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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5 System 10.5
There is absolutely no trick to using this feature in Leopard, but it is new and undocumented in the 300 features that Apple lists, so I thought I ought to mention it. Leopard supports the A2DP Bluetooth profile. This profile allows for the transfer of high-quality stereo audio over Bluetooth. In previous versions of the Mac OS, the only Bluetooth audio profile supported was headset, limiting output to low data-rate mono sound. I successfully paired my Plantronics Bluetooth headphones with my MacBook in Leopard. Leopard creates two audio devices after pairing, one of which is labeled "headset" and uses the headset profile, the other is labeled "headphones" and uses full A2DP Stereo.

In addition, Leopard supports the AVRCP profile, which allows for remote control functions to be used on audio devices. For example, I can use the built-in controls on my headphones to control iTunes. I have not yet found any way to specifically configure this feature (for example, to remap controls). However, with my headphones, the back and forward buttons do advance iTunes back and forward through the song list, just as it should.

I have encountered a couple glitches so far. The big one is that there seems to be a bit of a problem with my Apple Bluetooth keyboard and my Bluetooth headphones interfering with each other (or using too much Bluetooth bandwidth, or something). My keyboard sometimes loses its connection when audio is playing, and audio likewise sometimes cut out momentarily. If I disconnect one of these devices, the problem vanishes. The second is more minor: at least on my headphones, the stereo is reversed, so I've taken to wearing them backwards until I can find a solution.

So it's not perfect, although I'm hoping both of these issue have simple solutions. It saves me having to use the bulky audio jack adapter with my headphones, though.
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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: Mechcozmo on Nov 05, '07 08:50:49AM

What computer are you using? I remember that Apple upgraded the PowerBook line with Bluetooth 2.0 which had the selling point of "EDR" or "Enhanced Data Rate". I don't remember what Bluetooth 1.1's bandwidth was, but I do know that 2.0's is about 3.0Mbps.

Can somebody please verify the differences in bandwidth between Bluetooth 1.1 and 2.0 by using a set of Bluetooth headphones and some sort of keyboard/mouse combo?



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: Wi-Gear on Nov 05, '07 06:32:13PM

The computer model shouldn't matter very much. Maybe really old Macs can't handle it, but we have a PowerBook here that's several years old and does NOT have EDR-capable hardware, yet it handles stereo music over Bluetooth just fine to our iMuffs wireless headphones. I haven't confirmed, but my guess is that Leopard provides Bluetooth 2.0 for any Mac with Bluetooth. It might not be able to do EDR for every machine because that may require newer hardware. But the difference between Bluetooth 1.2 and 2.0 is usually just software.

Disclaimer: I work for Wi-Gear, makers of the iMuffs.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: offcs on Nov 05, '07 09:37:29AM

Have you tried changing the output using Audio Midi Setup from the Utilities folder and choosing Configure Speakers?



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: Typhoon14 on Nov 05, '07 10:38:36AM

Submitter here: I'm using a MacBook Pro 2.33 Ghz, so I have no idea how the bluetooth bandwidth is using Bluetooth 1.1.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: deviantintegral on Nov 05, '07 11:50:38AM
I have the same problems with sound dropping out. It seems to happen more frequently when I type or mouse, but will still happen if I don't touch anything at all. I have a 2nd generation MacBook using a Dell (logitech) keyboard, a Logitech mouse, and a pair of Logitech Freepulse headphones. The transmission to the headphones is both stronger and more reliable with the included dongle. I also have the same problems with a pair of iCombi headphones.

Does Bluetooth force all devices to scale down to the slowest speed supported? Anyone know of a way to determine what protocol version a device is using? Either way, even BT 1.2 should be able to handle the bandwidth, as it's rated for a max of 700 kilobits / second.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth_1.1#Bluetooth_1.1

--Andrew

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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: n9yty on Nov 05, '07 12:26:58PM

Maybe it's just my device, but I've already had five or so kernel panics while streaming stereo audio. Otherwise, no panics. I have a pair of Spider headphones I bought at Radio Shack a while ago, so it could be either end that isn't quite up to spec, but the OS shouldn't kernel panic over it regardless.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: gr0k on Nov 05, '07 05:49:36PM

Does anyone know if it's possible to use both headset and headphone at the same time? I'd like to use a stereo bluetooth headset with some online games like secondlife, but I can only use the mic when it's in the low quality "headset" mode, which sucks.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: Wi-Gear on Nov 05, '07 06:56:43PM

Despite what Wikipedia says about Bluetooth 2.0+EDR, it should be pointed out that EDR is an optional part of the Bluetooth 2.0 spec, so just because a device says it can do 2.0 does not mean it gets any of the speed benefits of EDR. In particular, if you have an older Mac and get Leopard, you may not get EDR speed. And furthermore, even if your Mac supports EDR, the device on the other end needs to support it as well in order to get any benefits. There are very few stereo Bluetooth headphones out there that support EDR.

