Bose QC20- noise cancelling earphones on motorcycle- "long-term" South American ride review

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by bakercdb, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. deep6blue

    deep6blue n00b

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    I have set of audio technical anc23’s and love them. I’ve had them for a year and a half. There has been no popping like some are talking about. The single aaa battery lasts effectively about 16 hours.

    My helmet is a HJC IS33 and there are no issues with fitmet. My Shoei RF1000 is a bit tight.

    Best $45 bucks spent in a long time.
    steveh2112 and voltsxamps like this.
  2. charliektm400exc

    charliektm400exc Been here awhile

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    Thanks, but it would make it easier if you reversed two of them. So it’s either any high score is good, or any low score is good. Having to read it and remember which is which is a PITA.

    Maybe fits in ear well instead of sticks out of ear. And change has popping to little or no popping with 10 being none.

    JMHO

    But, thanks for the ratings and work you have done.
  3. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Codeswift, it'd be great if you could add Audio Technica's QuietPoint 33's in your evaluation.

    [​IMG]

    For $79 Amazon (eBay has them for as little as $20-$40), they're on the affordable end of the spectrum and currently the ANC's that are under my helmet now and I'm curious to know how you think they compare to the JBL's & others. Thanks!
  4. codeswift

    codeswift n00b

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    Updated my table to have a better rating system again, thanks for the suggestion. Maybe it's worth putting it in an excel document if I'm adding more units to it

    The ANC33 and ANC23 are on my radar, will try to source them here soon

    I believe I stayed away from the ANC23 because of the triple A batteries. I don't want to have to constantly change the batteries in the device I pick. I'd rather charge via a USB cable. The ANC33 has the same problem. Having AAA batteries in and out of it constantly is not something that I'd like to do.

    Perhaps the ANC40BT is an option
  5. draco_1967

    draco_1967 Been here awhile

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    I am about to pull the trigger on the ANC23. All the reviews say that the battery life is around 50-60 hours. That's way better than the rechargeable units. It is bulkier though.
    I like the idea of the Bose, but I can't justify that much for a pair of headphones right now against the other priorities I have for bike farkles. So many farkles, so little money!
  6. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Pull the trigger! Best ANC hp’s under $100 imo.

    As a previous owner of the QC20’s, I can attest that the AT ANC33’s AAA battery pack is almost 1/2 the length and lighter than the bose’s rechargeable pack though a little thicker, but has a longer cord towards the 3.5mm jack for easier pack placement.

    The earbuds are also slimmer fitting more comfortably under the helmet which was the deciding factor for me. Noise cancellation is stronger on the Bose, but I actually prefer to hear a little more ambient sound than the QC20’s allowed. (The QC30’s variable ANC could be adjusted for just the right amount.. more on that later) For AT’s noise cancellation to work properly, I found the foam tips work best; the rubber ones didn’t provide a good seal for me at all.

    For audio listening, the Bose produced more bass compared to the AT’s, while the AT’s offer a brighter sound. Bose’s “Stayhear” tips are comfortable outside the helmet and stay put for active movement but are bulkier and put more pressure on my ears under the helmet making them less comfortable for long rides.

    The AT’s battery pack has an integrated clip to eliminate its weight from the cord and earphones where the Bose does not. Speaking of battery, I’m going on 2 weeks straight on the same AAA battery (Energizer alkaline) with approximately 38 hours of combined use; about 17 hours of riding and 21 hours of use at work with a walkie talkie or home listening to music. And when the battery finally goes, it will take all but 10 seconds to swap in a new battery vs 2+ hours to recharge the non replaceable Bose battery. Eventually the entire headphone must be replaced or refurbished when the battery loses capacity while good ol AAA’s will keep the AT’s in service as long as the headphones keep working.

