Bluetooth A2DP Performance Problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jobewan, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. jobewan macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011

    There is some small body of anecdotal writing on the subject out there, but I haven't seen any quantifiable material, and wanted to raise the bar just a touch.

    I have an Early 2011 MBP15 running Lion. Also have a Fox v2 Bluetooth speaker array.

    No matter how I set the A2DP Bitpool Values (using BTExplorer: /Utilities/Special Options), the service to the speaker array cuts out from time to time, and it. Will. Drive. A body. Crazy.

    So I monitored the RSSI and Raw RSSI streams in BTExplorer (Devices/Connection Quality Monitor) while playing music over the BT speaker array. When I open a browser window, or move the Magic Mouse, or type on the BT keyboard, the RSSI and Raw RSSI commonly drop precipitously, and often bottoms out, at which bottoming out the BT speaker array wanders off to the nearest corner and pees itself.

    I have also used the Dynamic bit pool values in BTExplorer (//Utilities/Special Options), and set the lower range as low as "5", and the upper range no higher than "45". If I move either value up the scale, the horror increases tenfold.

    I have yet to select "Disable AptX Codec" (/Utilities/Special Options), simply b/c I don't know what that means.

    If anyone gets any benefit from this information, and/or can add intelligently to it, then it was worth the typing involved to put it up.


  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Can you reproduce the problem with both the mouse and keyboard switched off. My gut feeling tells me there's simply too much interference for the bluetooth card to compensate.
  3. jobewan, Sep 25, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

    jobewan thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2011
    LATEST (and last) UPDATE: I am now at the office with my BTooth keyboard, Magic Mouse and Fox speaker array. The speakers amazingly went for perhaps an hour before cutting out, when placed very closely to the lefthand side of the MBP. I moved the Fox speaker array to the righthand side of the MBP, actually touching it slightly. It seems to be going on well at this point . . the rest of the day will tell the story.

    I believe this DEFEATS the purpose of having a wireless resource, does it not? I am not as deeply irritated as when I wrote the main body of this post, but the word that comes to mind here for me is: pathetic. No matter, I have Dido crooning into my right ear, telling me it's all going to be all right. Maybe so.

    PLEASE NOTE: Several hours after resetting my MBP and turning off my Magic Mouse and BTooth keyboard, the Fox speaker array has been successfully playing for hours, eliminating the speaker array as a possible fault point. -jmc

    Hi snaky69:

    It seems you have something there.

    I tried using the Fox speakers with only the keyboard off: still horrible in terms of cutting out and whatnot.

    Once I turned off the Magic Mouse, that did it. Not only do the Fox speakers stay on, they sound MAJORLY better.

    Now however, the Fox speakers have cut out as I write, with no other bluetooth devices in sight (pun). The BTooth management windows are in a BBOD panic, as is the menu bar, but the rest of the machine is functioning as I type. I had to Force Quit of System Preferences as well as the BTooth selection stuff. Worse, I received a message when I tried to restart that I needed to power down the machine, and power it back up again. The Fox speakers are once again connected of their own accord, but who knows how long that will last.

    What I would say based on all this experimentation and outcomes is this:

    - Monitoring the RSSI and Raw RSSI streams makes it clear that the MBP is giving up the ghost on the BTooth connection, dropping precipitously (and dropping the sound output) if I even touch the Magic Mouse at times.

    - My Dell XPS, which had some issues in this regard with the same speaker array, was NOT NEARLY as prone to this problem as the MBP. So much for Apple's vaunted superiority over PCs in this area of the equation.

    - The A2DP implementation seems deeply flawed on the MBP, given that my BTooth-based Magic Mouse and McAlly keyboard work flawlessly, every time, for hours and hours of very serious pounding. The only time a beat is skipped is when the batteries are done.

    - I cannot adequately express the severity of my disappointment with this machine in this area. The fact that it is so very adept in so many other areas, and its product positioning as a social adjunct . . a 'friend' of sorts, makes my disappoint not only more bitter, but causes it to verge on a sense of betrayal. A pitfall of the electronic age I suppose.

    In any event, the ball has been fumbled here, and fumbled badly. I even get a tool (BTExplorer) to see for myself how hideously idiotic the failure and resulting flaw are. Isn't that special.

    Well, it may be that some firmware magic or driver dust may recover this pan of hash, dropped on the floor for the dog to lick up, but I have no way to know that.

    As a result, I think this may be my last Mac, given the Star Trek level of business and operational sophistication the new upper end Dell Latitude Series is exhibiting.

    Perhaps I will end up using Windows 7 Pro's VMachine feature to run OS X in a box. How ironical will that be, I wonder?

    I like this post so much, for all the wrong reasons, that I think I may add it to my MBP assessment on Amazon, for a wider audience to see.
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    So your whole judgement of your computer is based on it's bluetooth performance? Kind of a whacky way to go about it in my opinion.

    Also, even if the connection was flawless, bluetooth simply does not compare in terms of quality compared to plain old wired speakers, which would eliminate your problem entirely. Bluetooth headsets sound horrible on cell phones, and they use less bandwidth than your typical MP3 file, bluetooth simply doesn't have the bandwidth for quality sound. Your speakers would most likely sound like crap with any source to any audiophile.

    You could perhaps invest in an airport express which can stream your music to wired speakers by Wi-Fi, giving your more bandwidth, greater range, and most likely, better sound quality.

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