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5 Ways To Turn On Bose Speakers / Soundbar Without Remote

Turn On Bose Speakers Soundbar Without Remote

Have you recently lost or broken your Bose remote?

Or do you wish to use your Bose soundbar hands-free from now on?

Well, whichever the case is, you’re in luck.

There are a few things you can try to control your speakers without any remote.

What are those?

Continue reading to learn:

  • 5 ways to turn on Bose speakers / soundbar without a remote.
  • What do “Auto-wake” and “Power Sync” do to your Bose device. 
  • Things you can find at home that can be an alternative to your Bose remote.
  • 2 different methods to update your Bose device and why it’s important to do so.
  • And so much more…

Can you use Bose speakers / soundbar without a remote?

You can use your Bose speakers / soundbar without a remote. To do this, install the Bose Music app first. Then, enable a certain feature – like “Auto-wake” and “Power Sync.” But if you’re looking for an alternative to remote, you may also use your mobile phone. As well as a universal remote control.

5 ways to turn on Bose speakers / soundbar without a remote

#1: Enable the “Auto-wake” feature

Do you want to turn your Bose soundbar on hands-free whenever you watch TV?

Well, then this tip is perfect for you.

Bose speakers have a feature called “Auto-wake.”

“What is it?”

By activating this, your Bose speakers will also turn on whenever you power on your TV. As well as your cable box.

You might also like: 5 Steps To Connect Bluetooth Speakers to a Roku TV (How-To)

So it’s like you’ll be saving half of your energy to set everything up before watching.

(How neat!)

And what’s even better is, your Bose will also turn off on its own if your TV or box is idle for 20 minutes.

So this saves electricity as well.

How to enable the “Auto-wake” feature on your Bose soundbar

There are 2 ways to do this.

One is by using the Bose Music app. While the other one is by using your original Bose remote – if you still have this.

Option #1: Through the Bose Music app

Step 1: Install the Bose Music app. 

This is available both in Google Play Store and Apple App store.

Once you’re finished downloading it…

Step 2: Set up your Bose soundbar.

But before doing this, here’s a reminder.

Make sure that your Bose speaker is connected to the same Wi-Fi network as your phone. 

After verifying this, you can now proceed to the following steps:
  1. Plug your soundbar with a power cord.
  2. Connect it to a convenience outlet.
  3. Launch the Bose Music app on your phone.
  4. Log in with your Bose Music account. (You can sign up if you don’t have one.)
  5. Grant the permissions asked. For example, allow the app to access your bluetooth and network.
  6. Click “Speakers & Soundbars.”
  7. Tap the “Add Product” and look for your device by swiping left or right.

Note: If you can’t see this option, select the top-left icon icon. And then, click the “+” sign to add a device. 

  1. Find and select your Wi-Fi network.
  2. Type your password and click “Connect.”

Note: If your network is hidden, select “Manually Enter Wi-Fi.” Then input the info of your network like its name and password.

  1. Create a custom name for your soundbar or pick one in the list.
  2. Click “Next.”
  3. Confirm whether you want other Bose accounts to use your device or not. (Tap “Yes” or “No.”)
  4. Plug an HDMI cable to your Bose soundbar. (The jack for the cable is usually labeled as  HDMI ARC or eARC.)
  5. Connect the other end to your TV.

By doing the last 2 steps, your TV will be able to transmit audio to your Bose device.

After this, you can further set up your soundbar or skip them by tapping “Do it Later.”

Then finally, click “Get Started” as the final step. And go back to the app’s homepage.

Once it’s flashed on your screen…

Step 3: Tap the Bose speakers or soundbar that you connected earlier.

Step 4: Select the “Settings” icon.

It’s the small button in the top right corner of the Bose Music app’s homepage.

And then…

Step 5: Click “Optical Auto-wake” under the “Power” tab.

Step 6: Turn on the “Auto-wake” feature.

