Bose Headphones Not Turning ON/OFF: Troubleshooting Tips

Get your Bose headphones back in action! Uncover expert tips to solve the not turning ON/OFF issue, and enjoy flawless audio once again.

Updated on: December 21, 2023

Ever faced the frustrating moment when your Bose headphones just won’t turn on or off? You’re all set for a relaxing music session or ready to dive into an audiobook, and suddenly, your trusted headphones let you down. Why does this happen, and what can you do about it? In this article, we’ll explore some common reasons behind this annoying issue and provide you with straightforward, easy-to-follow troubleshooting tips. No matter if you’re not tech-savvy or you’re someone who loves gadgets, we’re here to guide you through simple steps to solve the issue. Let’s begin the journey to troubleshoot and revive your Bose headphones effectively!

Bose Headphones Not Turning on or off

Your Bose headphones aren’t acting up without reason. Here’s a breakdown of potential issues:

  1. Battery Issues: Your headphones might need charging. Check if the batteries are low, damaged, or not charged.
  2. Firmware Updates: Incorrect firmware updates can cause problems. Ensure your update is compatible with your headphone model.
  3. Software Glitches: Issues might stem from the Bose software. Investigate for any software bugs.
  4. Power Button: If your headphones aren’t turning on/off, the power button might be stuck or broken.
  5. Hardware Problems: If all else fails, there could be a hardware issue, like a faulty circuit board.

How to Fix Bose Headphones not Turning OFF/ON

Now that you have diagnosed why your Bose Headphones are not turning off or on, you’ll be looking for the solution to this problem. 

Take a deep breath and bear with your Bose headphones for a moment. We’ll guide you through solving this issue.

Resetting the Bose Headphones:

The most popular IT hack for fixing any type of faulty gadget is to Reset it. So, that’s exactly what you’ll do to fix the problem of Bose headphones not Turning off/on. Now, the steps of resetting your headphones are a piece of cake. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Remove your Bose headphones from the Bose music app.
  2. Next, press and hold the Bluetooth button on your Bose headphones and plug in the USB charging cable while holding the button.
  3. Wait until you see two LED flashes on your Bose headphones.
  4. Remove the USB cable once you see the LED flashes. It means you have successfully reset your Bose headphones.

Resetting Bose QC 45/35 Headphones:

Resetting your Bose QC 45/35 headphones is a straightforward process. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Turn on your Bose QC 45/35 headphones. Press the Power button and look for the indicator light to confirm they are on.
  2. Slide the Power button towards the Bluetooth symbol and keep it in this position.
  3. While holding the Power button towards the Bluetooth symbol in place, also press and hold the noise cancellation button. You need to hold both buttons simultaneously.
  4. Maintain this position, holding both buttons, for approximately 30 seconds. Listen for a voice prompt from the headphones saying, “Bluetooth device list cleared.” This voice prompt is your indication that the reset process has been successful.
  5. After hearing the confirmation, release both buttons. Your headphones will now be in pairing mode, which is indicated by a blinking blue light.
  6. If your headphones were previously connected to a device, such as an iPhone, they will now show as ‘Not Connected.’ To re-establish the connection, go to your device’s Bluetooth settings.
  7. In the Bluetooth settings, you might need to select ‘Forget Device’ for your Bose QC 45/35 headphones.
  8. Once you have forgotten the device, your headphones should reappear in the list of available Bluetooth devices for pairing.
  9. Select Bose QC45/35 from this list to reconnect. Your headphones should now be paired again and ready for use.

If this method doesn’t work, you need to move to the next step for solving the problem with your Bose headphones.

Update the Firmware:

An incompatible firmware update can also result in your Bose headphones not turning on or off. So, in this case, you need to ensure that the firmware update you are installing is suitable for the specific model you’re using. Firmware updates will also fix other minor bugs and problems with the headphones you might face repeatedly.

No need to call for help! You can update the firmware yourself. In fact, the steps for updating the firmware are so easy that you can even do it with your eyes closed. Here’s how you can do it.

Through mobile:

  1. Install the Bose Connect App on your phone if you don’t have it already. 
  2. Check for the available updates for your headphones, and click on the download icon next to it.
  3. Once the file has been downloaded successfully, you’ll receive a notification about installing updates “Update.”
  4. Click on the Update button and wait for the Firmware update to install.

Through PC:

  1. Connect your Bose headphones to the PC using a USB cable.
  2. Go to the Bose Update website.
  3. Find the suitable update for your Bose headphones model and follow the instructions to download the file.
  4. Once downloaded, you may run the file to install the updates in your Bose headphones.

Following these steps will probably solve the problem of Bose headphones not turning on or off. However, if your headphones are more stubborn and the problem remains unresolved, proceed to the next step.

Charge your Bose Headphones:

Don’t tell me that you haven’t charged your Bose headphones!

If that’s the case, you must drop everything and plug in the charger. Your Bose headphones might not be turning on due to a low charge. Ensure they’re adequately charged before troubleshooting further.

