Monday, October 1st, 2007

Bluetooth Sucks

I’ve been looking for a set of Bluetooth speakers or boombox I can control from a laptop, or desktop. Most Bluetooth speakers support Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) which allows a computer or mp3 player to stream music to a speaker system. But there’s a problem, there’s no volume control built into the system. The speakers have to control the volume of the music. Bluetooth does supports playback control through a fairly scarce new profile, Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) . The problem is it’s all screwed up, they implemented it backwards. In this scenario you would have a Bluetooth remote control for, say your TV, which would control the volume the TV plays back at. With Bluetooth, volume control is always maintained by the source of the sound.

So say for example you want a Bluetooth speaker in your bedroom, up on a dresser or someplace like that, and you want to stream music and control the volume from your tablet or laptop while you’re reading in bed. You can’t do it. You can stream to the speakers, but you’d have to get up out of bed to turn down the volume, or even switch tracks.

Bluetooth sucks. It never works right, and it’s backwards. It sucks because the data it transfers over its connection is pre-defined. It has always sucked, and it always will suck.

It always amazes me when I go out looking for a tech you’d just expect to be out there and available, because, like, you have real need for it and it makes sense, and then you find out nobody ever thought of it, so it doesn’t exist. Bah.

(Here’s the speaker system I found I thought would be perfect, until I read the manual and figured out how Bluetooth works.)

Posted by Jim Mathies on October 1st, 2007 | Filed in Technology | 43 Comments »

43 Responses to “Bluetooth Sucks”

  1. August 31st, 2008 at 12:41 am

    Dan said:

    Call me slow, I just realized today (31 Aug 2008) that Bluetooth does indeed, SUCK. I wanted to LOVE this technology, but it’s broken – bad. And there have been no real advances to the technology in a long, long, long time.

    Pairing profiles, which device supports what profile? Battery drain, yea why don’t I cut down my cell phones already anemic battery life even more. “Headset”, “CAR KIT”, c’mon, can’t they both play together?

    BT is more cumbersome and problematic than it is worth, thanks for nothing BT. Now, I have to rummage through my ‘junk drawer’ for all of my ‘old’ wired headphones, mice & keyboards.

    Goodbye Bluetooth, you seemed promising.

  2. September 27th, 2008 at 10:25 am

    Digital Sentry said:

    I heartily agree that BT sucks. I’d like to add how insecure it is. I had a friend who told me he was at a hackers convention (I forget which one) and he related the following tale: While people were walking around the floor talking on their BT implants paired with their cellphones some clever hackers were disrupting their signals or actually recording the data being transferred between the devices. Maybe this isn’t true anymore but I’ve never read anything applauding BT’s bulletproof security. I really don’t know why there hasn’t been a competing technology for wireless connections.

  3. September 30th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

    James Mealy said:

    I know very little about the inner details of bluetooth but from a users standpoint, I think that it sucks. It doesn’t work. I constantly have to fool around with various devices to get them to work. My opinion is that it partially stems from the complexity of bluetooth. I have seen a print out of the specs and it is enormous. Complexity is bad. I design hardware and write firmware that is close to the hardware. Simple is better and generally indicates a better design. Another probable fault is OOP. While OOP might be good for something, it is a rotten way to deal with hardware and embedded systems. It buries potential problems behind a screen of OOP obfuscation. It has enabled a new generation of incompetent programmers to throw out piles of slow, inefficient code, bug riddled code.

  4. January 3rd, 2009 at 12:21 am

    KE said:

    Agree. I will never buy another BT device again. I was suckered into having BT installed on my various laptops. Call me very slow. They never work.

  5. February 5th, 2009 at 11:05 am

    Jojo said:

    I HATE bluetooth. I’m not particularly techhy and have never – not once- successfully used BT for anything. I have a laptop, PDA, Blackberry and mobile phone. All have BT. All communicate with each other via BT. What do they communicate? No idea, but certainly nothing that is under my control. Sure my phone is connected to my laptop but does the mobile sync software know that? No. I can connect my BB to my PDA but how the &$%* I am supposed to transfer addresses is a total mystery. BT owes me about 20 wasted hours of my life. I vow never to turn it on on any device ever again.

