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How to Connect Bose Headphones to ANY Device (Quick Steps)

Last updated: 2 months ago
12 min read

To pair Bose headphones, hold the Power/Bluetooth button (on headphones) or the charging case button (on earbuds) to enter pairing mode. Then, follow the steps to connect to your device.

Learn how to initiate and pair your Bose headphones with any device. And how to troubleshoot common pairing problems.

Bose Sport Earbuds pairing Bluetooth
CONTENTS (show more)

    Step 1: How to Activate Pairing Mode on Bose Headphones & Earbuds

    Pairing Bose headphones and earbuds use different approaches. However, the steps are similar to headphones and earbuds from other brands (with one exception, but more on that later).

    How to activate pairing mode on Bose headphones

    Here, we’ll discuss activating pairing mode on different Bose headphones. But first, you start with:

    1. Power ON your Bose headphones.
    2. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700: Press and hold a dedicated Bluetooth button until you see a small LED next to the button start flashing.
    3. Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones: Press and hold the Power/Bluetooth button for at least 3 seconds. They’ll turn OFF, but keep holding until you hear “Ready to connect” from the headphones.
    4. Bose QuietComfort 35(II): Swipe and hold the power button in the middle of the ear cup until you see a Bluetooth LED light under the right ear cup flashing. Alternatively, enable NFC on your smartphone and lean it over the NFC logo on the right ear cup.
    5. Your Bose headphones are now in pairing mode.

    How to activate pairing mode on Bose earbuds

    Bose earbuds are less confusing when it comes to activating pairing mode. The only difference is in the location of the case button.

    1. Open the charging case.
    2. Locate the charging case button (Bose Sport Earbuds or QuietComfort Earbuds have it under the lid, whereas Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have it behind the case).
    3. Press and hold the button for a few seconds until you see a small LED light flashing blue.
    Bose Sport Earbuds pairing button
    1. Your Bose earbuds are now in pairing mode.

    Now that your headphones and earbuds are in pairing mode, jump to the device you want to pair to:

    Step 2: How to Connect Bose Headphones to an iPhone, iPad (iOS)

    Bose headphones are fancy but don’t have an Apple chip. So, you need to use a standard method to connect them to an iOS device.

    1. In your Home screen, find and open “Settings“.
    iOS Settings
    1. Go into “Bluetooth” and enable it.
    2. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    3. Tap on your Bose headphones (or earbuds) when they appear under “OTHER DEVICES” (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    iOS TOZO earbuds found
    1. Your Bose headphones will jump into “MY DEVICES“, showing they’re “Connected“.
    iOS TOZO connected

    Step 2: How to Connect Bose Headphones to an Android Phone

    Unlike pairing with iOS, MacOS, or TV, Android offers 2 methods of pairing: standard one or with the help of Google Fast Pair.

    Let’s first describe the standard method of connecting Bose products to an Android device:

    1. Swipe from the top to open notifications and access quick settings.
    2. Tap on the Bluetooth icon to enable it. A Bluetooth searching widget should appear. You can also long-press the Bluetooth symbol to access Bluetooth settings.
    Android enable Bluetooth
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. In Bluetooth menu, scroll to the bottom to see “Available devices“. When your Bose headphones’ name shows up, tap it (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Android TOZO earbuds found
    1. When the “Bluetooth pairing request” message shows, tap “Pair“.
    2. Your Bose headphones are now connected. You should see a volume bar popping on the right.
    Android volume bar

    The second pairing option is to use the Google Fast Pair feature, supported in Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones and Earbuds:

    1. Swipe to access quick settings and enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
    2. You can close the Bluetooth searching widget.
    3. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    4. Soon, you should see a message asking you to link your Bose headphones to your Google account. Tap “Connect“.
    5. After finishing connecting, tap “Done“.
    Android Google Fast Pair Sony WF-1000XM5

    Learn more about the benefits of connecting your headphones using the Google Fast Pair feature).

