I have connected these headphones to two other devices, and it does not cause the same problem as with my Pixel 3. Neither device has its notification handling changed in any inappropriate way.
Device 1: Google Pixel (1)
Android security patch level: July 5 2018
Build number: OPM4.171019.021.P1
Device 2: Galaxy Tab S2 (9.7 LTE)
As the Pixel (1) OS is out of date, I am now allowing it to download the latest version of Android (Pie) and will test it again afterwards, however it will take a long time to do that.
I have completed updating the Pixel (1) to the current version of Android (9)
After the update, the error DOES happen - Connecting the QC 35 II to this phone causes the same type of error, where notifications become 'media'.
The problem appears to be specific to Android Pie, at least by my testing so far.
May 31, 2019
Just got these headphones a week ago. I made an account just to comment on this and confirm this is happening on a Pixel 2 XL and is making me want to return them already. Even though I know it's a software issue that can be patched I have been burned by other companies far too many times and if it doesn't work from the box well... why did I spend 500$ then haha. Hopefully this gets fixed for you guys, I'd love to keep them but this is just really annoying.
I noticed when connected to the headphones it will automatically start making the notications do what you guys are depicting and persist after connecting. But it doesn't just chirp in my headphones disrupting my music, it also chirps very loudly as if I was on full blast ringer which is not favourable
Thank you for all your feedback and thank you to @robmcdowell for extensively testing it is very helpful. I will pass this information on to the development team for you.
I hope this helps, should you need anything else please get in touch.
Have a great day!
Zoe C - Community Support
Jun 1, 2019
Experiencing the same exact issues on my Galaxy S9 running the latest Android 9.0 update. Seems to also be the case with other Android phones.
I'm not sure which party is the one that needs to resolve this issue, but for a pair of $350 headphones, I would hope Bose has a keen interest on having their devices compatible with the latest flagship Android phones in the market whether it's an internal software update or collaborating with Google/Android. I've raised this directly issue with Samsung but I'm not sure if that will go anywhere.
Firstly, I ought to say thanks to Rob; your posts look to be about as comprehensive as could be hoped. I created an account here to post about these issues, but just skimming through now I see it's possible that it's mostly been covered. I've been experiencing similar problems, perhaps for a couple of weeks, but only just started posting about it in the last few days on the Galaxy Note9 subreddit. It seems to be a common problem there now, though I haven't yet found a fix. [I should state up front that, from what I've read on the Note9 sub, this also appears to affect some Sony wireless headphones.]
I'll add some basic info on the devices I've used with my QC35 IIs, but mostly reiterate some of what I've posted elsewhere on this topic and add points of differentiation if necessary.
The device I've had problems with is a Galaxy Note9 running Android 8.1. As far as I can tell from other posts by Note9 users on this, it's also affecting Notes running Android 9 and a variety of different security patch versions. It also - perhaps crucially - appears to be affecting other brands and types of wireless headphones. For that reason I thought the problem might be related to a relatively recent common app update or a change in Bluetooth device interaction. A change to a common app or system feature used across multiple versions of Android seems plausible, though I haven't been able to identify a cause.
For me the issues begin as soon as the QC35 IIs are switched on and connect over Bluetooth to the phone. What I noticed first and foremost was my default notification sound incorrectly playing alongside the distinct notification sound I had selected for a given app. Any app-specific notification sound I had selected would now either not play, being replaced by the default sound, or the phone would play both notification sounds together. It seems that this default notification only plays if media volume is turned up. I've also experienced some selected per app notifications echoing or playing at least twice, with or without the aforementioned default sound thrown in. If the QC35 IIs are then disconnected the problems will persist even through the phone's speakers or with other headphones that were previously fine. Only rebooting seems to correct it, until such time as the headphones are paired with the phone again. [I've tried unpairing the QC35 IIs, deleting the app, installing older versions of the app, or re-pairing the headphones. Notification sounds start glitching just as before as soon as I reconnect to the QC35 IIs.]
