I have owned and enjoyed the Bose SoundDock speakers for a number of years; during this time it has worked great with my iPod Mini, Video iPod, and iPod Touch. The speakers have an iPod dock that you seat the iPod in and the audio is played through the speaker.

These speakers predate the iPod Touch by many years and won't recharge the iPod Touch when plugged in. That's fine, I mention it because whenever I plug in the iPod Touch into the speakers the iPod Touch shows a message that recharging isn't supported.

Recently, when I dock my iPod Touch in the speakers the warning that it can't recharge comes up, but no sound is played through the speakers. Instead, the iPod Touch's existing speakers play the music. Plugging in my Video iPod still works as expected - the sound comes out of the Bose speakers.

I've tried undocking and redocking, wiggling it once docked, and so on, but I am unable to get the iPod Touch to play through the Bose speakers. Any idea what's going on here? This is frustrating since I use these speakers quite often...

EDIT: Some further clarifications. My iPod Touch is a 2nd-gen iPod Touch (if that matters). It is, and has for some time, running software version 4.1. I have not tried updating to 4.2 or restoring the iPod's original settings. Also, the speakers continue to work with my iPod Video, so I'm pretty certain the problem lies somewhere with the iPod Touch and not the speakers themselves.

  • Have you updated your iPod Touch to 4.2 before/after the ‘change’? Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 9:19
  • @Martin: No. My iPod Touch is on Software Version 4.1. It is a 2nd gen iPod Touch, if that matters at all. Commented Nov 23, 2010 at 16:21
  • I suppose you don’t have another iPod to discard a failure with the SoundDock, do you? Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 14:07
  • @Martin: The SoundDock works with my iPod Video, yes. Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 16:59

7 Answers 7


Since it’s practically impossible to diagnose a problem like this without physical access to the iPod and the SoundDock, I’m going to give you a few ideas of what I’d try to do:

  • If you have access to another iPod, try that of course, if that works, we’ve found a problem with your particular iPod.
  • If you have access to another SoundDock… well, put your iPod in those and see if the problem lies in your SoundDock.
  • Since the last two were two obvious (and you probably thought about them), let me tell you that you can go to an Apple Store with both devices and try the above combinations there. I’m sure that you will find another SoundDock in an Apple Store to try your iPod and that they also have iPods so you can try your Sound Dock. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
  • In any case, the remaining obvious alternative is to restore the iPod, either to factory settings (and later using a backup) or to restore a backup (so you don’t lose everything).
  • The final idea, is to try 4.2, but that should be the last step. You don’t want 4.2 to introduce new “undiscovered” problems on top of your old problem.

Sadly, there isn’t much else we can do from here. The can’t charge or incompatible device message is “ok” most of the time (I had that problem too with a car adapter), but it worked anyway.

I’m sorry I can’t come up with a better idea.

Just had this same problem... I fixed it by spraying a Contact Cleaner on my Ipod/ITouch.. and it works after... sometimes, Dust or Dirt will cause bad connection between the Unit and the Sound Dock Port *

  • In my question I noted that the SoundDock still works with my older iPod Video, it's just the iPod Touch that stopped working. I don't have another iPod Touch to try it with, however. I do like your idea of taking it to the Apple Store to test there, I'll give that a whirl (although I imagine the Apple Store is likely to be quite busy this time of year!) Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 16:58
  • @Scott I didn’t see the reference, my bad. In that case, I recommend the Apple Store more than ever, just in case. Beware tho, Apple Geniuses will try to persuade you that the “device is not compatible and shouldn’t work”. In any case, try to have it working with other docks to see if at least it works there. Commented Nov 24, 2010 at 18:46

This happened after I got my IPhone 4S. I made my IPhone 3G an IPod Touch and it played fine on the Bose Docking Speaker( I got the same pop up that said it wouldn't support recharging. But then today it just stopped playing Pandora. I just dicovered how to fix it, or at least it worked for me. Unplug the Bose unit from the wall and plug it back in. Good Luck, mine's working again.

  • the answer above about unplugging the Bose sound dock and plugging it back in again worked me for just now. I'm really curious why this worked, but no matter: I'm just glad it worked.
    – user15226
    Commented Dec 19, 2011 at 1:23

I had the same problem with my iPhone until I took of the protective case, then it seated in the dock just fine and I could play though the speakers.


It might be useful to update to software version 4.2; that worked for my iPod Touch.

If that doesn't work, or introduces new problems, you can always revert to the old version of software.

My mom also had a similar problem, we tried upgrading the software but it didn't make any difference.

Finally, I looked in the docking point on the iPod Touch (on the bottom, where you dock it) and it was a little coated in dust, I just blew on it and then tried plugging it in again, it worked.

If none of these things worked, try calling the Bose tech support! It's free and I've found them quite helpful.

  • If that doesn't work, or introduces new problems, you can always revert to the old version of software. - This is not true. You cannot downgrade iOS versions. Not without some hacks anyway.
    – bobbyalex
    Commented May 4, 2012 at 11:23

There is a solution.

I have the same problem - my old iPod video charges & plays fine through the SoundDock, but my iPod Touch 4th gen and iPhone 4 both play but do not charge.

I have spoken to Apple and Bose separately, and they both said Bose can replace the docks' connector for an updated one that has a different pin configuration. They said this will allow the dock to play and charge all current Apple iPod/iPhone products. However, It costs £79 to do this. Not cheap, but better than having a redundant item gathering dust.

Just contact Bose directly (number on their website) and have the serial number of the SoundDock to hand, or take your SoundDock to an Apple store and they will sort it out for you (it will still cost £79)

Hope this helps. Sean.


I unplugged the speakers from the wall and tried it again, which seems to have fixed my issue.


It's the software. My new iPhone doesn't work on the Bose dock. My old iPhone worked fine with the Bose until I updated the software.

  • 1
    Your post seems to both try to answer the original question and ask a new question. I'm editing your question out of the post; feel free to ask it using the Ask Question button at the top right.
    – Daniel
    Commented Mar 10, 2012 at 19:13

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