Why is the volume not changing on my Bose headphones?

Check the Volume Controls

The first troubleshooting step when your Bose headphones volume is not changing is to check the volume controls directly on the headphones. Locate the volume up/down buttons on the earcups or inline remote, and ensure they are not damaged or stuck in place (Source 1). Try pressing the volume up and down buttons several times to see if the volume changes as expected. The buttons may get stuck over time due to dust and debris buildup, so pressing repeatedly can help dislodge them.

If you have an inline remote on your headphones’ cable, inspect it closely to make sure the buttons are not faulty. The remote contains the volume controls as well as play/pause and call answer functions. If the inline remote seems broken or unresponsive, this could prevent the volume buttons from working properly (Source 2). An inline remote malfunction may require replacing the cable or remote module itself.

By checking the headphone hardware and buttons first, you can rule out any issues with the controls themselves before troubleshooting other potential causes. If the buttons are working, yet the volume still does not change, you will need to investigate connections, settings, and compatibility issues next.

Update Headphone Firmware

One common cause of volume issues with Bose headphones is outdated firmware. Firmware is the software that runs on the internal electronics of the headphones. Bose periodically releases firmware updates to fix bugs and improve performance of their headphones.

To update your Bose headphone firmware, first connect the headphones to your computer or mobile device via the Bose Connect app. Open the app, go to Settings, and check if any new firmware updates are available. Select “Download and Install” to update to the latest firmware version.

Many users have reported volume problems being fixed after updating to the newest Bose firmware. As an example, Bose investigated firmware complaints related to low volumes on the popular QuietComfort 35 headphones and released a firmware update to address the issue.

So if you are experiencing volume problems with your Bose headphones, connecting them to the Bose Connect app and installing any available firmware updates is a good troubleshooting step that could potentially resolve the problem.

Try a Different Audio Source

Before concluding that the issue is with your Bose headphones, test them across a few different devices and audio sources to narrow down where the problem lies. Try connecting your headphones to a smartphone, tablet, computer, and TV if available. Play audio from various apps, files, and sources on each device like YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, downloaded songs, system sounds to see if the sound level remains low on all of them.

For example, connect your headphones to a PC and play system sounds, then try playing a music file. If the volume is low in some sources but not others, the issue could be with an app or audio output configuration rather than the headphones themselves. However, if the low volume persists across all devices and audio sources tested, then the root cause likely lies with the headphones specifically.

This quick troubleshooting step can determine whether the problem follows the headphones themselves or a certain device/audio setup before investing time in more advanced solutions. Narrowing down the scope early on makes fixing the issue much more straightforward.

Reset the Headphones

Resetting your Bose headphones to their factory default settings can often resolve issues with volume and other functions. The steps to reset vary slightly across Bose models:

  • On most over-ear Bose headphones like the QuietComfort 35, you hold down the power button for 10-15 seconds until the headphones reset.
  • For in-ear models like the SoundSport, press and hold the Bluetooth and volume + buttons simultaneously for 10+ seconds.
  • Some headphones like the Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 have a reset button located next to the power button. Press and hold this reset button for 10 seconds using a paperclip.

Refer to your owner’s manual or the Bose website for your specific headphone model’s reset procedure. Resetting clears any paired devices and restores volume, noise cancellation, and other settings back to their factory defaults.

Check Audio Output Settings

One potential reason for volume issues on your Bose headphones could be incorrect or disconfigured audio output settings on the source device. Ensure that on your phone, tablet, laptop or other audio source, the sound settings are properly configured and the output is set to transmit audio over Bluetooth to your Bose headphones.

To check this, refer to the user manual or online support documentation for your source device. Typically there will be device sound or audio output settings which allow you to toggle between playing audio over built-in speakers or discreetly transmitting to Bluetooth headphones, like your Bose set. Make sure the headphones or Bluetooth option is selected.

Often changing between audio outputs can solve intermittent issues, so toggle those settings off and back on a few times. Try changing the headphones/speaker output back and forth between listening modes. This may reset Bluetooth connectivity or clear up any glitches in the audio transmission to your Bose headphones.

