Bose Soundbar Troubleshooting, Step by Step Instructions

Bose soundbar not working – general troubleshooting process

Take a quick look at the following general steps first to make sure your bose soundbar is healthy and functional. The rest of the article will take care of more specific issues and step-by-step instructions on how to fix them.

1. Check proper cable connections

Make sure first that the soundbar is plugged in. If your soundbar isn’t functioning properly, disconnect all the cables and then reattach them one by one until you figure out which cable is causing the problem.

2. Make sure you have selected the correct source

If your soundbar is not connected to your desired audio source, you may not hear the sound from the right source.

The remote has four programming source buttons. You can use these controls to operate your television, cable/satellite receiver, gaming console, DVD or Blu-Ray Disc™ player, or any other source. You can change sources by pressing buttons on your remote control.

When CEC is enabled on a TV, the TV may auto­matically adjust the source when the power is turned on. Note that pressing source buttons on the remote have no effect on the TV input. It turns on the sound bar and changes the mode of its remotes so that they can be used for controlling the source functions.

3. Make sure of the proper state of the light bar

You want to see a solid black to make sure the WiFi or the Bluetooth connections are okay with no issues.

4. To be on the cautious side, make sure your Bose soundbar is at least 3 ft away from any possible interfering device such as a router, TV, cordless phone, microwave, etc.

If after the above-mentioned steps, you still have issues with your soundbar, check the following sections for your specific problem and related solutions.

Bose soundbar not turning on

1. Make sure your power cord is properly secured both to the AC outlet and your soundbar.

2. Make sure the power outlet is functional by plugging in another device and confirming that it works. If the outlet is controlled by a switch, make sure the switch is ON.

3. Make sure the buttons on your soundbar and remote control are all functional. If the buttons on your soundbar do not work properly make sure the soundbar is within around 33 ft from your Bluetooth device. Also, remove any possible obstacles between the soundbar and the Bluetooth device. If the buttons on the remote are not functioning properly, check the correct placement of the batteries inside the remote, or else, try new batteries.

4. If you still have issues after trying the steps above, your soundbar may need a reset. Take a look at the article written in detail about this on our website.


Bose soundbar not playing sound

1. Double-check to make sure various elements of your system are properly interconnected. For each connection, make sure the connection is correctly secured at both ends

2. If you have an HDMI connection, check the audio settings in the menu of the connected device. As an example, if you have a cable box or Blu-ray device connected to your soundbar through HDMI, check such devices’ menu for the audio settings. Some devices that send video over HDMI may have an option for ARC (Advanced Remote Control) or CEC (Consumer Electronics Control). If so, check if they’re enabled. If the speaker connects to the TV and to your Bose system via HDMI cable, check for these settings in both the speaker and TV menus.

3. Check for the volume level of the Bose system and make sure it’s turned down too much. You can perform this by gradually increasing the volume level.

4. Make sure the HDMI-CEC setting of your Bose soundbar is set correctly.

CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) is an advanced technology that allows audio devices connected via HDMI to communicate with one another. With that being said, given the large variety of brands and models of HDMI devices, it is likely that occasionally devices may not communicate as expected. If you are having technical issues with audio, video, or remote control operations when using HDMI connections, I would suggest you select a different Advanced CEC option in the Settings menu of your soundbar within the Bose Music app. In order to enable or disable HDMI-CEC functionality of the soundbar, in the Bose Music app, tap the Settings icon in the upper-right corner, scroll down to the Power section then select Advanced CEC. Then choose the options on or off to enable or disable the feature respectively.

5. In some circumstances, you may have more than one Bose system on the network. Make sure you have selected the correct one. In order to do so, In the Bose Music app, tap the My Bose icon in the upper-left corner to view the Bose Music products corresponding to your account. Tap your desired product to make the right selection.

6.  Power recycle soundbar by turning it off and turning it back on. Like every other electronic device, issues may arise after hours of operation, and a reboot often times fix such issues.

7. Reset your HDMI connection by following the following steps:

7.1. turn off your soundbar, the TV, and other audio sources if any.

7.2 unplug your soundbar, the TV, and other audio sources if any

7.3 disconnect and then reconnect the HDMI cables and secure them properly in place, and at both ends

7.4 reconnect the Bose soundbar, the TV, and other audio devices (if there are any)

7.5 turn on the TV and other audio devices (if there are any)

7.6 turn on your Bose soundbar right after the TV and other devices are powered up

8. Use an optical cable to replace the HDMI cable.

Because of incompatibility issues between different brands and models of audio devices, audio might not work properly or may work intermittently via HDMI. Disconnect the HDMI cable, then connect an optical cable between the soundbar and the TV. Note that, optical cables don’t transmit HDMI-CEC commands between devices so the remote needs to be reprogrammed. If you need to purchase an optical cable, we highly recommend this one.

9. If none of the steps above resolve your issue, you may need to perform either a soft reset or hard/factor reset on your Bose soundbar. The details of how to do that are described in a separate article on our website. Make sure to check it out.

Bose soundbar won’t connect to TV

First, you may take a look at this article to make sure you understand exactly how to connect your Bose soundbar to your TV.

As described in the above-mentioned article, your connection to your TV is either via cable (HDMI or optical) or Bluetooth. If you have a cable connection, the issue of not connecting may be resolved by disconnecting and then reconnecting back your cable.

