Bluetooth Headset Woes

mr starface

Well-known Member
I recently bought Bluetooth headphones from Amazon (This One) for gaming purposes, they were well reviewed and sound great when I use them.

The one issue I have is the inbuilt microphone and talking to friends whilst playing - Its a nightmare.

When I setup a voice chat and use the Mic it seems to create another audio device (So I see my headphones and a hands free audio device) and no matter what combination of input/output devices I choose in Windows 10 either:

My friends cant hear me and I get Game Audio
or
They can hear me but I cant hear any Game audio

I got it working once but even then the quality of the audio from the game was awful like it was using the voice channel for it. Have tried using steam chat and discord but problem is same with both.

Has anyone got any experience of getting a Bluetooth headset to work for gaming and chat?

I must have spent 3-4 hours trying to get this to work and you'd think it would be simple but just cant find a solution anywhere! headset and hands free audio
 

EndlessWaves

Distinguished Member
Bluetooth offers two audio profiles, a handfree profile which is mono audio output and mono audio input and an A2DP profile which is stereo output. Bluetooth is very low bandwidth and doesn't offer stereo output with an additional input channel among the standard profiles.

I believe it's common for headsets to switch between the profiles depending on whether the microphone is in use. I've never played with one on windows but it seems like the drivers for your bluetooth hardware are creating different sound devices when the headphones start behaving as a device using a different profile.

I'd expect the correct one to be the hands free audio device on both playback and recording.

Another thing to be aware of is that some applications using older or custom audio code won't take any notice of a change in the default windows audio device while they're running. They'll keep feeding data to or receiving data from whatever the default device was when they started up. This does include a fair proportion of games.

So I would
1. close all the games and communications apps
2. Put the headset in hands free mode
3. Set the hands free devices as default
4. Launch the game and voice chat.

Does that give you input and output together?
 

mr starface

Well-known Member
Thanks for the reply, will give that a go - though not sure I can out headset in hands free mode as not seen an option for this - just on/off and selecting a eq mix

So was bluetooth a bad choice for gaming and chat at the same time? I thought as a more modern interface would work better! Do I need to buy another set to get decent quality audio and chat at the same time - any reasonably priced recommendations?
 

everett_psycho

Distinguished Member
I've got a set of sennheiser px550 and they are great headphones that this problem causes me no end of trouble with. I can't find a way around it as using the mic the entire headset appears to go in to a headset mode making using headphone mode impossible and it turns off the noise cancelling. Changing settings to try and sort it just crashes Skype or teams and I have to restart them.

Mine also seem to drop out of headset mode about an hour in to calls on Skype or teams and again crashes the apps, is annoying to the point of I found a usb extension cable and just use them wired through that. Unfortunately I think the best and easiest option would be a separate microphone meaning you can leave the headphones to be used as headphones. I also have Bluetooth earbuds and a sony sbh52 both of which have issues as well, is driving me a bit mad having lots of options yet none of them seem to actually work like I want.
 

Bossworld

Active Member
EndlessWaves' reply is spot on - the PC implementation of bluetooth audio profiles is poor, and you're also at the mercy of whichever piece of software you're using.

Having tried several Bluetooth headphones with my previous HP work laptop. I often found they cut out after about half an hour (which I put down to the combined wifi/bluetooth card overheating), and I'd had to install a separate Broadcomm stack as the native HP drivers didn't support the necessary audio.

I then bought a Logitech H800 (at considerable expense). Two incoming profiles were installed, but only one was compatible with Skype for Business that we were using at the time, and the quality was worse than an old analogue landline (the bit rate is very low as EW has explained). It also came with a USB dongle - the quality was fine through that and no messing about with profiles. I've kept the bluetooth side paired with my mobile phone instead.
 

everett_psycho

Distinguished Member
That would explain my woes, I don't think I ever sat in a call on Skype for an hour like k have to do with teams regularly now. My headphones are fine for music listening it just in headset mode they cut out. I do have a Bluetooth dongle kicking about and didn't think to try that so might give it a shot.
 

Bossworld

Active Member
That would explain my woes, I don't think I ever sat in a call on Skype for an hour like k have to do with teams regularly now. My headphones are fine for music listening it just in headset mode they cut out. I do have a Bluetooth dongle kicking about and didn't think to try that so might give it a shot.
Sorry, to clarify, the H800 USB dongle isn't bluetooth, it appears to be some other form of wireless. Regardless, that works fine with PC, and as I say, if I flip the switch down to Bluetooth, I can also use the same headset with my Google Pixel 3 if/when required.

My Dell work laptop appeared to support more stuff out of the box, could be because it's got a newer BT implementation, or because it's on Win 10, or both. Either way, the logitech H800 still presented the same profile issue(s) as described above. Teams had the same limitations as Skype in terms of what it would recognise.
 

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