Bluetooth Audio Problems? Can’t Get Your Bose QuietComfort 35 Connected? Check Here First!

**Updated 11/25/2019**

A growing number of Windows users are struggling to connect their PCs to Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones and other recently introduced high-end Bluetooth audio devices, due to enhancements designed to facilitate connectivity with phones and tablets. This blog post will examine the reasons behind these problems and offer step-by-step instructions for overcoming them in recent Windows versions.

A New Class of Bluetooth Audio Device

Newer Bluetooth audio devices are being designed with a mobile-first mentality, taking advantage of the standard inclusion of Bluetooth in virtually every smartphone and tablet, while adopting recent innovations like Bluetooth Low Energy (also referred to as Bluetooth Smart or Bluetooth LE) and NFC. However, this focus on mobile convenience seems go hand in hand with a lack of consideration for non-smartphone platforms like Windows and Linux, as evidenced by compatibility issues with them. This situation reflects an aggressive push starting in 2016 to get wireless audio devices in the hands of consumers. Various phone manufacturers, following Apple’s lead, are forsaking the venerable 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of wireless audio solutions like Bluetooth. This movement has accompanied across-the-board advancements in technology for wireless audio devices, such as new battery technology that has brought longer battery life for wireless audio solutions while providing additional power to the headphones, making enhancements like active noise cancellation easier to include.

What Are Some of the Known Issues and Fixes in Windows?

For versions of Windows prior to Windows 8, we have been keeping track of issues with audio devices that appear to be related to Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) services. Unfortunately, Microsoft did not develop Bluetooth Low Energy support until Windows 8.

We have a couple solutions to this issue. For a few months we have been recommending a complicated workaround that can be used to get the adapter working in Windows 7. After conducting quite a bit of research and testing different driver variations in Windows 7, a version of the WIDCOMM software has been identified that addresses pairing issues and the Bose QuietComfort 35, but we have not recieved feedback regarding other devices.

If you are trying to pair a device, but Windows reports that it cannot connect after reporting pairing was sucessful, first recommendation is to uninstall the WIDCOMM Bluetooth Software if you have already installed it, then proceed with installing the driver version below.

Click here to download the driver for Windows Vista and Windows 7. (x86 and x64 are included)

If the driver above does not work, and you are using a device that the workaround status is “unknown” for, this means that a customer contacted us with an issue that appeared likely to involve Bluetooth LE issues but we did not hear back from them after supplying the workaround. For Windows 7 users, we have developed a workaround that tends to get Bluetooth LE-capable devices working well. This workaround guide is written specifically for the Bose QuietComfort 35, but applies to other devices with this issue as well.

We have been in contact with our chipset maker, Broadcom, to potentially resolve these issues. However, as of yet they have not delivered a timeline for resolving these issues.

There are instances where devices are not having issues with Bluetooth LE capability, but may simply not work due to outdated drivers. If your device is not in the list of suspect devices above, or where the workaround status is unknown, and you do not recieve a message that pairing was successful, it is recommended to try the latest driver package first.

If all else fails, and you are using a Plugable Bluetooth adapter, please contact us at so that we can help assist with the issue as there may be a driver conflict, or other issue that is causing problems.

It is recommended to use the latest version of the Bluetooth driver package for Windows in 8, 8.1, and 10 to resolve some basic compatibility issues with audio devices. These can be found on the product page for the USB-BT4LE Bluetooth adapter.

For devices that are offering Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) connections, they should work without issue, but it is important to pair to the actual audio device rather than the Bluetooth LE service. If pairing to the wrong Bluetooth device, audio services will not function. In most cases when a device is listed multiple times, the connection will have an icon with headphones in Windows to indicate it is the proper connection for the audio service.

Sometimes Windows will not offer the appropriate icon for the audio service. In this case, you may want to try pairing through the Devices and Printers menu (‘Start Menu’ > ‘Settings’ (cog-shaped icon) > ‘Devices’ > ‘Printers & scanners’ > Click the link for ‘Devices and printers’ > Click the ‘Add a device’ button) which may provide an icon. If neither method provides an icon for the audio device then you may need to randomly select one. If the incorrect device is selected, remove the pairing and try pairing again.

For the Bose QuietComfort 35 and some other Bose audio devices, firmware updates are available that help to clarify which connection is the “LE” connection that should not be paired with, and which one is the correct audio device (without LE in the name) as depicted in the screenshot below.

To update your Bose audio device, go to and follow the prompts. Be sure that you have a Micro USB data cable on hand for the update process.

