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How to control Bose wireless earbuds: swipe, tap, and press

When you’re on the go, you want things to be as quick, easy, and seamless as possible, and that includes everything from grabbing your morning coffee to changing the song on your headphones. While you may not be able to speed up the line at your favorite cafe, you can learn how to control wireless earbuds quickly and effortlessly so that you never need to take your phone out of your pocket or your tablet out of your bag to do so.

Here’s a guide on how to control Bose wireless earbuds, including the new Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds II and Bose Sport Earbuds. With simple touch controls — swipe, tap, and press — you can adjust the volume, answer phone calls, control media playback, and so much more.

People wearing Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, Bose Sport Earbuds, and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

TAP

Tap to control content and calls

A single tap has perhaps never been so powerful.

When you’re using Bose earbuds, you can start and pause music and answer phone calls with a quick a touch.

With the Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds II or Sport Earbuds, the touch surface is located on the outer portion of each earpiece, and the majority of the touch controls will be on the right earbud. To start or pause your media, use one finger to double-tap your right earbud — a light touch is fine; there’s no need to press down. This will save you from having to take out your phone, making it a particularly convenient option when you’re commuting, working in the office, or even exercising at the gym.

Woman wearing Bose Sport Earbuds while working out, touching the right earbud

There are earbud controls that allow you to accept and decline phone calls as well. Double-tapping the right earbud answers an incoming call, and the same gesture can be used to end the call when you’re done. Keep in mind that the microphone is located in your right earbud, so you’ll need to keep it in your ear when talking on the phone. If you’re not in the mood to talk, you can tap and hold the right earbud to decline a call.

SWIPE

Swipe to adjust volume

When you want to drown out the noise around you, Bose earbud controls let you adjust the volume via touch controls. However, you’ll need to enable this feature through the Bose Music app before you can use it. Also, note that before you turn on this setting, you'll want to make sure you’re running software version 4.2.4 or later.

In the Bose Music app, go to the settings menu and scroll down to “product control.” There’s a sliding button there labeled “voice touch control” that you can toggle to engage or disengage this feature.

Once the setting is on, you’re ready to adjust your volume on the fly. All you have to do is use your finger to swipe up on the right earbud to increase the volume or swipe down to decrease the volume. This gesture also works on the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700, which have a touch surface on the front portion of the right ear cup. With these larger headphones, you can also swipe forward to skip to the next track or swipe backward to return to the previous one.

TAP

Tap to change noise cancelling settings

If your earbuds have Bose’s world-class noise cancellation technology, you can toggle through different settings by double-tapping the left earbud. By default, there are three noise cancellation levels set as favorites, including:

  • Quiet Mode: Eliminates virtually all the exterior noise around you
  • Aware Mode: Blocks low-frequency noises, such as the rumble of a train, but still provides some awareness of your surroundings
  • Full transparency: Allows you to hear the environment around you better

In the Bose Music app, you can also go to the settings and select “noise cancellation” to customize the preset noise cancellation levels.

Man selecting his noise cancellation setting by double-tapping the left earbud of his Bose QuietComfort Earbuds
Man on a subway selecting his noise cancellation setting by double-tapping the left earbud of his Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II

PRESS

Touch and hold to access your voice assistant

Have a quick question for Siri? You can access your phone’s voice assistant using your Bose earbuds, but you’ll need to turn on this feature first. You can do so in the Bose Music app by going to the settings and scrolling down to “product control.” There’s a slider button there labeled “voice assistant touch control” that you can slide to the right to enable this feature.

Man viewing the Bose Music app for Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II on his smartphone
Man accessing his voice assistant using the touch controls of the right earbud of his Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

To access your voice assistant on the go, touch your right earbud and hold your finger there until you hear a tone. Then release your finger and say your request. The microphone on the right earbud acts as an extension of the microphone in your smartphone, allowing you to look up information, play a podcast, make a phone call, and more with ease.

Once you’ve learned how to control your wireless earbuds using gestures, you can adjust your media, phone calls, and voice assistant more readily, making your everyday routines faster and more convenient, whether you’re conducting them at the office, on the plane, or during your daily run.

Product availability may vary by country.

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