Bose Soundbar Remote Not Working? [Quick Fix Guide]

Are you having issues with your Bose remote?

We’ll help you solve it.

Most problems can be solved with a quick and easy fix. In this guide, we’ll look over some of the most common difficulties soundbar owners are faced with.

We’ll also give you a few helpful tips on resetting your Bose remote or using your soundbar without it.

Bose Soundbar Remote Not Working [How To Fix Guide]

Your system is connected to power, yet your remote just can’t seem to work?

Remotes, like many devices, face two main types of issues:

  • Connection problems. This means that your remote in itself is functioning but can’t seem to match with your device or devices.
  • Battery problems. If this is the case, there’s nothing wrong with your soundbar. Your Bose remote is what you’ll have to fix, usually by buying new batteries to replace the old ones.

We’ll go over the best ways to get past these problems and have your Bose remote working once more.

Step 1: How to fix pairing issues

Bose soundbars are controlled with a universal remote. In other words, this means you’ll get a standard remote that you could use to control your current soundbar or any other one you might have in the future.

As cool as this sounds, there is a flip side:

The connection between your remote and soundbar isn’t automatic.

In this section, we’ll look over how to reconnect your remote with your soundbar if you’re experiencing connectivity issues.

Connecting your soundbar to the Internet

First things first: you’ll need to connect your Bose soundbar to your Wi-Fi network. This is an unavoidable step to fix the issues with your remote.

To do so, download the Bose Music app on Google Play or the App Store. Next, add your soundbar to your app (your phone should automatically detect it), and then complete the “Wi-Fi setup”.

The list of nearby networks will appear on your phone. If your connection doesn’t appear, plug an ethernet cable straight from your router to your soundbar.

Pairing your remote for the first time

Once your soundbar is connected to the Wi-Fi and you’ve added your device to your phone, you’ll be set to get your remote working.

Select the soundbar you want to connect to your remote in the Bose app. Hit the “settings” button on the top right-hand connect. You’ll then see a header that will read “Universal remote”. Just below it, click on “advanced”.

Click on “pair new remote”. You will be asked to put the batteries in your remote and press and hold the “+” button.

A list of detectable remotes will show up. Presumably, you’ll only see one, unless you own multiple remotes. Pick your Bose remote. You should now be connected!

Syncing your remote without the Bose app

If you don’t own a smartphone, you won’t be able to follow these two methods.

But rest easy, you’ll still be able to pair your remote.

To do so, you’ll need to turn off your router for a few seconds to make sure your soundbar disconnects from your Internet network. Then, erase the pairing memory on both devices by pressing “-” and the left arrow key on your remote and holding power on button on your Bose soundbar.

Once that’s done, press the “+” button on your Bose remote. LED lights will blink to indicate that the remote has been paired. You can then switch your router back on.

Fixing interference issues

If your Bose remote is supposed to be connected, but you’re still experiencing certain difficulties, it may come down to a question of interference.

Ideally, you should be near your Bose remote and your Bose system when using your devices. If you’ve synced your remote with your TV, you should also remain fairly close.

You should also make sure there aren’t any conflicting signals causing your Bose remotes or sound system not to work. These signals can come from microwaves, LAN networks (often used for gaming), or Bluetooth devices.

Step 2: Fixing issues with batteries

If your remote isn’t working anymore, the problem might be coming from inside.

Depending on the model you own, the batteries for your Bose remote won’t always be the same. Some remotes use two or four AA batteries, while others function with CR2032 or DL 2032 types.

Regardless, removing and reinserting or replacing your batteries should be one of your first reflexes if you’re having issues with your device.

To get the most out of your batteries, replace your old ones with alkaline batteries. Batteries with zinc are often not powerful enough to support Bose remotes and will run out quickly.

Rechargeable batteries are always an option, but they run at a lower voltage than batteries with alkaline (1,2 volts VS. 1,5 volts). Lower voltage means that your remote may be unresponsive at certain moments.

Step 3: Common tricks to reset your devices

Your Bose system can be reset and fixed with a few common and simple tools like all electronic devices.

One of them is turning the power off and back on again, or plugging out and back in the power cord. As easy as it sounds, it can sometimes be the key to resolving an issue.

You can also look if a system update is required in your Bose app. Old software can always affect your setup and perhaps lead to your remote not working properly.

If nothing works within all these steps, you can always try for a hard reset. And in the unfortunate case where it just doesn’t seem to be working anymore, don’t sweat it: you can find a new, reasonably cheap remote to replace it with.

How do I reset my Bose Soundbar remote?

If your remote has been disconnected from your soundbar, you’ll reconnect it the same way you connected it the first time around.

