Bluetooth audio quality?

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by suppose, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. suppose macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #1
    I was looking at a speaker doc that had the option of connecting via bluetooth for audio to the ipad. Does anyone know if there is any quality degradation if using Bluetooth as opposed to an auxiliary jack or a direct 30pin dock connection? I like the idea of connecting wirelessly, but not if it degrades the sound quality.
     
  2. EricJD macrumors regular

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    Aug 15, 2007
    #2
    Not at all. Sound quality is perfect through bluetooth.
     
  3. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502

    dadoftwogirls

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    #3
    I use several different Bluetooth devices with great success and the sound can be excellent. However, anytime you're "broadcasting" a signal using Bluetooth things can interfere. Distance between devices, quality of the Bluetooth speaker your using, other electronics or devices transmitting a signal nearby etc. A high quality direct connection is probably the cleanest, but not necessarily the most convenient.
     
  4. gnychis macrumors 6502

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    #4
    bluetooth is digital, auxiliary jack is analog. If anything, Bluetooth would be better without wireless interference. I use a bluetooth wireless speaker, and it sounds fantastic.
     
  5. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502

    dadoftwogirls

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    #5
    That is not correct. The analog audio input, which was a stereo input to be specific, was deprecated with the introduction of the iPad. Consequently, Apple now supports USB digital audio via the 30-pin connector. The analog output, which is also stereo, is still functional.
     
  6. gnychis macrumors 6502

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    #6
    the auxiliary jack as in the "headphone jack" ? that's analog, is it not? yes, the 30-pin connector can output digital audio
     
  7. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502

    dadoftwogirls

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    #7
    Well, the OP does specifically refer to the 30 pin also, does he not?

    You said, if anything Bluetooth would sound better without interference. That is simply incorrect. A direct connection using the 30 pin would provide Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through. Bluetooth cannot transmit in 5.1. It's as simple as that. You might want to read up on the technology.

    "Bluetooth is a popular wireless protocol which was designed primarily as an interface between computer peripheral products. Bluetooth audio transmitters will convert the audio signal to digital information and then transmit via the Bluetooth protocol. Bluetooth is fairly robust in terms of interference in is well standardized. Bluetooth, however, has some problems in regard to wireless audio since it was not designed for wireless audio originally. The first drawback is the limited range which typically would be 30 ft or less. The second problem is the fact that Bluetooth does not have enough space to transmit CD-quality audio and therefore the audio is compressed first. This compression will result in a loss of audio quality depending on the degree of compression. The final problem is the fact that Bluetooth will introduce a delay in the signal (also called latency) which is a problem when used together with video since the audio will be out of sync or if used in a surround sound setup where some of the speakers would be out of sync with the hard-wired speakers."
     
  8. gnychis macrumors 6502

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    #8
    i'm comparing the analog auxiliary port to bluetooth, nothing more
     
  9. marmiteturkey macrumors 6502

    marmiteturkey

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    #9
    A headphone jack is not the same thing as an auxiliary jack.

    Specifically, the iPod and iPad docks include aux jacks - they are line-level, with no volume control on them. The signal is higher quality than from the headphone socket because there is no processing circuitry degrading it.
     
  10. glen e macrumors 68030

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    #10
    You are correct....we have been comparing the two on marine applications for the last year and BT is as clear as using the cable aux-in
     
  11. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502

    dadoftwogirls

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    #11
    Fair enough. ;)
     
  12. suppose thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #12
    In actual usage are you going to be able to notice the latency that you refer to when using the speakers to watch movies. I have been looking at the Soundfreaq speakers.

     
  13. dadoftwogirls macrumors 6502

    dadoftwogirls

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    #13
    My experience is that yes, you will notice a lag with video audio sound with a Bluetooth speaker. I am not aware of any that overcome that. That is the sucky part of Bluetooth.
     
  14. Stefx73 macrumors regular

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    Canada
    #14
    Ok, not sure about these calcs, soif someone could verify I'd appreciate

    CD audio is 44.1kHz, 16 bit per channel, two channels?
    Hence 44100 x 16 x 2 = 1.4 Mbps uncompressed

    From what I saw, Bluetooth 1.2 can't match that, but Bluetooth versions 2 and above can?
     
