Repair guides and support for headphones inserted into the ear or ear canal, also known as earbuds, earpods and earphones.

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How to fix 'static' noise on Bose QC20i Noise Cancelling Headphones?

I have a pair of Bose QC20i noise cancellation headphones. When they were new, I could turn on the noise cancellation switch without the jack being plugged in, and they worked fine.

Now, they produce a noticeable feedback sound when not plugged in. This can be altered by touching the tip of the headphone jack.

When plugged in, the feedback goes away, but they produce a hissing sound in the left ear. Sometimes this hissing replaces the feedback sound mentioned above.

However, when music is turned on, even at a level which is inaudible to me, they seem to work fine.

I bought them new only a few months ago, but the purchase was on ebay so Bose tells me they will not honor the warranty.

Does this sound like something I could try to fix myself?

Any hints on troubleshooting would be appreciated.

Answer this question I have this problem too

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Same issue here. Left ear static when it used to be a quiet heaven.

Unrelated people telling the same story seems like a design or component issue. I treat this earphones carefully so it is not user abuse. Would Bose offer a solution or should we start looking for other brands and/or options?

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I have the same problem. I got it almost 2 years ago. Now the noise cancelling feature seems to cause me lots of trouble as I cannot enjoy the quiet time as I used to. Is there something wrong with it? How come we all have the same problem? From this perspective, Bose noice cancelling earphones do have flaw design issues. How are we going to deal with it?

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Bought mine QC20i just a week ago, used them every day since and they worked fine until yesterday with astonishing noise cancelling effect. But yesterday there started coming a "white noise" in my right earphone, didn't matter if it was plugged in to a sound source or not. It has gotten increasingly worse and today also really loud booming bass rumble in both earphones, but worse on right, when for example a car passes by on the street when previously I wouldn't hear the car thanks to the noise cancelling. Don't know if there's any way to "reboot" the earphones. Or if they just successively broke down after one week.

Mind you, this isn't at all related to whether they're plugged in or not.

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i had mine for only six months before they began to hiss in the right ear. i called bose and they told me to send them in for 'replacement' ... but when i got them back, same problem *and* less effective noise cancellation when in the cancel mode. i called again. i was told that this time they would be replaced instead of repaired. not sure if replacement very happened but upon receiving them back a second time, they were now not hissing but the noise cancellation no longer works half as well as it did originally. not at all noise cancelling any longer. i thought perhaps they had changed them deliberately or something.

very discouraged and a little mift as they are expensive and i take very good care of them. not sure where to go or what to do at this point...except dissuade others from making the purchase until bose gets its act together on these things.

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I have exactly the same issue. Static type crackling in the left ear. Seems to work fine for a few minutes when first plugged in and then nothing I can do can make it work again.

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Black Friday
Broken doesn't stand a chance.

11 Answers

I don't think so. The "static" is most likely caused by grounding problems in the plug, control unit or wire. Working on headphones that small requires special irons, & solder, with lots and lots of practice. It's not like fixing a lamp cord or speaker.

I don't know how you would get into the unit to repair it without leaving it in a worse state than it is now.

If this answer is acceptable please remember to return and mark it accepted.

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This is the problem - read suteki77's answer and do that.

You basically need to recalibrate it sometimes if you turn it on while it's making contact with a weird ground.

I had figured it out and just checked now to see if the internet knew about it.

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I bought mine off ebay last year, but never got to use them for 4 months due to working away on nights.

Same problem with crackling in left set.

The guy who sold them obviously knew this, but my mistake.

Phoned bose. They said never heard of a problem like this. What lies people tell you in order for a sale.

Looking at this and other forums about same problem, bose obviously know about these issues.

Well I have all bose systems in my home. No more though. This will be the last time I ever buy bose. After service is crap!

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Ok guys I'm not sure if this works for you but I have just fixed mine and I can't believe it so simple to do. If you take off the cover (mine on left) take the plastic cap that keeps the cover in place. You have in front of you a square piece of metal like aluminium and under it is the little square block looks like a minuture speaker! With a thin knife slide it in between that block and the metal aluminium covering it. Gently ease the gap between the two. Hey presto this has cured my problem.

Fantastic.