Once you charge your headphones, try to turn them on again; the problem must have been resolved by now. However, you can proceed to the next step if you’re still facing the same issue.

Fix the power button:

Check the power button if your Bose headphones are still not Turning off or on. The problem might be with the power button causing the rebellious behavior. If the button is just stuck, you can take it out easily. Use a few drops of alcohol or a tissue to remove the dirt around the button, making it stuck.

Bose Headphones Power Button

However, you need to see a professional to fix the problem in case of a broken button.

Change the Adapter or Charger:

Problems sometimes come from sources that you do not even anticipate! The same is true in this case. If the adapter or charging cable of the Bose charger is faulty or damaged, your Bose headphones won’t charge and won’t turn on eventually, giving you trouble with turning ON the headphones. 

So, try replacing the charging cable or adapter to see if the problem is resolved. However, if the problem remains unsettled, you can proceed to the next step.

Disable the Auto-off button:

Auto-off is a feature for forgetful people who leave the headphones on for a long time without using them. However, it can also cause problems sometimes, like the one you’re facing now. 

So, what to do?

Simply disable this feature! Here’s how you can do it.

  1. Open the Bose Connect app on your device.
  2. Find Settings from the Menu and navigate to find Standby Timer.
  3. Next, Disable the Auto-off Timer from the menu.

It will prevent your Bose headphones from turning off. However, proceed to the next step if the issue remains unresolved.

Contact Customer Support:

If your Bose headphones are still not turning on or off despite trying all the above steps, then it’s time to contact customer support as your last resort. They’ll send in a professional to resolve this problem.

User Problems and Their Solutions

1. QC45 Won’t Power On After Firmware Update Problem: A user updated their QC45 headphones to the latest firmware version 2.0.4. The device worked fine initially but failed to power on the next day. Charging the device didn’t help, and there was no response from the ‘power/bt’ button. The LED light only showed activity when plugged into a USB-C port.
Solution: A user on the forum suggested a reset method:

  • Connect the small end of the USB cable into the USB-C port on the right earcup (without plugging into power).
  • Slide the Power/Bluetooth switch to the right and hold it while connecting the other end of the USB cable into a USB wall charger.

This solution was confirmed to work by multiple users.

2. Bose Headphones Not Working Problem: A user experienced issues with their Bose headphones not working properly, especially after replacing the battery.
Solution: Cleaning the conductors where the battery meets with baking soda and water using cotton buds or Q-tips. After cleaning, use an eraser on the end of a pencil to rub the conductors to remove any film. This method was confirmed to restore the functionality of the headphones.

3. Bose QC 45 Not Turning On Problem: The headphones were fully charged (white light indication), but they wouldn’t turn on.
Solution: One user suggested contacting Bose for a replacement, while another recommended trying both soft and factory reset methods.

4. Bose QC 45 Headphones Not Turning On Problem: The headphones stopped turning on and didn’t play the usual voice prompts.
Solution: A user suggested performing a soft reset, which resolved the issue for them.

5. Bose 700 Not Turning On Problem: After purchasing a pair of Bose 700 headphones, they stopped turning on and charging.
Solution: A user provided a reset method:

  • Disconnect all cables from the headphones.
  • Connect one end of the USB cable to a USB-A wall charger or computer.
  • Press and hold the Power/Bluetooth button while connecting the small end of the USB cable into the USB-C port on the right earcup.
  • Release the Power/Bluetooth button when the Bluetooth light blinks blue.

This solution was confirmed to work by multiple users.

6. Bose Headphones Won’t Charge Problem: The headphones were not charging. When plugged in, the battery indicator light would only stay on for a few seconds.
Solution: Cleaning the USB connector to remove any dust or debris. Another user suggested trying a different charger.

7. Bose NC700 Not Turning On or Charging Problem: The headphones were working fine but suddenly stopped charging and turning on.
Solution: The same reset method as mentioned for the Bose 700 headphones was suggested and confirmed to work by multiple users.

8. QC Earbuds 2 Not Turning On Randomly Problem: The earbuds would randomly stop turning on, requiring a weekly factory reset.
Solution: One user suggested placing the Bose earbuds in their case, closing the case, and then plugging it in to charge.

Time to have Fun!

If you’ve followed along, you should now understand how to address the issue with your Bose headphones. If you’re still facing problems, ensure you’ve gone through each step carefully. Your Bose headphones are your partner through all the ups and downs, enhancing your mood during highs and lows; they deserve the best treatment.

Just be patient, follow the steps and you’ll be able to understand the language your headphones are using to communicate with you.

If you’ve ever wondered why Bose headphones come with a higher price tag compared to other brands, it’s because they offer premium quality and advanced features. To understand more about their pricing, you can read our guide on why Bose is so expensive.

I’m Shaun Conroy, an audiophile & founder of HiFi Audios. Holding a Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering, I bring deep expertise in audio devices and offer insights & recommendations to fellow enthusiasts.

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