Have you recently updated your iPhone’s operating system? If so, you might have experienced some issues with your Bose headphones connecting to your device.
The issue involves the Bose Connect app working with Apple’s new operating systems. There can also be a Bluetooth® feature problem to manage on some devices.
When your Bose QC 35 headphones won’t connect to your iPhone, you can follow these steps to have a successful experience.
This guide applies to other Bose headphones that also fail to connect to iPhones.
How to Connect Bose Headphones to iPhone
Although Apple recommends using AirPods or other in-house Bluetooth® devices with an iPhone, support for third-party devices is available. Connecting Bose headphones to iPhone requires a pairing process through the Bluetooth menu under “Settings.” Tap on the appropriate model once it appears.
You can pair an iPhone to a Bluetooth accessory to stream music, play videos, make calls, and much more.
Depending on the app you’ve selected, your iPhone might pop up a notification that says you must enable Bluetooth before pairing an accessory to the mobile device.
You can solve that problem by tapping on the Settings icon. Choose the Privacy option from the menu. From there, tap Bluetooth. Make sure that the slider is to the right and green to have the Bluetooth feature turned on for the iPhone.
Once you have Bluetooth turned on, you’ll need to follow these additional steps to pair your Bose headphones to an iPhone.
- Stay on the Bluetooth screen while the My Devices list of available connections populates. You’ll see a buffering icon below the list that says Other Devices.
- Place the Bose headphones into discovery mode. Wait for it to appear on the iPhone.
- If it doesn’t appear, check the product’s instructions to see if the process was followed correctly on the device. You might need to turn off the headphones and turn them on again.
- Once you see the Bose headphones, tap on the accessory name to complete the pairing process.
After pairing the Bose headphones, they become usable with your iPhone for all compatible streaming services.
What If My Bose Headphones Don’t Appear on My iPhone?
When you pull up the Bluetooth list of available devices and your Bose headphones don’t appear, the result can be initially frustrating. Even if you’ve taken all the recommended steps from the manufacturer, the technology doesn’t always work as expected.
If the headphones aren’t appearing in the Other Devices list, you can follow these steps to reset them.
- Turn the Bose headphones off. Wait for about 30 seconds while leaving them alone.
- Plug the headphones into a USB power supply using the cord you received in the package. If that option isn’t available, another compatible cord will work.
- Connect the other end into a standard house receptacle. If one isn’t available, an alternative energy source can work if there’s enough battery power.
- Unplug the Bose headphones from the USB cord.
- Let the product sit for a minimum of one minute while leaving everything alone.
- Turn on the Bose headphones to initiate the Bluetooth connection process another time.
This process creates a reset for the Bose headphones. You should see them appear in the Other Devices list on your iPhone if it is in discovery mode and your smartphone has Bluetooth enabled.
If these steps don’t work, you’ll need to review your device’s Bluetooth settings. There could be a transmission issue that causes the discovery process to fail.
How to Reset an iPhone to Connect Bose Headphones
Although Bose headphones work with all iPhone models, there can be operating system issues on some older devices.
Anyone using something older than the iPhone 6S would want to review the connection requirements for their headphones to ensure compatibility is available.
Some older iPhone models aren’t compatible with the latest iOS, which means you’d need to upgrade your device before getting to use your new Bose headphones.
If you can download the Bose Connect app to your iPhone, you should be able to have a successful connection experience. It automatically detects your headphones.
When it does, you’ll see an image of your product appear. An instruction to “Drag to Connect” will display. If you swipe down on the screen, it’ll begin the connection process with your iPhone automatically.
Some users might not have their headphones detected in the Bose Connect app. You’ll receive instructions to follow when that happens. The most common problem is that the application is active on another device.
You can only have your Bose Connect account active on one device at a time.
You’ll see the Bose Connect app start syncing with the iPhone. After your connection gets confirmed, you’ll see a banner appear that says, “Ready to Play. Tap on it to start using your headphones to listen to all audio coming from the device.
Some users might see “Preparing Product Update” appear instead of “Ready to Play.” That means the app must download an update that it will send to the Bose headphones wirelessly.
It also helps to charge the headphones before trying the connection process, especially if they’re new.
