Bose Headphones Not Connecting – How To Fix it?

The sound quality on a pair of Bose headphones is some of the best around. Still, your listening experience will depend on its ability to form a clear connection with the source device, like your TV or smartphone. If your Bose headphones aren’t connecting, you’ve come to the right place.

If your Bose headphones can’t connect, check that the battery is charged and the firmware is updated. The headphones must also be in range of the source at all times. Your headphones can only be connected to one device at a time, so be sure that no other device is currently transmitting audio to it. Lastly, resetting the source device and headphones could also resolve the issue.

In the following sections, you will learn the possible reasons your Bose headphones are not connecting and the steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Initial Troubleshooting Steps

If you find that your Bose headphones will not connect to the source device, you can begin with these initial troubleshooting steps:

  • Fully Charged Battery: First and foremost, ensure that your Bose headphones have been fully charged. Headphones that aren’t charged can experience connectivity issues.  Most Bose headphone models require at least 2.5 hours to charge fully but check your user manual to be sure.
  • Updated Firmware: Firmware is the software that controls your headphones’ functions. Bose often releases software updates that include fixes for faults and other problems. To update your headphones’ software, go to the Bose Software updater at and follow the on-screen instructions.

Once you’ve followed those steps, try to connect your headphones to the source device. If it still doesn’t work, continue reading the following sections to see the most likely reasons and solutions.

Headphones Already Connected To Another Device

What happened: There are two parts to the process of using your Bose headphones with your source device. They are known as Pairing and Connecting. Pairing establishes a trusted connection between the headphones and one or more source devices. Connecting is when audio playback is allowed from one source device.

Simply put, your headphones can pair with many devices, but they can only connect to one of them at a time. So if your headphones are not connecting to the source device of your choice, they may be already connected to another one that it had previously paired with.

How to fix it: To fix this, check all of your devices that you have previously paired with your headphones. That will include any smartphones, computers, TVs, and anything else. Next, find the source device currently connected to your smartphone and disconnect it through its Bluetooth settings menu.

After that, you can connect your headphones to whichever source device you prefer.

Related post: How to prevent unauthorized access to Bluetooth speakers?

Headphones Too Far From Source Device

What happened: All Bose headphones have a limited range. That means they can only connect to the source device like your TV if you are standing close enough. So when you go beyond that limited range, not only will those headphones fail to connect, the device might not be able to detect it at all.

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Typically, a safe distance is approximately 33 feet between the headphones and the device. But, of course, the closer you are, the stronger that connection will be.

Besides distance, another crucial factor is the presence of obstacles. For example, obstacles like walls or large items between your headphones and the source device can be problematic. Those obstacles will obstruct the signal, making it difficult or impossible to form a clear connection.

How to fix it: Fixing this is pretty straightforward. Move closer to the source device with your Bose headphones and ensure that there are no obstacles between the two. Then, browse the Bluetooth menu on the source device to find and connect with your headphones.

Sometimes, it takes a few moments before your headphones appear on the device list. You could also try refreshing that list if there is an option to do so.

Also see: How to fix headphones crackling?

Headphones Need To Be Paired With Source Device

What happened: Before you can connect your headphones to the source device, you must first pair the two of them. Pairing is a way of establishing a trusted connection between both devices before connecting and transmitting audio.

Your headphones will not be able to connect to the source device until after the two have been paired.

Suppose the device has already been paired before. In that case, you might need to pair it once more from scratch to resolve your connectivity issues.

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How to fix it: To pair your headphones, you must first make them discoverable. The steps to do this can vary depending on your Bose headphones model. For example, holding the Bluetooth button down for 3 seconds will make it discoverable on some models. But, again, check your user manual to see what works for your model.

Once the headphones are made discoverable, go to the Bluetooth menu on your source device. After a moment or two, your headphones will appear on that menu. Next, select your headphones and pair them to the device.

From that point on, you can connect your headphones to your device quickly, whether it’s your laptop, smartphone, or even a Bluetooth-enabled TV.

To pair the two devices again from scratch, remove your Bose headphones from the device list. You can do this by clicking the icon next to the headphones’ name and selecting Forget This Device. Once done, you can pair the two devices again and resolve connectivity issues.

Source Device Does Not Detect Headphones

What happened: Even if your Bose headphones have previously been paired with your source device, there are situations when it might not detect those headphones.

There are several possibilities for this, including the ones mentioned above. Additionally, your headphones might not be within range of the source device, or perhaps the headphones might not have been turned on at all.

The problem could also be with the source device itself. For example, the Bluetooth feature on computers, laptops, smartphones, and TVs might be the part that’s failing to establish a connection with the headphones.

How to fix it: First, make sure that your Bose headphones are turned on and in range of the source device. Then, go to the Bluetooth menu on that device following these steps:

  • On a Windows computer or laptop: Go to the Start menu > Settings > Devices > Bluetooth ; Other Devices
  • On a Mac computer or laptop: Go to System preferences > Bluetooth
  • On an iPhone: Go to Settings > Bluetooth
  • On a Samsung TV: Go to Settings > Bluetooth Settings

Although the Bluetooth menu will look slightly different depending on what device you’re using, their structure is generally the same. 

Firstly, there will be a Bluetooth switch at the top. Beneath that is a list of available devices that should include your Bose headphones.

If your headphones still don’t appear, turn the Bluetooth feature off for a few moments. Then, switch it back on. Finally, you should be able to see and connect to your Bose headphones.

In some cases, you might need to refresh that device list if there is an option. Typically, there will be a refresh icon that you can click on. However, you might have to drag the menu down further to trigger the list to refresh on smartphones.

Source Device Needs To Be Reset

What happened: Sometimes, when your Bose headphones cannot connect to a source device, the root cause has nothing to do with the headphones themselves. Instead, the failure could be with the source device such as your smartphone, computer, or laptop.

For instance, there might be a glitch with the device’s built-in Bluetooth adapter that is preventing it from connecting to your headphones as it should.

How to fix it: A helpful troubleshooting step would be to reset the source device. Firstly, go to the device’s Bluetooth menu to turn the feature off for a few seconds. Then, turn it back on to see if the problem has been resolved.

If you still can’t connect your Bose headphones, your next step is to reset the device itself. To do this, shut the device off entirely for at least one minute. Of course, this step will not work if you put the device on Standby, Hibernation, or any similar mode.

Then, turn the device back on as you usually would. This process should reset the device as a whole and make it possible for you to re-establish a connection with your headphones.

Headphones Need To Be Rebooted

What happened: Aside from resetting the source device, another helpful step would be to reboot your Bose headphones as well. Doing this will help resolve the problem assuming there was a glitch with the headphones’ Bluetooth connectivity.

How to fix it: You can reboot your Bose headphones by following these steps precisely:

  1. First, disconnect your headphones from their charger if they’re connected.
  2. Next, check that the headphones are turned off.
  3. Wait 30 seconds.
  4. Then, reconnect the headphones to the charger.
  5. Wait 5 seconds.
  6. Next, disconnect the USB charging cable.
  7. Wait 1 minute.
  8. Turn the headphones on to see if it will work normally and connect to the source device of your choice.

The steps mentioned above are the most common method of rebooting Bose headphones. However, the particular headphone model that you have might require slightly different ways of doing so. To be sure, please refer to the user manual that came with your model for more precise rebooting steps.

Also see: Why Sony headphones are not connecting? Protection Status