What Are Some of the Known Issues and Fixes in Linux?

Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) issues can frequently be attributed to BlueZ, which is the core Bluetooth handler in Linux.

Arch Linux has done a great job of maintaining a Wiki page with issues relating to audio devices in Linux, as well as possible workarounds, which can be found here.

To manaully compile and install BlueZ 5.52, the instructions below should help in Ubuntu-based Linux distributions such as Linux Mint, but as with most things in Linux, there will always be exceptions where it does not work. Please use Terminal to run these commands.

1. Download and extract BlueZ 5.52:

wget && tar xf bluez-5.52.tar.xz

2. Change to the BlueZ directory:

cd bluez-5.52

3. Install the libraries necessary to successfully build and install BlueZ, as well as additional audio profile support:

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-bluetooth libusb-dev libdbus-1-dev libglib2.0-dev libudev-dev libical-dev libreadline-dev blueman

4. Stop Bluetooth services:

sudo /etc/init.d/bluetooth stop

5. Then in the BlueZ directory you should still be in; configure, make, and make install:

sudo ./configure && sudo make && sudo make install

6. Once the install process is complete, restart the PC.

sudo reboot

7. Try pairing and using your Bluetooth audio device again.

Another improvement from using BlueZ 5.52 is that Bluetooth LE HID devices like mice and keyboards are supported through the HID over GATT profile (HoG). We have found that the Microsoft Designer Mouse and Keyboard work in Linux after updating BlueZ.

If you are not using an Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, these steps may or may not work. You can still try some of the solutions in the Arch Linux wiki such as setting Bluetooth to only use BR/EDR (bredr) mode.

Of course, as noted in the product listing for the adapter, it is important to use a Linux kernel that is recent enough to include the drivers for the adapter. It is also recommended that you keep your kernel version up-to-date. Bluetooth is one reason to use variants of Linux that use newer software revisions as opposed to long-term service/support versions of Linux, there is still a lot of software development occurring with both Pulseaudio and BlueZ.

Some users may notice that there are issues relating to missing firmware for the Bluetooth adapter in the system logs on Linux. This is normal, and the error can be ignored as it has no impact on the actual functionality of the adapter.

The Heart of the Issue With Modern Bluetooth Audio Compatibility

So why is it that these newer smartphone-focused devices are having problems in PC operating systems? The evidence we have collected suggests that the primary factor in most issues with Bluetooth audio devices is the inclusion of Bluetooth Low Energy (Bluetooth LE), which was first introduced as part of Bluetooth 4.0 specifications in 2010.

Bluetooth Low Energy operates very differently from Bluetooth Classic in a few key ways. As the name suggests, it is heavily focused on energy efficiency.

Bluetooth LE accomplishes much of its power savings by reducing the frequency that a Bluetooth host (source) and a Bluetooth device (sink) need to communicate, but it also does this by limiting the size of data and messages that need to be communicated. For example, the heartrate monitor in many smartwatches communicate heartrate measurements over Bluetooth LE every few seconds. The heartrate can simply be conveyed as two or three digit numbers, and this information does not need to be sent immediately to the device the smartwatch is connected to, so Bluetooth LE is ideal for this data given the power savings it provides.

Even in new devices, audio data is sent using Bluetooth Classic, which has been the case for a number of years. However, in an effort to simplify the pairing process of audio devices for smartphones and communicate additional data such as battery life, device makers have turned to Bluetooth LE. It is important to note, that a device being labeled as “Bluetooth 4.0” or “Bluetooth 4.1” does not instantly mean that Bluetooth LE is being used on the audio device. Many times, the manufacturer is trying to capitalize on consumers being unaware of Bluetooth technology and drawn to a version number that is higher than the competition. For many devices indicating Bluetooth 4.0 or 4.1 support, they are using a Bluetooth chip in their device that is capable of supporting features specific to 4.0 or 4.1, but in reality they are only using the Bluetooth 2.1 or 3.0 features of the chip.

When Bluetooth 5 is introduced, this will likely change. Indications are that audio features are coming that will be specific to Bluetooth 5 in particular.

So what is it about Bluetooth Low Energy that is causing problems for PC users?

Though we are now in 2017, applications of Bluetooth Low Energy have been sparse until more recently due to the lack of available devices supporting it. It made much more sense for manufacturers to make devices that used Bluetooth Classic, or that were simply connected through a wired connection, since there was a much larger userbase that the devices would work with.

