Bose boosts buds – volume control added to the Bose QuietComfort Earphones

Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

One of the cool things about modern gadgets is that, oftentimes, they continue to improve even after you’ve owned them for a while. That’s thanks to firmware updates, and such is the case for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds, which have had significant new functionality added. We originally reviewed them here.

I had push notifications set to on for the Bose Music app, with which you manage the earphones. One popped up this morning.

New feature: Volume control on your earbuds

You can now enable volume control directly on your QuietComfort® Earbuds. Tap to learn more.

I hadn’t actually been using these earphones lately, but I pulled them out to see how it worked. Charged them up to be on the safe side and connected them to my phone. In the app it turns out that you have an “Inbox”. Who knew? It had a dot next to it, indicating a new message. This was a repeat of the new feature notification. A quick tap and the full message was revealed. It turns out that you have to switch on volume control in the app, and once you’ve done that you can swipe up on the right bud to increase the volume, and swipe down to reduce it. You will recall that the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds feature touch sensitive surfaces.

Enabling this on the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds

It turned out to be a little more complicated than that for me. You see, that switch for the volume control wasn’t in the app. I thought that perhaps the firmware on the buds needed updating. But the app told me that the firmware was up to date.

So I disconnected from my Android phone and connected them instead to an iPhone. I installed the Bose Music app and found the volume switch there. It worked perfectly well. Well done Bose!

But that did leave the puzzle of the why the switch wasn’t showing on the Android phone. It turned out that for some reason the auto-update feature on my Android phone hadn’t been auto-updating apps lately. So I forced it to update the Bose Music app, and that introduced the switch.

There are two ways that Bluetooth volume controls work. One is they just control their built-in amplifier. With those, the listening level becomes a function of both that setting and the source device volume settings. The Bose QuietComfort Earbuds adopt the other way. They tell the phone to adjust its level.

Either way, this is a useful additional feature for the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds. Bose’ home page for the buds is here.