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Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,230
10,173
San Jose, CA
Current bluetooth 4 is 25 megabits/second = 3 megabytes/second. Uncompressed, lossless, dual channel stereo CD music @ 44.1 kHz/16-bit is just 176 KB/second.
You are talking about Bluetooth high speed, which is not appropriate for music streaming. It uses an additional Wifi radio in the device rather than the Bluetooth air interface, and is much less power efficient. It's meant for occasional quick file transfers. A phone or headset battery wouldn't last very long if this were used for music streaming to headphones.
Whatever is wrong with current bluetooth, it is absolutely not a bandwidth issue. And if it were, merely doubling the BW couldn't make a fundamental difference.
In fact, the data channel for A2DP is currently limited to about 720kbps, which is not quite enough for lossless stereo (although it's very close, which is why AptX has a "pseudo lossless" mode).
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Ditto. I'm sorry but bluetooth just feels like a bad version of wifi that requires you to be in the same room and pair constantly if you have more than two routers! It should be able to be a remote connection over the internet if direct bluetooth isn't available.
Why? Bluetooth was designed as a "personal area network", not for remote connectivity.
It should be instant connect without the need ever to pair etc. It's just a pants technology that is just stuck in the past.
Bluetooth without pairing would be a security nightmare. Pairing establishes the encryption keys between devices. If there was no pairing, everyone around you could easily eavesdrop on your phone calls made via BT headset, intercept texts/emails pushed from your phone to your smartwatch etc. pp., as well as potentially take control of your devices.
 
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RooooG

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2012
21
0
Bose just came out with a pair of $350 wireless headphones. Given that this 5.0 is just around the corner and it requires a hardware upgrade, almost seems like a no brainer to wait...
The speed update is for Low Energy going from 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps. So if you're waiting for audio bandwidth, 5 won't have it.
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Here's to hoping that Apple gets off their asses and actually implements bluetooth correctly. Rumors of them getting rid of the headphone port, and yet I can't get any bluetooth device to stay paired correctly to ANY device. Issues between my Watch and iPhone, between my Magic Keyboard/Mouse and my rMBP, between my Bose/Beats headphones and my rMBP/iPad/iPhone. Non-stop issues.

Even now, as I type this on my rMBP keyboard with both my magic mouse and keyboard sitting in front of me because they just disconnected for no reason and refuse to reconnect. Absolute garbage!

/end rant
No issues here with 5K iMac and same peripherals.
 

Tech198

Cancelled
Mar 21, 2011
15,915
2,151
everything is getting faster..

If Bluetooth could only replace Wi-Fi, then at least all the interference we have now would be zero. Although designed as a short range,,,, they could extend it....

Designers always coming up with new ideas anyway... so why not?
 

RooooG

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2012
21
0
Which BT 4.x HR sensor or speed/cadence sensor or power meter will pair with more than one iPhone (as an example)? Or pair with an iPhone plus a Suunto/Polar sport watch?

I'm guessing you know something we all don't?

Or by "solved" did you mean a half-implemented spec with no real world application?
The Bluetooth spec is straight-forward on multiple LE connections and from an application standpoint it's simple. If a manufacturer doesn't want to do this with their product because:

a) Implementing this with a one-button UI will be too confusing for customers (already hard enough to get people to hold a button down for 3 seconds to pair)
b) Battery life is now divided by the number of active connections
c) Most people don't need to know the heart rate from multiple devices and won't have this complaint
d) Easier to support only one connection

If you want to blame someone, fine, but it's not the spec. All the devices are doing what they're "supposed" to.
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Range is pretty huge for me since I can see myself using buds in the gym while being relatively far away from my bag and phone.
Well that's the answer to why they're removing the headphone jack. Bluetooth audio quality just got a huge upgrade.
Bluetooth Low Energy just got a huge upgrade (not audio). The article isn't terribly clear.
 

name99

macrumors 68020
Jun 21, 2004
2,271
2,127
I think a lot depends on what device you're connecting to and (probably more important) how old that device is?

For example; My iPhone 6 connects instantly and automatically to my Bose mini Bluetooth speaker as soon as I switch the speaker on. The connection is rock solid - practically hard wired. The Bose is only a couple of years old.

