Bose Headphones & Earbuds Problems (5 Typical Issues)

Bose headphones are renowned for being a great purchase for both comfort and listening pleasure, but occasionally one of their products may cause you a problem.

Here you can get familiar with some of those problems and find simple solutions on how to solve them.

Why are my Bose Headphones not Connecting?

Connecting via Bluetooth is the way in which wireless Bose headphones connect with your device, however, on occasion you may find that, for whatever reason, this wireless technology fails you.

The causes for this are as follows:

  • Firmware bugs
  • Use of the incorrect settings
  • An excessive Bluetooth pairing list

RELATED: How Durable Are Bose Headphones?

How to Fix Connection Issues with your Bose Headphones?

When it comes to switching on and off your headphones you should keep in mind that there is a right way to do it.

To power cycle your headphones you are performing a soft reset that deletes all low-level errors within the firmware.

The good news is that it does not ease your settings, be that the name of your device or the pairing list. To perform a power cycle follow these simple steps:

  1. Slide the Bluetooth or power button to turn off your headphones.
  2. Then connect your headphones to the mains using the USB charger after waiting approximately 30 seconds.
  3. Allow about 15 seconds before unplugging the headphones from the charger.
  4. Now reactivate your Bose headphones.

Despite performing these steps to power cycle your headphones you may find that connection issues still persist.

If that’s the case for you then try a complete reset. By doing this, you are able to erase any bugs or incorrect settings that may be present. Thankfully, performing these steps will not result in clearing your pairing list. 

  1. Make sure you have removed any cables attached to your headphones.
  2. With your charger connected to the mains or a computer hold down the power button as you connect the charging cable to the port on the right side ear cup (USB-C).
  3. Ensure that the Bluetooth light flashes blue before releasing the power button.

Still encountering a connection problem?

Perhaps the memory of your headphones has become backlogged with data from other devices.

This overload prevents you from connecting with a new device. Also, there is a potential probability that the headphones are attempting to connect with the device that they were last paired with.

However, there’s no need to panic. All that you need to do is clear the pairing list.

How to Clear the Pairing List for your Bose Headphones?

Clearing the pairing list could not be simpler. Just press and hold the Bluetooth button. After 10 seconds you should hear “Bluetooth device list cleared”.

If you head over to the list of paired devices on your audio source list you can then choose to ‘forget’ your Bose headphones, allowing you to then pick them up from the list of currently available Bluetooth devices.

Then hey presto, just select your Bose headphones and reconnect as if for the first time.

Why is the Bose App not Detecting my Headphones?

Occasionally, as is the case with all good apps, issues occur. Sometimes Bose headphones can have a problem being detected by the Bose app. There are actually 2 apps for Bose:

  • Bose Music
  • Bose Connect

It’s essential to know which app is right for your set of Bose headphones. You can check which app you need by identifying it within the user manual that came with your headphones.

Both these apps function to automatically pair your headphones to the device of your choice without having to use your device’s settings.

It’s important to remember that these apps are not currently available for Mac or Windows. So let’s take a look at how to troubleshoot these apps on IOS and Android devices.

For the Bose apps to work on your phone it is necessary for both ‘location’ and ‘network permissions’ to be enabled. To do this on an iPhone follow these steps:

Enabling Bose App Permissions on IOS

  1. From settings find the Bose app in your list of apps.
  2. Choose ‘Permissions’.
  3. The crucial thing to check here is that ‘Location’ is not set to ‘Denied’. If it is make sure to change it.

Have iOS 13 or above? Then you must perform this additional step: 

  • Find Bose Connect as stated before and then just under where it says ‘Allow Bose Connect To Access’ ensure you have enabled Bluetooth.

With a little luck, your iPhone Bose app is detecting your headphones. So what about Android devices?

Enabling Bose App Permissions on Android

  1. Find ‘Applications’ in your settings.
  2. Choose your Bose app.
  3. In ‘Permissions’ you need to check that it displays ‘no permissions required’.

That should do the trick when it comes to Bose apps, but if you’ve tried these instructions and you’re still having no joy then perhaps the issue is with the phone itself. Always consider restarting your phone and you may find that the problem was due to junk RAM clogging up your memory.

At the very least, a simple reset of your handset will allow your Bose app to run more efficiently.

Last, but not least, you can always try reinstalling the app on your phone. This clears the Bose app’s data and cache, potentially solving the detection issue you’ve been experiencing.

