Bose Headphones Not Connecting? Fix it in Seconds

Bose headphones offer some of the best sound quality available. But to enjoy your listening experience, you need a clear connection with an audio source. Bluetooth devices like a TV, smartphone, laptop, tablet, or other media devices can connect wirelessly with Bose Bluetooth headphones. But what if they aren’t connecting? In the following article, you’ll find a list of reasons why your device is not connecting and solutions for how to fix Bose headphones not connecting.


There are many reasons why your Bose headphones may not be connecting to your intended media device. Here, we’ll look at some of the basic troubleshooting steps you can take to find and fix the issue.

 If your Bose headphones won’t connect to an audio source, you can start troubleshooting with these initial steps:

 • Fully charged battery

 First, make sure your Bose headphones are fully charged. Headphones that have a low charge can experience connectivity issues, and if the battery is dead, the headphones won’t work anyway. Most Bose headphone models require 2.5 hours or more to achieve a full charge . Consult your user manual to find the charge time for your specific model.

 • Disconnect Bose headphones from the charger

 Bose headphones automatically disable the Bluetooth setting while charging. Once you determine the battery is fully charged, disconnect the headphones from the charger.

 • Enable Bluetooth settings menu

 Make sure Bluetooth settings are enabled on both devices to connect your Bose headphones to an audio source. If your Bose headphones have previously been paired to an audio device, they may automatically connect whenever Bluetooth settings are enabled on both devices when close enough to each other.

 • Update software

 The software that controls your Bose headphones functions is called Firmware. Bose often releases software updates that include fixes for bugs and other software issues. Make sure your headphones have the latest security and software updates. Update your headphones’ software, go to the Bose Software updater at and follow the on-screen instructions.

 After following these troubleshooting steps, try connecting your headphones to the preferred source device. If they still don’t connect, read on to find more possible issues and solutions.

Headphones Too Far From Source Device

Bose Bluetooth headphones can only connect to a source device within a limited range. If your headphones are not close enough to the source device, they cannot connect. The average range of connection is around 33 feet between headphones and the source device. The closer the headphones are to the audio source, the stronger the connection and clearer the audio will be. If you are too far away from the source device, try connecting from a closer location.

 Obstacles like walls and fencing can obstruct the wireless signal and interfere with the connection between your Bose headphones and the audio source. If you are trying to connect your headphones to a device in another room, try connecting the headphones from the same room as the source device.

Bose Headphones Connected To Another Device

To play audio through your Bose headphones from a source device, the headphones must be both Paired and Connected with the audio source. Pairing establishes a connection between the headphones and the audio source. Connecting allows audio to play from a media device through the headphones.

While Bose headphones can pair with many devices, they can only connect to one device at a time. The headphone’s Bluetooth settings can remember devices they have previously paired with. If the headphones are not connecting to the preferred audio device and a previously paired audio device is nearby, they may be connected to that device.

If more than one previously paired device is nearby, you may need to cycle through the devices from your headphone settings. To do this, press the Power/Bluetooth button on the headphones to connect to an available device. Press the Power/Bluetooth button again to switch to another device. You will hear the name of each device through the headphones as you cycle through them. Stop once you hear the name of the device you want to connect to.

If the preferred device is not listed, you can search for it manually. There are two ways to do this:

· Turn the headphones’ Bluetooth settings off and then on again to refresh the list

· Press the scan or search button on the audio device to find available headphones nearby. When you see the Bose headphones, select them to pair and connect

If your headphones show they are Paired but not Connected, follow these steps to connect.

1. Make sure the latest Bose software updates are installed.

2. Ensure the headphones are paired to the device.

3. On the audio device, go to Control Panel on a computer or the Settings app on a mobile device. View Devices and Printers. Double-click the Bose headphones. They may be listed as “Unspecified.”

4. Click on the Services tab on a computer or the Bluetooth app on a mobile device.

5. You should see a list of services like Arfcomm, AudioWear, Remote Control, etc.

6. Click “Apply” and wait for the services to load.

7. Close the window.

8. Your device should appear as a speaker or headphones symbol under “Devices.”

9. Return to Bluetooth settings. You should see the Bose headphones under “audio device” rather than “unspecified”.or “other devices.”

10. If not, try disconnecting the headphones and pairing them again.

Pair Headphones With Source Device

Before you can connect your headphones to an audio device, you must pair them. Pairing tells both devices that you trust both sources and give them permission to interact with each other. Once paired, the headphones can connect to the source advice and play audio.

