How to Connect an iPod to a Bose (15 Steps)

By David Weedmark

Whether your Bose sound system or speakers were designed specifically with your iPod in mind or not, you should have no problems connecting them together. Bose SoundDocks can charge an iPod while it's docked in the system, and both the Bose SoundLink Air and Bluetooth systems offer wireless connectivity to Bluetooth or AirPlay-enabled iPods. Even if your Bose system doesn't offer these options for your iPod, you can always use an auxiliary cable to connect the two devices.

SoundDock Systems

Step 1

Examine the dock on the Bose sound system or speaker to see if it's compatible with your iPod. Not all iPods are compatible with all docks. For example, the SoundDock Series III iPod dock is only compatible with the iPhone 5, iPod Touch 5th generation and the iPod Nano 7th generation.

Step 2

Use an adapter that allows you to connect the iPod to the Bose's dock if the dock doesn't suit your iPod model. For example, a Lightning to 30-pin adapter or cable can connect an older iPod Touch to a Lightning dock. If you do use an adapter, make sure it physically fits in the Bose's dock.

Turn on the iPod, select a playlist, if desired, and then connect it to the dock. You can remove its case if it doesn't connect properly. Adjust the volume on the Bose system with its remote, or use the iPod's volume buttons. Press the "Play" and "Stop" buttons on the remote to control the iPod's basic functions. The iPod should charge while it's connected to the dock. To disconnect the iPod, simply remove it from the dock and turn it off.

AirPlay and iPod Touch

Step 1

Connect your Bose AirPlay-enabled speaker, like the SoundLink Air, to a power source near your computer.

Step 2

Navigate to the Bose Wi-Fi Setup page on your computer (see Resources). Follow the on-screen instructions, connecting the Bose speaker to your computer, when prompted, using its USB cable.

Step 3

Enter a name for your speaker in the Speaker Name field. Select your Wi-Fi network from the available list, enter your Wi-Fi password, and then click "Connect." Wait for the connection confirmation to appear before disconnecting the speaker from your computer.

Step 4

Move the speaker to any location in your house within range of your Wi-Fi network. Unplugging the power won't make it lose its network settings.

Step 5

Connect an iPod Touch or other iOS device to your Wi-Fi network. Tap the "AirPlay" icon on any AirPlay-enabled app, like the Music app. Alternatively, swipe upward on the home screen, and then tap "AirPlay" from the Control Center to open AirPlay.

Select the name you chose for the Bose speaker from the available AirPlay devices.


Step 1

Examine the Bose system's documentation to see if it supports Bluetooth. Turn on the Bose system, and then turn on an iPod that also uses Bluetooth, like the iPod Touch and the iPod Nano 7th generation.

Step 2

Open "Settings" on the iPod, select "Bluetooth," and then turn Bluetooth on if it isn't on already.

Wait for the iPod to detect the Bose system while standing within close proximity -- a few feet should work well. Tap the Bose system when it appears on the list. As long as you are in the same room, the iPod's sound should stream via Bluetooth to the Bose system. To stop, turn off the Bose system or turn off Bluetooth on the iPod.

Using the Auxiliary Input

Step 1

Insert one end of a 1/8-inch insert cable into the headphone jack on the iPod.

Step 2

Insert the other end of the insert cable into the Bose system's 3.5-mm, or 1/8-inch, auxiliary input jack. It may be on the front, back or side of the unit, depending on the model.

Turn on the iPod and begin playing a song. Press the "Aux" button on the Bose system's remote to hear the iPod's music.