BTW, there is enough bandwidth in regular Bluetooth 1.2 and 2.0 to handle stereo streaming. It's got a 1mbps limit and the stereo profile needs between 200 and 350kbps depending on the quality of the compression the transmitter chooses. But in addition to that minimum bandwidth, if there is any interference and a packet is lost, it uses a little extra bandwidth to retransmit the packet so you never notice.

There's enough bandwidth for stereo Bluetooth and a Bluetooth mouse at the same time. But if there are lots of lost packets and there isn't enough room for retransmits, you'll start noticing cut-outs, or even complete loss of sound.

Disclaimer: I work for Wi-Gear, makers of the iMuffs



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: Wi-Gear on Nov 05, '07 07:01:07PM

Generally speaking, it is not possible to use both the headset profile and headphones profile at the same time so you can't get microphone input and high-quality stereo output at the same time. As soon as you turn on the mic, your audio will drop down to mono. I know; bummer for games or speech recognition applications.

I do hope the Bluetooth SIG comes up with a new profile to handle this soon, but the profiles really were designed for two completely different things.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: svoop on Nov 07, '07 10:23:39AM

I'm trying to get my Plantronics Pulsar 590a BT headset/headphone working. As the headphone and headset output devices are both identically called 590Plantronics, some apps bark, some crash and others won't let me select the second of the two. I've had a kernel panic, too.

Any idea how the output sound device names could be edited?



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: nemesys on Jan 14, '09 01:17:49PM

After some research on this, it seems that there is a serious problem with Bluetooth in 10.5 on late 2008 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. My Samsung Blackjack Windows Mobile 5 phone which used to provide internet access to my previous MacBook Pro (2006) under Tiger is now completely unusable under Leopard on my new MacBook Pro (late 2008). It seems to work but the network speed is simply abysmal. Today, I just tried using my Plantronics 590 headset as headphones on it. This headset used to work just fine on my previous MacBook Pro, even under Leopard, but right now, there is a very serious distortion problem that makes using the headphone well, unusable again. It would seem from what I read that Apple did change the Bluetooth hardware in the late 2008 MacBook Pros and MacBook Air and the Bluetooth driver in Leopard are screwed up or, in other words, a piece of junk. I have read from many people that rebooting the same MacBook Pro under Windows in Boot Camp doesn't exhibit any Bluetooth problem. It seems that Microsoft is now better at writing drivers than Apple is. A real pity!



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: zaczee on Nov 13, '07 10:44:39AM

I use a MacBook Pro (Intel) at work. On the System Info page under Bluetooth I see Bluetooth software 2.0 and firmware version 3.1965. I have a Sony DR-BT10CX stereo headphone which I connect to my MBP and also stay handsfree on my Treo 750. Everything remains cool cool. I can stream my iTunes music to the headphones. Now when a call comes in, it neatly cuts off the music and allows me to complete that call, after which it neatly reverts back to my music. All this is seamless.

I have only a couple of problems. The first one is minor but the second one I really would miss out if I cannot find a solution soon:

1. There is a hissing noice which is nice to cut off

2. I want to direct music to an external speaker using the headphone jack on the MBP while music is streaming to my bluetooth headphone. This is now not possible because the jack gets cut off while I am using the bluetooth headphones. I tried to use the aggregator on the MIDI audio device to create an aggregate device out of the DR-BTCX10 and the internal speakers. No success so far only one or the other gets activated. I would appreciate if anyone can help me find a solution to this.



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: captainzeb on Apr 03, '08 05:56:16PM

Any idea how to stream music via bluetooth to a Sony shelf system such as the CMT-HX5BT?

Thanks,
Brent



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10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: tangonerd on Jun 27, '09 04:35:36PM
10.5: Use stereo Bluetooth devices in 10.5
Authored by: nemesys on Jan 14, '09 01:27:53PM
I would encourage everybody to report their Bluetooth problems to Apple using www.apple.com/feedback. That's the only way that they can fix the problems with Bluetooth.

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