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Strange Bluetooth Audio issue. Suggestions?

OP jsgates

11th April 2014, 07:01 PM   |  #1  
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I have a strange issue that I'm hoping somebody here can shed some light on. My Nexus 5 is running stock KitKat ROM with Franco Kernel & GravityBox Xposed module.

The Bluetooth has always worked fine and paired up well with my car without any noticeable audio issues. However, last week I got a pair of cheaper Arctic brand (yes the same Arctic that makes case fans. LoL) Bluetooth headphones to have something wire free for when I go running (they get great reviews on Amazon). They are specifically these here:

http://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-Bluetoo...oth+headphones

When they came in they paired up with my Nexus just fine and I had no audio cutting out issues over Wifi or LTE. Also worked great on phonecalls. The range is excellent as I can have my phone laying on my Kitchen table and be around 25 - 30 ft away across the house with a wall in between and audio doesn't cut out.

So fast forward to when I attempted to use them on a run. I have a Spi Belt to carry the phone when I run (it's basically a thin flexible waist belt with a stretchy thin neoprene pocket on the back to hold your phone snugly against your back (no bouncing) while your run. The first day I ran, I had the Nexus in the Spi Belt and the bluetooth audio signal cut in and out like crazy. The phone is in a thin neoprene pocket with only the bottom of my Nike Dri fit shirt covering it........and it's less than 3 feet from the Bluetooth headphones on my head. Needless to say I was very fruststrated.

I did some searching online and ran across some info on a possible bluetooth issue with the latest Qualcomm radio module update as well as people reporting Bluetooth issues in KitKat. One of the suggestions was disable the 5GHZ band for Wifi. I did this and when I ran the next day, with the same setup the audio only cut out a few times (instead of like 100 times the first day).

So my question is. Does anybody here know if there is a known Bluetooth issue? Is there a fix or workaround? I'm thinking it's related to the Bluetooth on the Nexus because the improvement was immense when disabling the 5GHZ on Wifi.

This weekend I am going to try turning the Wifi off completely, as well as testing my same running gear setup with my sister's iPhone 5S to prove the issue is with the Android/Qualcomm Bluetooth. It's a VERY annoying issue.

If I hold the Nexus in my hand while running, the audio is flawless. However, I think it's interference related somehow since making the adjustment to the Wifi Frequency really helped the issue, even when the Nexus was in the Spi Belt strapped to my back and under my shirt.

Any additional information or suggestion is extremely appreciated.

- jsgates
15th April 2014, 12:17 AM   |  #2  
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Update......
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsgates

I have a strange issue that I'm hoping somebody here can shed some light on. My Nexus 5 is running stock KitKat ROM with Franco Kernel & GravityBox Xposed module.

The Bluetooth has always worked fine and paired up well with my car without any noticeable audio issues. However, last week I got a pair of cheaper Arctic brand (yes the same Arctic that makes case fans. LoL) Bluetooth headphones to have something wire free for when I go running (they get great reviews on Amazon). They are specifically these here:

http://www.amazon.com/ARCTIC-Bluetoo...oth+headphones

When they came in they paired up with my Nexus just fine and I had no audio cutting out issues over Wifi or LTE. Also worked great on phonecalls. The range is excellent as I can have my phone laying on my Kitchen table and be around 25 - 30 ft away across the house with a wall in between and audio doesn't cut out.

So fast forward to when I attempted to use them on a run. I have a Spi Belt to carry the phone when I run (it's basically a thin flexible waist belt with a stretchy thin neoprene pocket on the back to hold your phone snugly against your back (no bouncing) while your run. The first day I ran, I had the Nexus in the Spi Belt and the bluetooth audio signal cut in and out like crazy. The phone is in a thin neoprene pocket with only the bottom of my Nike Dri fit shirt covering it........and it's less than 3 feet from the Bluetooth headphones on my head. Needless to say I was very fruststrated.

I did some searching online and ran across some info on a possible bluetooth issue with the latest Qualcomm radio module update as well as people reporting Bluetooth issues in KitKat. One of the suggestions was disable the 5GHZ band for Wifi. I did this and when I ran the next day, with the same setup the audio only cut out a few times (instead of like 100 times the first day).

So my question is. Does anybody here know if there is a known Bluetooth issue? Is there a fix or workaround? I'm thinking it's related to the Bluetooth on the Nexus because the improvement was immense when disabling the 5GHZ on Wifi.