OTOH, I have a much older Bluetooth speaker (which I really like), but it always requires some fiddling-around-with and button-pressing to connect. And it drops occasionally.

I think an even better example of what BT CAN do (if both sides of the connection could actually be bothered to use the most modern chips and high quality software) is the Apple Watch. The Apple Watch/iPhone connectivity is pretty astonishingly good --- I've NEVER had a previous BT connection that is so utterly flawless. It works exactly the way it is meant to. And this is not just because it is always connected. Every night I switch my watch into Airplane mode (so it can track my sleep while using low power), every morning I un-Airplane it, and it connects to the phone in a second or so with no fuss.

If EVERY BT device worked like, no-one would be complaining about BT quality.
It is definitely true that older devices were garbage --- headsets were truly awful, and even my 1st gen Apple cordless keyboard and trackpad are dodgy, occasionally randomly losing their connection for a second or two.
I don't know if the cross-over point is use of BT LE, but I don't think I've ever had a BT LE peripheral with bad connectivity --- maybe I've just been lucky?
 

Robert.Walter

macrumors 68040
Jul 10, 2012
3,108
4,432
My 83 year old mother is severely hearing impaired (deaf in one ear and 30% sensitivity in the other) and is this totally dependent on a well functioning hearing aid in that single "good" ear.

She loves her iPhone 6 and Apple Watch these have helped her stay organized as she has aged, as well as safer financially (Apple Pay) and independent (being able to call for help if she falls or is injured out of reach of her phone).

On the other hand, her 5000$ (expensive due to high amplification) made for iPhone hearing aid has been good as long as she doesn't pair it with her iPhone and expect them to remain in the mode she chooses.

The iPhone - ReSound hearing aid connection is set to default to her hearing aid any time she makes or receives a call. Sometimes, when my sister is there and they switch to speakerphone, the darn phone refuses to hold the setting, returns to routing audio into her aid, and after 2 or 3 attempts to set it to speakerphone, thus forces them to turn off Bluetooth to sever the connection to the aid.

To try and remedy the situation, she has been forced to make a 60 mile round trip almost every 2nd month, until now with much hope but no sustainable success.

Each time she uses this "certified" set-up as intended, its lousy performance adds repeated insult to the financial injury of such a massive (non-govt subsidized) investment for a senior on a fixed income dwindling due to inflation. This arrangement has definitely diminished her quality of life.

We think the issue is due to deficiencies in the Bluetooth standard (as I have much worse performance with my iphone6-Logitech H800 BT Headset, since adding my Apple Watch (and def worse than this headset w/ my iPhone 4s.)

But regardless, Apple should have never released or advertised MFi-certification for any aid vendor until they had a robust just-works solution.
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Clearly wired EarPods will be in the box.

If they are the current design that just fall out of the ears so easily, Apple should just skip including them at least for the folks I've talked to, they are useless due to the retention problem.
 
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FriendlyMackle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2011
899
782
NYC
What would be amazing would be to find BT devices that actually connect easily...
I have several different Bluetooth headphones and earbuds, and they all connect flawlessly every time.

For reference: UE 9000 BT headphones (bought them when they were discontinued for a steal! -- and they are great and have a beautiful sound with active noise-canceling); Sennheiser Momentum Wireless 2.0 BT headphones (again, active noise-canceling, beautiful sound, 25+ hours battery life); and finally my day-to-day around the city and to the gym (regularly, nicely water-resistant) Jaybird Xs (they're around 2+ years old at this point) earbuds, they sound pretty good considering the small size, and have decent battery life (started out at 7 hours, now down to 4!); these never got the stated run time of 8 hours. But they are great so I'll probably replace them with the same model.

One last thing: both the UEs and the Momentums have cable inputs, so that you can wear them wired, i.e., on a plane, or if you've run through the very long battery life! The Momentums also can be plugged into your Mac's USB port for wired USB audio...which sounds awesome!
 
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CFreymarc

Suspended
Sep 4, 2009
3,969
1,149
All I remember about bluetooth is that in early 2000's with your cellphone you can see others who have their bluetooth on and exchange files with them in any public area.
That is one thing that's really missing in the current mobile scene, that is point-to-point data exchange. Almost every architecture design is directed for a mobile device to access "a cloud" and then the receiver, be it right next to you or the other side of the world, takes the data from the same cloud server.