However, there are a few slight differences to ensure a proper reset of remote:

Repairing your Bose soundbar remote

You’ll need to reset the pairing memory both on your soundbar and remote. On the Bose app, remove the remote from your list of devices. Then, press and hold the left arrow key and the “-” button for five seconds on your remote.

Once again, you’ll be asked to insert batteries, even if they’re already in your remote. All you’ll need to do is briefly remove then reinsert one of the four batteries. Hold the “+” button for a few seconds, and you’ll be good to go.

Erasing your remote’s memory

If you’re looking for a fresh start with your remote, here’s how to proceed:

  1. Press and hold the source button. The button will have a little sign resembling a TV screen for most remotes.
  2. You’ll then see 6 LED lights blinking on your remote. Again, these will be little drawings representing a TV screen, a musical note, Bluetooth connection, etc.
  3. On your remote, press the 9, 8, and 1 buttons in this specific order. Your remote should now be reset.

How do I use my Bose without a remote?

Have you lost your Bose remote?

Sadly, this will make using your multiple devices a whole lot more complicated.

The interface doesn’t offer you many possibilities to manage your device. It pretty much only allows you to turn your speakers on or off, or to disconnect them from other Bluetooth devices.

But it won’t be possible to repair your devices or even do something as basic as turning the volume up or down. Realistically, this leaves you with two options:

  • Buying a new remote and connecting it following the steps previously outlined
  • With the Bose app, using your smartphone as a remote control

Can I use my phone as a Bose remote?

A remote that fits in your pocket. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

With newer devices, you can now solely manage your speakers using your phone.

To do so, you’ll need to have been through all the steps we previously outlined:

Your soundbar will need to have been added to your Bose Music app.

All your devices have to be connected to your Wi-Fi Internet.

You can’t have any sort of pairing issues.

What you can do with your Bose music app

If this all checks out, then your phone will work almost perfectly as your new Bose remote.

You’ll have access to most of the key features:

Changing volume levels.

Choosing your audio source.

Powering on or off.

Grouping different audio devices.

Another cool perk to have in mind is that you can use multiple devices for your app. So if you own a Bose soundbar and a Bose smart speaker, both can be connected to your app and controlled simultaneously.

How do I program my Bose soundbar universal remote?

In a home theater setup, you’ll want your Bose remote to direct more than just your speakers.

If you program it correctly, you’ll be able to do much more than that, and essentially use your remote to manage your whole setup. A perfect way to keep things simple and remove clutter in your home!

Using an HDMI-ARC connection

When you buy a soundbar, you’ll have two ways to have it connected to your TV:

  • Using an optical cable
  • Using an HDMI-ARC connection

If you’re looking to manage your whole home theater using one remote, you’ll need to have CEC. A feature that only comes with HDMI.

Connecting your remote

CEC gives you the possibility to overlook many devices with only one remote, as long as all the different electronic items are connected with HDMI. This means the remote for one device will become the remote for all devices.

This technology can actually be used to control up to 15 electronic items.

Here’s how you’ll need to proceed:

  1. Make sure you’ve correctly paired your remote to your device. Otherwise, it won’t be possible to control your TV screen or projector.
  2. Get two HDMI cables. Run the first one from your TV screen or projector to the HDMI input port on your soundbar. Run the second cable from the soundbar’s HDMI “out” port to your screen.

Programming your remote for your home theatre

On many newer devices, the connection is automatic.

On your Bose remote, you’ll have six buttons, physical or touch, indicating your different sources. These include a Bluetooth device, a sound system, or a TV screen.

If the automatic connection worked, by clicking on one of the sources, all the buttons will be used for your device. That means you’ll be able to turn the power on or off, switch channels, raise or lower the volume, etc.!

But in certain instances, the automatic connection will fail. This can be fixed quite easily:

  • With your Bose remote, you’ll receive a codebook. Open it up and look for the name of the device you’re looking to sync with your remote.
  • Use your home theater system’s remote or press the power-on button.
  • Press and hold the “TV” symbol on your Bose remote until all the buttons on the remote are blinking or glowing.
  • Release. The “TV” symbol should remain switched on.
  • Enter the digits from the codebook which match your device. You should now be synced!


Your remote is an essential part of your home theatre setup. You’ll use it to control a bundle of devices. Their volume, changing channels, making an update…

Essentially, the remote is the centerpiece of your Bose system. Whether it be learning how to reconnect your TV, figuring out why it’s not working even though it’s connected, or figuring out what type of new batteries to get, this guide has covered all the ways to repair any common issue.

With a remote that works perfectly, you’ll now be set to enjoy your great Bose system and enjoy your film or audio experience!

Anita Jones