If the case where you have connection issues due to Bluetooth, you may refer to the following section where the step-by-step process of the problem is explained.

Bose soundbar won’t connect to Bluetooth

1. Turn the Bluetooth feature off and then on, on the mobile device you are using

2. Now remove the soundbar from the Bluetooth list by deleting its name. Connect then back again using the following steps:

2.1 Press the Bluetooth button on your soundbar remote. As a result, the light bar should pulse blue

2.2 You should now turn on the Bluetooth feature on your mobile device. In most mobile devices (e.g. iPhone) this feature can be found in the “Setting” menu

2.3 From the list of devices, select your soundbar. In order to do so, Look for the name you entered for your soundbar in the Bose Music app.
In the absence of your naming the soundbar, the default name appears.

Once the connection is established, you hear a tone, and the light bar glows solid white then fades to black. You can now see the soundbar’s name appearing in the mobile device list.

3. Now Connect your soundbar to a different mobile device using the following steps:

Note that up to eight devices can be saved in the soundbar device list, although you can use these devices one at a time

3.1 On the remote, press the Bluetooth button and keep holding it until you see the light bar pulsing blue.

3.2  Make sure the Bluetooth feature on your mobile device is ON. Select now your Bose soundbar from the device list, on your mobile device

4. Check if the mobile device you are using is compatible with Bose soundbar.

5. Remove the Bose soundbar from your mobile device’s Bluetooth list. Connect again your soundbar to the Bluetooth device using the steps shown in items 2.1-2.3  above.

6. Clear the soundbar device list by following steps 3.1-3.2 above. Establish the connection between the soundbar and the device by implementing steps 2.1-2.3 above.

Bose soundbar won’t connect to WiFi

Here are a few things you can check/do to solve this problem:

1. To connect to a wireless network using the Bose Music app, first select the correct network name from the list, then enter the network’s password

2. Make sure Wi-Fi is enabled on the mobile device you’re using for setup.

3. Close other apps on your mobile device

4. Restart your mobile device and router

5. Some routers support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. If that’s the case for you, make sure both the device (mobile or computer) and soundbar are connecting to the same band. Giving a different name to each band would be helpful to make sure you implement properly this step

6. Reset the router.

7. Turn off the soundbar and optional bass module or surround speakers by unplugging their respective power chords. Now wait 30 seconds, and then firmly plug them back into the AC outlet. Uninstall the Bose Music app on your mobile device, reinstall the app, and restart the setup.

8. Connect to the network using an Ethernet cable

9. If connecting to a different network and the app doesn’t prompt you for setup, go to the main screen and add the soundbar.

Bose soundbar won’t connect to app

The following actions may help you overcome the issue:

1. check if your mobile device is compatible with the Bose Music app. Make also sure your mobile device is able to meet the minimum system requirements. For more information, refer to the app store on your mobile device.

2. Uninstall the Bose Music app on your mobile device then reinstall the app. In order to install, you simply need to download the app and then follow the app instructions to install.

3. Check that your mobile device and Bose product are both connected to the same wireless network. On the device running the Bose app, go to the Wi-Fi settings and check if the device is connected to the same network as your Bise soundbar. If the device and soundbar are not on the same network, the app won’t find your soundbar

Bose soundbar red light

If the light bar on your soundbar keeps flashing red, it has encountered an error. Trying the actions below may help overcome the problem:

1. Reset your soundbar.Check out the article on our website to learn how this is done.

2. Put the soundbar into recovery mode. If your Bose soundbar has become unresponsive during or after an update, you may need to put it into recovery mode.

3. If the steps above do not resolve the issue, try to do the update manually.


Bose soundbar remote not working

One or more of the following suggestions may resolve your issue:

1. Make sure there is nothing in between the remote and your soundbar that blocks their communication

2. Check to ensure you are not using batteries containing zinc for your remote. Such batteries are more to be used for lower-power devices. Just use alkaline batteries

3. It is highly preferred to keep the remote no further than 20 feet from your soundbar. This is the typical range beyond which the remote may not work, or may work intermittently

4. Reset your Bose soundbar. Check the related article on our website to learn how to do this.

5. Remove all possible other devices that may cause interference with your system. Laptop/phone charger, TV, cable box, seasonal lights, microwave/appliance, Bluetooth devices are some examples that may cause interference issues.


No sound from bose surround speakers or Bass module

Your issue may be resolved by trying one of the following steps:

1. Check and see if your bass module or surround speakers are compatible
with the Bose soundbar

2. Ensure you have the latest version of the software in the Bose Music app.

3. Adjust the bass level using the Bose Music app. You can do this using available options from the Settings menu

4. If none of the above works, use a different source

Soundbar doesn’t connect to a Bose SoundLink Bluetooth speaker or Bose headphones

1. Check to make sure that your speaker or headphones are powered on,

2. Note that the speaker and/or headphones are required to be placed within
30 ft (9 m) of the soundbar, and to be ready to connect to another device.


For additional options, you may want to also take a look at this article or maybe this one. You will find that troubleshooting of soundbars from different brands may be sometimes very similar. You can also this article about  Polk Signa troubleshooting.

Bose Soundbar Troubleshooting, Step by Step Instructions
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Bose Soundbar Troubleshooting, Step by Step Instructions