Bluetooth Headset with OS X?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by Jeaz, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. Jeaz macrumors 6502

    Jeaz

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #1
    Heya

    I hate cables :)
    So I'd love to use a wireless headset when using OS X, but so far, the experience has been far from good.
    At the moment I'm using a Jabra Revo Wireless and I use it for gaming/music and Skype.

    One or the other works fine, even it lags a bit when playing games, but as soon as you start Skyping and play a game at the same, it turns to crap. As far as I've understood, this has to do with how many BT channels you have, and OS X only uses one at a time. Or something like that.
    Using it corded either via USB or wired works fine. And in Windows it works fine as well.

    Now, my question, are there any work-arounds? Or wireless products that works better?
     
  2. Bananas Ananas macrumors member

    Bananas Ananas

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2015
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    There are options like this, but using dongles, charging docks, and such isn't too nice either. :(
     
  3. Jeaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jeaz

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    Dec 12, 2009
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    Sweden
    #3
    It's quite ironic that now that Apple are making Bluetooth headsets they still don't have better support for it in OS X.
     
  4. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #4
    I bought a set of Beats studio wireless for travel and they work just fine my late 2013 iMac.
     
  5. Jeaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jeaz

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    Dec 12, 2009
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    #5
    Does it work with both Voice audio (like Skype or FaceTime) and other audio (like music or gaming) at the same time without quality loss?
     
  6. KOTULCN macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    #6
    I know that they work perfectly with music and system volume/sounds, but I'll have to test them with Skype & FaceTime. I'll post back results.
     
  7. campyguy macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #7
    OP, IMHO you're making a key mistake that's along the lines of someone saying "I have a Bluetooth...", and it's good for a laugh to me. Stop thinking in terms of "Bluetooth" and start thinking in terms of "vocoder" and "application compatibility". I'm not going to proselytize but, rather get to a solution. For music, I have a few high-end headphones - my iPhone-compatible headphones are Beyerdynamic T51i cans - IMHO "Bluetooth" and "music" are two words that should never be used in the same sentence, and anyone offering a counter-argument to this point just doesn't know what they're writing or talking about.

    As for calling or videoconferencing, focus specifically on the application(s) you are using - and hopefully the manufacturer is Mac-friendly. I use Skype, Linc, and FaceTime with a Cisco softphone - each uses different "vocoders" for voice/speech, and I've been disappointed with wireless several options I've demoed (I have a sales person who tries to sell me on new units every month or two).

    You want a compatible, wideband option - either in hardware or software. Don't waste your time with any other option.

    My input? My best successes with Skype (Windows/iOS/Mac) have been with Plantronics' Edge UC (the version that's targeted specifically to Skype's vocoder), which ships with a USB dongle. The Edge UC incorporates a "wideband" option that can be specified in the Plantronics' Hub software. I have had better success with the Edge UC and another wireless wideband headset than other wired non-wideband solutions.

    What's interesting - to me - is that, if I'm using the Edge UC to dictate text it's not as accurate as it is in Skype (for which it's "certified" for), for which the Edge UC is optimized for. Also, I find that if I keep my Edge's USB dongle away from non-insulated USB cables the "connection" and transcribed text is far more accurate. Choose a BT headset that's specific to the apps/usage you're wanting to use.
     
  8. b0fh666, Aug 8, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2015

    b0fh666 macrumors 6502a

    b0fh666

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2012
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    south
    #8
    the revo wireless works quite well with osx... once you configure the bluetooth properly

    get a program from apple called 'bluetooth explorer' and use its 'audio options' to fix stuff. here I use initial bitpool 53, min bitpool 53, max bitpool 64, buffer 5 packets max

    one thing to keep in mind tough, if you need fullduplex (ie, using skype or ventrillo or whatever while gaming) the headset will downgrade to 'handsfree' and will sound like crap. this is a known limitation of BT devices.

    campguy, whats the problem with BT and music? it can work quite well BT/SBC has enuff bandwidth to handle 320kbs mp3 (granted, nothing to write home about haha) quite well, more than enough for casual listening of music or gaming.
     
  9. Jeaz thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jeaz

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2009
    Location:
    Sweden
    #9
    Thanks for the replies.

    Well, I'm not an audiophile so playing music through Bluetooth is normally sufficient for me. But as b0fh666 points out fullduplex will leave you with really poor audio quality as it downgrades.

    I have fiddled around with Bluetooth Explorer in the past, but maybe it's worth giving it another try.

    But to have a device for each use is not an option I find appealing. Want less clutter, not more :)

    I guess my best option, if I really want to stay wireless with the Revo, is to use a desktop mic or use the builtin one (which has no noise cancellation what so ever).
    Or go for some proprietary solution like Bananas suggested above. Shame Bluetooth's all focused on mobile.
     
  10. algarve macrumors newbie

    algarve

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    Sep 16, 2015
    #10
     
  11. campyguy macrumors 68030

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    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #11
    Chiming in a bit late here, with the forum upgrade this thread didn't get tagged as watched. Two bits of follow up.

    First, I take no issue with Bluetooth as a means of transmitting data, but BT was designed for syncing cell phones with peripherals, not broadcasting music - it's limited in bandwidth, and finding devices with matching "profiles" and codecs is more of a PITA than anything else.

    Second, and more importantly to those who listen to music, it's key to understand that a better listening experience can be had with a BT headset if BT is used to sync the phone/PC/Mac and a second means of transmitting the music data between devices is present. I'm not alluding to SBC or apt-X (BT codecs that "fit" within the BT "pipe"), but, rather that both devices are capable of transmitting and decoding MP3 or AAC/MP4 (or maybe even FLAC/ALAC) files, via a second "radio". Macs can broadcast both MP3 or AAC/MP4, and the receiving headset should be able to decode one or the other - and burn your music in the format both devices (phone/Mac and headset) "understand".
    Thus, if you're listening to MP3 or AAC files you stored on your phone/tablet or computer, BT doesn't have to degrade the sound quality if your BT receiving device also supports that format - finding that information on a headphone's box is about as typical as someone saying "I have a Bluetooth!". o_O If both devices are exchanging MP3/AAC data, there's no reason to compress the music data through a BT codec like apt-X or SBC, only the syncing (including commands like "play", "pause", etc.) takes place over BT.

    As to "full rate", that's pretty much meaningless. I can get full rate through a eyedropper and get more stuff from here to there if I use a garden hose at 1/10th capacity. If you're looking for more bandwidth, look at my earlier post - look for "wideband" audio - devices with wideband capacity don't clip nearly as much data as the normal "narrow band" devices - given that both devices are capable of wideband audio. Logitech, and others, get around device limitations that don't have wideband capacity by including a thumb dongle.

    Now, good luck finding compatible devices that suit your needs...
     
  12. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    Location:
    The cesspit of civilization
    #12
    I also use a Beats studio wireless with my mac (MacBook Pro Retina, 13-inch, Early 2015). They are decent for music (depending on the music, I still prefer my wired Sennheiser HD 598's) and have not had any problem neither with FaceTime nor with the phone calls routed from my phone. I do not game, though.
     

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