iPhone 5 Bluetooth - worse distance?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by netnothing, Sep 24, 2012.

  1. netnothing macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #1
    Anyone with a BT headset and iPhone 5 noticing they are getting worse reception at a distance than with the iPhone 4/4S?

    I have the Bose bluetooth and with my iPhone 4 could walk around the 1st floor of my house with no problems. With the iPhone 5, I get half the distance and it starts to get a lot of static and that robotic noise.

    -Kevin
     
  2. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #2
    I have a BT soundbar that I stream pandora to. I noticed that my iPhone 5 starts breaking up worse than the 4s by like 10 feet or less... not *that* big of a deal but kind of a head-scratcher. I honestly think it has to do with the aluminum back. Seems if I hold it differently (not joking) it will clear up a bit in terms of reception.
     
  3. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
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    #3
    Interesting.....but that's similar to what I'm seeing. It starts to breakup about 10 feet shorter than before.

    I can make it to the edge of my kitchen.....and then it starts to breakup, whereas the 4 I could make it all the way through the kitchen.

    -Kevin
     
  4. wknapp0924 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2012
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    #4
    Yup, usually I leave my phone at the bench I am working out on when I go grab a drink of water (Might not be the smartest idea). It cut out about 10 ft away from my phone. My 4s I could get to the fountain 30 ft away and music would be playing the whole time.
     
  5. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #5
    After using it today for the first time in a real situation....I have to say I'm less than impressed with the Bluetooth on the iPhone 5. Not only do I not get the distance I got on the iPhone 4, but even sitting here at my desk talking, I seem to get more interference and occasional static.

    Again, nothing in my setup has changed other than the phone. This includes having iOS6 on my iPhone all day Thursday last week without issue.

    Wonder if this is a software tweak they can make or if it's a hardware issue.

    -Kevin
     
  6. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
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    #6
    Paired my Bose BT to my wife's iPhone 5....same thing.....got really short distance.

    -Kevin
     
  7. pyr0tech macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
    Same results

    I found the same results across two bluetooth devices. One is a BlueAnt and the other is in my car on the factory GM Bluetooth. There is quite a bit of static and I can't get any real distance from the phone before it drops connection. I hope this is something that ultimately address or this will get very frustrating over the next couple of year.
     
  8. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
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    #8
    Yeah, I had a call this morning and basically couldn't leave the room I was in. I'm going to try later today to have a call and put the phone upside down to see if that helps the distance.

    -Kevin
     
  9. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #9
    sorry, this made me lol

    I wonder if we're dealing with another "bad batch" with faulty hardware or if they are all like this.

    Where's the QC testing?
     
  10. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #10
    Only thing I can think of is that somehow having those glass portions of the back facing down on my glass-topped desk are impeding the signal ?!?

    I know it sounds stupid......but at this point I'm scratching my head wondering WHY the signal is so bad.

    -Kevin
     
  11. al0513 macrumors 6502

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    Sep 28, 2011
  12. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #12
    no no, I don't think it sounds stupid at all! Remember my post above... "I honestly think it has to do with the aluminum back. Seems if I hold it differently (not joking) it will clear up a bit in terms of reception. "

    It's a good thought. I will try some different stuff tonight when I get home. I usually just sit with my daughter and listen to music while she plays or reads books.
     
  13. tooRiski macrumors newbie

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    Nov 10, 2011
    #13
    funny, my iphone 5 is a lot better than the 4s (passed onto the wife) I have, much as 8 to 10 feet better.
     
  14. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #14
    So I did a quick test call with the following (NOTE: my iPhone is naked...no case or films on it):

    Made a call and had the person hear when it started breaking up:

    1) With the phone back down on a glass top desk - this had the shortest distance

    2) With the phone back down but on a coaster so it wasn't touching the glass desk - this gave a few more feet

    3) Face down - this was about the same as the coaster


    Overall, still way less than my iPhone 4. The bluetooth starts to get static and have that robotic breaking up noise.

    -Kevin
     
  15. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    #15
  16. Ron Roman macrumors newbie

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    Sep 30, 2012
    #16
    The range with my headset is much, much worse. Even putting the phone in my pocket causes the signal to break up often. That makes it annoying to use when working out. And in my house i cannot leave the room while my other iPhone covered almost the entire house. Very disappointing. Actually thinking of sending the phone back.
     