    From my experience, main advantages are:

    Bose QuietComfort 20
    • Best ANC
    • Bass response
    • Stayhear buds

    Audio Technica QuietPoint 33
    • Battery life
    • Low price
    • Slim earbud

    Price, slim profile, and battery life make the AT QP33’s a good choice under $100. If your helmet can accommodate Bose’s earbuds and the extra cost or battery life are not a factor, and you want the highest ANC available under a helmet, the QC20’s are at the top of their class with its higher priced wireless sibling, the QC30’s (with a much shorter battery life and slightly less ANC) as it’s only real contender.

    Advantages of the QC30 for me were:
    • Wireless connectivity
    • Selectable ANC
    • Low popping

    An honerable mention must go out to Pioneer’s Rayz ($149) as they also do a damn fine job of ANC, with some unique features like auto calibration and auto pause. It also cleverly avoids having a battery pack by getting its power from an iPhone’s Lightning connector (no Android compatibility as of yet). Downside though is it cannot function as an ANC without being plugged into either your phone, but if an in-line power pack or recharging is a painpoint, this is worth a look.

    *Update: lost my AT33’s so so bought Pioneer Rayz Plus to replace them. Software update was available and made a HUGE difference. ZERO POPPING up to 100mph. Updated ride review

    Advantages of Pioneer’s Rayz:
    • Zero popping up to 100mph*
    • No batterypack
    • Software upgradable/app

    And good ‘ol earplugs deserve its kudos:
    • Most affordable
    • Great attenuation
    • No batteries

    * your results may vary depending on helmet, windscreen, headwinds, etc.

    Alas, my journey to find a solution to reducing noise started out with earplugs, to QC20’s, 30’s, Rayz, the AT’s..and back to the Rayz.. and who knows what tech will be under my lid in the future. I still carry earplugs with me as a back up, but like being able to hear music or turn by turn direction that hp’s offer. And as better ANC solutions come along, I’m open to switch again.
    draco_1967 likes this.
  7. Andsetinn

    Andsetinn Adventurer

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    As much as I would like QC20 they are too expensive for me. The cheapest I can find them is 250 Euros from Germany (about 300$). So I ordered these yesterday.
    https://www.samsung.com/us/audio/he...-u-pro-active-noise-canceling-eo-bg935cbegus/
    64 Euros including shipping. They will replace a 30$ in-ear headphones that are not too bad, but suffer from white noise. Reviews are mixed, but I hope that they will work. I will keep you informed.
  8. steveh2112

    steveh2112 Adventurer

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    i'm thinking of getting the Audio-Technica ATH-ANC23

    can someone tell me how audio books (i.e. speaking) comes though in your helmet at moderate highway speeds? i'm learning Spanish and it would be handy to be able to play the audio course on my bike. thanks
  9. deep6blue

    deep6blue n00b

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    I use my ANC23's for audiobooks, podcasts, and music. There are no issues with voices as the frequency response is very good (for inexpensive headphones.)

    If I had it to do over again, I'd get the same thing. Although, sometimes, I wonder if the next model up, that includes a microphone, would work with Siri. That way I could control Apple music better. And (don't shoot me), send quick voice texts.

    BTW, I plug the ANC23 into a "Jumbl Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Calling and A2DP Audio Streaming Adapter/Receiver - White" from Amazon ($20). It works really well, the wires are all inside my jacket. The Jumbl is clipped to my jacket pocket. The Jumbl should work with any of these headsets we are discussing here.
  10. Dismount

    Dismount Boring bastard

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    I'm actually the other way around. Instead of dealing with recharging I'd prefer to carry a couple of spares or run into pretty much anywhere these days and snag a couple.
  11. steveh2112

    steveh2112 Adventurer

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    thanks, i see the Jumbl thing is also a microphone. can you not put that thing inside your helmet chin guard?
  12. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I rode for 6 hours today at 80 mph with my QC20, a balaclava and this Tractor Supply windshield mod. Still have some popping, but not bad at all.[​IMG]


