Fixing my Bose QC15 headphones

I hadn’t used my noise-canceling headphones in a while and found its battery was dead. When I went to replace the battery, I also found corrosion. It took me around thirty minutes to get that stubborn little green light to come back on, but they’re now working perfectly once again.

Here’s what I did (several times) in case it helps someone else:

  • Dipped Q-tips in isopropyl alcohol and rubbed the positive and negative contacts inside the battery compartment
  • Dipped Q-tips in water and rubbed the contacts again
  • Used a dry Q-tip and dried the contacts as much as I could
  • Sprayed air into the battery compartment with a power duster spray
  • I dug a toothpick into the middle of the positive contact and blindly scratched away
  • Used another toothpick to scratch away at the negative contact
  • Sprayed it with some more air

Don’t give up too soon!


  • Julio

    I had the very same problem. Solution? A small piece of tin foil. I wrapped it around the positive pole and voila!

  • Jose Salazar

    The wire can also break. The corrosion from the batter can eat away at the power wire which connects from the battery + terminal to the headphones. Mine broke the second I removed the spring terminal.

  • Dennis

    Tried everything described here –and also toggling the Hi/Lo switch on the cord that plugs in to the phones… and nada. Possibly the wire burned out. Be careful with the tinfoil trick. I barely was able to get the battery out after that.

  • Annie

    Success, thank you! Exact same thing happened to me, this must be a known issue with Bose headphones.

    After a few months of non use, I found the battery was badly corroded in the headphones, and wouldn’t come out. I pried the battery out using tweezers and cleaned out the corroded material with rubbing alcohol. I thought that would do it and put them away. I found later that they would still not power on. Bose customer service will not repair, only replace for a discounted price (thanks a lot, Bose). I found this message board, and used rubbing alcohol on a q-tip again to really clean the + and – poles. It finally worked, and the green power button switched back on. Thank you!!!

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