Bose have dedicated their time and energy into making some of the most reliable wireless speakers and headphones on the market. It can therefore be very frustrating when the Bluetooth is not working. This article aims to help you through any Bluetooth troubles you may be having with pairing your Bose device.
Bose Bluetooth will not pair if the Bluetooth function on either device is disabled or is not discoverable. The devices could also be too far apart, there may be interference from other Bluetooth devices, too many devices paired at once or incorrect Bluetooth settings on your Bluetooth device.
You will find more detail about how to fix these issues below. I have also included a brief guide to making different Bose products discoverable.
Bose Bluetooth Not Discoverable/Not Detected/Not Showing Up
Your Bose Bluetooth may not be discoverable for a number of reasons.
Turning On Devices and Bluetooth
Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on both devices. It may seem simple, but sometimes it can be the simple things that you don’t think of. You should also make sure your Bose speaker is discoverable.
The Bluetooth symbol should blink a blue color when it is in ‘discoverable’ mode. You can enable this by pressing the Bluetooth button once. If the Bluetooth symbol is white, try pressing the button again, as you may have only woken the speaker up or entered Bluetooth mode with the first press.
Alternatively, you can press and hold the Bluetooth button for three seconds. Just be sure not to hold it down for too long. After holding down the button for 10 seconds, the speaker will clear the Bluetooth pairing list.
Proximity to the Speaker
You should also ensure your device is close enough to the speaker. Start within five feet of the speaker, and then you can try increasing the distance when both devices are paired.
Disable Other Bluetooth Devices
With most Bose products, only six devices can be paired simultaneously. This means there may be other devices competing to connect to your speaker. Bose speaker will often automatically try to pair with the last device it was connected to.
Try disabling the Bluetooth on other nearby devices. If this doesn’t work, you can clear the pairing list on your speaker and forget the speaker on your Bluetooth device.
To clear your speaker’s pairing list, simply press and hold the Bluetooth button for 10 seconds until you hear a tone or ‘Bluetooth device list cleared’. On your Bluetooth device, delete the speaker from your Bluetooth list. You can now make your speaker discoverable and attempt to re-pair the two devices.
If this fails, you may need to restart your devices.
Restart or Reset your Devices
Turning the speaker off and back on will perform a soft reset. You should do the same for your Bluetooth device before attempting to re-pair the two devices.
Failing this, you can reset the speaker. This is done by pressing and holding the ‘Mute’ button for 10 seconds. You should notice all the lights on the speaker come on and then the speaker turns off. Once this has occurred, you can turn the speaker back on and attempt to re-pair your devices.
Your device may not be compatible with the Bluetooth on your speaker if your Bluetooth device is older. Bluetooth is backwards compatible. So an iPhone with Bluetooth 5.2 can still connect to a speaker with Bluetooth 3.0, but an iPhone 4 with Bluetooth 2.1 will not be able to connect to a speaker with Bluetooth 5.2.
To help avoid this situation, make sure your speaker and Bluetooth device are updated regularly.
Bose Bluetooth Not Turning On
For most Bose wireless speakers or headphones, Bluetooth is always enabled. Devices such as the Soundlink Speaker allow you to turn Bluetooth off by entering ‘Aux’ mode to conserve battery. You can easily turn Bluetooth on again by pressing the Bluetooth button.
If you suspect your Bluetooth is off because you cannot pair your Bluetooth device, it may be that you have not made the Bose device discoverable.
Most speakers will have a dedicated Bluetooth button. You need to either press this button, or press and hold the button for three seconds to enable ‘discoverable’ mode. When this happens, you should notice the Bluetooth symbol flashes blue.
With some of the headphones, the Bluetooth button is the same as the on/off button, but you will slide the button up instead of pressing it. If you hold the on/off button in this position, this will make your headphones discoverable.
Others, such as the Bose Frames Alto, do not have a Bluetooth button altogether. These connect using the Bose Connect app and automatically connect via proximity. Hold the two devices together while in the app and they should pair.
Below you can find a more detailed step-by-step guide to making Bluetooth discovering on each Bose system.
Bose Bluetooth Won’t Pair
Some troubleshooting techniques for pairing your Bluetooth device to your Bose device can be found at the beginning of this article. However, if you are using Bose Bluetooth headphones, know that you cannot pair your headphones while they are charging.
Restarting or Resetting Headphones
If your headphones are not charging and still won’t pair, you should try restarting or resetting the headphones. Restart simply by holding the on/off button for two seconds. To reset the headphones, follow the steps below.
Step 1: Turn off the headphones.
Step 2: After 30 seconds, plug the headphones into a USB power supply.
Step 3: After five seconds, unplug the USB cable.
Step 4: After one minute, turn the headphones back on.
If you have multiple Bose devices, make sure your Bluetooth device is connected to the correct Bose system. They may have similar names if they are from the same series, for example, ‘Bose SLII’ and ‘Bose SLIII’.
Pairing with a Computer
When pairing to a computer, you must make sure that you have selected the Bose speaker or headphones as the audio output device. It may not automatically do this when connected to the speaker, and the computer will try to use the internal speakers instead.
You may also notice your computer’s Bluetooth pairing list has a different icon for external speakers and headphones. If you are pairing Bose headphones, you will need to ensure that you have selected the headphones icon.
How to Make Bose Bluetooth Discoverable
Most Bose speakers will have a dedicated Bluetooth button. To make these devices discoverable, press and hold this button for three seconds or until the Bluetooth indicator light flashes blue. For some devices, you simply need to press this button once to make it discoverable.
However, many of the Bose headphones do not have a Bluetooth button. You can find how to make these devices discoverable below.
For the Bluetooth Headset, you will need to press and hold the ‘Call’ button. Do this until you notice the blue LED slowly blinking. The ‘Call’ button is the large button at the bottom.
For the Bluetooth Around-Ear Headphones, you will need to press and hold the ‘Multifunction’ button until you see the blue LED blinking. This ‘Multifunction’ button is located on the side of the earphone, beneath the Bose logo.
As I mentioned earlier, some Bose devices, such as the Bose Frames, do not have a Bluetooth button or any other button that makes the device discoverable. On the Bose Frames, there is only one button which has many functions already. Having a Bluetooth function would limit other functions of the button.
This is why they are programmed to connect to your Bluetooth device via the Bose Connect app. When the device is in close proximity and the app is open, it will automatically pair.
Other devices, such as the Noise-Cancelling Earbuds, have a Bluetooth button located in the charging pod. Pressing and holding this button will make these tiny Bose speakers discoverable.
Bose Bluetooth Device Not Found
If your device is not found in the Bluetooth list, you can find troubleshooting tips above, under ‘Bose Bluetooth Not Discoverable/Not Detected/Not Showing Up’.