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Dec 3, 2015

QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

I've got a problem with my QC35 (original series 1) headphones. They disconnect immediately from my Late 2014 Retina 27" iMac (once an app requests to use the microphone (i.e. Microsoft Teams). They work fine for audio playback from the Mac; it's only when the computer requests mic access that they disconnect.

 

Specifically, when the computer activates the mic on the QC35s, there is a pop in the headphones and the noise cancelling turns off, then the headphones announce the source (iMac) has been disconnected, and then it says it can't find the mobile device. 


I've done a lot of troubleshooting:

  • have updated the firmware to 3.0.3;
  • have downgraded to the previous firmware;
  • have updated to 3.0.3 again;
  • have cleared the bluetooth source list and re-paired;
  • have rebooted them with the 5 seconds connected to power then unplug and wait 1 minute method;
  • this past week I even did a full clean install of MacOS Catalina (10.15.4) on a new partition on my Mac to see if a totally fresh install of the OS would fix it
  • I've tried the default MacOS bluetooth settings, as well as changing the settings in Bluetooth Explorer (i.e. Current/Initial bitpool 40, Minimum bitpool 2, Maximum bitpool 64). 

Unfortunately none of these things have fixed the problem.

 

Several interesting differential diagnostic points: 

  • The QC35s work fine with the microphone when being used with my iPhone.
  • I also have Soundlink II headphones (running 3.0.3 firmware) as well and they do not have the problem with the iMac.
  • The QC35s do not have the problem on my 2019 MacBook Pro, running the same version of MacOS etc.  The 2019 MacBook Pro has Bluetooth 5, while the iMac has 4.0, but that shouldn't be a problem as the QC35s themselves used Bluetooth 4.2 (as do the Soundlink IIs).

 

Does anyone have any suggestions?   Or, do you use your QC35s successfully on an iMac with microphone? 

 

I see a lot of threads on these forums around this issue, so I assume it is a software issue that is unresolved by BOSE so far, but I'm hopeful that these very expensive headphones won't have to be consigned to the dustbin.  I don't think I'd be able to buy BOSE again given this problem (and I see people are having similar issues with QC35 II and NC700s). 

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

@Charlotte_G from the BOSE team kindly sent me a PM but I'm unable to reply because for some reason it says her account is not enabled for PMing. So I'm copying her PM here and replying... 

 

Hey @DanMelbourne,

 

Thanks for reaching out to the Bose Community! 

 

Sorry to hear you're experiencing this issue with your QC35's and your iMac. You've been through some great testing that will really help with this matter, which is certainly a weird case. 

 

All the basic steps have pretty much been covered. There is one thing I'd like you to try and that's resetting the Bluetooth module on your iMac. The following steps will walk you through this:

  1. Hold down the Shift and Option keys, and then click the Bluetooth menu item.

  2. Once the menu is displayed, you can release the Shift and Option keys.

  3. The drop-down menu will be different, now showing a few hidden items.

  4. Select Debug, Remove all devices.

  5. Now that the Bluetooth device table is cleared out, we can reset the Bluetooth system.

  6. Hold down the Shift and Option keys once again, and click on the Bluetooth menu.

  7. Select Debug, Reset the Bluetooth Module.

 

Please let me know if this changes anything when connecting your headphones.

 

-------

 

My reply...

 

Thanks for reaching out Charlotte. I followed that procedure but unfortunately after re-pairing the QC35s, they still exhibit the same behaviour of disconnecting from the Mac instantly when the Mac requests microphone access.

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

I'm having the exact same issue! Thought I was going crazy as I couldn't find any other thread of the same.

 

I believe that this is a Bose issue as I have tried this on multiple Macs (I'm an IT Technician and have access to lots) and other headphones don't behave the same, for example, Airpods. 

 

I have attempted most of the troubleshooting you have also.

 

Please enter a solution on here if you get one, I will be very grateful as I love the quality of the headphones, just wish they would function properly for calls (Hangouts, Zoom etc)

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

Hello DanMelbourne and jdpegg9,

 

Thanks for getting back in touch.

 

is the issue only happening on Macs? Do you have success using the headphones with other devices? If so, please try the following: 

 

From your keyboard press (Shift + Option/alt keys and click on the Bluetooth icon at top Mac’s menu bar) 
On the Bluetooth menu, you'll see 'Debug' hover over that.
Click 'Reset the Bluetooth module'
 

Give that a try and let me know how you get on. 

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

I have tried resetting the Bluetooth module on the iMac but it didn't fix it unfortunately.

 

I tried pairing the QC35s to a Dell Windows 10 laptop and they work fine, as expected, when the mic is activated. 

 

They also work fine on my newer 2019 model MacBook Pro. 

 

So it points to a compatibility issue between the QC35s and the Bluetooth in the late-2014 iMac perhaps? 

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

Bose peeps? Any more ideas? The fact that my Soundlink IIs perform perfectly makes me think it's not an issue with the Mac...

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

Well, after years of loving Bose stuff, I have to say with no solutions forthcoming for my QC35s, I won't be buying Bose headphones again. It's really sad because they have great sound, but the software compatibility is just an ever-growing problem for Bose, it seems. 

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Re: QC35 disconnects immediately from Mac when microphone is activated

Thanks for updating us on this DanMelbourne. 

 

I'm deeply sorry it took some time for our team to reach back out to you. As you have attempted all steps we would recommend for an issue like this,  I would highly recommend getting in touch with our customer service team via clicking this link, then kindly scroll and select your region, once this is done please scroll to Contact Us. The team will be on hand and ready to help.

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