This was a classic chicken-and-egg problem. Why support Bluetooth LE if there are no devices that use it, and why create devices for Bluetooth LE if no platforms can use it?

By the time Bluetooth Low Energy became a standard, Microsoft had already completed and released Windows 7. Eventually, Microsoft did add compatibility with Bluetooth LE with the release of Windows 8, but the effort was never made to add it to Windows 7, or earlier versions of Windows. This has left Windows 7 unable to understand Bluetooth LE communications.

For Linux, Bluetooth LE support has been slow going. For the most part, Bluetooth interactions on Linux distributions are handled by a software set called BlueZ. However, most Linux distributions will use older versions of BlueZ rather than the latest version. For example, at the time of writing Ubuntu 16.10 uses BlueZ 5.21, but the latest version of BlueZ is 5.23. This may not seem like a huge difference, but many Bluetooth LE services were not implemented until 5.22. Bluetooth LE input devices like a Bluetooth LE mouse could not be used prior to 5.22, and many audio devices had issues as well. Though 5.23 has many improvements, Bluetooth audio devices still aren’t totally compatible.


As with most technologies, innovations will sometimes bring compatibility issues along with them. The future looks bright for Bluetooth audio, and Bluetooth LE (BLE) stands to make the pairing process easier for newer devices as customers have wanted. As we move forward unto uncharted waters of new Bluetooth audio solutions, the team here at Plugable will be here to help identify, explain, and hopefully resolve any issues that happen along the way.

As always, if you need our assistance with your Plugable product, please contact us at with your Order ID number and we’ll be happy to help.

If yes, please share an Amazon review of your Plugable product. If no, please contact us so we can help!

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42 comments on “Bluetooth Audio Problems? Can’t Get Your Bose QuietComfort 35 Connected? Check Here First!”

  1. traverse Reply

    I am having an issue connecting my Bose QC35 to audio on Windows 7. I went through the steps to install the WIDCOMM driver and it pairs to the PC, the problem is that in the audio settings (playback and recording devices), the headphones are showing as “disconnected” and any attempts to connect them fail. Should I uninstall the WIDCOMM drivers and go through the 12-page Toshiba workaround? Should I update the “Bluetooth Audio” drivers?

    • Andy D. Reply

      Thanks for your comment. We received your support case for this same issue and we’ll help to sort out the problem via that communication. My initial impression is that there is a driver conflict that is preventing the drivers from working as intended. I’ll help to identify what drivers are causing the problem and clear them out.

  2. John Elliott Reply

    For those who wonder, I’ve used the new driver with the Bose SoundSport Wireless and can confirm it works.

  3. Aramik Tarvirdi Reply

    my devices don’t even pop up when it tries searching for the bluetooth devices

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hi Aramik, I’m sorry to hear that you aren’t detecting devices with the adapter at all. There are a few reasons this can happen. One is that the Bluetooth Support Service might be stopped, another is a driver installation issue, or conflicting adapters/drivers. If you’re using a Plugable Bluetooth adapter, please contact us at so that we can help troubleshoot and get things working better. Thanks!

  4. Zach H. Reply

    Great article, very well written and helpful. I downloaded the Bose updater for my QC35s as well as the Win10 64bit drivers, but my device is still not recognized as an audio device. It still shows the same icon as the LE icon on my Bluetooth Devices menu. I don’t have a problem connecting to it, but my headphones don’t show up in playback or recording devices. What else can I do to get them to be recognized as an audio device? I did try connecting them through the printers & scanners but no dice. I use Asus Xonar DSX drivers for my sound card if that helps at all.

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hi Zach, thanks for your kind words! There are a few reasons this might happen, most likely there was some kind of issue with the driver installation process such as conflicting drivers, permission issues, interfering security software, etc. If you are using a Plugable Bluetooth adapter, please contact us at so that we can better assist. If you are not using a Plugable Bluetooth adapter, we are in the process of providing some additional documentation that can help to sanitize the Bluetooth driver software environment in Windows as well as identify and resolve other potential pitfalls for getting Bluetooth working in Windows.

  5. Rob K. Reply

    Hi thanks for the help on this. I can only get to step 11 on the Win7 workaround. I get the “Installing Bluetoot driver” pop-up but I never get the “Windows can’t verify” pop-up. It goes straight to the “Please plug in Bluetooth device” pop-up and I can never get to step 12. Any suggestions on how to fix this? Thanks!