    Step 2: How to Connect Bose Headphones to a PC & Laptop (Windows)

    Connecting headphones to Windows 10 is similar to Windows 11, but we’ll cover both operating systems.

    Note that you can use the Google Fast Pair feature on Windows 11, simplifying the pairing process (it only works on Acer and HP computers).

    Another thing worth mentioning is the Bluetooth compatibility among Windows PCs:

    • Windows laptops have a Bluetooth module already built in.
    • Most desktop Windows PCs DON’T have a Bluetooth module, so you are required to buy a Bluetooth dongle.

    Remember not to play any audio while pairing headphones to a Windows PC, especially if you’re wearing them. After a successful Bluetooth connection, Windows tends to crank the volume close to 100%, which results in a painfully loud surprise.

    Here’s how you connect your Bose headphones to Windows 11 and Windows 10 computers.

    Windows 11

    1. In the bottom right corner, left-click the “Wi-Fi/Speaker/Battery” icon to access quick settings.
    2. Click on Bluetooth to enable it.
    3. Right-click on the Bluetooth and select “Go to Settings“.
    Windows 11 open bluetooth settings
    1. In “Bluetooth & devices“, click on “Add device“.
    Windows 11 Bluetooth settings
    1. In the new “Add a device” window, select the first “Bluetooth” option.
    Windows 11 choosing what to search
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. Windows could take 10 to 30 seconds to find your Bose headphones. It’s really slow, so be patient. When your Bose headphones finally show up, click on them (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Windows 11 found earbuds
    1. They’re successfully paired when you see “Connected mic, audio” under their name.
    Windows 11 connected earbuds

    Alternatively, you can use the Google Fast Pair feature to quickly pair your Bose headphones to Windows 11. Of course, headphones also need to support this feature.

    1. In the bottom right corner, left-click the “Wi-Fi/Speaker/Battery” icon to access quick settings.
    2. Click on the Bluetooth to enable it.
    3. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    4. Wait until you see a message in the bottom right corner stating, “New *Bose headphones* found“. Click “Connect“.
    Windows 11 fast pair

    Windows 10

    As mentioned above, Windows 10 uses steps almost identical to those of Windows 11. The only exception is the absence of Google Fast Pair support.

    1. In the bottom right corner, left-click the “Notifications” icon to reveal quick settings.
    2. Click on the Bluetooth to enable it.
    Windows 10 open notifications
    1. Right-click on the Bluetooth and select “Go to Settings“.
    Windows 10 go to settings
    1. In the “Bluetooth & other devices” window, select “Add Bluetooth or other devices“.
    Windows 10 add Bluetooth device
    1. In a new “Add a device” window, pick the first “Bluetooth” option.
    Windows 10 Bluetooth add new device
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. Be patient, as Windows can take 10 to 30 seconds to find your Bose headphones. When it does, click on them (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Windows 10 Sony connect
    1. Headphones are successfully connected when it says “Connected voice, music” under their name.
    Windows 10 Sony connected

    Step 2: How to Connect Bose Headphones to a Mac, MacBook (MacOS)

    As a non-Apple-supported product, Bose headphones lack the benefits of seamless connectivity with MacOS devices. So, you need to pair them the standard way.

    1. In your Home screen, find and click on Apple’s logo (Apple icon in the upper left corner). Select “System Preferences…“.
    Mac system preferences
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. In System Preferences, find and click on “Bluetooth“.
    Mac find Bluetooth
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. In Mac’s Bluetooth settings, click “Turn Bluetooth On“.
    MacOS turn ON Bluetooth
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. Now, activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. Soon, a new device with a headphone icon on the left should appear in the “Devices” window. Click “Connect“. It can happen that MacOS doesn’t show your headphones’ full name but instead shows their MAC address (also, don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Mac finding AirPods
    Source: YouTube/AppleInsider
    1. Your Bose headphones should now display their full name with the word “Connected” underneath.

