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Wireless Earbuds + Bluetooth Adapter + PC = Not Good...


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#1 enjikari

enjikari

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Posted 07 December 2016 - 03:13 PM

I've been using a Logitech H800 headset for years now. Zero complaints, I even recommend it to those who are in the market for a headset. Recently, I got an itch to get a smaller, more compact audio setup. I started looking into wireless earbuds. Bought a nice set (which was the proper format/support for BT audio), and subsequently had to buy a Bluetooth adapter/dongle... and this is where the fun begins.

IMHO, wireless earbuds + Bluetooth adapter for a PC audio setup is horrible, and not worth the time nor the hassle. Here are some points I've noted through this past month of headaches:

>ALL earbuds work with Buletooth, none are wireless (like headsets that work with a dedicated wireless dongle) - so, you MUST work with a Bluetooth adapter for earbuds.

>Pretty much no earbuds come with an adapter, so you need to purchase one.

>Regardless of using any version of BT adapter (I was using a 4.0 one), you may have to purchase several to get ONE that actually works properly (I bought FOUR, with only the 4th actually working - as in, my OS recognized it, the correct drivers were installed, and the earbuds actually paired with it. The other three failed one of those three, or just didn't work period.).

>The install/pairing steps were a pain in and of themselves. For one, my OS acted like it found, downloaded, and installed the correct drivers, but seemingly never did. Much time spent on deleting drivers, reinstalling drivers, deleting the device itself and fresh installing it, round and round. Finally, I had to track down, download, and install the actual Bluetooth drivers/suite for this entire setup to work. And even then:

>Getting the audio options to properly handle the earbuds is another hassle. I could not 'connect' with the standard BT interface of my OS, I had to use the one I downloaded. Every time I connected my earbuds. I always had to manually connect them every time.

>Once properly connected, the earbuds would be swapped (in Playback Devices) between the Speaker and Recording devices which both produced two different audio qualities (the Recording one was horrible). Not only did I have to manually connect the earbuds every time I used them, I had to go into Playback Devices and either swap tabs between Playback/Recording until it properly stuck with Playback, or disable the Recording one completely. Every. Time.

>Also, games would always override my Volume settings. So, I'd start a game up, I could hear the audio channel swapping to the Recording one, and the volume would start slowly increasing to maximum without me prompting it to. Directly in my ears. Only way to fix this was to, again, go and disable the Recording device in PD. And yes, this happens every time even though I had the "allow applications to override my volume settings" option NOT checked in the bluetooth settings.

>Even after finally getting all this to work properly (hours and hours and hours of hassle), the audio quality is bad.

>BT always produces this tin-y audio, and there a clear, ever-present low-volume noise in the background of everything coming through to your ears.

>The range is about as good as wireless headphones, however, if it goes too far and completely disconnects, you have to go through the entire reconnecting process again (see all that above).

>Nigh impossible to actually get the built-in mic to pick up audio.

>LAG. Randomly, with no way to explain the circumstances, the audio would be lagging by as much as 3 seconds. I could be watching a video for hours and the audio be just fine. Then, for seemingly unknown reasons, the audio/video sync would start unsyncing. The only way to fix this was to, again, perform reconnecting steps (see all above), and sometimes even requiring a power cycle of the earbuds.

This was a definite experience this past month. I was very excited about slimming down my headset setup, but I've since just gone back to my H800s (which, again, is a great little headset). The hassle of using a BT/earbud setup simply is not worth it. Reading through articles about Bluetooth adapters and such, I noticed a trend that "Bluetooth is crud for audio", and "over time, BT has come a long way - it's much better now". Well, not in my experience. BT has its place, I'm sure, but not specifically for PC earbuds. I'd assume the same for any BT audio interface for the PC. If you are in the market for a different audio setup for your PC, I'd highly recommend steering clear of a Bluetooth setup. After weeks of tenaciously trying to get mine working, I've concluded it's nowhere near worth the effort, neither for the setup, nor for the every-time-use hassle.



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