Why Won’t My Bose Headphones Connect to iPhone? (Explained & Solved)

Bluetooth pairing is not always as easy as tapping a button and waiting for your headphone and iPhone device to connect. Sometimes, you could hit a snag.

It is not unusual if you’re experiencing Bluetooth connection problems with your Bose headphones and iPhone. This pairing failure can result from outdated firmware, low batteries, too many paired devices, both devices are not within range, etc.

We will look at the causes in more detail and help you fix the problem so you can enjoy your Bose headphones and iPhone. Let’s get started!

Why Your Bose Headphones and iPhone are not connecting and what to do

There are two ways to connect Bose headphones to portable devices: Using the Bose Connect App or the standard Bluetooth connection method. We will explore both options and find out why your devices can’t connect.

Bluetooth is Disabled

Bluetooth must be enabled on your Bose headphones and iPhone before a connection is possible. You want to check and confirm that this is not why the devices aren’t pairing.

If the Bluetooth is enabled, consider switching it off, and now, start a new search to find your Bose headphones. This action might resolve the issue; if it doesn’t, try the next fix.

Too Many Paired Devices

Have you connected several devices to your Bose headphones recently? That could be responsible for your connection problems because the headphone is trying to choose which device to reconnect.

Clear the pairing list and attempt to reconnect your iPhone again.

Here’s how to clear Bose headphone pairing list:

  • Switch off your headphones. 
  • Slide and hold the power button until you hear the words “Bluetooth device list cleared,”
  • Go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone or audio device. Then, click on your Bose headphones and select ‘forget’ or ‘unpair.’
  • Turn on the Bose headphones again and try to connect.

Outdated Firmware

Apple and Bose regularly send updates to their products, and these software and firmware updates improve performance and stability.

Your headphone-iPhone connection problem could result from outdated software. What can you do? Check that you have the latest updates on both devices, and install an update if there is one.

For Bose headphones, updates should happen when you open the Connect App. If the app is unresponsive, try manually installing the update. Use the steps below:

  • Go to btu.Bose.com and follow the on-screen instructions. After that, open the app.
  • Connect your Bose headphones to your PC with your USB cable.
  • Click ‘Update now if any updates are available.
  • This should start the software installation for your headphones automatically. Allow it to finish before disconnecting your headphones.

To update your iPhone OS automatically, use the steps below 

  • Back up your device with iCloud or your computer.
  • Connect your phone to the internet via Wi-Fi.
  • Go to Settings > General, and tap Software Update.
  • If there are two software update options, select the one you want to install.
  • Tap Download and Install, then enter your passcode.

To update your iPhone manually with a computer, use the steps below:

  • Open iTunes on a Mac running macOS Mojave or earlier or on a Windows PC.
  • Connect your computer to your smartphone.
  • In the iTunes toolbar, click the device button.
  • Click Check for Update on the Summary tab.
  • Click on the Download and Update button. Follow the on-screen instructions to continue.
  • Enter your passcode if prompted.

Your iPhone Device Needs to be Rebooted

Generally, it helps to reboot gadgets from time to time. There is a chance that a restart will tackle whatever is preventing both devices from establishing a Bluetooth connection.

To do this, power off your iPhone and power it on again. Alternatively, you can restart the phone instead. Now try to pair your iPhone to the Bose headphones again.

If it doesn’t work, restart the headphones and attempt the connection again. Move to the next fix if this fails too.

Location Permission is Blocked

If the location permission for your Bose headphone is blocked on your iPhone, this could impede a Bluetooth connection. Ensure it is not blocked by going to Settings > Privacy > Locations services, and enable the option ON if it is off. 

The Bose Connect App is not up-to-date

The latest version of the Bose App is the best version; anything other than this could be the reason behind your pairing problem. Get the latest version of the app by visiting your app store, locating the app, and installing it. 

Bluetooth Permissions for iOS13 are not enabled

When you install the Bose Connect App for the first time on your device with iOS 13 or later, Apple will ask you to activate Bluetooth permissions. You will be unable to complete the setup if you select “Don’t Allow.” To finish the setup, make sure Bluetooth permissions are enabled:

On an iOS device, there are two ways to do this:

  • Scroll down to your app list in your device’s settings.
  • Tap Bose Connect
  • Enable “Bluetooth” under “ALLOW BOSE MUSIC TO ACCESS.”

Alternatively, go to Privacy > Bluetooth > enable Bose Connect in your device’s settings.

Your headphone is charging

Did you know that you cannot use Bose headphones while charging? Now you do! If you’re charging the headphones, disconnect them and attempt to pair them with your iPhone. If charging the device was the problem, you should be able to connect this time.

Connect App Cache

Cached data uses up your device’s active memory. An app will become “bloated” and bogged down over time if the cache data is not cleared. What’s the result? It could affect performance, and this includes Bluetooth connections.

Clearing the Bose Connect App allows you to make new Bluetooth connections.

How to clear the app cache:

  • Go to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage to begin.
  • From the dropdown list, choose Bose Connect.
  • Click Offload App 

The Devices are not within range

Every Bose headphone model has a maximum distance for pairing portable devices. If you go beyond that space or have obstacles like walls, doors, or clothing in-between the devices, you will have Bluetooth connection problems.

Ensure both devices are within range for a successful Bluetooth connection.


We hope you now know why your Bose headphones are not pairing with your iPhone and how to fix it. Try the appropriate fixes in this guide depending on your peculiar issue.

If you still can’t connect both devices, you might have a faulty device, which could be the headphone or iPhone. The best solution is to visit a technician or send the device to the manufacturer for repairs.

Jude is a music and headphone lover. He has tested and reviewed several audio listening devices and enjoys writing helpful tips and information for readers like you.