Connecting your Apple iPhone to the Bose® Sounddock® Speaker System

The Bose Sounddock works as an iPhoneTM speaker dock to listen to the music on your iPhone. A few notes about connecting your iPhone to the Bose Sounddock:

  • Dock Inserts
    The iPhone does not ship with an Apple universal dock insert. The iPhone does fit into the large dock insert that is included with the Bose Sounddock. Apple also sells an accessory kit called ‘iPhone Universal Dock Adapter 3-Pack’. This will enable the iPhone to connect to the iPod Universal Dock and other products that use the Universal Dock system.
  • Docking the iPhone and Bose Sounddock
    When docking the iPhone with the Bose Sound Dock, the iPhone will display the following message: This accessory is not made to work with iPhone. Would you like to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference? Either way, the audio or control of the iPhone via the Sounddock will work as normal. Users may also experience a brief bout of audio feedback while docking the iPhone.

    • Airplane Mode
      When in airplane mode, the iPhone will not access any data source that requires an Internet connection or make or receive any telephone calls. Airplane Mode is designed to prevent any possible interference including audio feedback during an incoming telephone call. All iPod functionality of the iPhone will work.
    • Standard Mode
      If “No” is selected when prompted to go into Airplane Mode, all features of the iPhone will function normally, including receiving phone calls and data access. When receiving an incoming phone call, the user will experience some minimal audio feedback from the Sounddock. When an incoming phone call comes in while listening to music via the iPod function, the iPhone will automatically turn down and pause the music to allow for the phone to ring and be heard. The iPhone will then prompt the user to “Decline” or “Answer” the incoming call. If the phone call is declined, the iPhone will automatically un-pause the music and turn itself back up to the previous listening volume.
  • Sounddock Remote Usage
    All buttons, except the OFF button, on the Bose Sounddock remote will function normally. Since the iPhone requires simultaneous pressing of two buttons to power down completely, when it’s docked, the Sounddock remote OFF button will act as PLAY/PAUSE.
  • Charging the iPhone
    The iPhone will charge while docked in the Bose Sounddock including during music playback.
  • iPhone Speakerphone Functionality
    The current iPhone does not support speakerphone capabilities via the docking interface, so phone calls will not be broadcast through the dock connector output to the Bose Sounddock.

If you have any additional questions about using your Apple iPhone with the Bose Sounddock, please give us a call.

53 comments on “Connecting your Apple iPhone to the Bose® Sounddock® Speaker System

  1. Craig Muir on said:

    I tried this at a store choosing airplane mode when the selection presented. It did not work. It also knocked the sound off my iPhone. I had to sync the phone on my PC to return the sound function on the iPhone.

  2. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    We checked with Bose technical support, and there are no known issues with the Bose Sounddock and Apple iPhone. Occasionally there will be a problem with the iPhone that can be corrected by resetting the iPhone and Sounddock. To reset the iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button and the Home button at the same time for at least ten seconds, until the Apple logo appears. To reset the Sounddock, unplug the power cable to the Sounddock for 10 seconds and then plug it back in.

  3. Derek Koonin on said:

    Is the model you have for $299 the latest from Bose or is there a newer one that recently came on the market, which Bose is selling for $399. Thank you. Derek.

  4. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    Bose just recently came out with a newer model of the SoundDock($299) called the SoundDock Portable($399). The Sounddock Portable runs on a lithium-ion powered battery and can be used anywhere you want. It has a lot of neat new features that sets it apart from the older Sounddock. Take a look at it here.

  5. Jeremy on said:

    I just purchased a Bose sounddock for my iPhone, however, I’m already experiencing problems. First of all, even on airplane mode, I’m still getting the annoying audio feedback. Secondly, my iPhone gets really hot while hooked up to the sounddock. And lastly, when playing, it will occasionally lock up and I have to reset my phone. I’m not sure what the problem is, but everytime now I push the wake/sleep button to check for calls, my phone automatically resets (taking a good thirty seconds everytime). Now I’m missing phone calls, etc. This stinks. Any suggestions?

  6. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    This is a very rare occurrence, I suggest contacting Bose Technical Support. They should be able to walk you through any problems you are experiencing.

  7. Methee on said:

    Is it possible to connect this speaker to iMac?
    I mean audio out from iMac to the sounddock interface.

