Voice Chat issues with Bluetooth Headsets


Is your Bluetooth head sound quality in-game poor, distorted, or not working? This post is for you.

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 StarCraft, 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.

Possible 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.

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