How to Fix It When Bose Speaker Won’t Turn On

The most common reason your Bose speaker won’t turn on is that the battery is dead and must be charged. But you also might be dealing with a broken charging cable, software issues, or several other problems. 

My name is Donovan, and I love everything about audio. I am a musician and producer and have dealt with many different speaker brands over the years. I know through first-hand experience How to troubleshoot many common problems. 

This post will explain some of the most common reasons why your Bose speaker won’t turn on. I’ll also provide you with a quick fix for each issue to help you get your speaker working correctly again. 

Let’s get rolling. 

Key Takeaways

  • The most common reason why your Bose speaker won’t start is because of a dead battery. You need to plug the speaker in and wait for it to charge enough to power on. 
  • You also might be dealing with a broken charger cord or charger. If you plug the speaker into a power source and nothing happens, this can be the case. 
  • You should also check that the electrical outlet you have the speaker plugged into is turned on. 
  • You can try to reset the speaker if it doesn’t turn on to rule out the possibility of a bug or glitch with the system. 
  • In a worst-case scenario, your speaker might be broken and unable to turn on at all. You should contact Bose customer service if this happens to see if your product is under warranty. 

8 Reasons Why Bose Speaker Won’t Turn On

A speaker that won’t turn on is not fun to deal with. Whether you are using your Bose speaker to listen to music, TV, movies, or anything else, you want it to work properly every time you try to power it on. 

Typically there is a quick and easy solution for your speaker not turning on. Most of the time, this reason concerns your battery life or power source, which mainly applies to Bose wireless speaker models. 

If you are using an older Bose speaker or one that is hard-wired to your receiver or audio system, the problem is most likely with your stereo setup rather than with the speaker itself. This is because wired speakers are passive, meaning other sources power them. 

I’ll break down all the most common reasons why your Bose speaker won’t turn on in this post to help you diagnose and fix the problem quickly and easily. 

I’ve used a number of different Bose speakers over the years, and most of the time, they perform really well without any issues. I’ve dealt with the issue of the speaker not turning on several times and was able to get things fixed up relatively quickly. 

With any type of troubleshooting, it’s always good to start with the minor potential fixes before doing something major, like taking your speaker apart or assuming it’s completely broken. 

I structured this post with that in mind. You should start with the first reason and fix on this list and then move down through the rest of them until you get the issue resolved. In most cases, you should be able to get things ironed out with the first fix or two. 

Reason #1: Dead Battery

A dead battery is by far the most common reason why your Bose speaker won’t turn on. Every portable or wireless speaker has a battery that can run out of charge, and the speaker won’t work when the battery dies. 

If you are using a wired Bose speaker, then this one doesn’t apply to you. But the majority of you reading this are likely using a wireless model. So it’s always a good idea to ensure you are charged up and ready for action. 

Most Bose speakers have some sort of low battery life signal that beeps or blinks when the battery is really low. But this is sometimes easy to miss when you are playing loud music, so your speaker might die even if you don’t think it should. 

How to Fix It: 

I’m pretty sure you already guessed How to fix this one – plug in the speaker and charge it up. Keep in mind that it might take 5-10 minutes or more for your speaker to have enough charge to power up if it’s all the way dead. 

Regardless of the exact reason why your speaker doesn’t turn on, you should always start by plugging it in because you need some type of battery life to assess things at all. 

Reason #2: Broken Charger or Charging Cable

Another common reason why your speaker won’t turn on is directly related to the battery charge issue. But this one happens when you have a broken charger or charging cable. This will cause your speaker not to charge, even though it appears plugged in. 

You can inspect your charger or cable for signs of damage, like exposed wiring, rips, tears, or cracks. But these can still be damaged or broken even if you can’t see exactly what’s wrong. Sometimes they just go bad without anything you’ve done to damage them. 

How to Fix It: 

If you have a replacement cable or charger, swap that out to see if it fixes the issue and powers your speaker. If you don’t have a replacement on hand, you’ll need to go out and purchase one to see if that works. 

Getting a replacement charger or cable is pretty easy because Bose uses common cables, such as USB-C. But I always recommend bringing the suspected bad cable with you to the store for a direct comparison. You don’t want to end up with the wrong one. 

Reason #3: Bug or Glitch 

A bug or glitch can also cause your speaker not to turn on. Speaker bugs don’t usually result in power issues, but it is possible and an easy fix, so it’s worth checking out. These bugs can appear out of nowhere and cause a range of issues. 

If your speaker was recently working and suddenly won’t power on or connect, there’s a good chance you are dealing with a bug. But again, make sure you have enough battery life before assuming anything else. 

How to Fix It: 

A quick reset of your speaker will fix any bugs or glitches that might be causing your power issues. Be sure to plug your speaker into a working power source before doing this because you might not be able to reset it if it doesn’t have enough charge. 

You can reset most Bose speakers by pressing the power button for about ten seconds until the speaker cycles through the resetting process and turns back on. Refer to your user’s manual for exact directions if that doesn’t work. 

Reason #4: No Power

This reason happened to me once and it took me way too long to figure it out. My speaker died and I assumed something was wrong with it when what happened was a breaker went out in my house and the electrical outlet the speaker was plugged into stopped working. 

If your speaker dies and you don’t have a working electrical outlet to power it back up, you won’t be able to get it turned on until you do. This seems obvious, but it’s always worth checking because you might not realize the power is actually out like I did. 

