Jan 9, 2020
My QC 35 II are pairing and working fine on windows 10. However as soon as I'm trying to use anything that involves the microphone (like discord or skype) I will only hear a static noise that is overwriting all other audio. I tried almost every possible fix already but I can't seem to make it work. Any advise would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your post and welcome to the Bose Community.
I'm really sorry to hear that you're experiencing some issues with your QC35 II's audio quality when using some services on your Windows 10 device.
What kind of audio are you trying to listen to at the same time as using these applications?
Charlotte G - Community Support
There is a very noticeable static hiss or high-pitched whine sound when my QC 35 ii headphones are connected to a computer through bluetooth. I've tried both a mac (running Catalina) and a PC (running Windows 10). This happens whether the headphones are connected only to the computer, or to multiple devices.
The sound seems related to the headset's mic. If I go into the Bose Connect app on my phone and set "Self Voice" to high, medium, or low, the sound is a static hissing noise. If I set "Self Voice" to off, the static turns into a high-pitched whine. This doesn't happen when the headphones are connected only to my phone. It only happens when using a computer.
Normally I'd assume I have a faulty headset, but I've seen similar posts so it's not an uncommon issue. The only "workaround" I've been able to find is to change the sound settings to use the computer's internal mic instead of the headset's mic, which renders the "wireless" aspect of the headset pointless.
Bose product name
QC 35 ii
What devices were you using that were affected and what version are they on
Macbook Air running Catalina
Dell laptop running Windows 10
Detailed description of the issue and steps to reproduce
Connect headphones to laptop through bluetooth.
Use any program that uses the microphone (e.g. Discord).
On my Mac, this will immediately cause a loud static hiss or whining noise through the headset.
On Windows, this doesn't always happen right away.
Using the Bose Connect app on my phone, change Self Voice settings. High, medium, and low will all create static. Off will create a high-pitched whine.
As soon as I make any change to Self Voice, the headphones will start making the hiss/whine sound if they weren't previously doing it.
None of this happens if the headset is only connected to my phone and not to a computer.
What environment do you experience the issue in? (e.g. noisy office, quiet kitchen, etc.)
When did you start to experience the issue? Did it work correctly previously?
New headset (~6 weeks), has always had this issue.
Any troubleshooting steps you took
Updated firmware through Bose Connect app. Disconnected and reconnected to both computers through bluetooth. Rebooted computers. Tried closing all other apps on computer. None of this fixes the issue. Switching to the computer's internal mic, or using the audio cable (which disables the headset mic) gets rid of the sound, but these aren't great workarounds for a wireless headset.
It's interesting that the static sound becomes a whine when you turn you set self-voice to off, that's really strange. It's also odd, that you only get this while using the headphones with your computer, and not any other devices while using the microphone!
When you have self-voice on, the headphones will play audio from outside the headphones back into the ear cups, so you can hear yourself talk while using the microphone as this gives a more natural experience while talking. It is possible that the hiss you are hearing could be the noise floor of the microphones if it is only very quietly audible in the ear cups, this sound would not be loud. There isn't any reason why turning off self-voice should cause a whine though if this is the sound you are hearing.
As you mentioned you have updated the headphones, have you also updated the Bluetooth drivers on your computers? If these are outdated they could be causing issues when connected to the computer so it would definitely be worth updating them. The drivers can usually be installed from the manufacturer's website.
I would also recommend resetting your headphones by following the steps shown HERE as well.
Let me know how you get on!
Thanks for the feedback, Keith!
My mac is fully updated, but I can't update the bluetooth drivers on my PC because it's a work computer. It should be kept up to date by IT, though.
I tried the headphone reset you linked, but nothing changed. I'm still having the issue. I did a bit more testing, and the sound only shows up when I try to use the mic. If I go into Discord or Skype and test the mic, I get the whine/hiss. Same if I go into the computer settings to test the mic. It doesn't matter if I'm speaking or not, and there is almost no external noise in this room.
When I'm not actively trying to test mic and I'm just listening to music from the computer, there's no hiss or whine and it works fine.
I don't think it's a noise floor thing because it's very noticeable, doesn't vary if I change the volume, and doesn't appear at all when using the mic with my phone (regardless of Self Voice setting).
Any other thoughts I could try?
Hi anthimeria, thanks for the update!
As it is only happening when using the mic on your computer, it does sound like it is related to how the headphones are working on the headset Bluetooth profile. As this will be the same Bluetooth profile used when using the mic on your phone as well, it's strange that you are not hearing the sound when using the mic on your phone as well.
Did you perform the reset of the headphones that I recommended in my earlier post? If so, have you heard any difference in the sound since resetting the headphones?
I would also recommend completely clearing the Bluetooth pairing between the headphones and the computers. To clear the pairing list on the headphones, turn them on, then slide and hold the Bluetooth/power switch to the Bluetooth symbol for 10 seconds until you hear a notification. You'll then need to forget the headphones from the Bluetooth device lists on your computers, before re-pairing the headphones to the computer.
Once you've re-paired the headphones, test them with the calling apps and let me know if you still hear the sound!
I did do the reset you linked to, but it didn't change anything. I've also tried several times to clear the BT pairing on both ends, as you described, but that didn't change anything either.
I also tried pairing the headphones to a third-party BT dongle to see if that would help, and it helped a little, but not fully. The whining became much quieter, but still noticeable compared to the absolute silence I usually hear through the headphones when connected to my phone.
Any other suggestions?
@anthimeria, it may be down to the Bluetooth hardware/software being used by the connected device. Have you also checked that the ear cushions are securely seated? This will help check that feedback isn't being incorrectly fed back into the headset causing interference. 😊
I checked the ear cushions, and they seem secure as far as I can tell. I suppose it could be the software/hardware, but I have another bluetooth headset that I've used just fine with my computer, with no strange noise whatsoever. So it's not just that my computer's bluetooth is somehow faulty.
I should mention, I've tried turning off the noise cancellation in addition to and separately from Self Voice, but that doesn't change anything.
Thanks for getting back in touch.
Have you tried disabling the Automatic Gain Control feature on Discord to see if this helps performance? There are other feature you may wish to disable to check if they affect the quality of the headphones. Echo Cancellation, Noise Reduction are worth checking.