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Yet another recall from Bose

Just got this through the mail.

This is the second one on the A20 headset.

It affects specific serial number ranges, and they say you need to swap the complete cable assembly (cable, control module, and microphone)) even if you got it swapped under the previous recall.

They are vague on what it is (they use the words "temperature rise" ) but looking at this and the last one and reading between the lines it sounds like they might have assembled a load of these with a tantalum capacitor fitted the wrong way round. Such caps are likely to blow up after some months or years - depending to a large degree on the ambient temperature.

Unfortunately you have to send them your cable assembly first and then wait for the replacement, so you have no headset.

Last time I tried to work this through the local Bose aviation headset dealer (to avoid the "downtime") but they wanted no part in it.

Given Bose's past history of washing their hands of post-warranty issues in Europe (but not in the USA) I would suggest getting this one sorted... Some years ago I spent £600 replacing four faulty mikes on Bose X headsets, which (a bad batch of mikes) would have been done under a warranty extension in the USA.

That said, the A20 is a great headset

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Any details on the recall? Do you have a list of serial numbers that are affected?

I have put a scan here.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Sorry for being unhelpful but this is exactly the reason why I love my Zulus - mine developed a fault in so far that the bluetooth unit would only play streamed music via the left headset. Spoke with Lightspeed, they sent me the replacement unit first and included prepaid postage to send the defective unit back..... Bose seem to have forgotten what "customer service" is - it's surely not your fault that they (or a subcontractor) has messed up and leaves you without your main headset for week(s) on end....

EDL*, Germany

This is not "yet another recall from Bose" it is a repeat of the original recall. At the time of the original cable exchange action only 30% of A20 owners replied. This means that there are still 70% of the affected models still in the field. This is an attempt by Bose to reach these people and to encourage them to take advantage of the exchange offer.

Perhaps the title of the thread should be amended?

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

This is not "yet another recall from Bose" it is a repeat of the original recall

Peter - the reason I called it thus is because their letter says "even if you have already replaced your cable assembly for any reason, we encourage you to..." [my emphasis]

If you have a separate clarification from Bose, please post it as it would be very helpful.

In the absence of a specific statement from Bose saying that previously done headsets are OK, then with my "electronic manufacturing" hat on I would assume they have dropped the ball twice and are wrapping it up in the careful language which we so often hear in aviation

Let's face it - their reference to using "CRM skills" if your headset experiences a "temperature rise" is absolutely disgraceful IMHO. I am trying hard to not use stronger words!

One of my two A20s had already been "done" once before. I don't have the S/N of the other; will get it this week sometime. Luckily I have 2 x Bose X so can fly while these are being done.

this is exactly the reason why I love my Zulus

Yeah, these people are learning from poor customer service of others. I did test the Zulu and thought it was very close in ANR performance to the Bose X; so close that the choice was totally a subjective matter. But the A20 is so significantly better than the X... when I first flew with the A20 I kept watching the gauges to see the engine is making the right power for the fuel flow, because it sounded too quiet. My only quibble with the A20 is that it makes one's ears sweat more than the X.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

All headsets manufactured after March 2011 are ok. If your headset is manufactured before that date and you did not take advantage of the original exchange offer then this offer is for you. If you took advantage of the original offer then this new offer does not apply. The e-mail I received from Bose is pretty clear on that.


**By means of this e-mail communication I inform you Bose is offering a free-of-charge cable assembly upgrade to all customers who purchased the Bose A20 Aviation Headset manufactured between July 2010 and March 2011.

Customers can verify whether their cable assembly is eligible for a free upgrade via our website: If they are eligible they can register the exchange online on the same website. Bose will administer the exchange as quickly and efficiently as possible.**

EHLE / Lelystad, Netherlands, Netherlands

OK, Peter. Let me get the S/N of the A20 cable assembly which they have already swapped and if it is later than the date range Bose give in their letter, I will change the thread title.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I've just had a look at my two A20 headsets.

I can't tell which one I bought before the other. I know one of them, the 1st one I bought, has already been "done" by Bose.

Their serials are


What do you think, Peter?

On my reading, both are affected.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Update: I have booked both assemblies for the return, and their website has accepted both serials.

I will advise whether the returns are different (later) numbers.

Bose arrange their own collection, but there is a delay of over 1 week on the earliest date their booking website offers.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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