12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 8, 2006 9:57 PM by oscarevelasco
Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
About two years ago, I received a Bluetooth headset as a gift. It was one of those mono-headset supposed to be used for a cellphone but I didn't have a cellphone at that time. It was given to me to complement my bluetooth-enabled computer. The headset didn't produce good sound and always had a noisy connection to the computer. My questions:

1. Are today's generation of bluetooth headsets producing good and clear sound (i.e., without background noise?)
2. Are there any bluetooth headsets that offer stereo capabilities?

Of course, this has to work on my Mac, a PowerBook G4 1.25Ghz.

Thanks!

PowerBook 15 1.25Ghz, 768MB RAM, 80Gb internal drive,, Mac OS X (10.4.6), 120Gb and 60Gb external firewire drives
  • 1. Re: Bluetooth Headset--question on clarity of sound
    Alexander Traud Level 4 Level 4 (2,690 points)
    Please have a search for the A2DP…

    To give a short answer, yes there are stereo headsets, however all of them only work in Mac OS X in mono. When you still need a wireless headset and you want to stay with the Bluetooth technology, have a look at the AIRcable one.

    Todays headsets in mono create clear and good voice. I would not call it sound which could mean music, too. These are simply not for music.
  • 2. Bluetooth stereo headphones
    DKWebb Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Logitech makes Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones that utilize a small companion plug-in unit that plugs into the headphone jack on your computer (I have a MacBook Pro). They also have another wireless stereo headset for Ipods. I bought the headphones at CompUSA.

    Even though the system is BT, I have not been able to pair the computer to the headphones, and not use the companion BT plug-in unit. The quality of sound is excellent in my opinion, and the rechargable batteries in the headphones and plug-in unit last for 8-10 hours of listening to your tunes.

    If anyone has successfully paired this stereo headphone with the MacBook Pro, it would eliminate the need for the plug-in, which would be a better solution. Whatever, the sound quality is very good.

    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details/US/EN,CRID=2412,CONTENTID=106 79
  • 3. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    I wonder why Mac OS X doesn't implement stereo in Bluetooth, or is that a limitation with the built-in hardware of the Mac itself?
  • 4. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    DKWebb Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    So if I could pair the Logitech stereo headphones with my MacBook Pro, it would not be stereo sound? I guess that I will be happy with plugging the small wireless adapter into the sound jack until Apple adds stereo sound quality to Bluetooth. Surely, that has to be on the OSX agenda fairly soon.

    Oh well, things could be worse. The stereo quality of the Logitech headphones is really very good, small sacrifice...
  • 5. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    owainsky Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    As far as I can tell, it's a limitation of the stack rather than the hardware.

    From the Wikipedia entry on Bluetooth:

    "Most bluetooth stacks implement the SCMS-T copyright protection. In these cases it is not possible to connect the A2DP headphones for high quality audio."

    I'm using the Plantronic's stereo BT headphones which sound great using Widcomm's stack under XP with the Kingston 2.0 BT dongle, but since that doesn't support the Apple BT device, I can't use it on my dual boot MacBook. On the OSX side of the MacBook, the headset works great, but only in the lower quality setting.
  • 6. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    Not sure what is meant by "stacks". Could you explain?
  • 7. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    owainsky Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Sorry The software that controls the Bluetooth device is referred to as a stack. It's a holdover from the old TCP/IP days where the term was use to describe software that dealt with packet based communication.

    The simpler summary is: there's no support for stereo Bluetooth devices on the Mac if you use the Apple hardware.

    I'd be most happy to be proven wrong.
  • 8. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    The simpler summary is: there's no support for stereo
    Bluetooth devices on the Mac if you use the Apple
    hardware.


    Thanks. Your explanation was helpful. You do say that it is not because of a hardware issue but a stacks issue. Is that because of the bluetooth software that comes with OS X and not the Apple hardware?
  • 9. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    owainsky Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I'm not an expert in this field -- there's quite a good discussion in the A2DP link earlier that covers the ins and outs of it -- but yes, it's the software, not the hardware, that's the problem here.
  • 10. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    DKWebb Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    The Logitech BT headset does have excellent sound quality IMO; however, it has an inherent design or manufacture problem that causes the plastic headband to split at the top center, rendering the headset useless. Logitech knows about the problem and is refunding purchase price with proof (no replacement fix at this time).
  • 11. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    Conal Ho Level 2 Level 2 (495 points)
    Thanks. This is helpful. So potentially Apple could rewrite the Bluetooth software so that stereo is enabled.
  • 12. Re: Bluetooth stereo headphones
    oscarevelasco Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hello, I just bought a BT420Rx-C and I can't seem to connect it to my apple Mac Mini. The computer finds it and I pair the two but when I go to System Preff, Sound and try to change the device to the headset, it tells me the following error:

    Bluetooth Audio Failed.
    There was an error connecting to your headset. Make sure it is turned on and in range. The audio portion of the program you were using may have to be restarted.

    I checked in the Bluetooth Panel and compared it to the manual. I found that the headset is not connected: CONNECTED: NO. Like this.


    Here is my system specifications with Bluetooth:
    Apple Bluetooth Software Version: 1.7.5f10
    Hardware Settings:
    Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio
    Firmware Version: 3.1965 (3.1965)
    Bluetooth Power: On
    Discoverable: Yes
    HCI Version: 3 ($3)
    HCI Revision: 1965 ($7ad)
    LMP Version: 3 ($3)
    LMP Subversion: 1965 ($7ad)
    Device Type (Major): Computer
    Device Type (Complete): Desktop Computer
    Composite Class Of Device: 1057028 ($102104)
    Device Class (Major): 1 ($1)
    Device Class (Minor): 1 ($1)
    Service Class: 129 ($81)
    Requires Authentication: No
    Services:
    Bluetooth File Transfer:
    Folder other devices can browse: ~/Public
    Requires Authentication: Yes
    State: Disabled
    Bluetooth File Exchange:
    Folder for accepted items: ~/Documents
    Requires Authentication: No
    When other items are accepted: Ask
    When PIM items are accepted: Ask
    When receiving items: Prompt for each file
    State: Enabled
    Devices (Paired, Favorites, etc):
    iPHONOPLUS:
    Name: iPHONOPLUS
    Address: 00-08-f4-30-60-03
    Type: Headset
    Services: Headset, Handsfree, Audio Sink
    Paired: Yes
    Favorite: Yes
    Connected: No
    Incoming Serial Ports:
    Serial Port 1:
    Name: Bluetooth-PDA-Sync
    RFCOMM Channel: 3
    Requires Authentication: No
    Outgoing Serial Ports:
    Serial Port 1:
    Address:
    Name: Bluetooth-Modem
    RFCOMM Channel: 0
    Requires Authentication: No