How to Fix It: 

The quick check for this is to plug some other electronic device into the wall outlet your speaker is plugged into. If that doesn’t work, you know that something is going on with the power that needs further investigation. 

You can also plug your speaker into a different wall outlet somewhere else in your home. This is the same sort of troubleshooting, just the other way around. 

Reason #5: Software Issues

Software issues can also cause several problems with your Bose speaker, and it not turning on is one of them. This isn’t a very common cause, and it’s not possible with every type of Bose speaker, but it’s still worth checking out. 

Some Bose speakers need to be updated with new software, just like your phone or computer. If these updates don’t occur, the speaker might not work correctly. In rare cases, the speaker might not work at all. 

How to Fix It: 

Plug your speaker into a computer using the charging cable. Then visit the Bose website to check for any available updates. This should get you pointed in the right direction if any updates are indeed available. 

If you don’t see your speaker model listed, then there’s a chance it doesn’t have any updates. That will rule out why the speaker is not turning on, but you can still check with Bose customer service to find out for sure. 

Reason #6: Damaged/Dirty Charging Port

A damaged charging port can also result in problems because it can affect your speaker’s ability to be charged. If you have had trouble inserting the charging cable or notice any visible signs of damage, like bent or broken parts, the charging port might be damaged. 

Your port might also just be dirty. This is more common in older speakers that have seen a lot of use. Dust, dirt, and grime can build up on the inside of the speaker, which will make it difficult to put the charging cable in correctly and make a connection to charge the battery. 

How to Fix It: 

If the charging port is broken, there isn’t much you can do to fix it. If the outer edge of the port is just slightly bent and preventing the cable from going in, you can try to bend it back with small pliers. Just be gentle and don’t overdo it. 

In most cases, if you have a broken charging port, you’ll need to get a new speaker. I’ll provide some more information on that in the last section below. 

If the charging port is just dirty, you can try cleaning it out with a toothpick, cotton swab, or some sort of other small item. Be careful here, and don’t scrape too hard. Apply just enough pressure to remove the dirt but not damage the connection ports. 

And don’t use water or other harsh cleaners to attempt to clean out the charging port. You can cause more harm than good if you spray anything in there, even if you have a waterproof speaker model. 

Reason #7: Bad Wire or Wrong Setup (Wired Speakers Only)

This reason applies to Bose wired speakers only, so you can skip it if you are using a portable or wireless model. 

If your speaker isn’t turning on in this case, it’s typically not anything wrong with the speaker itself but rather with your audio setup as a whole. You might have a bad speaker wire or cable. Or you may have just put the speaker wire in the wrong input on your computer. 

How to Fix It: 

You should inspect your setup to see if you have everything wired correctly. You may need to switch the input speaker wire into the proper slot. This is easy to do, but since everyone has a different setup, it’s hard to assess things here directly. 

If everything seems in place, you should replace the cable to see if that gets things working. Swap out the current speaker wire, HDMI, or any other cable for another one, which might resolve the issue. 

Reason #8: Broken or Faulty Speaker

The last reason on the list is the worst of them all. You might be dealing with a broken or faulty speaker, and that’s why it won’t turn on. This is far from the most common reason, but I have seen it happen once or twice. 

Bose speakers are well-designed and typically last for quite a while. But this doesn’t mean they last forever. Speakers can wear out under regular use or get damaged when you drop them or get them wet. 

How to Fix It: 

If you have a broken speaker, there isn’t much you can do to fix it. Bose speakers aren’t really designed for DIY repairs, and there may be some damage to the internal components. But your speaker might be under warranty, which can save you some money. 

Contact Bose customer service to find out if your speaker is under warranty. Many Bose products have a 5-year warranty, and you can get a replacement for free if yours is under coverage. If not, you’ll probably need to buy a new speaker.  


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to the reasons why your Bose speaker won’t turn on. 

How do I fix my Bose speakers not turning on? 

There are a few possible fixes for your Bose speakers not turning on. First, ensure that the speaker has a battery charge or is plugged into a working power outlet. If that doesn’t work, try resetting the speaker to see if that helps. 

Is there a reset button on a Bose speaker? 

There isn’t a reset button on most Bose speakers. Instead, you need to hold down the power button for around ten seconds until the speaker powers on and cycles through a reset. Refer to your user’s manual for exact resetting instructions for your speaker model. 

How do you reset a dead Bose speaker? 

You’ll need to plug your dead Bose speaker into a power source to get enough charge to reset it. And then, you can follow the regular reset process for a Bose speaker, which is typically holding down the power button for about 10 seconds until it cycles through a reset. 

Why is my Bose portable speaker not working? 

Diagnosing exactly what isn’t working with your Bose speaker is important. It likely has something to do with the battery or power source if it won’t turn on. If it doesn’t connect to your source device, you might have Bluetooth or other connection issues. 

Are Bose speakers guaranteed for life? 

Bose speakers are not guaranteed for life. Most models come with a decent 5-year warranty that should cover any manufacturer defects, but you won’t be able to get a replacement after that five-year window. 

Final Thoughts

If your Bose speaker won’t turn on, the most likely cause is something with the battery or power source. Ensure you have enough battery to turn the speaker on and operate normally. Plug it in and/or reset the speaker to rule out the easy fixes first. 

Run through all potential fixes on this list before assuming your speaker is broken. You might be overlooking something or just don’t have a good power source. Usually, you can fix the issue of the speaker not turning on. 

What type of Bose speaker do you have? Have you had any issues with it? Let me know in the comments below. 

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