Bose Corporation released the original ProFlight headset in 2018, and reactions from professional aviators flying turbine equipment weren’t quite what the company was expecting from people willing to pay $1,000 each. Many gave up their trusty A20s on a promise that the new lightweight headset at 4.9 ounces would represent a radical upgrade from what some saw as the brain-numbing 12 ounces the older over-ear units weighed. The ProFlights were also fully Bluetooth capable.
When cockpit crews began using them—such as the people at Flying who evaluated the ProFlight—they found the headset awkward to put on each flight, as well as keep in place as the person turned their head as they must during flying activities. The unit Flying tested regularly fell off the pilot’s head almost completely. Additionally, many pilots scoffed at the poor audio quality when they tried pumping in music from their iPhones. On the plus side for this tiny headset, many pilots reported the active noise canceling worked as well as on the much larger A20s.
At AirVenture, Bose said that it’s a new day for their lightest-weight headset when they announced the ProFlight Series 2. The company says they listened to the feedback of cockpit crews to develop this successor headset. An important start is that Bose managed to shave more weight from the Series 2, which now weighs in at only 4.4 ounces. The new ProFlight 2 includes a new thinner, lighter, and more flexible cable to provide pilots improved freedom of movement and allow easy unpacking and storage. The ProFlight 2 still incorporates the side-tap feature to allow pilots to easily adjust the amount of noise canceling on the unit to, for instance, easily allow for conversation between pilots in the air. The ProFlight 2 automatically shuts itself down when not in use, although the batteries should last about 45 hours when the unit is on. The ProFlight series of headsets are designed for the lower overall cockpit noise environment of a turbine airplane—not, say, the cockpit of a piston single. Time will tell if Bose has solved the problems inherent with the original ProFlight.