    How to Connect Bose Headphones to Other Bluetooth Devices

    We covered the most common uses for Bluetooth headphones. But let’s say you want to use your Bose headphones on a TV. Here’s how you do it:

    How to pair Bose headphones to a TV

    Pairing headphones to a TV means enjoying marvelous audio without bothering others and vice versa.

    Since smart TVs use different operating systems, we’ll cover only the most popular ones:

    Pair Bose headphones to Tizen OS (Samsung)

    Here are the instructions to pair Bose Bluetooth headphones to Tizen OS:

    1. Click the “House” icon on the remote controller to open the Tizen OS interface. Select “Settings” in the bottom left corner.
    Samsung TV settings
    1. Go to “Sound” and select “Sound Output“.
    Samsung TV sound
    1. In the Sound Output window, select “Speaker List“. TV is now searching for your Bose headphones.
    Samsung TV speaker list
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. When your Bose headphones appear in the Speaker List, click on them and select “Pair and connect” (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Samsung TOZO pair
    1. Bose headphones are now connected. Click “OK” to finalize the pairing.
    Samsung TV earbuds connected

    Pair Bose headphones to Android TV

    1. Using the TV remote controller, enter the Android TV interface. Click “Settings” in the upper right corner next to the clock.
    Android TV go to settings
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube
    1. Go down to the Remote & accessories section and select “Add accessory“.
    Android TV Add accessory
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. After some time, your Bose headphones should appear in the upper right corner. Click on them (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    Android TV device found
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube

    Bose headphones are connected when you see “Paired” written under their name, and a volume bar pops up from the right side.

    Android TV headphones paired
    Source: YouTube/MJ Tube

    Pair Bose headphones to webOS (LG)

    1. Click the “Settings” button on the remote to access Settings.
    2. Go to “Sound” and select “Sound Out“.
    LG sound out
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. In Sound Out, select “Use Wireless Speaker“.
    LG use wireless speaker
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. Next to “Bluetooth Device”, click the 3 vertical dots.
    LG click 3 dots
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. Activate the pairing mode in your Bose headphones by following the step-by-step guide above.
    2. Soon, your Bose headphones should appear under “Connectable Devices“. Select them when they do (don’t click on the name with an “LE” at the beginning).
    LG connectable devices
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant
    1. Headphones are connected when you get a “[*Bose headphones*] is connected” message at the bottom of the screen.
    LG headphones connected
    Source: YouTube/The Tech Giant

    How to Verify Bose Earbuds and Headphones are in Pairing Mode

    To verify your Bose earbuds and headphones are in pairing mode, observe the LED lights on the headphones/earbuds themselves. Some models also leave audible feedback.

    Visual confirmation

    Bose headphones and earbuds have an LED light(s) that blink (typically in blue) to indicate they’re in pairing mode. Models like Bose 700 or QC 35(II) have a dedicated Bluetooth light indicator.

    Audible confirmation

    Some Bose headphones (like Bose QC Ultra Headphones) play “Ready to connect” through the speakers when entering pairing mode.

    Bose Sport Earbuds earbud
    When setting newer Bose headphones in pairing mode, they give an audible confirmation.

    Connecting Bose Wireless Earbuds & Headphones After Pairing

    After pairing, a device remembers your Bose headphones when connecting the second time. However, it isn’t always that smooth. Let’s see what can happen.

    Automatic reconnection

    Usually, Bose headphones connect automatically to any device they’ve been previously paired to.

    • Enable Bluetooth on your device and turn ON your Bose headphones or take Bose earbuds out of the charging case.

    However, sometimes the automatic reconnection fails if you’ve paired your Bose Bluetooth headset to multiple devices or reset them.

    Manual reconnection

    In case your headphones don’t automatically connect, you need to reconnect manually.

