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General BT headphone connection

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by thaKing, Feb 22, 2016.

  1. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    I've searched and read lots of threads and have seen some "attempts" at solving this, but none has worked for me.

    I bought some new BT headphones and the connection is poor. Randomly the audio cuts out or stutters. I've disconnected the headphones, turned BT off, cleared cache, turned BT on, reconnected headphones, same issue.

    Is there a definitive "here's how to fix the BT connection"? I'm on ATT, so rooting is not an option, unfortunately. What's really weird is I have had 2 other pairs of headphones that did not have this issue. Could it be an issue with headphones?
     

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  2. The_Chief

    The_Chief Accept no imitations!
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    Bluetooth has long been a point of contention for me regarding Android. Sometimes the binaries work, and sometimes they don't... it's really hit or miss.

    In this case, it may be that your Bluetooth headset has one BT version (like Bluetooth 3.0) while your device has a newer (or older) version... and the two may argue. Or not talk at all. That's about my 2¢
     
  3. touringhaggis

    touringhaggis Android Enthusiast
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    So far the Note 4 has been my all time best bluetooth device... until it upgraded to android 5.0.1 at which point it was the worst. I reverted back to 4.4.4 and so did my problems.

    Have you tried the problem headphones on a different device (perhaps newer)? This may help you narrow down the issue.

    Regards,
    Eric.
     
  4. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    I've had other headphones work with no problem. All, including this model, are v4.1. My phone is at 5.1.1. I really like the headphones, when they work, but if there is no fix and it could possibly be just a "bad" connection between the two, I won't hesitate to return them and find a model that works.

    I have not tried the headphones on anything but my phone. I could try my wife's Note 4, but again, same version as mine. I could try connecting them to her car and see how that goes.

    One thing I haven't tried, and been meaning to, is booting into safe mode. I'm normally streaming over Pandora, so not sure what to use in Safe Mode to test.
     
  5. touringhaggis

    touringhaggis Android Enthusiast
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    Just copy an MP3 file onto the phone and use the standard media player. This is how I listen to music via bluetooth.

    Regards,
    Eric.
     
  6. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    I wasn't sure if that would be a good test since normally I'm streaming Pandora. But, I did just that. I copied music to the card and played with the default player. Listened to about 45 mins and didn't notice a skip or stutter. So, I got out of safe mode, opened the default music player and started playing music again. Almost immediately it started to stutter and cut out.

    So, what does that tell me?
     
  7. touringhaggis

    touringhaggis Android Enthusiast
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    Safe mode prevents all 3rd party software from loading automatically when you boot the phone. So the short answer is that something that you installed is interfering with Bluetooth. Do you have anything installed that would try to force your phone to sleep (some sort of battery saver). This would break up the Bluetooth data stream and cause this problem. Similarly anything that was hogging the processor would cause issues.

    In the worst case you could simply disable/deinstall each application/service one at a time and see when your Bluetooth starts to work again.

    Regards,
    Eric.
     
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  8. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    @touringhaggis - thanks for the tips. What I have done is go to Application Manager to see all Running apps. I found a battery app I installed and never really used. I uninstalled that. I used the headphones for a bit (15-20 mins) and I didn't notice anything amiss. The true test will be during my extended use at the gym later today. I'm hoping that took care of it.
     
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  9. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    I used the headphones at the gym yesterday for about an hour and a half. Everything worked perfectly until about the last 15 minutes. (This is after uninstalling the battery app mentioned above, that's it.) My first question is, am I looking at the right thing to determine what might be interfering and should be uninstalled (running apps in Application Manager)? I assume I am because if an app is not running at all, it shouldn't be interfering.

    If I am correct above, here are the non-standard apps I currently have running (and I believe all were installed with previous headphones, although a recent update could be the issue I guess.)
    Accuweather, Go SMS Pro, Pandora, AVG AntiVirus, Instagram, Facebook, Tasker, SwiftKey, Nova Launcher, HD Widgets.​

    Do any of those jump out to you? I am trying to stream via Pandora. If I were going to uninstall more it would be maybe Accuweather and/or AVG AntiVirus.
     
  10. AZgl1500

    AZgl1500 Extreme Android User
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    get rid of the AntiVirus program, unnecessary bloat, and using up battery power for nothing.