    • Andy D. Reply

      This would usually indicate that the file tosrfusb.inf was not replaced, or that an adapter other than the Plugable Bluetooth adapter was being used. The software checks tosrfusb.inf for the hardware IDs of adapters that should be handled by it. If the adapter in use is not recognized as being defined in tosrfusb.inf, it would fail in the way you’ve described.

      Generally it is best to use the driver set at this point. If you are using the Plugable adapter, and did not have success using the driver set, please contact us at so that we can help to get the driver set working well.

  6. Djebel162> Reply

    Hello. I have tried the driver on WIN7 64bit. Could not install properly. The work around works perfectly then I can finally enjoy my BOSE QC35 . Thank you so much

  7. Dennis Reply

    Thank you very much for your support on this issue. I was successfully able to connect to my Jaybird X2 ear buds after installing the recommended driver. I had some issues with the installation where it was simply sitting there for about ten minutes. To resolve this I closed all my applications, killed the numerous installation processes, restarted the installer, and chose “fix” installation. If anyone else experiences this issue where the installation would not complete, I would recommend rebooting, closing as many applications as possible, and then running the installation again.

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hi Dennis, thank you for sharing this. For those who are reading this, please consider leaving a comment about whether this was useful to you as well! Thanks!

  8. Nancy Reply

    I’m so glad to see this!. I thought my plugable was dying, it’s worked great with everything for the last 3 years but with the Bose Soundlink wireless headphones it just would not work. The new driver did not fix the problem, however the Toshiba work-around did. I am so relieved this worked!

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hi Nancy, thanks for sharing your experience. I’m glad to hear the workaround did the trick!

      The driver unfortunately won’t install over a newer version of the WIDCOMM software and there’s quite a bit that goes into removing newer WIDCOMM software so that an older version can be installed. The nice part about the Toshiba workaround is that it essentially overrides other Bluetooth software that might already be on the computer.

  9. z6p0 Reply

    Tried the workaround but I am stucked at the step 11.b keep being prompted to plug in the device I can’t stop clicking OK and the installer never finish. Not sure what is wrong.

    • Andy D. Reply

      You may want to go through step 8 again. This is the step that adds the hardware identifiers for our adapter so that the stack will recognize the Plugable Bluetooth adapter as valid hardware. If the file didn’t copy over correctly, then it will fail because the hardware definition doesn’t exist by default.

      I hope this helps.

      • Robert H Reply

        Will this workaround work with a different bluetooth adapter? I have an Asus BT-400 adapter and am having issues.

        • David Roberts Reply

          We haven’t tested with any other adapters. However, I think the ASUS adapter has the same chip as the Plugable adapter and it seems likely that the work-around will work for it too.

          • Robert H

            It didnt end up working. I purchased the plugable adapter and now it works, however, whenever trying to switch to another device and back it will not work. It will say connected but not actually playing anything in the headphones. I have to unpair and repair with the computer to get it working again.

  10. Ramiro Reply

    I can’t see my QC35 under the devices list without the LE and the weird stuff is icon shown its the headphones but with the LE in the name of the QC35s. I pair with the PC but didn’t work.

    • Andy D. Reply

      In some cases it may be worthwhile to reset the pairing list on the QC35, then try the pairing process. This can be done by holding the slider to the Bluetooth position for about ten seconds until a voice prompt indicates that the Bluetooth device list has been cleared. The device should automatically enter pairing mode after that, and should show the connection without the -LE suffix.

      If this doesn’t work, please contact us directly at so that we may better assist.

  11. Anders E Reply

    Thanks, your explanation helped me to solve the connectivity problem between LINUX Mint 18.2 and Bose QuietControl 30 wireless headphones.

  12. Gail Reply

    I’m so disappointed. Got my new Bose QC 35 today and this bluetooth only to have stuttering issues with the LE version on Win7 64bit. It took me almost 2 hours to get them to work. Watching a video the sound isn’t even in sync with the lips! I finally got them connected, now do I have to buy non-LE bluetooth adapter?

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hello Gail, thank you for your comment. I’m sorry that the experience isn’t meeting your expectations. I would like to help.

      With regards to the stuttering issues you’ve mentioned. This is usually caused by wireless interference. A couple of the most common causes of wireless interference are objects that break line of sight between the adapter and your audio device, or broad-spectrum radio interference from USB 3.0 ports or the rear input/output panel of a tower-style computer.

      Wireless Interference Graphic

      Wireless interference can also cause latency issues. However, it is also worth noting that the Bose QuietComfort 35 headphones have poor performance when it comes to latency. Base latency on the QC35s has been measured at 189 ms.