Now if this works for all of you then please post back. Hopefully them goons who want to charge mega bucks at bose look at this. End of crackling after 3 months of crackling sounds.

Good luck guys.

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Mine has a bad feedback sound that is annoying ! The person I bought this from surely knew this when he sold this to me bud didn't say anything ! Very disappointed with Bose products .

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Can you send a picture?

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Jim McCarthy - do you mean you opened up the microphone part, or the battery pack.

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Did exactly what you suggested Jim, the "shield" on one of my headphones was in fact touching the mini speaker - using a narrow knife blade, I recreated a gap similar to the other and my feedback issue was solved. Interestingly, Bose has nothing on their website even acknowledging feedback issues with their Quiet Comfort headphones

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Hie Friends

I came up with a good news

My qc20i right side earphone was making craking sound while playback and when I on the noise canceling button it not canceling full from right side , m very music addicted and I prefer only quality in Meanwhile I was so depressed and researched all over internet about this problem but I got no solving way then I research on earphone mechanism then I got an idea THEN IT WORKS PERFECT that is

Remove your earbud ( white bud ) which side is not working then clean it with tooth brush carefully then blow air with mouth in to the earphone tightly and make sure that air going through other side ( metal mesh ) of the ear phone then repeat from mesh side and let the air from budside way , repeat that 2 times and then connect the earphone to your device and check

Hope it will work

Worked for me

All the best

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whoa - I think it worked! QC20i, 2 years old had started to give grounding-buzz whenever connected to USB and it was starting to occur even without USB. I have just tried the air-blowing method and it seems fixed!? Thanks for the suggestion.

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Hi @craftychandu, where did you find out about this method? It actually worked, but I haven't been able to figure out why it does!

Thanks for posting!

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Yep, I had the same problem. Send them back, they will break soon, mine did.

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Adam.

Have a look at my comment.

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I started experiencing the same thing on my 3 year old QC15. I unplugged the cord from headphone and plugged it back in securely. It fixed the problem. They also include an extra plug just in case the current one is actually broken . Hope this helps.

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this doesn't seem to work for me.

when i turn the device on it is often fine, but as soon as it comes near a plug-in there is an increasingly loud log humming sound.

i've tried the above recommendation with different cords that elicit the crackling sound, but after doing it repetitively the low humming sound continues.

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Yes, I also have that humming on my left ear-plug. It gets much much worse the moment I charge the earphones while listening. no matter whether I charge via computer usb or via power socket. Obviously some grounding issue. Would love to know what could be done to fix this.

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Hi Joe,

To fix your problem on your Bose QC 15, you have to change the battery. To do that there will be a tab on the left side of the headphone, open that and switch the battery.

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That doesn't work

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I have the quiet comfort over ear noise canceling headphones. Just a few weeks ago, I noticed static on the left ear. Plugged into the PC, plugged into my phone, didn't matter, static on the left. Remove earphone cable, still static on the left. Turn off the noise cancelling button, static stops. Replaced battery, static on left side still there. As others have indicated solution is easy

Remove the ear cup, Remove the felt piece, I noticed mine had moved, and wasn't in its proper place. I then blew on the mechanism a bunch of times, reset the felt to its proper position, and whamo, no more noise. You could also try the knife method to increase the space which you can clearly see has only one way to do it. But this isn't a Bose problem, this is a long term use problem. Just clean it people, and whamo, you have working headphones again.

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Try a different audio app. The issue may be in the app and not the headphones; Unpair your headphones from your device, and then pair them again. By the way Bose QuietComfort 20 is the best noise cancelling earbuds.

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Hi Joe,

My right side had a very annoying buzz. I did like you said but I had to pry up the metal piece pretty far to get the buzzing to stop. But it did! I bought these used and they had buzz when I got them so I am happy to get them fixed! I think what happened is the previous owner must have pressed in the center of the ear cup accidentally and it pushed the metal thing to close. Anyway I am grateful!

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I fixed this by (from the sound preference pane) deselecting my Bose Quite Comfort 30's from being the system default microphone, and the default sound output device, and then re-setting it as the default sound output device. This appears to have disabled the microphone and fixed the static.

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What system did you do this with? iPhone, Android...?

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JoeB will be eternally grateful.
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