Bose debuted its latest aviation headset, the ProFlight Series 2, at this year’s EAA AirVenture. Since the original version launched in April of 2018, the company has continued to update and improve the product.
The ProFlight is primarily targeted for pilots flying turbine aircraft, but I’ve used the headset in several types of aircraft including my Cirrus SR22 and Eclipse to several turboprops and other jets. While it works in higher noise environments such as the SR22 and turboprops, it was designed to excel in the jet cockpit (and is my primary headset in those aircraft).
After using the ProFlight for more than a year, I discovered a few features with potential room for improvement. Bose listened to my comments along with others from the pilot community, and the new Series 2 reflects their commitment to refine the product.
Series 2 Updates
One thing I noticed with the original ProFlight was the cord pulls slightly on the headband, mainly due to the lightness of the band. It isn’t a significant issue but can be a minor annoyance. Bose rectified the issue by designing a new cord that is lighter, thinner and more flexible. In my test flights with the new headset, now even lighter at 4.5 ounces, it is definitely more comfortable. Bose also added handy “wings” on the microphone to aid in placement of the boom.
With the ProFlight, Bose introduced an innovative feature referred to as Tap Control. With a simple double-tap of the earbud, the pilot can reduce the noise canceling in that particular ear to help facilitate conversation with passengers who might come up to the cockpit. This can be completed without the need to remove the earpiece. With the first version of the headset, occasionally this feature would spontaneously activate. Bose addressed this issue by adjusting the sensitivity profile, which virtually eliminates accidental activation. I use the Tap Control feature frequently in the jets I fly, and during my flights with the ProFlight Series 2, it has worked flawlessly.
Bose also improved the frequency profile for their active noise cancellation with the Series 2, especially with regards to voice frequencies. I noticed the adjusted profile provides a more natural listening experience when utilizing the Tap Control function.
While Bluetooth connectivity was originally standard with the ProFlight, Bose now offers that functionality as an option, giving pilots flexibility which may be especially important for Part 121 and other operations. Additionally, Bose heard from professional pilots that a method to attach the headset case to the outside of their luggage would be useful. So when designing the case for the Series 2, Bose included a handy carabiner.
Bose offers three different sizes of earbuds, which should work for the majority of pilots. Or if pilots desire a personalized fit, Bose partnered with Avery Sound to offer custom-molded ear tips. Pilots can either create their own molds from Avery Sound kits or visit an audiologist to create an impression which Avery Sound can then utilize to create the custom ear tip.
Sales of the ProFlight Series 2 begin this month. The non-Bluetooth version will be $945.95, with the Bluetooth option priced at $1,045.95. Bose is also expanding the warranty to 5 years, which is automatically applied to the first ProFlight version as well.
Upgrading Your ProFlight Series 1
In addition to the longer warranty (at no additional cost), existing ProFlight headset owners will soon be able to upgrade their equipment. Starting in October, Bose will offer an upgrade path that includes a new microphone, cable and control module. The upgraded unit will provide all of Series 2 improvements mentioned above with the exception of the new low ANC frequency profile. Owners will be charged $295.95 for the new unit, then receive 50 percent of the purchase back when their unit is received. The upgrade will also include the new Series 2 case. To obtain more information on the ProFlight upgrade, pilots can visit www.boseaviation.com/cable.