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Thanar Level 2 Level 2
OK, I'm opening a new thread with this one, since I would really like to gather opinions of people who are also facing bluetooth audio quality issues.

Since I got my iPhone 3G, and paired it with my bluetooth headsets, people have been complaining that the couldn't hear me well. My voice would crack up, or even not make it at all to the other side. I got a couple of new bluetooth headsets, only to find out that it wasn't the headsets' fault. That said, I would like to add, that all the headsets that seem to misbehave when paired to the iPhone, work great when in use with my older SE mobile phone.

I did some testing and found out that, the issue of my side cracking up or not sounding at all would only arise when the OTHER party was in a noisy environment (usually trying to talk to somebody in a Mall would do the trick). That said, I would also like to add that when talking through the iPhone itself (even on speakerphone), would work fine!

I am suspecting that there is an echo cancelation feature build-into the iPhone that revs up when talking through a bluetooth headset and seems to cut-off my headset's input level when strong noise it detected from the other side, presumably to avoid echo. Seems like this feature is badly tuned, in a way that communication can no longer work in an syncronous way.

What seems strange to me is that, after updating to v2.2 of iPhone software, the issue seemed to have gone away; however, it looks like it's back!

This whole situation could also be connected to various bluetooth quality issues many people are facing when using bluetooth car kits. I would suggest you try and connect such issues with the NOISE on the OTHER END.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. I will try and put together a Skype call that would hopefully demostrate what I am trying to say.

iPhone 3G v2.2
Reply by jonny_v1lla on Oct 29, 2009 10:09 AM Helpful
Guys new to this forum and I am suffereing teh same problems. I have a Plantronics 510 which uses multi-point and so I have my (work) Blackberry and my (personal) Iphone paired at teh same time and depending on which phone rings I can answer either, likewise I can chose which to make teh call from. If I use the blackberry the call is perfect, but if I use the Iphone all i get is the other party saying that I am fading in and out, telling me its a terrible line.

1) So first conclusion, this is absolutely not my headset. It has to be the phone or its compatibility with the headset. Pointing the finger at Apple

The calls I make are either from a silent office or noisy car and it makes no difference, the calls are to party's that are in noisy environments or silent environments, and marginally more success with those in quiet locations.
I get the very odd call through without someone reporting a problem to me. Also if I make a call to a voicemail there appears to be no problem

2) Second conclusion is that it appears that the noisy environments are more prone to this. Which suggests this is a noise cancelling type issue within the Iphone, especially with the fading in and out as its trying to find a suitable setting and cannot. Obviously a VM system has no noise and hence it works ok with that. Again pointing the finger firmly at Apple.

I have other bluetooth sets lying around and like others on this forum, it makes no difference same end result.

3) Third Conclusion the Iphone has a severe inability to use bluetooth devices of any type, once again pointing the finger firmly at Apple.

I'd also like to add that I called Apple's Support line who basically denied anything about it and suggested that I should go to the apple store to test my phone out or suggested my headset was incompatible with the iphone, what a wast of time..
Fustrated because my phone is 2 weeks old, it is not the phone thats faulty as so many others were experiencing the same problem and secondly how can a Bluetooth Headset be incompatible with a phone, it either supports bluetooth headsets or it does not, this is a basic Plantronics 510 Headset, not A2DP or anything fancy.

Clearly Apple must know about this there are hundreds of forums with complaints on for teh same issue affecting all differents headsets, car kits etc. I just cannot believe it's not resolved yet, or that apple have not yet released a bulletin stating that "they are aware and are investigating" hasn't been issued.

I work and manage within the Tech Support functionfor a Telecoms Carrier Networks supplying giant in the VOIP industry and this is shocking, we would never allow an issue like this to go on this long, with such bad press.

Yes we all have issues, I spend every day fixing them, but over a year now people have been reporting this. Perhaps some more bad press via Watchdog wouldn't go a miss me thinks.

Final words for Apple if you are reading this...... IN THE UK IT IS ILLEGAL TO USE OR HANDLE A PHONE WHILST DRIVING, this is why its such a sore point for people in the UK as well as those elsewhere in the world where you have the same laws. I now cannot use my phone for nearly 3 hours of my day because of this issue. Please fix it....
Reply by RealMonStar on Feb 7, 2010 2:18 AM Helpful
Thanar wrote:
It took me some days to report, since the issue does not occur every time. You have to talk to some who's in a mall or something for it to became noticeable and then -gradually- irritating.

There is a simple test to reproduce the problem.
Just call yourself on your home number and hold the home phone to one and the BT headset to your other ear. If you start to say something you should hear yourself talking on both ears normally with every combination of phones or headset. However using a BT headset on the iPhone you hear yourself clearly on the BT speaker, but not or choppy on the home phone.

This shows that the incoming audio on the iPhone somehow "filters" the outgoing audio in case of using a BT headset explaining why you all discover the problem when talking to someone with noise or music in the background, or simple while the other one is talking. Try to say something while your calling partner counts from a to z

Another VERY important annotation:
in december I called Apple support regarding the bug and they told me, that Apple does NOT read the discussion forum to determine bugs or problem. ONLY reporting to the Apple support makes them investigating problems. So all go and call support and refer to this thread !!!
After a while they wanted me to start some debug modes on my phone and to send log files by mail. But I mailed them the above simple test and told them to try it with their own phones, hehe. No reply since then ...