Touch the toggle switch that you’ll see after opening the option.

And there you go.

Your Bose soundbar is already connected to your TV. And the Auto-wake feature is also enabled.

Your speaker will automatically turn on when it receives audio from your TV.

So you don’t have to use a remote to turn your Bose speaker on.

Option #2: Use your Bose remote (if you still have this)

This method is simpler than the previous one. 

But, this is only possible if you still have your Bose remote. And if it’s still functioning well.

It isn’t broken. However, you only want to operate your soundbar without using it from now on.

To do this:

  1. Press and hold the “Power” button on your Bose remote.
  2. Do this for around 5 seconds.
  3. Wait until you hear a chime or beep.

The light on your bar will also blink amber thrice. And this means that you’ve turned on this feature.

Note: If your Bose system can’t connect to your network, plug an Ethernet cable into it. Then insert the other end on your router. 

This will provide a better and more stable connection for your speakers. So you can easily set them up with your app.

But if you want to use an alternative to a remote, you might prefer the next one…

#2: Use your mobile phone as a remote

Use Your Mobile Phone As A Remote

It’s known that most TVs can now be operated by mobile phones.

You can control the content that’ll play on the screen. As well as your TV volume.

But did you know that you can also do this on your Bose speaker system?

Yup. This is all made possible by an app called “ControlSpace Remote Custom.”

Just download it on your phone.

Grant any permission that’ll pop up. Then you now have control over your Bose device within 39 ft (12 m).

(Click here for the iOS link and Android link.)

Most mobiles nowadays have an infrared (IR) blaster. This is one of the tiny black dots on top of your device.

It can send signals to a receiver (e.g. TVs, speakers) so it could also act as a remote control.

The app is made by Bose itself. And it works with all Bose Professional Networked systems.

What does the app do?

Apart from allowing you to turn your Bose speakers on, it also has control over the following:

  • Volume.
  • Tone control.
  • Parameter set.
  • Source selection.
  • PSTN and VolP dialers.
  • Conference room router.

Note: The interface isn’t too complicated. So you’ll be able to figure out how to control things in only a few tries.

#3: Pair your Bose speakers with a universal remote

Did your Bose remote suddenly stop functioning?

If this is the case, you may want a quick solution to control your speakers. And if you have a universal remote at home, then the problem is solved.

As implied earlier, you can use your phone with infrared or IR blaster on your Bose speakers.

So if you have a universal IR remote, you could also use it.

But keep this in mind.

Note: Most universal remotes can turn Bose speakers or soundbar on. However, not all of them can control their volume. As well as their other functions.

What to do?

Pair your remote with your speaker via Bose Music app.

For iOS users

Step 1: Press and hold the “Volume Down” and “Left arrow” buttons at the same time for 5 seconds.

Do this to delete the pairing memory of your remote.

Then, wait for the TV, Power, and Source Power icons on your remote to blink thrice.

Step 2: Click the “Settings” button in the top right corner.

Step 3: Tap “Advanced” under the “Universal Remote” section.

Step 4: Click “Pair New Remote.”

Step 5: Remove and return the batteries to your remote control.

Step 6: Wait until the app detects your remote and pair with it.

Step 7: Tap “Continue” once done.

For Android users

The steps are almost the same with iOS devices.

But the only difference is that you don’t have to do step #1. Which is clicking a button combination on your remote for a few seconds.

So, skip to the next step up to the last one. Then wait until the pairing process is done.

Note: If ever the pairing was unsuccessful, remove the plug of your soundbar. Plug it back in after 30 seconds. Then repeat the steps above again.

#4: Update your speaker firmware

It’s known that Bose speakers and soundbar can receive infrared or IR signals.


This function can be limited. Especially if you have outdated software.

Yup. Like other devices, your Bose system also needs to be updated from time to time.


Every now and then, there are new features that are released. This is so that your device will be able to perform smoothly.

