Recently I have been having these issues with my MacBook and iPhone wherein if I press the play/pause button on my MacBook to stop iTunes it "mutes" all audio and switches to my connected iPhone.

Only when I reset my QC35 does it reset and behave correctly (where in pressing the button stops iTunes but leaves audio connected to my MacBook).

Any ideas how I can solve this permanently or can someone guide me in the right direction?


Little late but thought I'd add an update. I simply contacted Bose and they ended up replacing my headphones and even gave me the gen 2 headphones

  • This is a known issue. I have this same problem. They're probably going to have to fix it in a firmware update. – Joel Glovier Apr 26 '17 at 3:25

If your Bose QC35 headphones are simultaneously connected to your MacBook and iPhone, then whichever device is sending an audio signal through to them will be heard in the headphones.

Now, pausing iTunes on your MacBook only pauses iTunes, it isn't going to pause any other audio - so if your headphones are connected at the time then any other audio will still be heard on your headphones, not on your internal MacBook speakers.

If what you want is for sound effects to not play through your headphones, then you can configure your Sound preferences (System Preferences > Sound) so that sound effects play through your internal speakers, even when your headphones are connected via Bluetooth.

Hope this helps, but if I've misunderstood your problem, perhaps you could clarify your question.

Reset and pair again

Another option you could try is to full reset your bluetooth device list and start again. To do this:

  • Slide the power switch to the Bluetooth symbol and hold it there
  • After about 10 seconds you should hear "Bluetooth device list cleared"
  • Now delete your headphones from the Bluetooth list on your MacBook and iPhone
  • Pair your headphones again, but only to your MacBook
  • Use your headphones with your MacBook for long enough to feel your issue is resolved
  • When satisfied, pair your headphone to your iPhone
  • Test to see if the behaviour is now what you expect between both devices

NOTE: I have always found that there are random issues like you're experiencing when multiple devices are simultaneously connected to Bluetooth headphones. For me, I no longer do this - but hopefully you have more success.

Bose Support

It may be worth you checking with Bose Support. I remember reading somewhere that these headphones can have their firmware updated - so perhaps Bose could shed some light on the issue you're having or whether or not there is an update available.

  • well as you said when I press pause it should only pause iTunes and the audio should continue to play through the headphones for any other audio I have playing on my Macbook. And this was the behaviour when I first got them, however recently when I press pause the audio from iTunes stops along with the audio from the Macbook. My assumption is that it switches to my iPhone audio. – Rohan Bhangui Jan 31 '17 at 16:24
  • 1
    To be honest, I no longer connect multiple devices at the same time to any Bluetooth headphones. I find it's not worth the hassle. I've just updated my answer with a couple of suggestions - hopefully they help. – Monomeeth Feb 1 '17 at 23:28

I ran into this issue today and what did the trick for me at least on the 2015 Macbook Pro is holding shift + option and clicking on the bluetooth icon on in the menubar. After that point ot debug and than click on reset bluetooth module. I had the bluetooth turned off on the back and my headphones turned off as well when I did it. Presumebly it should work when the mac bluetooth module is online but I took the safe route. I reconnected my headphones to my iphone and than back to my Macbook and the seemless sound work again. I am guessing the bluetooth module is running into some error code and it just descides to hog the headphones for ever. Hopefully this is helpful for you stevhc!

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