How to Disconnect Bose Headphones From an iPhone
If your Bose headphones aren’t connecting, you might need to disconnect them from your iPhone to initiate the restart process.
You can take care of that task by following these steps.
- Go to the Settings screen for your iPhone.
- Choose Bluetooth from the menu options underneath your name.
- You’ll see your Bose headphones listed in the “My Devices” category. Tap on the blue “I” icon to the right of the word “Connected.”
- Instead of choosing “Disconnect,” allow the iPhone to forget the device.
Once you’ve taken care of the disconnection, you can follow the reset process for your Bose headphones to have them start working appropriately.
If you’ve noticed that your noise cancellation features have stopped working with your Bose headphones, the problem is a communication issue with the companion app or a hardware problem.
Try turning off the headphones and turning them on again first to see if that corrects the issue. If not, you might need to reinstall the Bose Connect app.
If you connect Bose headphones by Bluetooth only and bypass the companion app, you won’t receive updates or have control over the noise cancellation feature.
How to Clear Your Pairing List
Some Bose headphones pair with up to eight different devices. That’s why it’s such a great purchase for those who listen to a lot of music or need to transfer between an iPhone and other devices.
This feature lets you connect with your iPhone while you’re at work, a home computer for a relaxing weekend, and even an iPad for mobile streaming.
The issue you’ll find when trying to connect to an iPhone at times is that the headphones start cycling through the different choices without recognizing that your preferred item is right there with you.
When that happens, you might need to clear your pairing list to restore connectivity between an iPhone and your Bose headphones.
- Turn on the power to your Bose headphones.
- Slide the switch until it reaches the Bluetooth icon on the device.
- Hold it in that position for at least ten seconds. You’ll hear confirmation that the device list is cleared in the headphones.
- If you don’t keep the switch in the Bluetooth position for long enough, you’ll need to turn the headphones off and on again to restart the process.
When the Bose headphones refuse to clear your Bluetooth device list, it’s possible to complete this task manually through the companion app.
You’ll go to the Bluetooth icon, then Connection, and Edit to reach the current list. Click on the X, and then confirm the disconnection. Your Bose headphones will no longer recognize the selected devices.
Don’t forget to have your Bose Connect app download the latest software updates to ensure your headphones work as expected.
My Bose Headphones Refuse to Connect to My iPhone
Bose headphones come with software encoded into the product to facilitate communication through the companion app. Although the quality control work with this brand is excellent, it is possible for any stored data to initiate loops that cause the product to stop working.
When you’ve tried everything to get your Bose headphones, it might be necessary to delete and reinstall the companion app.
If that effort doesn’t work, you might need to contact Bose customer service. The number is (800) 379-2073. They’re open weekdays and Saturdays.
Some headphones might come with different contact info in your owner’s manual. You’ll want to use that option before trying the main customer service line.
You cannot contact Bose customer service on Sundays unless you send them an email. There is a FAQ product support page on the company’s website that you can access with your product information.
If you need to speak with a support agent, you’ll need the serial number of your headphones to receive answers to the questions you have.
What If My Bose Headphones Won’t Turn Off?
If your Bose headphones don’t turn off, you must press and hold the Power button while plugging the charging cable into the right ear. You will see the LED indicator blink twice. Wait for two more seconds before releasing the buttons. That process resets your headphones so that they will turn off.
When your Bose headphones don’t turn on, the same steps to turn them off when they’re stuck will create the reset you need.
I have another detailed post on how to turn off Bose 700 headphones, the process is the same for virtually all Bose headphones.
If no solutions help the product work, you might have a defective battery that requires replacement. You’ll need to contact Bose directly to submit a complaint.
Headphones that are still under warranty may qualify for repair, replacement, or a refund, depending on your circumstances.
Don’t try to replace the battery by yourself if the headphones are under warranty because that action could void your protection.
When they’re outside of warranty, you might try to fix a loose power button connection. The contacts sometimes become loose in the right earcup, which means tightening them up can help restore the functionality of your investment.
Bose headphones are an excellent investment, whether you choose the QC 35s, the 700s or another model that meets your needs.
When you know how to connect them to your iPhone, you’ll get to maximize your listening experience.