I booted the phone into Safe Mode, connected the QC35 IIs, and notification sounds seemed to be functioning as expected, [unlike what Rob reported] though I couldn't consistently find a way to test a wide range of app notifications in Safe Mode. Possible improvement again led me to think that this might be caused by an interaction with an app or service common to multiple versions and devices, [as mentioned, we're running different OS and security patch versions, and I've also read reports of users experiencing these problems with other wireless headphones.] Having seen Rob's post now I might put it into Safe Mode again and check notifications where possible to see if it's still an issue there.
Some additional info on devices:
I also use the QC35 IIs with an iPad and a laptop running Windows. Thus far I haven't noticed similar issues with either of those, though obviously given the difference in OS on all three, they handle notifications and sound profiles in markedly different ways.
The only way I've found that I can use the QC35 IIs with my Galaxy Note now [and not affect notifications] is to wear them wired and unpaired. That doesn't allow for use of any controls or features.
Apologies for any repetition or otherwise redundant info, but thought it'd be best to give as full an account of my experience of the issues as possible. If there's anything else I can add to, please let me know.
Thanks for your addition. If I am correct you are the first person to report this problem in a version of android before 9.0 which is interesting. I would have expected that it was something specific to 9.0 that was allowing this corrupting behavior, but clearly not.
I didn't think to test what happens if there are custom notification sounds per app - all of mine use the stock 'default notification sound'. Also, I find it strange that Safe Mode fixes the problem for you. That's interesting too.
Otherwise this sounds the same (or very similar) to what I have experienced. Hopefully these notes help the development team find a solution.
The more I think about it the weirder this glitch is - By what logic should it even be possible for the mere connection of a BT device cause changes in the way the system handles notifications? I can imagine a rogue app on a rooted phone causing this issue, but it's bizarre that just connecting a device can cause this kind of change. And doubly so considering that these headphones are considered premium-quality.
Jun 2, 2019
I have exactly the same problem. It's very frustrating.
Whenever I connect the Bose QC35's to my phone via BlueTooth it disregards my "silent" settings and starts sending me default notification sounds. What's troubling is that it not just does it through the headphones but overrides the phone even when the headphones are disconnected. The only way to silence my phone is to restart it. Given I use the headphones twice a day (morning and evening commute) this is a frustrating bug.
I have all default sounds on my phone, nothing special or customised.
BOSE - Please fix this ASAP!!! It's very clear there is a problem. Those of us here are the ones who could be bothered reporting it. You'll have a LOT more unhappy customers out in the field.
What worries me the most is that Bose somehow has enough access to our phones to make changes. That's not right. You shouldn't have that kind of permissions.
Checking back in, having now tested the headphones again with the Note in Safe Mode. The key point is that the problems are still there in both modes; it just took slightly longer for me to confirm that.
I'll add detail on my fairly simplistic process in this. Prior to booting into Safe Mode I re-paired the QC35 IIs and immediately received Google notifications prompting me to finish setting up the headphones. Heard the default notification sound play just before the custom set Google sound. As previously mentioned, that's the primary indicator of the glitch that I've listened for.
After booting into Safe Mode I again received the same Google notifications, but this time it was just the custom sound playing, albeit echoed. I think that repeated sound is another indicator of the problem, but I wanted to replicate the default notification incorrectly playing in order to be sure that it was occurring in Safe Mode. I attempted to initiate some app updates - I've set a custom sound for app downloads, and since these problems started the default notification sound usually overrides the correct sound. In this instance my custom sound played, without any sign of the default. Eventually settled on having some texts sent to the phone, and that consistently replicated the incorrect playing of the default sound at the same time as my custom text sounds.
Lastly, thought it might be worth mentioning the other headphones I've seen recent reports of issues with. The Sony WH-1000XM3 over-ear headphones also appear to have developed the same sound profile and notification problems. Thought that info might be useful to anyone investigating this, specifically if you're familiar with any potential common faults across headphones in interactions with Android sound profiles or Bluetooth connections. I don't have other over-ear wireless headphones myself, though I do have a completely different pair of wireless in-ear buds that seem to be working fine. That being the case, while it's apparently not an issue across the board with Bluetooth connections, there does look to be something altering notifications from the moment a device pairs that reaches different ranges of headphones.