  15. 3goldens macrumors 68000

    3goldens

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    #15
    not very loud, I have found, levels seem lower than direct.
     
  16. aperry macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    I'm quite surprised by the replies here. I have not tried A2DP with my iPad 2, but I use it almost every day with my iPhone 4 and sound quality is noticeably degraded with A2DP. In fact, I thought this was pretty well known.

    I believe the issue is that A2DP defaults to SBC compression, which is a poor form of compression. A2DP cam optionally support MP3 and AAC, but I believe most people believe Apple chose not to license them.

    Again, could be different with the iPad 2, but it seems unlikely to me.
     
  17. suppose thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 13, 2007
    #17
    What speakers/headphones are you using it with?

     
  18. aperry macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Two BT devices: the Motorola SD9 and a car stereo system that supports A2DP. Last year when i noticed this I found a few articles explaining "why the iPhone stereo BT quality is bad", discussing their choices around compression.

    I use the Motorola headphones for running almost every day. I really don't use the car system much for this, because the quality is much better through the headphone port.

    Here's one of the articles that first informed me of the SBC issue:
    http://www.wirelessaudioblog.com/wa...hines-fresh-light-and-enmity-on-a2dp-ste.html

    Granted, that was back in 2009. But I see several forum entries indicating that people still experience poor iphone A2DP sound quality and suspect that it's because of SBC.

    I'll try it out with the iPad 2. The characteristics are easy to identify. High pitched sounds get clipped, everything sounds really flat.
     
  19. gnychis macrumors 6502

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    May 24, 2009
    #19
    I do experience the latency/lag/delay with my Creative wireless BT speaker. It seems to be on the order of milliseconds, but it's definitely there which makes it create an "echo" like backdrop of sound when plugged in to the same source as something else with directly wired speakers.
     
  20. aperry macrumors 6502a

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    #20
    Well, I tried the iPad 2 A2DP in my car just now and it sounds just as bad as my iPhone. So this certainly isn't definitive, as it may just be that my BT devices have issues. But I'm inclined to believe that Apple only implemented SBC, which means lossy compression and relatively poor soumd quality. I be wrong, but I just want the OP to know that my experience and research contradicts the others who say that A2DP is the same or better compared to the headphone jack (or dock connector).
     
  21. glen e macrumors 68030

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    #21
    I think we are talking on two levels here...I have hooked up my iphone via aux in cable, the ipad aux in cable and both using the BT and a blackberry gateway in to my LX-S. I honestly cannon tell a damn bit of difference. With the l4 cylinder booming a bit, and the lack of Honda sound deadening, all play just fine in commuter traffic. Now if I get out my brothers $2G tube amp and $1G headphones, I'm sure there is a diff. But for me, the BT is fine and equal to a cable aux in.
     
  22. aperry macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Well, clearly you're having a different experience from mine. I just wanted to mention my experience and research. If you do a search on "iPhone A2DP SBC" you'll see other people who also believe MP3 and AAC compression are missing from Apple's A2DP implementation.

    Anyway, good luck OP, report back if you go the bluetooth route.
     
  23. danofthebass macrumors newbie

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    Apr 5, 2011
    #23
    All A2DP Bluetooth receivers are not created equal...

    I've noticed a huge variance between devices, and most of them I consider unacceptable. I can hear the wavering on cymbals and high frequencies in general. Very few receivers do a good job here. I did a blind test with TuneLink Auto though, and had a few people say it sounded better than a wire. I happen to agree. Not sure if there is a difference in compression, but there's a huge difference in implementation apparently, cause it sounds damn good. Check it out:

    http://newpotatotech.com/TUNELINK_AUTO/tunelink_auto.html

    It bridges A2DP stereo bluetooth to AUX out and also sports an iPad 2.1 amp charger. Not so great for the house unless you rig up a 12V supply for it, but it's awesome for the car. Auto-connects and auto-plays music when you start your car.
     

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