  6. March 5th, 2009 at 9:47 am

    Frank Z said:

    Add me to the list. I’ve pretty much given up on the dream of running multiple Bluetooth devices without losing a USB port. The only thing I got to work half-assedly was a crappy LG phone. Getting my mouse to work was a nightmare, my printer that support Bluetooth only printed half pages, my headphones would crap out when any other Bluetooth was connected, my mouse would die when I tried to listen to my Bluetooth headphones, then one day my mouse decided to stop connecting.

    I’m done! I went out and bought an RF mouse and went back to wires and WiFi for everything else. At least I have no headaches now!

  7. June 20th, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    Tom Fid said:

    Update: It’s June 2009, and Bluetooth still sucks.

  8. June 20th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Tom in Raleigh said:

    You’re doing a public service with this thread. Bluetooth sucks in every way. It was never a reliable way to sync Treos with desktop PCs. And it absolutely sucks for mobile phone headsets. My Jabra headset was working when I paired it ten minutes ago, then when I got a call it just refused to work. Each and every BT earpiece I’ve had–and I’ve had a lot–has been a steaming pile of sh*t. In a world when I can watch NASCAR (why I’d want to, I have no idea) on a phone, why can’t someone develop a wireless technology that works. It just can’t be that hard. But for Bluetooth, it is, which is why it completely sucks.

  9. July 30th, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Martin said:

    Yeap, Bluetooth sucks really bad in almost every of it’s aspect!

    Pairing and passcodes – SUCKS
    BT stacks and programming – SUCKS
    Multiple bluetooth devices at the same time and bandwidth – TOTALLY SUCKS
    A BT keyboard and mouse? LOL – no way – SUCKS
    Basically any actions done with bluetooth occur with ugly delays, lags and errors.
    BT security? For what? Will someone steal your contacts? It would take an eternity to copy them..
    The only probably good use of BT is for telephony and streaming music (and only music, not playing some games or other interactive stuff, because of the delay).

    Recently I bought Sony Ericsson HBH-DS220 wireless music headsets. They have a 3.5 mm jack, so generally it’s a BT receiver. I’m completely satisfied with it because I already knew what it’s good for and that’s what I wanted.
    The music is streamed with an average 0,7 s delay. Of course, since the stream is continuous this doesn’t bother.
    The range is up to some 8 meters. If you get out of the range, you’ll have to re-connect.
    Sound quality is very good, but expect no more than you expect from wired headsets. Also only some 90% of connections are successful..

    The bluetooth technology may seem promising, but it’s poorly developed. Also it has already conquered the laptop and cell phone market..

  10. August 26th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    John Tech said:

    We all followed the bluetooth frustration path that ultimately ended here. Indeed bluetooth does suck big time.

  11. October 8th, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    Jeroen said:

    I Spend 3 hours for the bluetooth installation. I can receive data but not send. What a big tragedy this fucking bluetooth.

    Jeroen (The Netherlands)

  12. January 7th, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Dent Azul said:

    Bluetooth definitely sucks! I bought a BT USB plug for my Windows XP machine. I could connect I could pair the computer with my iPod Touch and Sony DR-BT22 headset, but that was it. No way to play sound through the headset or otherwise recognize the iPod. It’s totally worthless.

    A law just went into effect that all drivers must use hands free phones when driving. I have to wonder how many more accidents this will cause as drivers try to get their BT headsets working with their phones.

  13. January 15th, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    Ajay said:

    Damn it this is 2010. Why do we still have to put up with this over-designed, insecure protocol that should have been deprecated years ago?

  14. February 8th, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Rene guenther said:

    Bluetooth sucks.

  15. February 15th, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Gavin Curtis said:

    I just discovered an incredible advance in technology which allows me to link headset to phone and transfer images within seconds.

