cable and microphone types.
The A30 sets the bar for active noise cancellation. With several technological firsts and patents in the aviation industry, this headset represents improvements in comfort, noise reduction and capability not found in any other product.
KEY USER BENEFITS
Improved around-ear comfort and stability with quality materials, low clamping force and dedicated left and right ear cups.
The best balance of quiet, comfort and audio clarity Bose has ever produced with three modes of user-selectable acoustic noise cancellation for a range of noise reduction in various scenarios and aircraft.
Optimized audio for enhanced communications with or without an intercom or hot mic system.
Durable and robust design made to endure the wear and tear of everyday use in environmental extremes.
Small and lightweight (14.2 ounces/404 grams on head).
Choice of electret or dynamic noise-cancelling microphones for clear transmissions (dependent on aircraft ICS type).
Side-swappable boom microphone and down cable – no tools required.
Tap control for talk-through communication.
Bluetooth® capabilities for wireless audio connections to EFBs and cell phones (select models).
Bypass communications mode provides primary ICS audio with or without power to the headset.
Five-year limited warranty with acclaimed service.
Built to the latest ARINC standards and TSO/ETSO C139a certified.
Available in a dual plug, LEMO (6 pin), XLR (5 pin) and U174 variants, as well as U384 and other connectors, becoming available in the upcoming year for GA, commercial and military customers.
What is the Bose A30 Aviation Headset, and what are its key benefits?
The Bose A30 Aviation Headset is best utilized where noise is pervasive, comfort is required and communication is critical.
The A30 is the industry’s quietest, most comfortable active noise-cancelling aviation headset. It provides unparalleled long-term comfort with enhanced communication capabilities, including selectable modes of noise cancellation and talk-through tap control. With FAA/EASA TSO C-139a certification, an on-head weight of only 404 grams and many different plug configurations, pilots of virtually all aircraft can experience the most versatile around-ear headset on the market.
What’s different about the Bose A30 Aviation Headset?
The Bose A30 Aviation Headset is our most advanced around-ear aviation headset ever. Its lightweight design, low clamping force and specialized earcup design enable maximum comfort, even over long flights.
The A30 is customizable to pilots’ environments and/or personal preferences with three selectable modes of active noise cancellation. This industry-leading active noise cancellation is achieved without compromising the acclaimed clear audio and simplicity of use expected from Bose.
All models come with two AA batteries, and select models can also be powered by the aircraft. These models have a flexible power feature that allows pilots to switch seamlessly from battery power to aircraft power without compromising headset performance.
What’s the difference between the A30 Aviation Headset and its predecessor, the A20 Aviation Headset?
The A30 Aviation Headset is the evolution of the A20. Its sleek, modern design significantly improves long-term comfort with a lower on-head weight and reduced clamping force. It also features three modes of active noise reduction and tap control for talk-through communication.
The A30 upholds the acclaimed noise reduction and state-of-the-art materials and electronic capabilities of the A20. Each of these advancements helped create the best combination of noise reduction and audio clarity on the market.
How does the A30 headset compare to the A20 in terms of noise reduction?
The A30 provides similar total noise reduction to the A20, but with a different weight distribution and substantially lower clamping force.
What is included in the box with the Bose A30 Aviation Headset?
2 AA batteries
Control module hanger
2 clothing clips
Quick-start and owner’s guides
Does the A30 come with an app?
The A30 Aviation Headset does not currently have a companion mobile application. All headset settings are easily managed via the control module.
Does the Bose A30 Aviation Headset have volume knobs?
Yes. Similar to the A20, there are left and right sensitivity adjustment wheels on the control module. These can be used to accommodate differential hearing loss and multiple radio inputs in stereo mode or to help users control radio inputs in one ear to hear outside sound sources more clearly. For larger adjustments, volume tuning is typically done on the audio panel or for each radio.
Can the Bose A30 Aviation Headset be used in all types of aircraft?
Yes. The A30 is optimized for use in general, military and commercial aviation aircraft. It can be used in both fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters. It can be purchased with different connection options, including Dual G/A, 6-pin LEMO and 5-pin XLR. The A30 is not recommended for open-cockpit aircraft where the headset is in the direct path of the wind and slipstream.
Has the A30 been tested with different pressure and O2 masks?
Yes. The headset has been tested with several different masks. It is possible to use the headset with many different oxygen delivery systems, including pressure masks.
Is the A30 certified by Airbus, Boeing, Embraer or other airline manufacturers?