  8. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    You can’t connect an iMac to this particular Sounddock, but the new Bose Sounddock Portable has two auxiliary inputs that will work with any auxiliary cables. If you connect your iMac to the Sounddock Portable using auxiliary cables this will work.

  9. Pablo Almarza on said:

    Hello, i have the iphone and i`m looking some speakers. I`d like to know if the bose sounddock portable or the bose sounddock digital Music System are going to work with my iphone, speakers and remote control.
    Also i don`t understand this:

    “NOTE: The Bose SoundDock Portable works with iPod® models including the iPod Touch and any iPod featuring a click wheel, including all nano, mini, photo, video, and classic models. Also plays music with iPhone™. (In the event of audio interference, set iPhone to Airplane Mode.)”

    This means that they work with any ipod (all functions including remote control??), and when it says: “plays music with iphone (the remote doesn`t work¿?¿¿

    Thank you. Please respond…this is my second e-mail.

  10. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    This article is focused on the original Bose SoundDock. Since we wrote this article, Bose has come out with the SoundDock Portable Digital Music System which has full functionality with the iPhone. It also runs on a lithium ion battery so you can take it wherever you want and has auxiliary inputs so other devices can be connected to it. The original SoundDock will work with the iPhone but the remote has limited functionality, this is not the case with the SoundDock Portable. I would highly suggest that you get the SoundDock Portable since it was built to work with the iPhone. Follow the link i have provided above to check out the SoundDock Portable.

    You also asked about the statement (In the event of audio interference, set iPhone to Airplane Mode.) All this is saying is that if you hear outside interference over the speaker airplane mode will eliminate it.

  11. if one does not switch to airplane mode while the iphone is docked, would it affect the iphone in any way?

  12. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    No the iPhone won’t be affected if not turned to airplane mode. All airplane mode does is turn the cellphone in the iPhone off, this eliminates any interference that the cell phone may cause to the SoundDock.

  13. Why does my iPhone get so HOT when hooked up to the SoundDock?

  14. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The heat comes from the power being sent to the battery while its charging. It probably seems hotter than normal because when its connected to the SoundDock, the screen is on, the hard drive is running plus it is charging. All three of these things will cause it to be warmer than normal. I wouldn’t worry about it if it hasn’t harmed your iPhone.

  15. Hi. I have the old Bose Sounddock, and a new iPhone 3G. I can listen to music while ignoring the ‘incompatibility’ message, but the sounddock won’t charge my iPhone. Do I have to buy the ‘iPhone universal dock adapter 3-pack’ you mentioned in the beginning of the post and use it to have my iphone charged while using the sounddock? Thank you.

  16. Your Electronic Warehouse on said:

    The older Bose SoundDock does not have the ability to charge the iPhone. I would recommend upgrading to the new Bose SoundDock Series II. This new SoundDock has the ability to play and also charge your new iPhone.

  17. David Alcock on said:

    I am thinking of purchasing the Bose SoundDock, but will it work with my iPod Touch without having to do any programming or buying accessories?

  18. Karthi V on said:

    I have the Bose docking station (the $399 one) and iPhone(not 3G), worked like charm for almost 4 months. But for the past one week, the docking station is not playing my songs in iPhone, even the iPhone is not getting charged in the Dock. But when i dock the iPhone, I am getting this message: “This accessory is not made to work with iPhone. Would you like to turn on Airplane Mode to reduce audio interference?” Is that some setting problem in the iPhone or technical problem happening with the dock? Thanks.

  19. liz markusic on said:

    Does the original SoundDock work with iPod classic 80gb?

  20. Carol A on said:

    Where can I purchase a new power cord and AC adapter?

  21. I have a 3G iPhone. It keeps playing music from it’s own speaker rather than the sound dock . How do I shut off the internal speaker?

  22. Cheryl on said:

    I have a SoundDock and was wondering if I can use it as an additional speaker for my TV?

  23. GIUSEPPE on said:

    My iPhone 3G does not make sounds when plugged into the SoundDock 10. It also will not work with another SoundDock 10 at the store. My SoundDock 10 works with another iPhone and my iPhone works with another Bose dock model. I have reset/restored both to no avail. If you have any suggestions please help.

  24. Heather on said:

    I just got the Bose SoundDock 10 for Christmas. I was using it to play my iPod Nano with no problem. I tried using my new iPod Touch but the songs just keep repeating. Is there something I should be doing to play my playlists continually? It will play all my songs when I change them manually. Is there an attachment I need or do I need to set something differently? I’ve even set my iPod on shuffle and the same thing happens. HELP!