I think its used for wireless controllers today and maybe personal hotspot?
The bandwidth never caught up and WiFi is the primary Hotspot transport. I have used Bluetooth hot spots when the WiFi did not workout. I actually got an fifteen year old Compaq X1000 laptop accessing the Internet for e-mail via an iPhone Bluetooth transport. We were pretty freaked out it worked.

Any way, if you buy a new standard Bluetooth device it will probably mean you have to upgrade all your other gadgets to reap the benefits....
I'm sure BT5 will be reverse compatible with BT4 and classic Bluetooth will be given one more nail in its virtual coffin.
 

FriendlyMackle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 29, 2011
899
782
NYC
You are talking about Bluetooth high speed, which is not appropriate for music streaming. It uses an additional Wifi radio in the device rather than the Bluetooth air interface, and is much less power efficient. It's meant for occasional quick file transfers. A phone or headset battery wouldn't last very long if this were used for music streaming to headphones.
In fact, the data channel for A2DP is currently limited to about 720kbps, which is not quite enough for lossless stereo (although it's very close, which is why AptX has a "pseudo lossless" mode).
[doublepost=1465664957][/doublepost]Why? Bluetooth was designed as a "personal area network", not for remote connectivity.
Bluetooth without pairing would be a security nightmare. Pairing establishes the encryption keys between devices. If there was no pairing, everyone around you could easily eavesdrop on your phone calls made via BT headset, intercept texts/emails pushed from your phone to your smartwatch etc. pp., as well as potentially take control of your devices.
Thanks for a great and informative post!

So, what is the 'real-world,' BT audio data rate over A2DP, once you account for the protocol overhead? 500-600 Kbps? Since BT5 will double (the article was corrected to say data would be doubled) the data stream rate, I'm hoping this will mean around 1.2 Mbps real streaming? That really would be enough for lossless compressed (ALAC or FLAC) audio! That is very exciting.

Since you sound technically aware -- do you know how this data increase is achieved?
 

name99

macrumors 68020
Jun 21, 2004
2,271
2,127
That is one thing that's really missing in the current mobile scene, that is point-to-point data exchange. Almost every architecture design is directed for a mobile device to access "a cloud" and then the receiver, be it right next to you or the other side of the world, takes the data from the same cloud server.

You do realize what you are describing/wishing for is Apple's Airdrop functionality, right? No use of the cloud, no reliance on an external network. All done with ad hoc local networks.
 

MacBH928

macrumors G3
May 17, 2008
8,356
3,736
That is one thing that's really missing in the current mobile scene, that is point-to-point data exchange. Almost every architecture design is directed for a mobile device to access "a cloud" and then the receiver, be it right next to you or the other side of the world, takes the data from the same cloud server.

actually there is, its called AirDrop. It sucks because you don't access a list of people around you then you decide what to send to them (like instant messengers) but you have to choose which item you want to send (email, pic, audio) then you get to access the list of people. Of course, everyone should have airdrop on.
 

RooooG

macrumors newbie
Oct 30, 2012
21
0
Thanks for a great and informative post!

So, what is the 'real-world,' BT audio data rate over A2DP, once you account for the protocol overhead? 500-600 Kbps? Since BT5 will double (the article was corrected to say data would be doubled) the data stream rate, I'm hoping this will mean around 1.2 Mbps real streaming? That really would be enough for lossless compressed (ALAC or FLAC) audio! That is very exciting.

Since you sound technically aware -- do you know how this data increase is achieved?
The article is not very clear that the data rate improvement is for Bluetooth Low Energy only. Since its introduction, LE has only been a 1 Mbit PHY. BT 5 introduces a 2 Mbit LE PHY, for which there is no audio specification.

Bluetooth Classic (A2DP and SCO do not use LE) already supports 1, 2 and 3 Mbps data rates, so there won't be an increase in audio data rate.
 

Rigby

macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
6,230
10,173
San Jose, CA
Thanks for a great and informative post!

