How to Connect Bose Speaker to MacBook

You can connect a Bose wireless speaker to a MacBook through Bluetooth. You can also hard-wire some Bose speakers to your MacBook using the proper cables and an adapter. You’ll get better audio quality with a wired connection. 

My name is Donovan, and I’m a lifelong musician and producer. I love everything about audio and have experience working with Bose speakers and MacBooks. I’ve connected many speakers to my MacBook over the years. 

This post will show you how to connect a Bose speaker to a MacBook. I’ll walk you through the steps of making this happen with a Bluetooth connection and also the old-fashioned way of hooking up a cable. I aim to help you get the best from your devices. 

Let’s get to it. 

Key Takeaways

  • You can use Bluetooth to connect a Bose wireless speaker to your MacBook. Just ensure your Bluetooth feature is turned on on your MacBook. 
  • You can also connect some Bose speakers directly to your MacBook using a cable. You’ll need the proper cable and possibly an adapter to make this work. 
  • You’ll get better audio quality when using a wired connection compared to a wireless one. 
  • The process for connecting a Bose speaker to your MacBook through Bluetooth is the same as connecting any other Bluetooth device. 

Connecting Bose Speaker to MacBook 

Connecting your Bose speaker to your MacBook is a great way to play music from your computer. You can do this quickly and easily in two different ways, and I’ll walk you through directions for both in this section. 

It’s not very difficult to connect your speaker to any computer, and once you learn how to do this, you can repeat the steps for just about any speaker/computer combo. Most of the steps aren’t specific to Bose speakers and MacBooks. 

Method 1: via Bluetooth 

If you have a Bose wireless speaker, then using Bluetooth is the way to go to connect it to your MacBook. The process for connecting the speaker to your Mac is the same as any other Bluetooth device you might already be familiar with. 

Follow these steps to connect your Bose speaker to your MacBook via Bluetooth: 

1. Turn on your MacBook.

2. Turn on your Bose speaker and ensure it has enough battery charge. Plug it into a power source if needed. 

3. Make sure the Bluetooth feature is turned on on your MacBook. If it’s not turned on, you won’t be able to connect to your speaker or any other Bluetooth device. 

You can access the Bluetooth settings in the control panel icon on the upper-right of your MacBook window or can find it in the System Settings app from the finder. 

The Bluetooth will likely already be on, but it’s worth checking. Move the slider to the on position if needed. 

4. Press the Bluetooth or pairing button on your Bose speaker. This will make the speaker discoverable, and your MacBook will recognize it as a device it can connect to. 

5. Go back into the Bluetooth settings on your MacBook, either through the control panel or the System Settings app. Select your Bose speaker from the list of available devices. 

Your MacBook might automatically detect the Bose speaker, and you can follow any on-screen prompts to connect with it from there if so. 

6. Select Connect when you see your speaker’s name. 

7. Play audio from your MacBook to test for a connection.  

Method 2: via Cable 

You can also go the more old-school route of connecting your Bose speaker to a MacBook with a cable. This isn’t an option for every Bose speaker, but it’s possible if you have one with the proper inputs. 

If you have a Bose speaker with a USB or HDMI input or output, you can connect it to your MacBook through these types of cables. You also might need an adapter if you don’t have the matching input on your MacBook. 

An adapter will plug into the existing inputs on your MacBook and expand to give you more input options. These are also sometimes known as USB Hubs. They are convenient for connecting numerous devices, so they are worth getting if you have a MacBook. 

Follow these steps to connect a Bose speaker to a MacBook using a cable: 

1. Turn your MacBook on. 

2. Turn your speaker on or plug it into a power source if it’s not a wireless model. 

3. Connect one end of the cable to your Bose speaker. 

4. Connect the other end of the speaker to your MacBook using an adapter if necessary. 

5. Play some audio on your MacBook to see if it plays through the speaker. 

6. Make any adjustments to the audio output in the Sound section of the System Settings app. You may need to choose the output on your MacBook rather than the built-in speakers here. 

Pro Tip: Using a wired connection will give you better audio quality than a wireless one. Even though wireless speakers are more popular and convenient, I recommend using a wired connection if you are an audiophile like I am. 

Why is My Bose Not Connecting to My MacBook? 

There are a few common reasons you might be unable to connect your Bose speaker to your MacBook. Most of these are pretty easy to troubleshoot, so I included a section of this post to help you out. 

The most common reason your Bose speaker won’t connect is that you don’t have Bluetooth turned on on your MacBook. This needs to be on to connect any Bluetooth device. It sounds simple, but it happens. 

You also need to have your speaker and MacBook within range of one another to establish a connection. Bluetooth only has a limited range, and if the two devices are in different rooms or just far apart, they might not connect. 

It’s always a good idea to place the speaker and your computer close to one another when you are first attempting to connect them. Then you can extend the range a bit once you have made a connection. 

You also might be dealing with a bug or glitch in your speaker or MacBook. This happens from time to time and doesn’t always have a clear explanation. A bug can result in performance issues, such as the devices not connecting. 

Restart your Bose speaker and/or MacBook to deal with this issue. Most Bose speakers can be reset by pressing and holding the power button for about 10 seconds, but refer to your user’s manual for exact instructions if that doesn’t work. 

The worst reason you might not be able to establish a connection is because your speaker is broken or faulty. Bose speakers are pretty solid, so this doesn’t happen that often, but I have seen it on a few portable models. 

If you suspect your speaker is damaged, your best bet is to contact Bose customer service to determine if it’s under warranty. You might be able to get a replacement speaker for free if it is, and Bose has a pretty good replacement policy. 

You might need to bite the bullet and buy a new speaker if it’s not under warranty. I’ve only had this happen to me once, and it was after the speaker was in heavy use for a few years. So even though I was disappointed, I felt like I got good use from it. 


Here are a few quick answers to some of the most commonly asked questions related to how to connect a Bose speaker to a MacBook. 

Why is my Bluetooth device not showing up on my Mac? 

You might not have the Bluetooth device, such as your speaker, in pairing mode. You need to put the speaker into pairing mode in order for your Mac to recognize it. Press the pairing button on the device and try again. 

How do I put my Bose in pairing mode? 

Most Bose speakers have a pairing or Bluetooth button. You just need to press that button to put the speaker into pairing mode. If you can’t find this button, refer to your user’s manual. You might need to hold down the button for a few seconds to enter pairing mode. 

How do I get my computer to recognize my Bose speaker? 

Make sure that you have the Bluetooth feature turned on on your computer. If this isn’t on, your computer won’t recognize the speaker or any other Bluetooth device, even if it’s in pairing mode. You also need to have the two devices within range of one another. 

Why is my Bose speaker not connecting to Bluetooth? 

Your Bose speaker might not be connecting to a source device through Bluetooth if it has a low battery or is out of range. Ensure that you have plenty of battery charge, and try moving the speaker closer to the source device to fix this. 

Final Thoughts

Connecting a Bose speaker to your MacBook is easy to do through Bluetooth connections or with a cable. You can connect a speaker through Bluetooth just like any other type of Bluetooth-enabled device. 

A wired connection might seem old-school, but it will give you better audio quality than a wire one. I always try to get a direct cable setup with all of my audio needs when I can. Portable speakers are nice, but the quality is never the same, in my opinion. 

What type of Bose speaker do you have? Do you like it? Let me know in the comments below. 

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