  25. Electronics Guru on said:


    I’m not sure what’s going on. A few things to check, though:

    1. Are both devices updated? Sometimes there are issues that are resolved with firmware/software updates. Consult your manuals for specifics on how to receive and install any updates.

    2. Are you using the correct dock adapter? If your device isn’t seated snugly in the SoundDock or if all the connections aren’t together then you’ll have poor performance or errors.

    3. Do any of the devices have special settings activated or are they damaged in any way, even low on power or overheated even? Lots of people tinker with settings that can disrupt communication between devices, and if either or both of the devices are damaged or overheated or similar then problems can arise.

    I hope this helps! If not, I would contact Bose and Apple.

  26. Corrine Farrow on said:

    Just got new Bose portable system, first time I docked my iPhone and played music on shuffle my remote was able to change songs. Now it wont. The light on Bose blinks when I push the skip on the remote but nothing happens. All I can do is power off and adjust volume. Tried taking it on and off dock and resetting my phone to no avail…Any ideas?

  27. Electronics Guru on said:


    There are a few things to try as suggested by Bose:

    1. Make sure your iPhone is properly and securely docked. Loose connections caused by cases, sleeves or incorrect dock adapters will create control, playback and charging problems.

    2. Update software and firmware for your iPhone. Often hardware is released and is later tweaked with software updates. Is your iPhone up-to-date?

    3. Note that SoundDock Portable systems manufactured before 1/26/09 are not “Works with iPhone” certified for use with the original iPhone; the same is true when used with the new iPhone 3G. While most functions are expected, some problems may arise. You should check to see the manufacture date of your Bose unit.

    4. Check the battery in the Bose remote.

    5. In order to navigate playlists disable shuffle mode. Also, empty playlists are known to cause problems, so delete empty playlists or add at least one song to each.

    6. The remote may not function properly if the signal is blocked or interfered with by objects such as furniture, and sometimes direct sunlight and other A/V signals. Try moving closer to the unit to see if the functionality is restored/improved or modify light conditions. Check the SoundDock to make sure nothing is blocking the front of the unit.

    7. If none of those ideas helps, contact Bose customer support at 1-800-278-1281. Apple support via phone is 1-800-767-2775.

  28. lauriec on said:

    Is there an adapter available so that the protective case on the iPhone can stay on while docking/playing? Just got a new case that’s really hard to take off…

  29. Electronics Guru on said:


    No, there is not a specific dock insert for an iPod/iPhone in a case.

  30. Jennings on said:

    My IPOD touch will not work with my BOSE Dock. Do I have to change something with my settings? My husband’s classic IPOD works perfectly in the BOSE dock.

    Thank you.

  31. Electronics Guru on said:


    What model do you have? There is no “Bose Dock” product, and each of the SoundDock models is a bit different and they were produced at different times, meaning the compatibility may be different. Also, what exactly do you mean by “not work”? I assume this means no sound, but do you get error messages, or does the unit fit together?

    The easiest way to get help is to call in and talk to us at 1-866-224-6171. You can also contact Bose customer support at 1-800-278-1281. Apple support via phone is 1-800-767-2775.

    A quick solution for some users is to use “airplane mode”.

  32. Alejandra on said:

    I just bought new outdoor speakers. How can I connect them to my SoundDock? Is there any adapter I can buy?

  33. Electronics Guru on said:

    Alejandra (32):

    I can’t answer your question without having some details, such as: what model SoundDock? what kind of speakers? how will the connection need to be made (in-wall, on floor, etc.).

    The best I can tell is that calling in and talking to one of our specialists will get you the fastest and best service. 1-866-224-6171…my guys are very knowledgeable, super nice and not pushy.

  34. Jean on said:

    I purchased the Bose SoundDock ll for my iPhone 3GS. My biggest problem is that after docking and listening to the iPod music function through the speakers, I lose my 3G network. However, the network is “on” in my system settings. Why does this happen? How do I get rid of this problem? Thanks!

  35. Electronics Guru on said:

    Jean (34):

    It’s not uncommon for iPhone 3Gs units to lose signal when held tightly or surrounded by larger electronics. The small antenna in the phone has a hard time competing with the other devices, as evidenced by Apple’s admission of the problem and announcement of upcoming updates to address the problem.