So, what is the 'real-world,' BT audio data rate over A2DP, once you account for the protocol overhead? 500-600 Kbps?
The bitrate I mentioned is the net data rate available to the application (assuming no interference).
Since BT5 will double (the article was corrected to say data would be doubled) the data stream rate, I'm hoping this will mean around 1.2 Mbps real streaming? That really would be enough for lossless compressed (ALAC or FLAC) audio! That is very exciting.
This could already be done in EDR mode (there are some proprietary schemes that do this). The main reason why bitrates available for standard A2DP audio transmission are more constrained is to conserve power and reduce interference. In practice the commonly used audio codecs don't even come close to using the 720kbps.
 
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CFreymarc

Suspended
Sep 4, 2009
3,969
1,149
You do realize what you are describing/wishing for is Apple's Airdrop functionality, right? No use of the cloud, no reliance on an external network. All done with ad hoc local networks.
Airdrop is a bit hokey and not as directly done as I'd like it to be.
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actually there is, its called AirDrop. It sucks because you don't access a list of people around you then you decide what to send to them (like instant messengers) but you have to choose which item you want to send (email, pic, audio) then you get to access the list of people. Of course, everyone should have airdrop on.
You get it. The big thing missing with AirDrop is no line-of-sight identification. Back in the Palm days, IR transfer was great for that. In theory you can use the flash and the camera to send data at really quick speeds. This is done pulsing the flash at a rate where the camera picks up a pulse pattern, recognizes it as a data stream and then parses the incoming stream. I have seen few hacks like this on Android but a lot of API bypass is needed.
 

CodeJingle

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2009
592
217
Greater Seattle, WA

Bluetooth 4.1 is still running at 1MHz throughput. Doubling that isn't doing much. Bluetooth 3 was running at nearly 20x that.
[doublepost=1465797515][/doublepost]
Ditto. I'm sorry but bluetooth just feels like a bad version of wifi that requires you to be in the same room and pair constantly if you have more than two routers! It should be able to be a remote connection over the internet if direct bluetooth isn't available. It should be instant connect without the need ever to pair etc. It's just a pants technology that is just stuck in the past.

you can communicate without connecting, and you can connect without pairing, though pairing is still prevalent
 

recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,117
2,755
More bandwidth always requires more power ...

And more power requires more responsibility :D
Bluetooth can benefit from a wider range and faster connectivity. If more power is required when you are distant from the device you're connecting to I'm fine with that, as long as a smaller amount of power is used when the other device is close.
 

Mr Bigs

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2010
500
7
Bklyn N.Y
Those $350 Bose headphones you bought on Monday? Already obsolete …

Edit: You guys, isn't it obvious I'm kidding? Of course they're not obsolete.
But they waited years to release their first Bluetooth QC and they do it a week before a new standard is released? That does deserve a little mocking … Was the product manager that much out of the loop?
While the noise suppression on the QC's are excellent the sound quality is unimpressive and one Of Bose's biggest weaknesses !!!
 

whsbuss

macrumors 601
May 4, 2010
4,189
1,045
SE Penna.
While the noise suppression on the QC's are excellent the sound quality is unimpressive and one Of Bose's biggest weaknesses !!!

Yeah I agree. Its why I didn't keep both the QC25 or the SoundLink II from last year. See my post earlier, but even the noise cancellation on the demo one at Bose were not good.
 

iPhoneUser4321

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2016
1
0
I'm hoping we don't have to wait for iPhone 8 for this... Since we're moving into a wireless world more and more every day.
With new hardware requirements, there is unlikely to be any Bluetooth 5 on the iPhone 7 or 7+ - not enough lead time.
 

Mac 128

macrumors 603
Apr 16, 2015
5,360
2,930
With new hardware requirements, there is unlikely to be any Bluetooth 5 on the iPhone 7 or 7+ - not enough lead time.

But you assume Apple has not had any information about this prior to being publicly announced. Apple is a member of BT SIG that is the review board. I would be stunned if Apple, as well as the other governing members weren't aware of the hardware requirements well in advance of this announcement.

The announcement is primarily for the peripheral makers, not the core members which include Intel, Microsoft, and other PC companies, who have provided guidance on how BT actually develops for use by third parties.
 
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