In 2015, I told you the Bose QuietComfort 20 noise-cancelling headphones were the best a traveler could buy, having used them for a few years by then. After more than 4 years and countless flights later, they’re still the best headphones for travel, assuming you still have a headphone jack on your phone.

The Bose Quietcomfort 20 are so good, Bose still sells the QuietComfort 20 as their premier wired, noise-cancelling earbuds, for roughly the original price. Most electronics aren’t on sale for more than a year, let alone 4, and still have a premium spot in a brand’s product lineup.

Road Tested: Bose QuietComfort 20 Review After 4 Years

In the video above, I review my original pair to show you how well they have and haven’t held up. Noise-cancelling has been inconsistent in the last year (Bose only guarantees it for 3 years after purchase) but even without it, the ear seals do a good job of filtering out ambient noise. The plastic and rubber cords and seals have held up surprisingly well, and the noise-cancelling battery still works, holding a solid 10+ hour charge.

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bose quietcomfort20i

There’s something refreshing about a tech company keeping a product on the market for a longer period of time, rather than releasing an incremental annual update. Some products obviously need shorter refresh cycles but more often than not companies often release what feel like beta products, in between actual upgrades, in order to keep on a predictable schedule.

At $250, the Bose QuietComfort 20 is a solid investment in good headphones with a feature (noise-cancelling) that frequent flyers will find practically essential after a single use. The QuietComfort 20 are ultra-portable but if that’s not a concern for you, an over-ear pair have several other advantages, and for wireless sport headphones, the NuForce BE Sport3 are the best option under $100.

Durable, lasting as long as you’ve got a headphone jack plus small with an audio super-power, the Bose QuietComfort 20 are the wired headphones to get, so long as you’re willing to pay upfront for years of use.

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