Bluetooth audio systems have a history of lackluster sound quality. This lacking was due to compression that killed the deep tones in music in earlier implementation of the technology. Newer versions of Bluetooth have better compression rates and produce CD quality sound when the right technology is implemented. The way you use your Bluetooth audio tools also affects the overall sound quality.
Inteference and Range
Check the manufacturer's recommended range for your speakers or headphones, and stick to it. For most devices this is between 15 and 30 feet. When you're at the farther end of your acceptable range, you're more likely to notice drops and skips in songs. The same is true if there's a lot of wireless interference in your area; cordless phones, wireless networks and even microwaves use the same 2.4-GHz frequency as Bluetooth. Be careful indoors, where walls and furniture reduce effective range.
Reduce the number of apps you're using on your device while listening to music via a Bluetooth sound system, especially apps that sync data or access GPS on your device. This data syncing may cause interference due to other wireless activity taking place. If you're streaming your music rather than listening to local files, check that no other apps use your Internet bandwidth while you stream music. Having less bandwidth reduces the quality of your streaming audio.
Use Local Music Files
Bluetooth compresses audio to transmit it wirelessly. When you stream music to your phone and then transmit it to your Bluetooth speakers, you may notice a drop in quality from compressing the already compressed file. Files saved to your phone don't suffer from this streaming compression. If possible, use a lossless format such as FLAC or Apple Lossless Audio. Then the quality of your music may be such that the loss from Bluetooth compression isn't as obvious.
Use High-Quality Products
If you're in the market for new Bluetooth speakers or headphones, consider carefully the quality of the product. It isn't just about cost, though high-quality Bluetooth audio devices will cost more. Speakers and headphones that use newer Bluetooth technology have better audio quality and are likely to use A2DP or aptX compression, both of which provide stereo quality output over Bluetooth. Some less expensive products reduce the bitrate of audio streaming to save on costs, thus resulting in a weaker sound.
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