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COVID Killed My Bose QC35

Bose QC 35 ANC Headphones side view

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My Bose QC35 headphones died and I’m pretty sure it was because of COVID.

I mean, I can’t be absolutely sure, and they certainly didn’t die from a biological infection. But I’m pretty sure that during the COVID period and all the lockdowns, my QC35s decided that they too would lay down and rest.

And my Bose QC35 wasn’t the only thing that died during COVID. The water pump on my car also decided to give up the ghost, as did my Bose Sleepbuds II.

Overall, COVID really did a number on my gadgets. I think the reason for this is that I didn’t use them a lot during this time.

My car sat stationary for about three months, and for some reason, I didn’t think it would be a good idea to go outside, start the engine, and turn over the motor just to keep things all happy. A foolish mistake.

My Bose QC35 headphones also didn’t get a lot of action because working from home, I have a Hi-Fi system in the studio that I listened to rather than the headphones.

Bose QC35 ANC Headphones bottom view on a table
Charging port and plug | Make Life Click

I also have a bit of a conferencing setup, so I didn’t feel the need to use them for phone calls or anything else.

The lack of activity, I think, and the general age of my Bose QC35 meant that the switch had built up some sort of oxidization that occurred from not being switched on and off at regular intervals. The resulting fallout was that I couldn’t turn the QC35s off.

I can turn them on, and listen to music, but when I try to turn them off, they said that they were turning on again. So the switch definitely had a moment and decided that it was done.

It meant that after charging and using them, even when I put them back in the case, they just stayed on until they ran flat. This means it’s pretty hopeless for a wireless pair of headphones.

Fortunately, I found the solution and have since posted about that fix, and my QC35s have come back to life.

Fixing the Bose QC35
See the how to fix post here

This only happened after I had already bought and upgraded to the QC45s, thinking that my Bose QC35 had really gone out to pasture.

It’s a silly little story, but it’s something we can learn from. 

It shows us that if we have electronics in our lives that we leave dormant for too long, they can get damaged in different ways. They can suffer from oxidization and corrosion.

They can have a battery leak if they have replaceable batteries. Or they can just give up completely if they have rechargeable batteries.

My Bose Sleepbuds II also seemed to have died. I haven’t charged them for a long time, and there were times when I put them in my ears just because they’re good at blocking out some noise and are comfortable to sleep in.

But now all the electronics in them no longer work. I’d charge them, leave them on for extended periods, and there’s nothing there.

They weren’t even that old when they gave up the ghost, but I’ve been a little bit too busy to reach out to Bose and ask them, “What the heck?”

My theory here is that during the period of COVID and more, again, as they weren’t used or charged within a certain period of time, they eventually decided to give up.

They were really underutilized and not overly charged for the year before that, so there’s no way that the battery has died because of its age. They’re still a very young unit.

Bose QC35 ANC Headphones Case and Headphones on a table
Bose QC 35 ANC Carrying Case | Make Life Click

I’m always interested to hear if anyone else had the same problem as me with this kind of unused period where things have broken.

And as I say, it’s a reminder to myself that I need to at least plug in and charge things that I might not be regularly using just to keep them alive and keep the energy flowing through them.

It also helps keep all of their switches and parts clean and away from oxidization.

Even one of the amps in my family has been underused and was recently turned on, only to find out that it has also died.

It was a solid NAD power amp, but it too seems to have gone the way of the unicorn and dinosaurs.

Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.

Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.


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