If the source device has previously been paired with the Bose headphones but the devices are not recognizing each other, you may need to delete the headphones from the audio device and pair them again.

To pair your headphones , follow these steps:

1. Make the headphones discoverable. How this is done can vary depending on the model of your Bose headphones.

2. On many models, holding the Bluetooth button down for 3 seconds allows it to be discoverable. Check your user manual for other instructions.

3. Once the headphones are discoverable, go to the Bluetooth menu on your audio device.

4. You should see your headphones on the menu.

5. Select the Bose headphones and pair them to the source device .

If you need to re-pair the headphones with an audio device, click “Forget This Device” to remove the headphones from the source device list. Then, pair the two devices again to resolve lingering connectivity issues.

Delete memory lists of previously paired devices

Bluetooth devices can store paired devices they were previously was connected to. If the pairing memory on a Bluetooth device is full, your Bose headphones may not connect with a new device.

If this happens, you can delete some of the previously paired Bluetooth devices on the list. This will make room for new source devices on the list. Alternatively, you can delete the entire saved list and start a new list with only the source devices you want to connect to.

Restart The Source Device

If your Bose headphones cannot connect to an audio device, you may need to reset the audio source device. There may be a glitch with the device’s Bluetooth adapter or a bug in the Firmware that is preventing it from connecting with your headphones.

1. Go to the source device’s Bluetooth menu.

2. Turn Bluetooth off for a few seconds.

3. Turn Bluetooth back on.

4. Try to connect the headphones to the source device.

If the headphones still won’t connect to your audio device, you may need to perform a hard reset.

1. Turn the source device off for at least one minute. Make sure the device is not in Standby, Hibernation, Sleep, or any other mode.

2. Turn the device back on.

3. This process should reset the device and allow you to connect it with your headphones.

Source Device Does Not Detect Headphones

Even if your Bose headphones have previously been paired with an audio device, there are several reasons the device may not detect the headphones.

 The problem could also be with the media source. Follow these steps to find out if the connection problem lies with the source device.

 1. Make sure the headphones are turned on and in range of the media device.

 2. Go to the Bluetooth menu on the source device. The Bluetooth menu will look slightly different

depending on the device you’re using:

 • On a Windows PC or laptop – Start menu > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth > Other Devices

 • On a Mac – System preferences > Bluetooth

 • On iPhone – Settings > Bluetooth

 • On a Smart TV – Settings > Bluetooth Settings

 3. Find the Bluetooth switch at the top of the Bluetooth Settings menu. Find your Bose headphones on the list of available devices.

 If you don’t see your headphones, turn the Bluetooth feature off briefly, then turn it back on. If you see the headphones on the list, try to pair and connect the source device with the headphones.

 If the headphones are still not listed, you can try to refresh the device list. Find the refresh icon, if there is one. If you are on a smartphone and do not see a refresh icon, you can drag the menu down further to refresh the list.

Reset Your Bose Headphones

If the above solutions have not helped your Bose headphones connect to the preferred audio source, you can reboot the headphones. If there is a glitch with the headphones’ Bluetooth function, rebooting it can reset the Bluetooth and may resolve the issue.

Reboot your Bose headphones by following these steps:

  1. Make sure the headphones are disconnected from the charger.
  2. Turn the headphones off for at least 30 seconds.
  3. Reconnect the headphones to the charger using the USB charging cord.
  4. Wait 5 seconds.
  5. Disconnect the USB charging cord.
  6. Wait 1 minute.
  7. Turn the headphones on.
  8. Connect the headphones to the preferred source device.

This process is the most common method for rebooting Bose headphones. However, the procedure can vary depending on the Bose headphone model you are using. Refer to your Bose user manual for rebooting steps.

Check And Install The Latest Updates

Operating your Bose headphones using outdated software can lead to a variety of issues, including being unable to connect the headphones to a source device. To ensure proper connectivity, make sure you have installed the latest version of your headphones’ software.

Use one of these options to update:

1. Use the Bose Connect app. You can download the free Bose app on iOS (App Store) for iPhone or Google Play on Android devices.

2. Go to the Bose Updater on the Bose website. You’ll have to download the application to your computer or laptop, then connect the Bose headphones to the device. Follow the instructions to check for and install the newest Bose updates for your headphones.

Once you have installed the latest software, try pairing your Bose headphone with the source device again. After successfully pairing the devices, try connecting the headphones to the audio device.

Once you have followed these troubleshooting steps, your headphones should be able to connect to your preferred source device and play audio media clearly. 

Now you can enjoy the superb sound quality of your Bose headphones. 

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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