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shayneox

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2015
69
33
Songtan South Korea
Just curious, just got mine a week ago, I work on an AirForce base here in Korea, and each day I walk by the barracks with a cell tower on the roof, my airpods cut out alot...wondering if that is normal.

Cell signal and bluetooth are two differant monkeys??
 

sparksd

macrumors G3
Jun 7, 2015
9,547
31,014
Seattle WA
Just curious, just got mine a week ago, I work on an AirForce base here in Korea, and each day I walk by the barracks with a cell tower on the roof, my airpods cut out alot...wondering if that is normal.

Cell signal and bluetooth are two differant monkeys??

They are two different monkeys and at least here in the US cell towers are governed by FCC regs and shouldn't cause interference (I certainly don't see it at a location nearby that is covered with cell repeaters - pic below).

1q1ibQrXqLLVtIzehraU4fVb5ilft43VjMWw-uzjI8U.jpg
 

jonblatho

macrumors 68030
Jan 20, 2014
2,515
6,221
Oklahoma
In my experience, when AirPods are cutting out it’s interference. A cell tower would not cause interference with Bluetooth devices as they operate on different frequency bands.

Chances are it’s a high density of devices—not necessarily Bluetooth—clogging up the 2.4GHz band that Bluetooth operates on.

As an example, I briefly worked at a UPS Customer Center and had to turn off Bluetooth on my iPhone any time I walked in the door because they had devices (not using Bluetooth, to my knowledge) using that frequency that were far more important than an inactive Bluetooth LE device.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
6,007
4,621
Interesting coincidence: not Airpods, but, my Bluetooth earbuds start cutting out when running next to an executive jet airport.

There is a large cell tower next to the perimeter fence as well, but, the cutting out is highly localized. Approach from the east, starts flaking about 300yds away. N/S bike path running along the fence, no issue until about 50yds from cell tower, and then again about 50yds past the tower (and only right at those spots). Approach from the SE sidewalk, no problems.

During workouts, I go past several other towers, no issues.

I wonder if something along the lines of instrument landing systems, airport beacon, etc. Something transmitting from inside the fence line. But would not rule out something with the cell tower.
 

shayneox

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 6, 2015
69
33
Songtan South Korea
Interesting coincidence: not Airpods, but, my Bluetooth earbuds start cutting out when running next to an executive jet airport.

There is a large cell tower next to the perimeter fence as well, but, the cutting out is highly localized. Approach from the east, starts flaking about 300yds away. N/S bike path running along the fence, no issue until about 50yds from cell tower, and then again about 50yds past the tower (and only right at those spots). Approach from the SE sidewalk, no problems.

During workouts, I go past several other towers, no issues.

I wonder if something along the lines of instrument landing systems, airport beacon, etc. Something transmitting from inside the fence line. But would not rule out something with the cell tower.


And I am on an AirForce base...so more than a coincidense.
 

karnsculpture

macrumors regular
Feb 19, 2006
141
47
London, UK
Yes, happens to me when I am in railway stations, and at my local station if I stand in a particular place on the platform - if I step a few meters away from whatever is causing interference the sound is fine. Never have any issues when actually on a train, even if packed in at rush hour, but on station platforms or walking across concourses there are issues.
 
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twinlight

macrumors 6502a
Sep 4, 2016
716
542
Happens very often near the security checkpoint at work. I think the air is congested with everyone’s phones, laptops, ipads and all other gadgets people carry. It is within a few meters of the same spot every time.
 

LordEntropy

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2007
159
16
Yes, happens to me when I am in railway stations, and at my local station if I stand in a particular place on the platform - if I step a few meters away from whatever is causing interference the sound is fine. Never have any issues when actually on a train, even if packed in at rush hour, but on station platforms or walking across concourses there are issues.

I have had exactly the same thing in the same spot , and a friend of mine has said the same at another station. I also get a problem with my AirPods outside the front of my house when I cross the path of my Ring doorbell.
 

Knowlege Bomb

macrumors G4
Feb 14, 2008
10,225
8,894
US
I have the same issue with my Bluetooth headphones when walking into/out of my gym. Happens without about 50 feet of the front entrance but only on the outside. Once I'm inside it's fine.
 
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