Also, if you bought your soundbar 2 or more years ago…

Bose says that you must update it to add the latest features. And these include the ‘IR learning function.’

“What is it?”

I said earlier that most universal remotes can only power on or off your Bose speaker, right?

But with this feature, your device will be able to learn more IR commands. Say, volume controls.

So if you know that your Bose is outdated, here’s how to update it.

What to do?

There are 2 methods to get the latest updates on your device.

First is by plugging it into your computer. And the second one is by connecting it to your mobile device.

Let’s talk about the former first.

Option #1: Using your computer

Install the updater file first. To do this:

  1. Go to the Bose Updater page on your computer.
  2. Select your region.
  3. Click “Download” to save the updater file.
  4. Run the “Bose Updater” file.
  5. Wait until the installation is done. (You’ll know this if you see its icon on the top of your Mac’s screen. Or at the bottom of the taskbar if you’re a Windows user.)

Once you’re done installing the file on your computer:

  1. Plug a USB cable to your Bose device.
  2. Connect it to your computer.
  3. Launch the Bose Updater application.
  4. Click and install all the available updates that’ll be shown on your screen.

Wait for the installation to finish. Then unplug your Bose speaker from your computer.

Option #2: Using the Bose Connect app

Step 1: Download the Bose Connect app on your phone for free.

This is also available for both iOS and Android users.

Step 2: Allow all permissions that’ll pop on your screen.

This includes Bluetooth so you can link your Bose device.

If you accidentally declined it, go to the “Settings” menu on your phone. Select “Apps” and cycle down to the list. 

Click the Bose Connect app. Then tap “Allow Bose Music to Access” and click “Bluetooth.”

Step 3: Connect your Bose speaker to your phone via Bluetooth.

To do this, click the “Bluetooth” source button on your remote. (This only works if you still have your remote with you.)

Hold it until the light on your bar blinks blue. Then open your phone and go to your “Bluetooth” settings.

Scan for visible devices. And then select your Bose speaker or soundbar.

The pairing is successful if you hear a tone. As well as if the light on the bar becomes white.

If you want to know more, check out this video by Bose:

Step 4: Once done, your device’s image will show up on the screen.

Step 5: Click the “Download” button to install any updates.

This is the downward arrow you’ll see in the photo.

Step 6: Tap “Update.”

Step 7: Let your device install the updates for a few minutes.

You’ll know it’s done if you see a check icon on the bottom of your screen.

“Help! My Bose speakers / soundbar don’t update.”

If this is your case, try restarting the app or your device. The latter refers to both your Bose speaker and computer if you did the 1st option.

But if nothing’s changed, go to this Bose support page.

It talks about the things you can do when you can update your device.

Note: This article is only about turning your Bose device on or off. But if you’d wish to teach it more IR commands, check out this page.

You might also want to know: WiFi vs Bluetooth Speakers: 3 Sound Quality Comparisons

#5: Turn on “Power Sync”

This feature is quite similar to “Auto-wake.”

But before you can do this, you have to pair a universal remote to your Bose device first.

This is why I didn’t mention this immediately after tip #1.

So if you’re done with that process, you can also try this.

“What is Power Sync?”

Unlike the Auto-wake feature that powers on your Bose speaker automatically…

Power Sync allows your devices to be turned on and off at the same time.

So if you shut your TV off, you’ll also remove power on your Bose soundbar. And vice versa.

What to do?

  1. Open the Bose Music app on your phone.
  2. Click the “Settings” button on the top right.
  3. Scroll down until you see the “Power” section.
  4. Select “Power Sync.”
  5. Turn this on by clicking the toggle switch.

After enabling this feature, you’ll see different options.

Simply tap the toggle button if you want to sync your Bose speaker with that certain device. 

Say, click “Sync TV” or “Sync Source.” The latter refers to cable boxes.

Then, try turning your TV or satellite box on and off. And see whether your Bose soundbar has successfully synced with it.