Voice Chat issues with Bluetooth Headsets

We wanted to report on our findings on this issue. After some testing and reading up on Bluetooth technology, this seems to be an issue with how Bluetooth functions. You’ll also see these issues on other games that employ voice chat functionality.

There’s going to be a lot of information here, but here’s the short version. Bluetooth is designed for telephone audio, not high fidelity gaming audio. As a result, it is prone to these issues in gaming audio. There are workarounds for this, which I post later, but they result in a sacrifice in audio quality.

Bluetooth as a technology has three modes relevant to us:

  1. Headset Audio - Uses both stereo audio and microphone. However, the sound quality is very low. (8kHz/8bits.) Using this mode will probably make everything sound like you’re going through a tunnel.
  2. Hands Free - Gives you a mono audio signal and access to your mic. This has lower audio quality as well (16kHz/8bits.) Good for telephone/VOIP communication, bad for stereo audio applications since all sound will come from both headset cups.
  3. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile - Close to CD-quality stereo audio, good for hearing where your opponents are in Heroes, but disables mic and as a result voice chat.

Because of these limitations, it is highly recommended that you avoid using Bluetooth headsets if you are attempting to use voice chat simultaneously. If you’re only using it to listen to the game audio, it should be fine to activate the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP, Stereo audio) profile for better audio quality.

Workaround Below

If you want to use both stereo audio and mic, enabling your Bluetooth device’s Headset profile can give you the best compromise. Unfortunately as mentioned above, the audio quality is poor and on some devices may result in the headset not broadcasting any game audio at all.

I hope this provides some more information on why this is happening. Thanks for all the information provided in this thread thus far, as it helped us identify the common threads and get some test devices which we used to figure this out. I’m going to sticky this thread so we can share our findings with other players.