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Can my Apple TV remote control my Bose Soundbar?

As an Apple TV owner, I have often found myself frustrated when trying to control my Bose soundbar with the Apple TV remote. After much research and testing, I am here to share with you how I solved the problem, as well as a few other solutions I discovered. In this blog post, I’ll explain how you can use your Apple TV remote to control your Bose soundbar.

You can use an Apple TV remote to control a Bose Soundbar. But you must configure the remote for onscreen learning. You can do this manually via the Apple TV’s settings or use an HDMI-CEC to connect the two devices.

Quick Tips: Bose Soundbar and Apple TV Remote
– You can use an Apple TV remote to control a Bose Soundbar.
– For onscreen learning, you must configure the Apple TV remote manually or through HDMI-CEC.
– Although other IR communication remotes may work, Bose recommends using their Universal Remote.
– To connect the two devices via HDMI-CEC, use an HDMI cable to connect the TV’s ARC connection to the Soundbar’s HDMI OUT (ARC/eARC) port.
– If the remote stops working, set the Bose Soundbar to turn on automatically when there is sound from the Apple TV.

Can my Apple TV remote control my Bose Soundbar?

An Apple TV remote can control your Bose Soundbar. You can turn it on and off, adjust the volume, and even mute the Soundbar speaker.

You must reconfigure the two devices whenever you bring a new Apple TV or Soundbar to your current setup.

The Apple TV remote uses IR (Infrared) technology to control other devices, including your speaker, and only works with the 4th and 5th generation Apple TVs.

But before you begin, make sure the Soundbar’s software is up to date. If you bought the Soundbar speaker before the second half of 2020, ensure you upgrade the firmware to the latest version.

Failure to do so may result in issues when attempting to enable the IR learning feature.

Read more: Why can’t I watch my downloaded movies on Apple TV?

How to Control Bose Soundbar With Apple TV Remote

It would be best to use an HDMI-CEC connection to control the Bose Soundbar with the Apple TV remote. If it doesn’t connect automatically, you must program the remote manually.

Make sure there is a clear passage between your remote and the front of the Soundbar. Nothing should obstruct the IR sensor. You should enable HDMI-CEC on your Apple TV HD or Apple TV 4K.

If the power, volume, or HDMI choices do not function automatically, you must manually configure your Apple TV Remote.

Read more: Why is my Apple TV volume so low?

How to Turn on Bose Soundbar With Apple TV Remote

You can turn the Bose Soundbar ON/OFF through HDMI CEC on the Apple TV. However, the Apple TV remote will need to be programmed to include the Soundbar.

First, you must program the Apple TV to recognize the Soundbar for audio output. If done correctly, switching on the TV automatically turns on the speaker.

Let’s see how you can program your remote to turn on the Bose Soundbar.

How to Program Your Apple TV Remote

Before you begin, you must realize that once you configure your Apple TV remote in this manner, you can only control one device at a time – never simultaneously.

  1. Navigate to Settings on your Apple TV 4K or Apple TV HD.
  2. Choose “Remotes and Devices.”
  3. Select “Volume Control.”
  4. Click “Learn New Device.”
  5. Then, using the onscreen instructions, program your Apple TV Remote to adjust the Soundbar’s volume.

After the ‘learning’ process is complete, switch off your Apple TV and on again. The Bose Soundbar should automatically power on and play sound from the TV.

Does the Bose Soundbar Need a Remote?

Yes, it does. There are no controls on Bose Soundbars to switch them on or adjust the volume. The only way to control a soundbar is via remote control.

Wondering how this works? Stick around to learn how to use a remote to issue commands to your Bose Soundbar.

Bose Universal Remote

Bose recommends using their Universal Remote. As the name implies, you can also connect it to your TV, effectively eliminating the need for multiple remotes.

It comes included with the Bose Smart Soundbar 700, but you’ll have to purchase one separately if you own the Soundbar 500.

The Soundbar 300 is incompatible with the Bose Soundbar Universal Remote.

IR Remote Control

Fortunately, you may not own a universal remote. Your system can also accept IR (Infrared code) commands from other remote controllers, such as the Apple TV Remote, but not one that communicates via RF (radio frequency) signals.

Therefore, before purchasing a universal remote, assess your current remote. Does it communicate via IR or RF? If you’re unsure, check the device’s manual for product specifications.

However, you must teach your Soundbar to understand commands from the IR remote. To accomplish this, program the speaker using your Bose remote.

Push and hold the TV button on the speaker until the TV and Bluetooth lights flicker thrice and then glow white.


All Bose Soundbars support HDMI connections. HDMI cables transmit higher-resolution audio from Blu-ray formats such as Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master audio.

Typically, any HDMI cable will suffice. It is, however, recommended that you choose one that supports CEC.

HDMI-CEC allows you to control power on/off and volume level tasks remotely. Your Bose soundbar will also turn off when you turn off your TV.

How to Connect a Soundbar to a TV Using an HDMI Cable

  1. Insert one end of the cable into the HDMI port on your TV’s ARC connection.
  2. Plug the opposite end of the HDMI cable to the Soundbar’s HDMI OUT (ARC/eARC) port.
  3. Check that your TV and Bose Soundbar settings are programmed to communicate via HDMI-CEC.
  4. Turn on your TV. The TV sound will play through your soundbar.

What Happens When the Remote is Not Working?

If the remote control system cannot deliver commands to the Soundbar, you might not be able to turn it on.

And, unless you have it programmed to turn on and off automatically, there is no way to turn on the Soundbar if your remote stops working.

You can set your Bose Soundbar to turn on automatically when there is sound from your Apple TV via settings by selecting the “Auto-wake on or off” feature.

However, the device shuts off after 20 minutes of inactivity with this option.