    It’s called a “cord” or some people refer to it as a “wire”. Must be the latest in technology because my corded devices seem to work so much better than my BT ones; now filling up my junk drawer.

    If BT is so great, then why do wireless keyboard and mice (most of them) use a different radio system than bluetooth? Because they know bluetooth is an abortion that needs to be eradicated from the face of the planet.

  16. May 6th, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    DH said:

    Yesss! Bluetoot sucks, why do people insist on using it and then force me to troubleshoot it? ARRGGH!

  17. June 19th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Travis said:

    I AM a technical person, and understand more of a PC than most. I’m an electronics engineer and programmer. AND I HATE BLUETOOTH!

    Yes, I can make bluetooth work, but it’s such a pain in the ass it’s not worth using. I’d rather be duck-taped (Like Spitter on Greek) to a wall than use bluetooth!

    What is the problem? The primary problem is that bluetooth devices do NOT easily pair with multiple devices. If I want to use my headset with my laptop, and my phone, it is almost impossible to get the headset to drop the connection with the phone and allow it to be paired with the laptop. Same problem also occurs vice versa.

    Why the problems? Oh, and you want to use it with Linux? HAHAHAHAHA!

    Bluetooth was a good idea, but the implementation REALLY REALLY SUCKS!


  18. June 27th, 2010 at 9:31 am

    James said:

    I also am an engineer and I have designed some proprietary wireless systems. I cannot get Bluetooth to work reliably (and sometimes not at all) in any of the computers I’ve tried it with. Tried to pair a couple of headsets to an XP box, Windows 7 (X64) laptop and Windows 7 desktop (X64). All sorts of problems, disconnection issues, popup errors (often hanging so I have to use task manager to shut it down). The drivers Windows 7 found on updates load but absolutely do not work at all, almost as if they are dummy drivers. Then I downloaded the latest Blue Soleil and had more luck but it’s very unstable in Windows 7. I’m not sure if’s poor driver implementation or just the overcomplicated Bluetooth specification (probably some of both). This is probably the least robust wireless system I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen quite a few. I doubt going to a newer Bluetooth specification is the answer… let’s can this crap and start with a fresh slate!

  19. August 16th, 2010 at 2:05 am

    Jase said:

    Bluetooth sucks so much arse. Bluesoleil sucks an even bigger arse because they charge money for drivers.

  20. October 15th, 2010 at 8:41 pm

    ctx12206 said:

    Bluetooth was automatic on my computer. I have to keep it uninstalled because I cannot open Word or Excel documents without fighting with the install your blutooth device screen for 10-20 minutes till it gives up insisting. I am still not sure what BT is, don’t want it and hate that I have to go thru cancelling the install program every time I turn on my computer.
    It sucks that it was pre-installed on my Laptop!
    I didn’t even ask for it!

  21. April 22nd, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    bluetooth kicks puppies said:

    Bluetooth is the lewz. It is also a poop. Yes, a poop.

  22. May 16th, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    hyperX said:

    After a long session of bluetooth nightmare i’m going to buy some 2.4ghz headset!

  23. June 2nd, 2011 at 7:57 pm

    Mesh24 said:

    Brand new MAC machines now come with bluetooth mice and keyboards… and the mouse/keyboard will drain a pair of AA batteries within a few months!!! WHAT THE HELL?? Logitech has mice and keyboards that will run on the same 2xAA alkaline batteries for 3 freaking YEARS! Its time to KILL BLUETOOTH.

  24. August 26th, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    coherence said:

    As a computer technician with fifteen years of commercial experience making good money running consultancy companies, I’d like to add my own experience to this thread:
    Bluetooth is only a problem because it promises so much!
    If it were almost anything else we’d simply chalk it up as “another rubbish tech” to avoid.
    Unfortunately the promise of this technology is so great and the potential convenience so attractive that we continue to take Bluetooth seriously and waste time struggling to get it to work reliably. Or work at all, in many cases.
    Should one need to be a network engineer to successfully use bluetooth devices? In this case, I *AM* that network engineer.. so, who do *I* go to when it doesn’t work?
    Bluetooth has proven itself an ill-conceived and poorly designed connectivity technology that needs to die.
    Oh, I’m sure it will continue to improve – slowly – but for those of us with better things to do than fight rubbish like BlueSoleil, WLAN works very nicely, thanks.
    Bluetooth, Bluetooth, please come in Bluetooth – your time is up!