It is best to review with the appropriate OEM manager and business development manager for the aircraft or airline in question to get the latest status. Keep in mind that the headset is FAA/EASA TSO certified and has been tested on many different aircraft. Approval to use the headset on any specific aircraft can vary by the type of operation, by country and even by the aircraft certification organization. Bose may be able to assist in getting the appropriate approvals you may require.
Why is the down cable so thick?
The upper cable has 17 individual jacketed conductors, three separate shields (one over the microphone wires, one over the audio wires and a third that covers all the conductors), a Kevlar stay cord, a Teflon slip sleeve and an over-moulded jacket. This design supports the required EMI and EMC performance as well as the durability required by Bose and the FAA/EASA TSO. For example, environmental requirements include flammability testing, bend testing and other Bose testing processes to assure long-term durability.
How many new and existing patents does A30 have?
The A30 has over 25 new and existing U.S. patents, making it one of the most heavily patented products Bose has ever produced.
How many different versions and configurations are available for the Bose A30 Aviation Headset?
The Bose A30 comes in many variations, and customers can choose different configurations based on connector, cable, microphone and module (Bluetooth® or non-Bluetooth®). The most popular aircraft connection option is dual G/A, but flexible power versions with auto-on capabilities are also available in 6-pin and 5-pin XLR configurations.
The most common connection configurations are:
Dual plug (PJ 068 and . inch stereo): With the dual plug, two AA alkaline batteries provide a minimum of 45 hours of operation while flying. This version is user-configured for stereo or mono audio and is commonly used across all aircraft types.
XLR 5 pin: This configuration, often called the Airbus plug, is a mono connection that’s powered by the aircraft or batteries, depending on the aircraft’s capabilities. When disconnected, the flexible power feature allows pilots to switch seamlessly between aircraft and battery power.
U-174: The U-174 is a single-plug configuration commonly used in both military aircraft and several helicopter models.
LEMO) 6-pin connector: With this option, the headset is connected to the aircraft via a 6-pin connector and is powered directly from the aircraft. Two AA alkaline batteries can also be used to enhance flexibility. When disconnected, the flexible power feature allows pilots to switch seamlessly between aircraft and battery power.*
*Bose adapters are available to convert a 6-pin connector to either a dual G/A plug or a U-174 for additional connection flexibility.
Can I comfortably wear glasses with the Bose A30 Aviation Headset?
Yes. The earcups have supple leatherette-covered foam cushions that provide an effective acoustic seal – even over glasses. Pilots should be able to comfortably wear thin-rimmed glasses without significantly diminishing noise reduction.
Can I switch the microphone to either side?
Yes. The integrated boom mic and cable can be attached to either side of the headset with the toolless connector mechanism in a few simple steps.
How does the A30 Aviation Headset work in open cockpits or aerobatic aircraft?
We do not suggest using the headset in open cockpits or in environments without a windscreen. Exposure to the slipstream will negatively impact the headset’s performance. For aerobatic aircraft, the low clamping force and lightweight structure may not be stable enough for vigorous aerobatics without the use of a third-party skullcap or retention system. We recommend users try the headset with the 30-day trial to ensure it’s compatible with their aircraft.
Does the A30 Aviation Headset have an equalizer (EQ) or a way to equalize the headset audio?
The Bose A30 Aviation Headset has multiple built-in equalization circuits. The primary ICS/radio communications path is designed to meet the latest TSO standard and to optimize voice intelligibility. An additional active EQ helps optimize the experience through the secondary (Bluetooth®) audio path for wireless audio sources.
How does the noise reduction in the A30 headset compare to the A20?
The A30 has a similar amount of total noise reduction compared to the A20, but with a renewed balance and user-selectable modes.
Does the A30 have sensor capabilities similar to other headsets on the market?
At the moment, there are no sensor modules available, but the A30 has the advanced architecture to support sensors via modules that can be plugged into the nonboom side of the headset.
How much noise reduction does the Bose A30 Aviation Headset provide? What is the attenuation at different frequencies?
The Bose A30 Aviation Headset provides three modes of user-selectable noise cancellation that were individually engineered for specific use cases. “Low” helps optimize interpersonal communication outside the use of an intercom system. “Medium” provides the most consistent amount of reduction across a wide range of frequencies, and “High” provides the most active noise reduction to maximize the signal-to-noise ratio for radio communication. All three modes have been engineered for distinct uses.