    So unless a setting is being changed, there’s nothing that can be done. Cell phone signals are at their strongest when the device is loosely held, has the fewest obstructions between it and a tower, and when the battery has a high charge.

  36. Can I use an iPod Touch 3G with my Bose portable SoundDock in order to listen to internet radio (BBC Iplayer)? I have read a few threads on this and some suggest this is possible whilst others say it is not possible without headphones. Many thanks.

  37. Eros Puentes on said:

    Hi. I Have a Bose SoundDock system for my iPod but my iPhone doesn’t work when I try to listen to a sound message. It vibrates but nothing happens. Is there any way or application that can help me do it?

  38. Electronics Guru on said:

    Eros Puentes (37):

    Please contact Bose technical support at 1-800-278-1281. They will be able to provide you with the best service options, including any trade-in programs.

    But you might try saving the message so the audio file is added to iTunes. Then it would play like a regular song.

  39. Mona Collins on said:

    I have the Bose SoundDock for iPod and the 3G iPhone. Does Bose have a trade-in program to allow me the purchase the new Bose SoundDock that is compatible with the iPhone?

  40. Electronics Guru on said:

    Mona Collins (39):

    Please contact Bose technical support at 1-800-278-1281. They will be able to provide you with the best service options, including any trade-in programs.

  41. Jacques on said:

    I have the BOSE SoundDock system and my IPOD NANO 3 or ITOUCH will not charge while inserted into the BOSE system. One of my friends had a small device one day that you plug/insert into the BOSE SoundDock and then insert the IPOD or ITOUCH on top of the device and then it will charge while inserted into the BOSE SoundDock. Does anybody know what this little device was or where I could find this? She said it was about $15-$25.

    When I inserted either the IPOD or ITOUCH a message will appear on the screen that will say: Charging is not supported by this accessory.

  42. Electronics Guru on said:

    Jacques (41):

    I would suggest asking your friend what the device was.

    The iPod Nano and iPod Touch are supported and should charge. If you are having problems please call Bose Tech Support at 1-800-278-1281.

  43. angelo on said:

    Is there a product that will connect my new iPad with my older Bose Sound Dock system 2005? It has no auxiliary and I was told I would need one with a stereo cord to make it work. I thought Griffin made one but I am not sure. Thanks.

  44. Electronics Guru on said:


    Unless there are third-party cables, there is no way for the iPad to be connected to the older Bose SoundDock units.

  45. I have the original SoundDock and it worked perfect with my iPod Nano. I bought a 3Gs iPhone but it doesn’t work with the iPhone. I have loaded the latest 4.0 OS. The Apple store recommended to buy an adapter from a 3rd party because they said the pins were not 100% compatible. This doesn’t work either. Any suggestions?

  46. Electronics Guru on said:


    As noted on the product page, the original SoundDock doesn’t list the 3Gs at all, and even the 3G is under the limited category. Newer versions of the SoundDock work with the newer iPhones. Unfortunately there is no AUX input on the original. You might try calling Bose to see if there are options, either for accessories or maybe trade-up programs.

  47. i have a bose portable sound dock and an iphone 3gs with an otter box.Is there anyway to bluetooth the connection or buy an extention cord for the docking plug?

  48. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    There is no way to bluetooth the audio to the Bose Portable SoundDock. They do make a Bose SoundDock 10 that does offer this. The bluetooth is an accessory piece that would need to be purchased separately.

  49. Kristi on said:

    I have an iPhone 3GS and jost got a Bose Sounddock series II for Christmas. It charges the phone when docked but I’m having issues when playing music. It will play for short periods of time then will stop. I get a message on the phone saying “This accessory is not optimized for this iPhone. You may experience noise interference and a decrease in cellular signal strength”. Once I hit dismiss, it will start playing again and then stops again. I’ve tried resetting the phone, unplugging the dock to reset it, and nothing is helping. Bose says its something wrong with my iPhone since their solutions aren’t working and Apple is saying its something with the sounddock and not the iPhone. Any suggestions?

  50. Eelctronics Guru on said:


    It sounds like it may have a pin loose on the dock connector. It would be hard to tell if the pin is loose on the iPhone or the Bose SoundDock though. Is there a way you could take the phone into a Bose store and test it on a known good SoundDock they have on display?

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