How to Connect Bose Headphones to a Mac

Pair your headphones via the Mac’s Bluetooth preferences

What to Know

  • Go to System Preferences > Sound > Bluetooth > Turn Bluetooth On.
  • Or in macOS 11 and later, select System Preferences (or System Settings) > Bluetooth > Turn Bluetooth On.
  • Long-press the power button on your Bose headphones to enter pairing mode and select Connect.

This article explains how to pair Bose wireless headphones with a Mac via macOS Bluetooth preferences. Instructions apply to Macs running macOS Catalina (10.15) and Mojave (10.14), but the process is similar in macOS Big Sur (11.0) and later.

How to Pair Bose Headphones to Macs

Use the Bluetooth preferences to set up and use any set of wireless Bose headphones with your Mac.

When pairing Bose headphones to macOS Big Sur (11.0), select System Preferences, then select Sound.

  1. Select System Preferences.

    System Preferences option from Apple drop-down menu on Mac
  2. Select Sound.

  3. Select Bluetooth.

    Bluetooth icon from System Preferences on macOS

    You can also access Bluetooth settings from the menu bar. In the upper-right corner of the screen, select the Bluetooth icon and then choose Open Bluetooth Preferences.

  4. Ensure Bluetooth is on. If it isn’t, choose Turn Bluetooth On to activate it.

    Bluetooth set to on in the macOS Bluetooth preferences dialog box
  5. Long-press the power button on your Bose headphones to enter pairing mode. You’ll know your headphones are in pairing mode when you see the blinking status light near the Bluetooth icon.

  6. Look for your headphones at the bottom portion of the Devices box and select Connect next to your device.

    Connect option next to an available wireless device from macOS Bluetooth preferences
  7. Find your Bose headphones listed at the top of the Devices box with the Connected message underneath the name.

    Connected message listed below a connected Bluetooth device from macOS Bluetooth preferences

    If you don't see your Bose headphones from the available devices list, turn Bluetooth off and on again on your Mac and re-enter pairing mode on your headphones.

Customize Bose Headphones Settings on Your Mac

Once you’ve connected your Bose headphones, you can customize system sounds and sound settings for your headphones.

  1. Select System Preferences, then select Sound.

    Sound icon highlighted from macOS System Preferences

    You can also get to this menu from the Bluetooth icon in the menu bar. Hover over the name of your Bose headphones under Devices and then choose Open Sound Preferences.

  2. From the Sound Effects tab, select the sound you’d like to receive for alerts. Highlight the name to select it and adjust the volume by moving the indicator on the Alert volume bar.

    Sound Effects options from the Sound settings on macOS

    To preview the sound, double-click the name of the sound effect.

  3. Select Output and use the toggle bars to adjust Balance and Output volume.

    Output options for connected devices from macOS Sound settings
  4. From the Input tab, adjust the input volume by moving the toggle left or right.

    Input volume settings for sound devices on macOS

    Double-click the microphone icons to turn the input level up or down. Ensure you don’t have the input level turned down entirely if you want to use the built-in microphone on your headphones.

How to Disconnect Bose Headphones From a Mac

If you use multiple pairs of Bose or Bluetooth headphones, it’s easy to switch between them. Disconnect the model you’re not using while still maintaining the pairing connection.

  1. In the upper-right corner, select the Bluetooth icon, then select Open Bluetooth Preferences.

    Open Bluetooth Preferences option from the Bluetooth menu icon
  2. Select and right-click the name of your connected Bose headphones and choose Disconnect. Your headphones will still appear in the top portion of the Devices list with Not Connected underneath it.

    Disconnect option from a connected Bluetooth device on macOS
  3. To reconnect, right-click the name and select Connect.

How to Unpair Bose Headphones from Your Mac

Whether you need to unpair due to connectivity issues or otherwise, the process is fast.

  1. Select System Preferences > Bluetooth.

  2. Go to Devices, select your headphones, right-click the name, and select Remove.

    Remove option to unpair a device from macOS Bluetooth preferences
  3. A dialog box appears confirming you will need to pair your headphones to use them again. Select Remove to confirm the deletion.

    Remove dialog box to confirm unpairing of a connected Bluetooth device on macOS

    Or, under Devices, highlight the name of your headphones and select the x icon next to the device's name.

How To Manage Bose Headphones in macOS 13 Ventura

Pairing, disconnecting, and otherwise managing your Bose headphones in macOS 13 is similar to previous operating systems, but some menu names and functions are slightly different.

To pair your headphones in macOS Ventura:

  1. In the upper-left corner, select the Apple icon,

  2. Select System Settings.

  3. Select Bluetooth.

  4. Ensure Bluetooth is on. If it isn’t, select the Bluetooth toggle to turn it on. You should also see Discoverable as your computer name when Bluetooth is active.

  5. On your Bose headphones, long-press the power button to enter pairing mode.

  6. At the bottom portion of the Devices box, hover your cursor over the headphone's name and select Connect.

  7. To disconnect your headphones, hover over their name and select Disconnect when it appears.

To change your headphones' settings:

  1. In the upper-left corner, select the Apple icon and select System Settings > Sound.

  2. Scroll down to Output and select the name of your headphones, then adjust Output volume and Balance to your liking.

  3. To adjust your microphone (if your headphones have one built-in), select the Input tab. Then choose your headphones from the list and adjust Input volume.

  • Is the Bose Connect app available for Mac?

    No. The Bose Connect app is only available for iOS and Android.

  • How do I reset Bose headphones?

    Reset your Bose headphones by powering them off for 30 seconds. Then, plug them into a USB power supply and wait five seconds. Next, unplug the cord from the headphones and wait one minute.

  • How do I clean Bose headphones?

    You can clean your headphones using a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe the outside surfaces. Use water and mild soap only, and don't submerge the headphones in any liquid. If debris gets into the headset earcups, use tweezers to carefully remove it.

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