Bose does not make claims about the mode of noise reduction. We encourage pilots to try the product in a variety of aircraft to experience the dramatic performance and capability of each mode for themselves.
What is the EPA-rated attenuation of the Bose A30 Aviation headset?
The current methods specified by the EPA Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) cannot be applied to active noise-cancelling devices. The EPA is currently redefining the NRR, with an explicit goal of including active noise-cancelling devices in its scope. In addition, the latest TSO standards identify the latest ANSI test standards relating to active noise reduction headsets, which Bose both contributes to and complies with.
Does it have an audio output limiter like Sennheiser’s “peak level protection”?
No, there is not a limiter. All headsets provide output up to 110dB, per TSO requirements.
Does Bose offer noise cancelling in helmets for pilots or motorcycles?
Bose does not offer active noise reduction within helmet systems. Bose is always researching ways to solve problems with innovative technology offerings.
What is talk-through tap control?
Double tapping an earcup in high or medium ANC modes will shift that earcup into low mode, enabling voices outside of the intercom to be heard more easily. If the earcup is already in low mode, then tapping will not change the setting.
Do I need special permission to use this headset on my airline? Are STCs required?
Airline requirements vary greatly. Some allow pilots to use headsets of their choice while others require an approved list of products.
Can a hearing aid be worn under or inside the earcup?
Consult your audiologist. Many hearing aids create feedback when amplified sound escapes the ear and is picked up by the device’s microphone. By placing an object near the hearing aid – such as a cupped hand – the amplified sound is reflected to the microphone, making the device more likely to “whistle.” While many modern hearing aids suppress feedback with digital signal processing, a headset around the hearing aid can result in sustained feedback.
Because hearing loss varies from person to person and across different frequencies, removing the hearing aid and increasing the headset volume may not be sufficient. Consult your audiologist to determine the best configuration for audio intelligibility and the safe operation of the aircraft.
What makes the A30 Aviation Headset so comfortable?
Overall, the Bose A30 Aviation Headset is one of the smallest, lowest-clamping and lightest around-ear active noise-cancelling headsets on the market – it’s a balance of function and comfort without sacrificing stability.
The headset’s angled earcups follow the contours of pilots’ heads, and the intentional shape of the headband pads help achieve the highest level of comfort in the lowest possible on-head weight. Additionally, the A30 has distinct left and right earcups with a quick release and a side swappable mic for improved comfort and ergonomics.
What attributes make Bose cushions better?
The materials of the headset cushions were chosen for their soft feel and stable fit. The headband cushion provides the exact amount of force needed to distribute weight and pressure across the head to avoid hot spots or bottoming out.
Have the ear cushions and headband been tested for health, safety and long-term use? Have there been any tests regarding skin reactions or test certificates?
Bose does extensive tests to ensure the products we create do not cause skin irritation. When possible, Bose chooses materials that yield the best results for biocompatibility.
Can the new headset be worn when pilots suffer from auditory eczema (exostosis)?
The materials in Bose headset cushions have remained consistent for years with tens of thousands of units in operation without significant issues. In any case, customers with skin conditions should consult a doctor for advice.
What is the weight of the headset without cables?
The total headset weight is 524 grams (18.48 ounces). The on-head weight (including the headphone and half of the upper cable with boom mic) is 404 grams (14.25 ounces).
Is it legal to use a Bluetooth® device in the cockpit?
Yes, but pilots are personally responsible for permitting and utilizing personal electronic devices or any devices that emit radio signals. Depending on the country, circumstance and use case, different methods of qualification and approval may be required.
How do I record audio to and from the headset?
Audio is best recorded with the help of separate devices, applications and adapters between the headset and the aircraft to optimize performance. This includes adapters that overlay the recorded audio with video.
How do I control the volume of Bluetooth® audio?
Pilots can control the volume from the Bluetooth®-connected device or via volume controls on the side of the control module.
What is customizable audio prioritization?
Priority switching allows pilots to customize their audio sources. There are two options for audio prioritization:
Mute: When the switch is in the top position and an intercom signal is detected, all secondary audio sources are muted (streaming Bluetooth® and wired auxiliary inputs).
Mix: When the switch is in the middle position and an intercom signal is detected, Bluetooth® audio is mixed with the intercom audio. (Phone calls are always mixed.)
How does customizable audio prioritization work?
The control module has three user-defined prioritization states:
Mixed audio position: The intercom signal will mix with the auxiliary audio input signals.
Muted audio position: The auxiliary input signals will be muted when an ICS signal is present.
