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Have Your Bose QC35s Been Sounding Weird? You’re Not Alone (and There’s a Fix)

For the first time ever, Bose is letting QuietComfort headphone owners downgrade the software to fix noise-canceling buds.


If you own a pair of Bose’s QuietComfort 35 (Series I or II) noise-canceling headphones, the past few months may have been frustrating time. Many users have complained that recent software updates have made the noise-canceling abilities significantly worse. And, in what is a pretty unprecedented event, Bose is letting users roll back their updates.

The company just published a summary of its own internal investigations regarding peoples’ complaints, and while it claims that they’re “confident that firmware 4.5.2 did not affect the noise cancelling feature,” it’s actually giving users the option to revert back to an older firmware.

In a forum on Bose’s website, the company states: “Today, we’re re-introducing the ability to downgrade firmware QC35 II to 4.3.6 and QC35 series 1 to 2.5.5 via the Bose BTU site for a limited time.” If you’re somebody who wants to take advantage of the older firmware, you have a limited time to do so. In fact, Bose is advising users to download the old firmware as soon as possible.

To download the old software:

• Open your computer. It can be a Mac or Windows PC.
• Click this link to Bose’s BTU site.
• Give the site a few seconds to load. Select “Download.”
• Once installed, launch the Bose Updater app.
• Connect your QuietComfort 35 headphones to your computer via a USB cable.
• Follow the instructions on the web page.

This is the first time that Bose has ever allowed users to revert back to an older firmware. And while a good temporary fix, it might reasonably make you a little skittish about downloading the next update.

Note: This software patch is not compatible with Bose’s newest noise-canceling headphones, the Headphones 700 ($399), which use a different app (Bose Music instead of Bose Connect) and have not had issues with their noise-canceling abilities.

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