I have an AT&T Samsung Galaxy S5 SM-G900A running Android 4.4.4 KitKat, and the bluetooth audio has been skipping constantly when it is paired with my car stereo. This issue has driven me absolutely crazy for months. I've literally come close to throwing my phone out the window.
I first thought it was an issue with buffering when streaming from Google Play since those files are all high-quality 320 kbps, but then I realized playing music directly off of my phone also skipped. Next, I thought it might have been the bluetooth receiver in my stock 2012 Toyota Tacoma radio, so I even upgraded my radio to a Pioneer FH-X720BT.
I've been searching and searching online forums for an answer but no luck yet. I also thought it might've been an issue with Android 4.4.2 and was anxiously anticipating AT&T coming out with a software update in the US. Well, it finally came yesterday and guess what? Bluetooth audio has STILL been skipping.
I figured it had to be something else like CPU availability -- like my phone just didn't have the oomph to stream audio via bluetooth. I downloaded the free GSam Battery Monitor from the app store to see what was using my phone's CPU the most. Once it was downloaded, I went to "App Usage" and then under the top menu "View CPU Minutes Used." I thought it was weird that my Alarm Clock Xtreme app was at the top along with Android System, Kernel (Android OS), and the Intellicast weather app. I uninstalled the Alarm Clock and Intellicast apps and so far the frequency of skips is much lower -- 4 whole songs with no skips on my drive home. Not sure if this will work for you, but try disabling or uninstalling apps that use the CPU the most.
Android should really come out with a better solution for this issue instead of me having to figure out which third-party apps (that I frequently use, btw) that I have to get rid of. I listen to music all the time from my phone via bluetooth, and I am almost frustrated enough to go back to the dreaded iPhone (at least its freaking bluetooth works seamlessly). You'd think there would be some kind of CPU task management prioritization that would put Bluetooth Sharing at the VERY TOP (sort of like task manager in Windows where you can increase/decrease CPU priority). Anyone else got any better ideas? I've considered rooting, but I'm stuck with stock since it's an AT&T phone. If only complex technologies would just WORK..
I was having skipping on both Bluetooth and via aux cable, although I primarily use aux. After much trouble shooting, I finally reflashed from scratch and haven't had the problem since...aux or the limited Bluetooth I use. Of course I'm rooted and thought it must have been something I screwed up, but my phone acted a little screwy even before I ever rooted.
Yeah, this issue has driven me absolutely crazy since I upgraded back in May from my S3, which never had this problem in the slightest. I've tried everything I can think of short of a fresh install from absolute scratch. I'm on unrooted stock (4.4.2 at the moment - 4.4.4 has failed to update the couple times I've tried today). I've been hoping AT&T would get Lollipop rolled out and that it would somehow help whatever annoying glitch is causing this issue, but the fact that 4.4.4 only JUST pushed out from them makes me doubt AT&T will get Lollipop out in any sane amount of time.
I've tried settings in apps like Poweramp for it to use highest priority, but that makes no difference. This is such a basic thing to be so screwed up. I've watched process monitors while it does it, and there's no obvious reason for it. CPU usage seems fine while it's glitching. Nothing is consistently showing in the log when it's happening. I have essentially given up hope of every figuring out what is causing this.
When (if) Lollipop rolls out from AT&T for the S5, I'll see if that upgrade somehow finally helps fix this glitch (assuming that upgrade doesn't keep failing like the 4.4.4 one does). If not, I'll do a fresh install. And if I'm doing that, I'll probably do a custom ROM if I'm gonna go through all that effort...
So I contacted Pioneer, Samsung, and Crutchfield regarding the issue of bluetooth audio skipping and/or making an extremely loud buzzing noise for 3-5 seconds while streaming from my Galaxy S5.
Pioneer alluded to requiring the ground cable needing to be directly grounded the chassis instead of the factory ground wire. This really didn't make sense because this issue only persists when playing via bluetooth -- not USB, radio, Aux, etc. Plus, the factory ground wire IS connected to the frame anyway, and Crutchfield, BestBuy, and local car audio installers all said they would ground it to the black factory ground wire.
Tonight, Samsung said that this was a known issue, but only related to Pioneer radios. I ended up finding a bluetooth firmware upgrade to my radio on Pioneer's website. My current Bluetooth Version listed on the head unit display is A820, and the firmware update is for A860. Samsung said this should resolve my issue, so I'm going to give it a shot. They also said that the Android Lollipop 5.0 update from AT&T would address this known issue. I saw on another android forum that AT&T reported the update will be release in February this year, but they didn't have a specific date.
If this doesn't work, I'll try putting my phone in Safe Mode and stream audio over bluetooth. If that fixes the issue, then I'll have to painstakingly narrow it down to one or more 3rd-party apps. Typically, I force stop all 3rd-party background processes and only run GSam Battery Monitor, Clean Master, Twilight, and Nova Launcher.
So I finally put my S5 in safe mode to rule out 3rd party apps, and the Pioneer HU still did that weird, intermittent buzz glitch for about 1 second. The same thing happened today when streaming from my iPad, so now it seems like the android bluetooth wasn't the culprit after all.. I think it must be the cheap SocBlue Bluetooth module Pioneer puts in their radios. Several reports on other forums point out these on-going issues with Pioneer. Sound quality is great for radio or CD, but I warn you: DO NOT buy a Pioneer car stereo if you plan on frequently using a Bluetooth audio connection. I contacted Crutchfield tonight and will be swapping out the Pioneer FH-X720BT for a Kenwood DPX500BT. Hopefully this is the last time I'll have to deal with this kind of issue.
I did this with my iPhone and it worked!!!
Goto settings > bluetooth
press the little info icon on the right side of the FH-X720 or FHX-820BS paired device tile
This will open up a settings view.
Turn Off the Sync Contact feature