ifi zen blue dac bluetooth drop out issue.

iantiv

Novice Member
Hello...happy new year.

i was wondering if someone can give me a little assistance. I recently bought an ifi zen blue dac, i have no issues with the device as its a great piece of kit. However i am finding the blue tooth connection intermittently will drop out. The issue appears to be resolved when i switch my computer off. I use an imac and the keyboard and mouse are wireless. so i can only imaging this is were the issue is. Is there a way round this?

Thanks in advance Ian
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Hello...happy new year.

i was wondering if someone can give me a little assistance. I recently bought an ifi zen blue dac, i have no issues with the device as its a great piece of kit. However i am finding the blue tooth connection intermittently will drop out. The issue appears to be resolved when i switch my computer off. I use an imac and the keyboard and mouse are wireless. so i can only imaging this is were the issue is. Is there a way round this?

Thanks in advance Ian

Hey iantiv,

Apologies first for our delayed response in helping you with your query.

A very Happy New Year to you too! :)

Have you updated the latest firmware on the BLUE at all?
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
I've been getting similar problems with my recently purchased blue. It starts juddering and clicking when I sit in the sofa with my phone about 12 feet from the unit (which is placed above my hifi rack to maximise signal coverage).

It's much better, but not perfect, when I stand over it, but I don't really enjoy listening to music in that position!


I thought it might be a faulty aerial so I took it off, but it got much worse, so it's not that.

I also upgraded the firmware (took 3 attempts) and that helped a little but not much.

I tried various codecs but that didn't help either.

Lastly I tried using the same stream from my phone with a couple of pairs of AptX HD headphones (Sony and Flares) with no external aerial, and the music played perfectly from twice the range.

I noticed the new Blue 2 had an improved aerial so maybe those is an known issue?

Alternately, I wonder if the firmware inside is too focused on SQ and actually can't deal with an imperfect signal as well as headphones.
 
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iantiv

Novice Member
Hi lawrence, this was an issue I was having a while back. What I found was that dac wasn't the issue. It was in fact my phone that was causing the interference. As I hooked it up to my dad's phone at it worked perfectly.
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
Hi lawrence, this was an issue I was having a while back. What I found was that dac wasn't the issue. It was in fact my phone that was causing the interference. As I hooked it up to my dad's phone at it worked perfectly.
Thanks for that, I thought I'd removed that element of the problem by using my phone with other AptX HD receivers/headphones with no problem. I'll see if I can try it with some other phones and tablets in the family.

Actually come to think of it when I first got it I used my Windows 10 laptop with no issues.

I wonder if the firmware is not as good at error correction due to the phone being less powerful as some, or if the way Bluetooth works it can demand more processing on the source device (as my phone is a budget Honor and hasn't got the best processor).

One thing I would say on the positive front is that it sounds almost as good as my Linn DS on red book quality Qobuz streaming, and on a par with my Liv Zen, which for Bluetooth is better than I could have expected.
 
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Lawrence001

Active Member
@Lawrence001 ,
Which phone phone are you currently using? Ideally, try a phone with a different OS. Let me know how it went.
Thanks for you reply I tried it with my W10 laptop and the music juddered as well. I'm using Qobuz streaming in both cases but it plays fine through the speakers so it's not the WiFi.

I bought your upgraded 5v power supply to run it in assuming that's not a problem?

I was hoping to take it to the Wam show in Kegworth to show everyone how good Bluetooth could be but I'll struggle with that now!
 
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iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
@Lawrence001 , do not worry. You will be able to take it with you to the Wam show and you will definitely be able to show everyone how good Bluetooth could sound. Send me a message explaining the issue step by step and we will solve it together.
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
@Lawrence001 , do not worry. You will be able to take it with you to the Wam show and you will definitely be able to show everyone how good Bluetooth could sound. Send me a message explaining the issue step by step and we will solve it together.
Sorry I've been busy with work and kids the last few days. I'll PM soon, but I've noticed the drop outs worsen as I get further away it's stable when I place my phone (Honor View 10) next to the Blue. If this is typical of Bluetooth on phones then I guess it's just not suited to my use case, which is to play music on my phone while browsing on it, sitting in my usual listening position 15 ft from my hifi. I just assumed anything would work 10m or so distance away according to the Bluetooth specification.
 

larkone

Member
Bluetooth does not play well with other radio/wifi/smart devices etc. signals in close proximity.
Good article explaining the issue:
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
I did consider this as I've got the Virgin router near the hifi for my Linn streamer. That might also explain why the range is so short in the room.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
Under normal circumstances 10m or so distance would not be an issue. There are many potential explanations as to what could cause the problem. A router placed next to the streamer could be an issue, but this may as well be a phone or the unit itself. My recommendation is you to drop me a message when you are free, so that we can get to the bottom of it.
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
Under normal circumstances 10m or so distance would not be an issue. There are many potential explanations as to what could cause the problem. A router placed next to the streamer could be an issue, but this may as well be a phone or the unit itself. My recommendation is you to drop me a message when you are free, so that we can get to the bottom of it.
Thanks I'm away for a couple of days but I'll take it to my friend's house and hopefully get the chance to try it in a different environment and report back by PM.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
No worries. Take your time.

1451327073-255373_252021094909980_809565541_n.jpg
 

Lawrence001

Active Member
I've been doing a bit of experimenting this week. Firstly took it to my mates place with no router in the room. Exactly the same issue there, not great news.

Downloaded Qobuz on my wife's iPad tonight and seamless streaming to the Blue with an occasional drop out when I walked to the other end of the room 25 feet away. Positive development but doesn't help me use my own device to stream to my hifi or headphone amp :(

Thought I'd try it with my daughter's old Amazon Fire that's been in the cupboard for the last 6 months. Downloaded Qobuz, streams perfectly even from the other end of the room. Surprisingly it also has the LDAC codec for CD quality sound. Sound quality through my Audio Gd DAC remains excellent, so now have a solution without the additional cost of a new better device. One happy camper here at last :)

And lesson learned, my Honor phone is rubbish at Bluetooth. Strange it works well with BT IEMs up to AptX HD, but I didn't stretch the range as far to be fair.
 

iFi audio

Member
AVForums Sponsor
@Lawrence001 I more than happy to hear that your Amazon Fire and the Zen Blue are on fire. I appreciate your attitude of not giving up and trying the Zen Blue with different products.

I had a few comments about the Honors' connectivity issues. Most of the pre-2019 Honor models used the BT 4.2. When it comes to smartphones the difference between BT 4.2 and 5.0 is significant. 4x the range, 2x speed, 8x broadcasting message capacity over Bluetooth 4.2. In 2019 Honor introduced a technology called Super Bluetooth incorporating the Hi1103 chips, powered with the AI algorithms, which improved the quality of BT transmission. Honor says it intelligently identifies the environmental factors and Bluetooth signal strength to adjust it automatically as required.

A small tip. If the BT headphones connection drops, put the phone on the same side as the BT chip in your headphones (unless it's TW, in which case it would not make much difference). It may help a little.
 

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