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Bose A30 or A20? New Bose Headset A30 Review

Updated: Mar 13

Bose has just released the new A30 aviation headset that precedes the A20 with a price tag of $1249. I have used the A20s myself for over 3 years and they never let me down with great ANC ( Active Noise Cancellation), the ability to have an AUX cord for music/podcasts, and the ability to receive phone calls via Bluetooth.

Bose A30 Aviation Headset Review 2023, Best aviation headset in 2023, Bose A30 Headset
Bose A30 Aviation Headset Review 2023


What's the difference between the A20 and A30 Bose Headsets?

The Bose A30 aviation headset is said to have 20% less clamping force than the A20 headset and a lighter overall weight of 14.2 OZ (404 grams) compared to the A20 at a weight of 12 OZ (340 grams). That doesn't make sense but hopefully, the clamping force being reduced out-weight's the higher weight of the A30.

The Best features of the A30 Bose aviation headset come from the improved ANC options, the ability to change microphone sides easily, and the double tap function described below.

Bluetooth Control Module on the A30 and A20 Aviation Headset:

The controllers of the A20, A30, and Pro Flight Series 2 are all different and can not be interchanged. The new A30 handset controller is similar to the A20 controller with volume control for both headphones like the A20, however; it has a new mode of ANC where you can select the amount of ANC used being LOW, MEDIUM, or HIGH. Bose recommends you choose the best ANC for the environment you are flying in as MED or HIGH active noise cancellation may produce better results in different aircraft.

HIGH ANC produces the most ANC however that may not be the case depending on the aircraft you fly.

Bose A30 Bluetooth Module
Bose A30 Bluetooth Module

A20 and A30 Bose Aviation Headset Review
A30 and A20 Review

Best Features of the A30 Bose Headset

I personally think the best feature of the A30 is the ability to swap microphones easily from one side to the other. This is great for people flying in multiple roles and aircraft. As a FO I prefer the microphone on my right however if I'm flying as a PIC or in the left seat, I can switch the microphone easily by taking the terminator cover off and placing the microphone into the assembly as described below from the Bose A30 operating manual. This is how to change the A30 microphone in a matter of minutes and ease. This is the best feature I like about the A30 but definitely not a make-or-break feature if you are happy with your A20s.

A20 Control Module compared to A30
Bose A20 Controller

New Bose A30 Headset Technology

The new A30 Bose aviation headset has a new feature that the A20 does not have, the ability to double tap on an ear cup to reduce the ANC to increase the ability to hear the other pilot or passenger while flying is nothing any other aviation headset has. This new feature is by far the biggest step Bose has taken to improve the already great A20 aviation headset and change the level of customization and control over ANC.

How to change the Bose A30 microphone:

The video below shows how to change the microphone side of the A30 aviation headset. The bottom of the headphones has a clover that comes off and allows the USB-C microphone to slide into place and secure. The procedure to change microphone sides takes about 1 minute and is not a complicated procedure.

Battery Life of the A30 and A20 Aviation Headset

According to the manual for both Bose A30 and A20 headsets, they both use AA batteries and the typical battery life depends on the batteries, ANC levels used, and Bluetooth. The headsets will typically provide around 45 hours of battery life.


The cost of the A30 is $1249 on the Bose site and the A20 can no longer be purchased. I would assume A20s will come down in price despite always holding their value. Now having a newer and better aviation headset the majority of people will buy the newer A30 over the A20. There is no doubt the A20 is a solid fantastic headset that has been the pilot's headset of choice for 20 years. I personally am in the market for a new headset and have no doubt it will be the A30 Bose aviation headset unless I find a cheap pair of A20s secondhand.


Overall the A30 is the newer updated headset and has many more options and features than the A20 Bose headset, both are great headsets however; I would prefer to purchase the A30 as it is now sold, and the newest of the headsets. The ANC features of the A30 make it more suitable for multiple crew flying and the ability to switch microphone sides easily. One thing I don't like is the A30 weights more however Bose states the compression on the side of the head is 20% less than the A20 and that sounds great to me after having used A20s for years, and after a long day flying the headset does start to get uncomfortable.


Unknown member
Jan 02

Only ever had DC10-13.4 headset since my PPL in 1994… the same two pairs. First set I put a Headsets Inc ANR kit, and the other set the DC Original ANR.

Been wondering after 30 years if I should upgrade. But I always think ‘What if I forget batteries’ and I have to rely on passive NR only. How good are these at reducing noise (compared to the old style traditional DC’s I have) when the batteries are dead and you forgot replacements !


Jul 17, 2023

I love using my A20s, definitely won't be replacing them just for the A30s.


Jun 23, 2023

Thank you for the review. Having it since a few flights I did’nt notice an improvement of the ANC. Good headset though but not worth to replace a A20.


May 15, 2023

Succedes, not precedes ;)

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