Off: Auxiliary audio sources are completely turned off to ensure sterile cockpit operations.
Note: When a Bluetooth® call is present, the audio from the call will always mix with the ICS signal. The Bluetooth® function is always disabled in the passive mode and when battery life indications are red/low.
What kind of microphone does the Bose A30 Aviation Headset have?
The A30 uses a noise-cancelling electret microphone (often called a high-impedance microphone), which is typical for aircraft. It is optimized to reject far-field noise and improve performance when used with “hot mic” systems. A 5-ohm and a 150-ohm dynamic microphone are available in specific configurations.
What is the battery life of the Bose A30 Aviation Headset?
The A30 operates for a minimum of 45 hours from two AA alkaline batteries in typical aircraft noise. With continuous operation of the Bluetooth® function, battery life will last 25-plus hours. As always, battery life varies with the type of battery, noise environment and features used during flight. The headset has a battery life indicator light to signal when batteries need to be replaced.
Can I use rechargeable batteries?
Yes. However, flying-time battery life may be lower than the acclaimed 45-hour life, depending on the type of battery chemistry used. Rechargeable batteries may also alter the accuracy of the battery status indicator light; when the light changes to amber, pilots will likely have less than eight hours of flying time remaining.
Can I use lithium-ion batteries?
Multiple battery chemistries can be used, including lithium-ion batteries. Pilots should be aware that the battery life indications may vary based on the type of batteries used.
How are the batteries installed?
The two AA batteries fit lengthwise in the bottom of the control module. To access the battery compartment, push down and slide the cover toward the headset. After the cover has cleared the detent, lift it into a vertical position and insert the batteries.
What is flexible power?
Flexible power is a feature available for headset configurations that allow aircraft power. This feature allows pilots to switch seamlessly from aircraft power to battery power. If needed, adapters to connect the headset to the aircraft are available for purchase from Bose or third-party manufacturers.
How does the auto-on feature work?
Headsets that can use aircraft power (6-pin LEMO and 5-pin XLR) will automatically turn on when aircraft power is present. A configurable switch inside the control module can disable this feature based on user preference.
How does the automatic shutoff feature work?
The automatic shutoff feature detects when the A30 is not in use and shuts off after several minutes (ranging from 6 to 45 minutes of inactivity) to preserve battery power.
Can I use the Bose A30 Aviation Headset to listen to audio from a Bluetooth® device even when I am unplugged from the intercom?
Yes. As long as the headset is turned on, audio can be played through the Bluetooth® connection. However, Bluetooth® audio will not play when there are less than two hours of battery remaining in the headset.
The Bluetooth® capability is available when the headset is turned on and the priority switch is set to either “mix” or “mute.”
What does the blue or purple light mean on the Bluetooth® module?
The blue and purple lights on the Bluetooth® module indicate the status of the Bluetooth® functionality. A purple flashing light indicates that Bluetooth® is on and the headset is discoverable or pairing but not yet connected to a device. A blue flashing light indicates that Bluetooth® is on and connected to a device.
How difficult is it to install a flex-powered version into my aircraft, and how much does it cost?
The process depends on the aircraft and where the aircraft connector would be installed. The system consists of six soldered wires: two audio, two microphone, a ground wire and a power wire. Installing near the existing phone and mic jacks is a quick process because four of the six wires can be attached directly to the back of the jacks. This also allows existing jacks to still be used with conventional headsets.
Why is the battery-powered control module the same size as the installed, aircraft-powered control module?
Installed, or aircraft-powered, versions of the Bose A30 contain a feature called flexible power circuitry. Headsets with flexible power circuitry can be powered by the aircraft or by batteries. This allows users the flexibility of battery power with an adapter cable. Because batteries take up to 70% of the control module space, the modules were designed to be the same size. The adapter cable is useful if you fly in other aircraft without an aircraft-powered connector, or if you want to disconnect from the aircraft for a quiet flight with active noise reduction.
Do the aircraft-powered versions (6-pin LEMO and 5-pin XLR connectors) require batteries for any of the functions?
No. These versions of the Bose A30 Aviation Headset do not require batteries for any function when connected to the aircraft. However, if you have batteries in the module, you can continue to use the headset when it is disconnected from aircraft power. For example, you could make a private phone call with the Bluetooth® version of the headset by disconnecting from the panel. It also enables you to use a small adapter cable to fly in other aircraft instead of purchasing a new down cable with different connectors.