All replies

  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    OK, I ust managed to put together an audio file of what's happening here... I used Audio Hijack Pro to record a Skype call. The noise you can hear playing through the MacBook's speaker is the file "Lobby Conversation.caf" found inside Apple's iLife audio loops. The mac is sitting on the desk, playing the ambience sound, while I have moved to another -quiet- room answering the call.

    Here's the link:

    Tell me what you think of it. I will later try re-pairing me headset as well as resetting the iPhone, just to make sure that it's a constant issue that doesn't come and go.

    Message was edited by: Thanar
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    Just finished some more testing. I tried un-pairing and then re-pairing the bluetooth headset and this has cleared the sound a bit, I now actually have input from the headset. Anyone facing similar problems could try it out and let me know.

    This also would explain the fact that after upgrading iPhone to software v2.2, the issue seemed to have been fixed. I guess some bluetooth-related settings got reset at that time, as did when I unpaired my headset during my last test. Looks like this issue is a bit "dynamic", meaning that you have to use the headset quite a bit in order for the problem to appear.

    Will let you know as I have more information on the issue.

    Message was edited by: Thanar
  • Dimitrios Tourtouras Level 1 Level 1
    I can attest to all of the above. The situation gets even worse when utilising the echo cancellation technologies of the Plantronics bluetooth headsets. I only wish Apple comes up with a solution to this issue soon enough..

    The Bluetooth technology has been around for many many years, yet it seems they all never got the hang of it for crying out loud.
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    Even after 2.2.1 update, the awful audio quality over Bluetooth still remains. I have opened a ["wish"|> regarding the issue.
  • jcbastien Level 1 Level 1
    I've had problems with bluetooth headset on my Iphone 3g since the beginning a bought it. I've tried 8 different models of bluetooth from Motorola to Jabra and Jawbone, plantronics, etc.... They DON'T work good. People can't hear me well or sometimes not at all. I'm tired of this because the bluetooth headset is very important for my work and i have to use my old phone, a Sony Ericsson witch work fine with all bluetooth headset instead of my Iphone.

    I'm ****** now and at apple they say they could do nothing.....arghhhh
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    It is strange that NOT EVERYBODY is facing these problems. I've heard of people who had their problems fix by replacing their iPhones. If somebody was facing such issues and were resolved after replacing his/her iPhone with a new one, please post here. I will not begin such a process myself without first knowing that it is hardware-specific, since here in Greece I will have to give my iPhone for service at Vodafone, and it will be a month minimum before I will be informed of their intentions.
  • gTubes Level 1 Level 1
    I have the same problems with my iPhone and iPhone Headset or 3rd party Bluetooth headset. For me Bluetooth handfree is a very important things on a mobile phone. I'm minimum 3hours a day in my car calling clients, it's not appropriate to said to client: "Ho sorry I'm using my iPhone, let me 2 min to stop to call you back !!!" What's this ? the Flintstones era ?

    It's the first problem I have with an Apple product. I tried so many things, but anyway.

    Please do something to solve this problem...
    Thank you
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    Maybe it would be worth it if you could take your iPhone to an AppleStore and have it replaced. I have heard of people with the same problem having it resolved after the replacement of their iPhones.

    Take note thoough, that IF you replace your iPhone, I (and many many others) would VERY MUCH would like to hear from you again!

    Thank you.
  • bilerica Level 1 Level 1
    I read all post and noticed that whatever the bluetooth kit you use you will be concerned by poor communication. I uninstalled my inegrated nokia bluetooth for a brand new parrot mki9100. I believed my nokia was incompatible wtith iphone....I spend 3 hours a day on the road and make call for a large moment.

    Some people say that i've got a voice robot, others are obliged to turn volume at maximum level to hear...I am very disappointed. Iphone is a good pda but surely a bad telephone. I hope they can fix this issue on a next update.
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    Is there anyone with access to the dev 3.0 iPhone software here that has noticed any improvement on bluetooth headset / carkit audio quality?
  • dejay00 Level 1 Level 1
    I use my iPhone 3G with an integrated bluetooth in my Ford Mondeo. People complain that i sound very distant. I hear them well. But now I'm ending up using the iPhone Headphone instead. It very disappointing, especially because everything worked fine with my Nokia e51.
  • Ollin35566 Level 1 Level 1
    Just to add to the discussion. I just bought the Contour Metal BT headset from Apple and it works just as bad as every other headset I've tried so far. It is actually so bat that it's useless. And not worth a cent of the €80 it cost, unless I switch to anoter phone.
    If Apple can't give me a solution to this, I will return the headset and reevaluate the iPhone from the view of a phone without BT, since headset is currently the only BT function it provides.
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6
    People using the beta 3.0 software are under an NDA.
  • Thanar Level 2 Level 2
    Indeed... They are under NDA! However, the could always offer some "hints".
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