This weekend I am going to try turning the Wifi off completely, as well as testing my same running gear setup with my sister's iPhone 5S to prove the issue is with the Android/Qualcomm Bluetooth. It's a VERY annoying issue.

If I hold the Nexus in my hand while running, the audio is flawless. However, I think it's interference related somehow since making the adjustment to the Wifi Frequency really helped the issue, even when the Nexus was in the Spi Belt strapped to my back and under my shirt.

Any additional information or suggestion is extremely appreciated.

- jsgates


Ok, so I am still working on narrowing down the exact issue but I have been able to narrow the issue down some more. I tested with my Nexus 5 in the running belt this weekend when visiting my parents over WIFI & LTE and was unable to get the audio to cut out once. So at this point I do not believe the issue is directly related to the Bluetooth connection.


When I went out after work today the issue returned. However, today since it turned cool here I was just walking instead of running and carried the phone in my pocket.....so I started to check the screen when the audio cut out. I noticed that the mobile data connection had dropped from "LTE" to "H" (which I believe is 3G).

Whenever I am out running I have the Runkeeper App running (which uses GPS), and then Tune-In Radio to listen to sports talk radio (streaming low bitrate audio over LTE).

Until I started using the new Bluetooth Headphones, I was running the same route with wired Sony earbuds and I did not have any audio issues. So at this point I am thinking that since LTE dropped off, there is something about the combination of LTE, GPS, & Bluetooth being active at the same time that is causing interference and causing LTE to drop and switch to 3G, hence causing the audio hiccup. (like maybe it bouncing between LTE & 3G).

Any thoughts or additional ideas to troubleshoot further? Even though I don't want to my next step is to try with Runkeeper/GPS disabled and see if the issue is still present (I really need Runkeeper to track my distance). Whenever TuneIn, Runkeeper, & GPS & Bluetooth are all enabled, the Nexus RAM is only about halfway full.

Thanks for any additional suggestions. This issue is driving me nuts.

-jsgates
16th April 2014, 11:40 PM   |  #3  
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Another update....
Ok, I'm out of ideas. It makes no difference what apps are running and although LTE does drop to 3G in some areas, that doesn't appear to be causing any issues.

After doing some more googling I ran across a thread on Reddit where a few users had stated that using a custom kernel that has the minimum CPU frequency set at 300 MHZ which is lower than stock could cause audio stutter in some audio players. So I tried bumping my min cpu freq all the way up to 672 but that seemed to have no affect on my audio issue.

As a last resort to eliminate the Franco Kernel as a possible issue, I flashed back to 4.4.2 Stock Kernel.

I have the same audio issues on stock kernel as on Franco. At this point I guess I'm going to RMA the headphones to Amazon for a replacement pair.

Today while I was out running, the Bluetooth connection totally dropped twice. So the issue has to be with the headphones or the Bluetooth on my Nexus 5, correct?

This is one of the strangest issues I've ever had to troubleshoot on any equipment.

- jsgates
18th April 2014, 01:53 AM   |  #4  
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Same issue here but with a Bluetooth headset I use whilst on the motorcycle. It's pretty random when it happens though.. Some days it will be absolutely fine. Others (most of the time, unfortunately) it freaks out. I'll post back here if I figure out what's going on.

Sent from my Nexus 5 using xda app-developers app
23rd April 2014, 07:33 PM   |  #5  
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Cross-body interference........
Well after some more scouring the net I ran across this info. Looks like a crappy issue to have.

Quote:

Cross-body Interference
A little known fact about Bluetooth is that the radio signals do not go through your body very well. This is because Bluetooth's radio frequency is blocked by water, and the human body is made up of mostly water. If you keep your cell phone in your pocket and your headset in your opposite ear, then it is possible the connection may be weak, which can cause some interference issues. Many cell phone manufacturers are aware of this issue and have attempted to compensate by boosting the power of the Bluetooth radio.

I am going to give the Motorola Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth headphones a try and see if I have any better results with them. I just don't see how you can EVER have direct line of site with your phone in your pocket or strapped to your back in the Spi Belt.

Some equipment must have fewer issues than others because I would think this would be something a LOT of people complained about, but I had trouble running across this possible issue on the net.

-jsgates
13th October 2014, 04:00 PM   |  #6  
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Same Nexus 5 bluetooth issue
I also have a nexus 5 and I am experiencing the same issue with my Denon bluetooth headset.

At first I thought the noise was caused by the Runkeeper app together with my music app, because when I just use Google Play Music I experience less interruption of the Bluetooth signal.

Did you find a solution to your Nexus 5 Bluetooth issues?
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