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Sep 3, 2020

Bose Companion 5 not working with latest Mac OS

There are many threads over the Internet discussing issues with Bose Companion 5 when connected via USB to any recent version of Mac OS. I found no answer in those discussions, but I found a solution and I'd like to share it here. All the old threads are locked, so I can't post a reply, so here we are. Chances are you exactly know what I'm talking about if you found this page in your search engine results 😉

 

What was happening: My Companion 5 frequently stopped working after a little while of having the music paused, or when I switched audio outputs (think listening music via speakers, then making a call via headphones, then wanting to switch back to loud music via speakers - the second time no sound went out until I disconnected and reconnected the USB cable).

 

I am running a 16" Macbook Pro with all the latest updates. The issue occurred when the speaker was connected using a USB-C to USB-A dongle and then USB-A to USB-B cable.

 

All my issues disappeared when I used USB-C to USB-B cable without any dongles.

 

I currently have it connected to an USB-C port LG UltraFine and all the issues are gone.

 

This issue is being discussed on many places, including Bose and Apple community support forums and here. The common advice was to use the auxiliary input instead of USB. 

 

List of discussions I found with no answer:

 

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250468500

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/250406981

https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8113307

https://community.bose.com/t5/Home-Theater-Speakers-Archive/Companion-5-speakers-unstable-after-Mac-...

https://community.bose.com/t5/Home-Theater-Speakers-Archive/Bose-Companion-5-and-Mac-OS-Mojave/td-p/...

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/bose-companion-5-sierra-compatibility.2019013/