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  13. Andsetinn

    Andsetinn Adventurer

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    Ok, update time. I give these 8 out of 10. The biggest minus is that they tend to become loose when I put my helmet on, but so do the CQ20s and my Noizezz airplugs.
    Here is the now standard rating, plus little more, higher number is better. :)
    • Flush against ear: 8/10 - They stick out couple of millimeters by themselves and the magnet holder over the wire is noticeable but not uncomfortable.
    • Wind reduction: 7/10 - Active Noise Cancelling in these is very subtle, in low noise environment you barely notice it, when you sit on the bike idling there is lot of difference, up to about 70-100 kmh when they are probably on the limit of their sound reduction capabilities, at higher speed you definitely notice the noise increasing with speed. This will depend on your bike and helmet.
    • Popping: 10/10 - No popping noticed. I went up to about 200 kmh/125 mph (on closed track of course :D). The things I do for scientific testing. :beer
    • Comfort: 8/10 - They they are neat and come with 4 sizes of the standard replaceable plastic nobs so they should fit most ears.
    • White noise: 10/10 - Not noticeable.
    • Sound level: 7/10 - It is rather low, when I tried to raise it both the volume control on the phone and in the app warned me against the danger of high volumes.
    Extras. These have neat feature that basically amplifies outside noise so you can hear normally even when you have them in your ears. If I remember correctly CQ20 has the same feature (I have only borrowed them for about 5 minute ride).
    I matched these with a Samsung phone and downloaded an app called "Samsung Level" that gives me sound effects, connection sharing, fatigue warning, and battery level monitoring among other stuff.
    codeswift likes this.
  14. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    So, with this type of jackless setup is it impossible to make phone calls since you can't connect to a headset (Sena) unit?
  15. Andsetinn

    Andsetinn Adventurer

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    I don't have Sena unit. The Samsung BG935 headset connects to your phone with a Bluetooth so you can make calls, and there are apps available to use your phone as a radio so in theory you can use it with your phone as an intercom with your data plan or possibly within WiFi range (if someone has gotten that working please share). The big problem is the microphone location inside the helmet, it would be much simpler if you could connect an external microphone to the BG935 unit. On the QC20 it would probably be easier to locate the mic close to your mouth since the mic is on the wire to the control unit.
  16. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Yeah, that's what I was thinking. No real, dedicated helmet mounted mic.
  17. Mr. Goodride

    Mr. Goodride n00b

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    What's the story on using noise canceling along with built in com sets? I have a Schubert C3 Pro with their com system. Want to retain that but would love to get away from foam plugs.
  18. voltsxamps

    voltsxamps Advolturer

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    Sadly, I lost my Audio Technica's yesterday on the freeway when I put them in my jacket pocket and forgot to zip it closed. Guess I'm suddenly in the market for another pair of ANC's. Interestingly, I stumbled upon Sena's upcoming "Intelligent Noise Control" helmet https://www.sena.com/product/noise-control-helmet/ and since I'm in the market for a new helmet as well, this may be the perfect pairing.

    [​IMG]

    Website says "coming soon", so until it's official release, I'll be sportin earplugs in the mean time.
  19. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Just for any future reference. http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/sena-intelligent-noise-cancelling-helmet.1147407/
  20. codeswift

    codeswift n00b

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    Tried the ANC 23 out today at my variable speeds. Was very disappointed.

    JBL is still the most amazing winner.

    Results:
    https://gist.github.com/Geczy/cc89ddbebe86431619be0e24e6cb27a2

    Regarding the Sena INC helmet, I spoke to representatives in-person at their most recent event in Ohio and they informed me the Sena INC helmet is coming before Easter, "for sure". Somewhere around January / February.

    Coming soon: I updated JBL firmware from 0.7.1 to 0.7.4, I'm expecting this may reduce popping. If it does, it's a hands down winner. I will post and update my results accordingly.
    HardWorkingDog likes this.