      For the best performance, it is recommended to use the Bluetooth adapter in a USB 2.0 port at the front or side of your PC with a clear line of sight between the adapter and your headphones. As long as you are using the driver package, there are other options we can offer if contacted via to improve wireless connectivity, but for the Toshiba workaround there is little that can be done outside of these recommendations.

      I hope this helps!

      • Gail Reply

        Thanks so much for your reply Andy. I did try those things before I posted my comment. I’m so disappointed in the headphones and I am returning them. Thanks again, great support service!

  13. Renato Gallardo, Jr. Reply

    Hello Guys,

    I have a Bose QC35 and was able to pair to my Windows 7 Lenovo G480 20149, 32 bit Laptop having a bluetooth services indicated as GATT. However, when I play music in my Laptop, I can’t hear anything from my QC35. I do not know the problem so maybe you could help me. Thanks.

    • Andy D. Reply

      There are a few reasons this could be the case. Please contact us at with your order information for the Bluetooth adapter, we can help to investigate what is going wrong. Thanks!

  14. Maria Filippova Reply

    Hi, thanks a lot for your help! I got stuck at step 10, running TosBtMng.exe: tosbtapi.dll is missing. Is there a way to repair this without downloading expensive/suspicious software?

    • Andy D. Reply

      Hello Maria,

      Sometimes this can happen and is usually resolvable by just starting the process over again. Not sure why that happens with the workaround steps sometimes. Sorry for the inconvenience.

  15. Randy Conner Reply

    Hello, I wanted to let you all know that this worked for me on a non-Bose headset (BT-M32) These headset are found on Amazon under various names (Willful, Pashion and Yamay). I followed the instructions for the most part, (not sure what the Toshiba instructions were needed for and didn’t follow them). I first uninstalled the paired headset, uninstalled all the Bluetooth drivers, check marking delete the files as well, then I uninstalled the other version of WIDCOMM, powered down the laptop, plugged the USB dongle back in, powered up the laptop, installed the driver for Windows Vista and Windows 7, rebooted system, repaired and it started connecting right away.

    • Andy D. Reply

      Thanks for sharing the info!

      The Toshiba workaround is basically a ‘last resort’ option if nothing else seems to be working. In most cases the driver should work well, and it is recommended to contact us regarding the Plugable Bluetooth adapter prior to trying that option.

  16. J,A, Reply

    The Toshiba workaround worked great for me! The sound on my Bose QC 35 Series 2 is as good as if it was wired ti the headphone jack. The only thing that I had to change was: instead of using the Express connection option in the toshiba software, I had to choose Custom and select Audio Sink. It didn’t pair correctly without this step.

    Thank you for the amazing support documents, they really saved me, I was convinced that I had to use my shiny new wireless headphones with a wire to get them to work correctly with WIndows 7.

  17. A Oo Reply

    This driver worked for me with TaoTronics TT-BH22 headphones on Windows 7. Thanks!

  18. Stefan B Reply

    Thank you!!! I have been struggling to connect my Skullcandy Grind headphones to my Windows 7 PC via a USB bluetooth adapter for quite some time now. The drivers just didn’t want to install. After trawling through many forums and trying a whole bunch of unsuccessful tricks, this is the only post that not only explains the problem, but also offers a solution!

    I just installed the latest driver package on the following page (linked above as well):

    Immediate success. Thanks again!

  19. Alex Ivanoff Reply

    Have just connected Sony WH-1000XM3 to Windows 7 computer using the workaround as described in the PDF in the article. IT WORKS ))
    So, if you looking for the info how to pair Sony WH-1000XM3 to CSR Bluetooth on Windows 7 here is the solution.
    Standard CSR Bluetooth 4.0 dongle is easily installed by Windows 7, but I couldn’t connect Sony WH-1000XM3 to CSR dongle.
    Now, everything works perfectly.
    Thank you very much!!

  20. Bernhard Nackdal Reply

    Thanks a LOT for sharing guys….Worked like a charm to connect my B35 CC II on W7

  21. Michael Reply

    Hey is this supposed to work with a laptop (Dell Latitude E5470) with intel wireless card? When i try to install it says “No Bluetooth device was detected”? (windows 7 Professional 64-bit)

    • Viktoria D. Reply

      Hi Michael,

      Thanks for asking. Our drivers and information are only intended to be used with the Plugable Bluetooth adapter. Unfortunately, Intel Bluetooth radios are not supported. You might have to contact Dell for further assistance.

      Please email us directly at if you have any further questions!

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