Make Bose QuietComfort 15 (QC 15) Bluetooth Wireless

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Introduction: Make Bose QuietComfort 15 (QC 15) Bluetooth Wireless

Bose QuietComfort 15's are a great pair of headphones, but they're not wireless. I have no idea why Bose doesn't make a wireless bluetooth dongle for them, so I hacked together one in less than 15 minutes. Here's what you need:

- Pair of Bose QC 15's
- 3.5mm Bose QC audio plug (this needs to be the Bose one, comes with the headphones)
- cheap bluetooth A2DP dongle from eBay ($15)

Tools:
- Soldering iron & a bit of solder
- 1" of solid wire, ~22 gauge (found on most resistors and solderless breadboard kits)
- Wire clippers or scissors
- Flat head screw driver

The first step is to take apart the bluetooth dongle and 3.5mm jack. You can pry the bluetooth dongle case apart with your finger nail. The 3.5mm jack takes a bit more work. I used a small flat head screw driver and it came right off. 

You should be left with exposed circuit boards of the 3.5mm jack and the bluetooth dongle.

Step 1: Solder 3.5mm Jack to Bluetooth Dongle

Both the bluetooth dongle and 3.5mm jack have aligning wires (red, gold, green). This makes it really easy for us.

The first step is to desolder the wires from both the 3.5mm jack and bluetooth dongle. Apply the soldering iron to one of the solder joints and pull gently on the wire. It will come freely when the solder is melted.

Once all wires are desoldered, it is time to use the 22 gauge solid core wire to bridge the two parts together. Cut 3x 0.5" lengths of wire. Apply some solder to both ends of each wire, and then solder to the bluetooth dongle first (the bluetooth dongle is more cramped). Solder all 3 wires to the bluetooth dongle first. Once done, solder the other end to the 3.5mm jack as shown in the picture.

Once all 3 wires are soldered, you're done! 



Step 2: How It Looks and Works

I personally don't care that there is a PCB with a battery sticking out of my $300 headphones, but you may. In that case, you can try and stick the bluetooth dongle case back on with a little modification.

To charge the bluetooth dongle you just have to pull it out and plug it in to the USB mini jack. My dongle lasts around 6 hours. The solid core wire is strong enough to allow the jack to be pulled out without a problem.

The audio quality is superb. I could not tell a difference compared with having the headphones wired. Having the headphones wireless makes life so much easier, you can get up and roam around! The bluetooth dongle worked without problems on my windows 7 computer and iphone. It should not have any problems on a Mac or android device. I have tried other bluetooth dongles that were more expensive and they sounded identical, and had the exact same chip in them. 

Enjoy wireless freedom!
-Michael Bell

3 People Made This Project!

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36 Comments

Here is my rendition of this mod. Used a Sony Mw600 bluetooth adapter (had it laying around) and use the same instructions above. The mw600 has a female stereo jack.

The adapter does not look bad at all when wearing the headphones, looks like a microphone coming down the side, nothing bulky.

I plan on trying a bose bluetooth dongle and getting the same effect, basically a play on the new ae2w using a standard bose dongle.

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Hi Michael,

I have a pair of QC15 headphones that I love but wanted to mod it for Bluetooth compatibility.  I found your idea interesting but thought the connector was not robust enough so i went one step further.  I soldered a 3.5mm female connector to the bose minijack connector and crazy glued it in the cable hole.  Now it fits in like OEM and I can use a cord if I wanted to.  The picture shows some cable dangle but that is something I can live with.  Thanks to your great idea my cans now have a new lease on life.
-Kevin

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Hi. I didn't made it. I'm just curious if you are able to make calls with this? I use my Bose QC 15 mostly to call and no cable would be an advantage.

thanks

frank

I connected the Bluetooth dongle directly into the headphone jack.. It's a much neater solution.

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My black athm50x and my white athm50 with the Bluetooth mod

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GREAT MOD!!! Can someone help me with figuring out the wiring of the QC15 Cord wiring??? I have the cord with inline microphone and have 5 wires. (Gold, Green, Red, Blue, Gold/Red). I'm trying to shorten a cable to a 4-pole TRRS male connector and only getting right channel and no mic button functions. My current wiring is from tip to base (tip/green; 1st band/red; 2nd band/gold & blue; 3rd band/Gold+Red). Is this correct??? Thanks for your help...

Out of curiosity, why do you need the bose cord? Is it proprietary? Is it standard 3.5mm?

2 replies

I believe it is because the 2.5mm side of the connector is very low profile and it is difficult to find cables that fit inside the headphone housing. I've heard that some Shure cables fit, but can't say for sure.

I can tell you right now that the jack on the inside of the QC15 is not 2.5mm. It's a standard 3.5mm TRRS (but here's the kicker), it's a nonstandard pinout. There is no need for the original Bose plug when wiring custom cables, any 3.5mm with 4 channels will do as long as you're willing to sacrifice the cable.

For reference, the Bose TRRS plug pinout is Tip: N/A- none, Ring1: right channel, Ring2: left channel, Sleeve: ground.

If you're going to make a custom cable make sure to wrap a couple inches of wire in tape and use multiple layers of heatshrink to make it stiff enough to insert easily.

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Very nice! I think we may have the same desk as well - ikea?

Michael, nice work on the mod. I had a question that you might be able to answer:

I tried to modify my Bose cable in such a way that I could reduce the cord length to about 5 inches. I took the Bose connector apart (the one that sticks into the QC15's) just like in your mod. Then I took a standard mini jack cable and cut it to length. Desoldered the cable from the PCB on the Bose and re-soldered my mini jack with ground in the center. My problem is this: No matter how I solder the wires to the PCB, I can only get the left channel to come through the headphones.

Did you run into anything like this when you were hooking up the bluetooth?

2 replies

Hi rmandarano,

Did you not use the bose mini jack connector? I believe there is circuitry in there that is required in the headphones for stereo. If you can add some images so I can see what you're doing.

I'm having the same issue. Did y'all ever find the problem?

I tried to do this, but the bluetooth I found had only two cables. Do I just solder the cables that are the same and leave the other one alone?

Hey nice job been tryin to figure out a way to make my qc15s blue tooth ready

1 reply
user

Hey Mike,

I recently just tried two different A2DP receivers bought on ebay, and they both generate a high frequency beeping sound while the music is playing and immediately after the music is paused. Does yours have the same issue?

Thanks!

1 reply

Hi Vli,

Mine don't have the same issue.. might it be from some sort of cell phone interference? Can you share which ones you purchased?