Is it Possible to Replace Damaged Earpads on my Bose Headphones?

It is not always the technological aspects of our headphones that we may encounter issues with.

Although wireless Bose headphones have been fitted with highly durable earpads, unfortunately like many other materials they can suffer from everyday wear and tear depending on the frequency of use.

Even mishandling or accidentally storing them in the wrong way can result in unwanted damage.

But hold on, don’t be too hasty and throw out your favorite headphones just yet!

Luckily for you, replacing the worn down or damaged ear pads is a quick and painless procedure. New pads are both affordable and widely available. 

All you have to do is purchase replacement earpads and follow these easy steps:

  1. Whilst holding the cushioned sides of the pads gently pull them up and out, past the small tabs holding them in place. Do not remove the material on top of the speaker.
  2. Once fully removed, put the old pads to one side and get the new ones.
  3. Find the sides with the small grooves and push these face down against the earcup until you feel them click gently into place.

How do you Fix Distorted and Crackling Sounds in Bose Headphones?

If you have you ever experienced bad sound quality such as crackling or distortion whilst listening on your Bose headphones you’re in the unfortunate minority.

However, there are ways to ensure that this issue becomes a problem of the past.

Common causes for issues such as distortion and crackling sounds can be due to:

  • Connection issues
  • Problems with the noise cancellation technology
  • Hardware and software issues.

So what are the fixes?

  • Move away from environments that are overly noisy – occasionally the level of noise will be too great for the mics on your ANC to accommodate.
  • Update the sound drivers on your computer – if you are listening on a computer or laptop the problem may be with the device playing the audio rather than the headphones themselves.
  • Check for wire damage, and or, a damaged headphone plug. Sometimes due to wear and tear hardware is damaged and needs replacing.
  • Ensure your Bluetooth is properly set up using the information previously explained.
  • Make sure you’re Bose headphones are charged – a low battery can affect the quality of sound and sometimes create a crackling sound during playback.

Why Won’t my Bose Headphones Switch On?

In a perfect world all of our tech switches on and stays on, but we don’t live in a perfect world. With a pair of Bose headphones you shouldn’t have a problem usually, but if your pair won’t switch on it could be because they’re simply out of battery.

If you’ve tried the power button and you’ve had no luck try checking the level of the batter by plugging your headphones into charge for 2 minutes.

You should hear the headphones make a voice prompt that will then tell you the current battery condition.

If you hear the prompt: ‘battery low, please charge now’ then this tells you immediately that you should recharge the battery until it is full.

Why are my Bose Headphones Not Charging?

So you’ve put your headphones on charge; the cable is in and they’re connected to the mains or a running computer, but for some reason the battery doesn’t seem to be getting any juice.

What do you do?

Try these great tips to get your headphones charging as they should be:

  • Use another USB cable – it may be that the cable you are using is damaged and therefore is passing charge to your headphones.
  • Try switching where you are charging them from – if you’re trying to charge your Bose headphones from a laptop it might be worth switching to mains using a USB charger.
  • Are your headphones too hot to charge? Overheated headphones that have sat too long in the sun may struggle to charge or hold charge. Let them cool down before you attempt to plug them in for charging.
  • Ensure that your headphones are at room temperature before charging them.
  • Reset your headphones and then attempt to charge them.

If after putting your headphones on charge you receive no voice prompt and they still will not turn on then it could be that you are experiencing a hardware issue.

Your best bet is to contact Bose directly as you may need to replace a broken or damaged component.

General Pros and Con for Bose Headphones

Bose are known for producing a fantastic range of headphones so that you can enjoy listening to your favorite music. 

Compiled here is what users love the most and where they feel there’s room for improvement:


  • Incredible noise-canceling technology
  • Crystal clear voice calls whilst using headphones
  • The ability to connect two devices at the same time (feature only available with specific models)
  • Amazing audio quality in regards to both bass and treble
  • Extremely comfortable fit
  • Quality battery life
  • Aesthetically pleasing with a sleek and stylish design


  • Connections issues via Bluetooth and the Bose App
  • Earpads can become damaged and may need replacing
  • Distortion or crackling sound when in extremely loud environments
  • Charging issues


How to Fix Bose Headphones: The Ultimate GuideProblems With Bose Headphones


Was this article helpful? Like Dislike

Click to share...

Did you find wrong information or was something missing?
We would love to hear your thoughts! (PS: We read ALL feedback)