If the audio source device is functioning properly in every other way, correctly configured sound settings driving output to your headphones should resolve any low, inconsistent or distorted volume issues.

Test the Headphone Cable

If your Bose headphones have a detachable audio cable, try switching to a different cable to see if that resolves the volume issue. Make sure the cable connections at both ends are secure and free of debris. Also check any cable extenders you may be using.

You can use a multimeter to test the continuity of the headphone cables and determine if there are any breaks that could cause volume problems. First set the multimeter to test resistance/continuity. Then touch the red probe to one end of the headphone cable connector and the black probe to the other end, while someone else holds the cable. A good reading indicates continuity. Repeat this process while wiggling the cable to see if there are any intermittent breaks.

You can also try connecting your Bose headphones with the problematic cable to another audio source device like an MP3 player. If the issue persists, then the cable is likely faulty and should be replaced. If the volume works fine, then the problem lies with the original audio source device.

Clean the Headphone Ports

One reason the volume may not be working properly is because dust, lint, or debris has built up in the headphone ports. Over time, particles can accumulate and cause connectivity issues.

Use short bursts of compressed air to try clearing out any dust or dirt inside the ports. Refer to the user manual on how to best clean the specific headphone model you have. Take care not to blow air directly on the internal components. According to the site Bassjoint, cleaning headphone ports can help resolve buzzing and audio issues caused by debris buildup.

While cleaning, inspect the ports for any visible damage like bent pins, cracks, or missing pieces. Damaged ports can prevent a solid connection for transmitting sound. If you see significant wear and tear, it may require replacing parts or purchasing new headphones instead.

Contact Bose Support

If the issue with your Bose headphones persists after trying the troubleshooting steps above, you may need to contact Bose support for additional help. The Bose support site has several options to get assistance:

Phone Support: Call 1-800-899-2673 to speak with a Bose representative for troubleshooting help over the phone. Support specialists are available Monday-Saturday from 8am-8pm EST.

Live Chat: Start a live chat on the Bose support site to get real-time troubleshooting from a chat agent.

Warranty and Repairs: Ask the Bose representative about warranty coverage for your headphones. They can review warranty status using the serial number and help arrange for any needed repairs or parts replacements.

Additional Troubleshooting: Explain your situation and headphones issue. Support can provide customized troubleshooting suggestions based on your specific headphones model and situation.

Consider Replacement Parts

As headphones get older, parts like ear pads, cables, and headbands can wear out and may need replacement. Fixing your headphones with genuine replacement parts is often less expensive than buying a whole new headset.

Bose sells a variety of replacement parts like ear pads, headbands, and cables for many of their headphones models on their website (https://centralsound.co/collections/bose-headphones-replacement-parts). You can also find Bose parts from authorized resellers like Amazon.

Before ordering, you’ll want to determine exactly which parts need replacement on your headphones. Check for cracking or peeling on ear pads, exposed wires on cables, loose hinges, etc. Refer to the headphones manual or contact Bose support if you need help identifying worn parts.

Replacing just the broken parts can often restore your headphones to like-new performance. And it’s less wasteful than throwing the whole headset away. Just make sure to buy authentic OEM parts to ensure proper fit and function.

Buy New Headphones

In some cases, the volume not changing issue can persist and remain unresolved even after trying multiple troubleshooting steps. Hardware parts that control volume, including amplifier circuits and charging, can degrade over time, causing the headphones to fail. You need to buy new headphones if:

  • The headphones are out of warranty.
  • Spare parts are not available or are too expensive.
  • Technician repair is too costly or unfeasible.

Consider purchasing a new pair of Bose headphones or a comparable alternative brand such as Sony or Sennheiser. Some models to consider are:

  • Bose QuietComfort 35
  • Bose 700
  • Sony WH-1000XM4
  • Sennheiser HD 4.50 BTNC

These headphones offer updated Bluetooth connectivity, noise cancellation, audio drivers, and volume controls compared to older models. Make sure to choose headphones that suit your needs and budget. Ensure the headphone vendor has a good return policy in case you experience problems.

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