  17. yanki01 macrumors 68040

    yanki01

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    Feb 28, 2009
    Location:
    Texas
    #17
    I'm getting opposite results. with my iP4 and Jaybird Freedom I could bearly leave my phone under the bench when working out. with my iP5 I can now walk a good distance (10-12ft) to get another set of weights with zero problems?
     
  18. frayne182 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Location:
    Canada
    #18
    Same. if I want to use my headset I have to pretty much hold the phone near my chin. Its insane.

    iOS5 worked fine
     
  19. reltm, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

    reltm macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2011
    #19
    new bluetooth module

    I'm having much worse Bluetooth reception on the iPhone 5 than I had with the 4S. I can't even put it in my pocket without it breaking up. I just repaired with my old 4S (also running iOS 6) and the signal was much stronger. Both were tested using a Plantronics Voyager Pro+ headset.

    Since both phones above were running iOS6, this seems to point to a hardware problem. The new iPhone 5 uses a new Bluetooth module, and maybe some of them are worse than others.

    My anecdotal experience for best reception is to have the back up, with the top of the phone pointing or closest to the bluetooth transceiver. Looking at iFixit's teardown, it looks like the Bluetooth module is housed in the wifi module, which is at the top of the phone and faces outwards towards the back (not too far from the camera). Details can be seen here:
    http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone-5-Teardown/10525/2
    The Bluetooth chip is the Broadcom BCM4334, housed in a Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi module.
    http://www.broadcom.com/products/Wireless-LAN/802.11-Wireless-LAN-Solutions/BCM4334

    I plan to take mine to an Apple store and ask for a replacement. Thanks everyone for chiming in with their experiences! It's always reassuring to find out that you're not the ONLY one. Glad to hear some people are having better results with the new phone.
     
  20. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #20
    Hey, glad this post made it back to page 1.

    So since our initial dialog up towards the top, I had my phone replaced for a different issue (no, not scuffing or yellow screen) and I must say that the bluetooth in this new one is LEAGUES better.

    (the following based on streaming pandora to my soundbar via bluetooth)

    On the first one I had, it would start to fail when I walked from my living room (soundbar mounted on the wall) to my kitchen about 40-50ft away.

    With this one, I just had it paired last night and I was able to not only walk to the end of my kitchen (add another 15-20ft) but I went out into the garage and shut the door and could still hear it without it dropping/chopping.

    Before, it seemed like it mattered if it was in my hand, on the counter, or in my pocket (on the counter being the best of the 3). With this new unit, I can put it in my pocket and walk all over the house...

    The odd thing is, I would figure if it were hardware-related BOTH would be impacted similarly. I looked both up and one was a week 37 mfg date and the new one week 38.

    If you continue to experience shoddy bluetooth, I would request a replacement device ASAP.
     
  21. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #21
    ...more confirmation... I went from my living room, around the corner, down the hall (we have a visible brick fireplace running the length of the hall) and into my daughters room at the end of the house. Bluetooth did not drop at all.

    I'm honestly impressed with how far the b/t goes on this phone. The 4s was pretty good too but I would say this one beats the 4s slightly.
     
  22. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

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    NH
    #22
    That's awesome. I'm far to lazy to deal with Apple right now....but I have Applecare+....so if it gets really bad, in a few months I'll go complain.

    -Kevin
     
  23. Leonard1818 macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    #23
    Sorry to hear that your bluetooth stinks :(

    I too have Applecare + and if I were in your shoes, I too would be unmotivated to go deal with Apple.

    I just wanted to let you (and anyone else who may care) know that it DOES seem to be a legit issue just based on my experience with two different iPhone 5 models and if you wanted to, go look into it.

    Good luck!
     
  24. netnothing thread starter macrumors 68040

    netnothing

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    NH
    #24
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop. My issue I don't think was ever as bad as yours. Mine is just a line-of-sight / distance issue. Generally it works fine....I just can't go AS far as before....and when I go around a wall, I start to lose it more than the iPhone 4 did.

    My big problem with Apple is just dealing with them. Every time I have an issue it seems to be a fight nowadays.

    So I'm waiting and will update if things get really bad or not. Kind of waiting for iOS 6.0.1 to see if software helps at all.

    -Kevin
     
  25. sixxmum macrumors 6502a

    sixxmum

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    #25
    I'm having issues with ours as well (2 phones, 2 bluetooth units). Even at a distance of 2.5 feet, and stationary, the signal drops with some frequency.
     

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