    1. Enable Bluetooth on your device and turn your Bose headphones and earbuds ON.
    2. Go into your device’s Bluetooth settings to see all previously paired headphones.
    3. Find Bose headphones you want to pair to and click on them.
    4. The device should now reconnect to your Bose headphones.

    Remember to turn OFF Bluetooth on other devices. If your Bose headphones are already paired to a different device, you won’t be able to manually reconnect them to another one.

    You can check that by looking at the LED Bluetooth indicator:

    • Blinking light means pairing.
    • A solid light means connected.

    Troubleshoot Pairing Issues on Bose Headphones and Earbuds

    In case you have pairing issues with your Bose headphones, here are some troubleshooting ideas for the most common problems.

    Before you start, it’s necessary to know which device is actually causing problems: headphones or a device you try connecting your headphones to.

    • Try pairing your Bose headphones to a different device:
      • If your headphones manage to connect, there’s something wrong with your device.
      • If your headphones still fail to connect, there’s something wrong with your headphones.
    Bose Sport Earbuds true wireless earbuds
    Always check first which device is causing problems to avoid wasting precious time.

    Reenable Bluetooth

    The first thing to try is to turn Bluetooth OFF and back ON in both Bose headphones and the device.

    1. Turn your Bose headphones OFF, wait a few seconds, and turn them ON again. For earbuds, place them in the charging case and close and reopen the lid.
    2. In your device, find a Bluetooth toggle, switch it OFF, wait a bit, and turn it back ON.

    Low or empty battery

    When activating pairing mode, your Bose headphones and earbuds use a little more energy to beam their Bluetooth signal as “loud” as possible.

    Therefore, they need sufficient charge left in their battery. Here’s how you check their remaining battery:

    • Headphones: In models like Bose 700 or QuietComfort 45, a voice tells you the battery percentage when you turn your headphones ON.
    • Earbuds: Models like QuietComfort Earbuds and QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds have a voice prompt telling you the remaining battery level.

    The remaining battery is also roughly displayed via LED light color:

    • Solid white means full or at least medium charge (100%-34%)
    • Solid amber means low charge (33%-10%)
    • Blinking amber 2 times means a really low charge (below 10%).

    A glitch in the software

    Headphones and other devices can suffer from software glitches, which affect how a feature works.

    Glitches can be temporary or accidental, like when Bluetooth fails to boot correctly. Or they can be reoccurring, resulting from an error in code.

    • Resetting your headphones and the device helps solve temporary or accidental glitches.
    • Updating the firmware of your headphones and the device solves the reoccurring glitches.
      • To update your headphones or earbuds (without the app), connect them or the charging case to a computer with a USB cable. Go to Bose Updater to install any new updates.
      • To update your device, go into Settings and find anything related to “Software updating”.
    Bose Updater web app

    Malfunction

    If there’s something more seriously wrong with your Bose headphones or earbuds, their LED flashes are in amber and white colors.

    If that happens, Bose recommends to contact their customer support.

    How to Reset Bose Headphones & Earbuds

    Bose only has a few headphones, but all use a widely different approach to resetting. Some are really complicated, so try to follow the instructions correctly.

    We’ll cover how to (factory) reset:

    Bose QuietComfort 35(II)

    This one is quite confusing, so make sure to follow instructions closely.

    1. Disconnect Bose headphones from your device and remove them (and from the Bose Connect app).
    2. Slide the Power/Bluetooth button to the right and wait 10 seconds to clear out the Bluetooth device list.
    3. Power your headphones ON and then turn them back OFF.
    4. Wait 30 seconds.
    5. Plug them into a wall outlet as if you’re charging them.
    6. Wait 5 seconds.
    7. Unplug the USB cable from the headphones.
    8. Wait 1 minute.
    9. Your headphones are now reset.
    Bose QC 35

    Bose QuietComfort 45

    1. Remove your Bose headphones from your device (and Bose Connect app).
    2. Slide the Power/Bluetooth switch to the right and press the Action button on the side of the ear cup.
    3. Hold them both for 30 seconds or until you see the LED indicator blinking amber (for 2 or 3 seconds).
    4. Headphones are now reset.
    Bose QC 45

    Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700

    1. Unpair Bose headphones from your device (and the Bose Connect app).
    2. Before starting, ensure you have a USB cable ready to charge the headphones, but don’t connect it yet.
    3. Press and hold the Power/Bluetooth button.
    4. Simultaneously, with the other hand, plug the USB cable into the headphones. The power LED light should blink 2 times.
    5. Wait 2 seconds and release the Power/Bluetooth button.
    6. Your headphones are now reset.
    Bose 700

    Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones

    1. Remove your Bose headphones from your device (and Bose Connect app).
    2. Press and hold the Power/Bluetooth and Multi-function buttons simultaneously for 15 seconds.
    3. The LED light should blink white. Wait another 30 seconds for the light to blink amber for 2 to 3 seconds.
    4. Your headphones are now reset.
    Bose QC Ultra headphone

    Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds

    1. Remove your Bose earbuds from your device (and Bose Connect app).
    2. Ensure that the charging case is charging via a USB port.
    3. Place the earbuds into the charging case while leaving the lid open. You should see LEDs light up when placing the earbuds inside. Otherwise, push them down a bit to ensure contact with the pins.
    4. Press and hold the case button on the back for 30 seconds. After that, LEDs should blink in this order: 2x white, slowly blue, and nothing.
    5. You can release the button. LEDs should blink white 5 times and then continue to flash in blue.
    6. Your earbuds are now reset.
    Bose QC Ultra earbud

    Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

    These steps are also applicable to Bose Sport Earbuds.

    1. Remove your Bose earbuds from your device (and Bose Connect app).
    2. Ensure that the charging case is charging via a USB port.
    3. Place the earbuds into the case and close the lid.
    4. Wait 5 seconds and reopen the lid.
    5. Press and hold the case button between the earbuds for 30 seconds, then release it. 
    6. Looking at the LED light, it should blink, then blow white, and then blink blue.
    7. Your earbuds are now reset.
    Bose QC earbud

    How to remove Bose headphones and earbuds from the app

    When making a fresh factory reset, it’s recommended to also remove your Bose headphones and earbuds from the Bose app to fully set all settings to default. Here’s how you do that:

    1. In the Bose Music app, click on “My Account” (a circle avatar icon).
    2. Under Products, select “Manage Products“.
    3. Your Bose headphones should be under “My Bluetooth Products”. Tap on “Edit“.
    4. Tap on the circle next to your Bose headphones’ name to change it into a checkmark.
    5. Tap “Delete” on the upper left side of the screen.

    FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

    How do I pair my Bose wireless headphones?

    You pair your Bose wireless headphones by pressing and holding a dedicated Bluetooth button (or a button inside the charging case) for a few seconds until that the Bluetooth indicator blinks blue.

    How do I connect my Bose headphones to my iPhone?

    You connect your Bose headphones to your iPhone by turning the headphones ON and activating pairing mode. Then, enable Bluetooth in your iPhone and enter Bluetooth settings. Click on Bose headphones’ name when they appear in the “Other Devices” list.

    Why are my Bose headphones not pairing?

    Your Bose headphones aren’t pairing because they’re low on battery (charge them), have a software glitch (reset or update them), or are malfunctioning (LED blinking white and amber), which requires Bose support intervention.

    How do I pair my Bose QC35 headphones?

    You pair your Bose QC35 headphones by sliding the Power/Bluetooth knob to the right until you see the LED starting to flash blue. Alternatively, you can use the NFC to pair them instantly to your smartphone.

    Conclusion

    Hopefully, your pairing process went fuss-free, and you’re already enjoying your favorite songs or videos on your device.

    If you have any other technical questions (or troubleshooting solutions that worked for you), please let us know in the comments below.

    Here are other “how to pair” guides:

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