    2 more screamers are the Social Apps, they keep talking home to moma all the time.... I uninstalled all of them, and wallah! battery is better. I now use Chrome browser with a Bookmark to Facebook.

    I hate Instagram and Twitter ( you don't have that ),

    Pandora won't bother you UNLESS you have it in use. if so, it will be downloading the next audio stream once in a while, that will use some battery..... I have a friend that says it hits her G4 pretty hard.
     
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  11. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    I figured AVG might be one of the better options to uninstall. I was thinking Accuweather since it updates every hour, but I turned off the notifications for now (which turns off the auto sync every hour). I'll test out how modifying those two helps.
     
  12. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    I'm leaning more towards AVG as your culprit too, if there's anything that mucks up online connectivity with phones or computers it's an AV utility. They're by design trying to monitor Internet activity, some are less intrusive while others more so. Personally I'm on the fence when it comes to AV apps and Android, early on they were mostly rated as more a peace of mind thing than actually being effective but we are in a time when the Internet is just getting more and more hazardous and the AV/malware apps are getting better. Anyway, if you do think it's a vital thing to have, maybe this recent article is will help you decide on a better alternative:
    http://www.tomsguide.com/us/av-test-android-protection,news-22252.html
     
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  13. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    The headphones are charging now for my gym session in a little bit. AVG is uninstalled, so will test that. I'm not married to having AVG. It's the paid version I got free from a promotion so I figured "why not".
     
  14. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Well good luck, and let us know how things work out. Curious to find out of AVG was the 'alleged' source of your problem.
     
  15. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    AVG removal did nothing. Late in the workout yesterday it started to stutter some. Today, about midway through, it started to stutter and cut out pretty badly. After about 10-15 minutes, it worked like a charm. I tried other apps (other than Pandora) with the same result (during that 15 min issue). I disabled Tasker to no effect. I'm torn - do I give up and return the headphones and use wired headphones (which is not ideal always while working out), or do I suck it up and live with the intermittent issues. :(
     
  16. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Bummer. As your test with Safe Mode worked out for you can you think of anything else you've installed that could be the problem? Sometimes an app that's for a specific function does use other system resources that aren't obviously apparent.
     
  17. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    Again, I assume to help answer that I need to look at running apps (Application Manager > Running). Here is the grand total of non-standard apps currently running:
    Accuweather, Go SMS Pro, Pandora, HD Widgets, QuickPic, CalenGoo, Regrann, Instagram, Facebook, Tasker, SwiftKey, Nova Launcher.

    All of these have been installed for quite some time and didn't cause issues with previous BT headphones (not to say that a recent update didn't change that, just pointing it out).
     
  18. svim

    svim Android Expert
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    Just doing a quick glance at some of the Permissions on Google Play for some of the apps you listed, it appears that only HD Widgets, Pandora, and Tasker list Bluetooth as one of the services they affect. As you've already tried disabling Tasker that leaves only two others (and as a side note Facebook lists a huge number of services, but oddly not Bluetooth). The thing is maybe one of those two are the problem, if they even are the problem. And then as you've already mentioned, there's the issue of what you want to sacrifice to keep using those Bluetooth headphones.
     
  19. touringhaggis

    touringhaggis Android Enthusiast
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    One other hint: Bluetooth and WiFi share the same frequency band. I have observed that Bluetooth connectivity is much better in the car where I have no WiFi, but worse in the office where WiFi is present. Perhaps here is another test for your locally installed MP3s. Turn off WiFi and see if that helps.

    Of course turning off WiFi may put other background apps to sleep (depending on settings) so this is not a foolproof test. Also, since I use different Bluetooth components in the car this may also not mean a thing. In short, YMMV.

    Regards,
    Eric.
     
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  20. thaKing

    thaKing Android Enthusiast
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    Well, I uninstalled HD Widgets and still ran into issues today. That left Tasker and Pandora running. I didn't try stopping Tasker (I didn't think the issue was a combination of HD Widgets and Tasker, maybe it's worth a shot). I am trying to stream Pandora, so obviously didn't want to stop that one.

    I'm at a loss now.

    Thanks for the suggestion Eric. Tasker is setup to turn off Wifi when I'm not at home. So, when I leave my cell tower, it turns Wifi off. Since I'm at the gym and away from home, Wifi is disabled.
     

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