Bose QuietComfort 20i

I’ve been away in Darlington most of the week and I’m on the train home knackered. I had the foresight to use Radio Paradise’s version 3 on my iPad to download six hours of great eclectic ‘radio’.  Radio is great for travelling and when tired, as it takes away the need for decision making – just let it play and if a song comes along you don’t like, another will be along soon.

The real key to me relaxing on the train is not the choice of music or the sound quality whether it be the 320kbps AAC of Radio Paradise, or the 24/192 wavs I sometimes play on my Fiio X3, it’s my Bose QuietComfort  20i noise cancelling headphones.

The QC 20i’s noise cancelling is superb, they take away most of the roar of the train, the clatter of the tracks and some of the noise of the louder passengers, however there is one small foible with the noise cancelling: on a train when another train passes in the opposite direction the QC 20i’s pop. The odd pop is a small price to pay for the amazingly good noise cancellation.

Sound quality of the QC 20i’s is very good. It’s not quite as good as say my Shure SE535s or even my Etymotic ER-4Ps but still very good.  They don’t quite have the transparency of the best in-ears, they have low colouration once they have run for a few hours. But, and it’s a huge but, they are very comfortable – they are ear bud style rather than true in-ears but Bose have included some little soft plastics wings that mean for the first time ever I can wear buds without them falling out.

In conclusion, the Bose QC20is are my choice for travelling earphones.  Great noise cancellation, truly comfortable, good sound, what more can you really want?

It’s no surprise if you look around at an airport or train station to find the people who look like seasoned travellers are mainly wearing Bose cans.



Naim’s Choice adds Naim’s Favourites

18th May 2011. High End Show Munich. Naim today confirmed that a new internet radio feature will be added to its range of network and all-in-one audio players.

Naim’s Choice internet radio selection includes an exclusive link to the Radio Paradise 320kbps AAC stream

Naim’s Choice adds an extra menu item to the iRadio options. It highlights and gives easy access to internet radio stations that Naim consider to be of particular musical and/or sound quality interest or ones that are not available using the conventional 5* V Tuner Full service.

More information and images


Is pirate radio helping DAB?

BBC Radio 4 FM on a portable radio around here is spoilt by breakthrough from a pirate which I think is called Riddim Radio. RR appears to be spilling out everywhere and it sounds somewhat overmodulated.  I complained by the BBC website expecting an email or a call in response but basically nothing than the standard reply stating I might not get a reply.

I know this is a bit conspiracy theory like, but pirate radio must be pushing more people to DAB.  So it makes sense that the BBC or whoever is now responsible  – is it OFCOM? – don’t bother to shut down the pirates.

Squeezebox Radio
Squeezebox Radio - internet radio definitely not DAB

Didn’t work with me; I bought a internet radio, a lovely Squeezebox Radio, which was installed in minutes. It  gives me access to Radio 4 via iPlayer at a decent bit rate – 128kbps AAC –  access to Radio Paradise and other great internet radio stations and all my stored music.

It sounds great, a nice tone as my parent used to say and is easy to use.  The one downside is the crazily high priced battery pack with remote control pack available as an accessory.  However I’ve found a website with advice on how to make one so I’ll do that if I ever get some spare time.


Radio Paradise

I’ve become a bit obsessed with Internet radio station Radio Paradise recently.
It seems to be a smallish operation, almost family run. What they do well besides play great music is have style.
Go visit their website and have a look around. See how the playlist links so well to Amazon in whichever country flavour you fancy.
It’s a listener supported station, so no ads, but of course that means they are looking for contributions from listeners.
The music is mainly what the music industry used to call Adult Orientated Rock by the way.
I have to say that I like almost everything they play even though I haven’t heard more than 50% before.

And did I tell you about the 128k AAC and 192k mp3 streams as well as the standard 128k mp3.

I prefer the sound of the 128k AAC stream – it’s remarkably good sound quality for a internet radio station.

I’d be interested in your views