  25. February 4th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Adam said:

    Now it’s 2012 and bluetooth still sucks… no change there…
    Time to come up with a technology that could do what bluetooth is supposed to do, and actually works.

  26. February 6th, 2012 at 9:05 pm

    Jorge Wantitowork said:

    Yes it does suck big time. Waisted time and money on the xhit, wow! I feel so much better now.

  27. February 18th, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Reza Nezami said:

    I totally agree. This is simply an badly planned and designed technology. Why? I really don’t know, and why on earth still all major IHVs and laptop makers support it fully?!! Do they have any stat how much this is actually used? I think they have it on simply because they have to advertise for some local wireless connectivity and bluetooth is there!!
    I actually wasn’t expecting much. I just wanted to use it as wireless headset on my laptop. THis is the task that it should work for it fine. Well, you can pair a headset to a laptop more or less easily these days. The problem is ease of use and flexibility. For instance some sound outputs do use it and some not. So you have to go manually say force your ip phone on your laptop to use bluetooth as output and input! Why? I don’t know. Now, say the headset needs recharging, you connect it to charger and boom, the pairing is gone!!

  28. February 23rd, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    Dos said:

    Apple have been successful in killing crappy “standard” tech off in the past. They should kill it and kill it good. Bluetooth sucks in every way and it NEEDS TO DIE. It amazes me that its not dead already.

  29. April 7th, 2012 at 8:11 pm

    Charles said:

    I have a top of the range Belkin BT Print Server. It only took me 7 hours last night and two hours this evening to get a PC and laptop to Bluetooth operate the printer via the Print Server. This is with Win 7 Ultimate and numerous installs/ uninstalls of the PC/Laptop Bluetooth adapter, numerous uninstalls setting up a local printer, and numerous restarts and Windows finally recognizes the Bluetooth device, accepts it and allows the PC/Laptop to communicate with it.

    It took me slightly less time with the laptop, having got things sorted with the PC, but even so, it was a frustrating and long-winded process even then, not knowing why it sometimes took Windows several or many attempts before allowing something. First problem was getting a Bluetooth port set up. Then the Bluetooth adapter ports had to be set up manually. What? Plug and Play with uninstalls, re-installs, and much manual sorting out various settings?

    Windows 7 should natively support Bluetooth including setting up ports automatically. there is after all a more than fair chance that if you wish to connect with a remote Bluetooth device, that you’ll need a Bluetooth port!

    The Print server on the other hand once Win 7 woke up and accepted it, needs no configuring. You just plug it in and it works! But getting Win 7 to recognize it through a Bluetooth adapter was NOT the simple procedure it should be. It is more than about time that Microsoft gets themselves sorted and make Bluetooth inter-connectivity truly and properly Plug and Play – just give me the opportunity to confirm that I wish the devices to connect.

    Then the Bluetooth adapter is re-installed by Windows each time it is plugged in. Surely it is not too much for Windows to recognize a generic Bluetooth adapter and NOT need to re-install it each time it is re-plugged in! It’s just a matter of recognizing that it is the same type device adapter each time!

    In a nutshell, Bluetooth hurts simply because of inept and very shoddy implementation of Bluetooth connectivity in Windows. They’ve had since XP to get this right and either they still haven’t fathomed it out properly, or they can’t be bothered to put things right! Bluetooth hurts ONLY because Microsoft MAKE it hurt.

  30. April 29th, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Exodus said:

    Bluetooth doesn´t sucks… the problem is that u suck at using it, stop the complain an waining, read how to use it or shut the fuck up!

  31. June 14th, 2012 at 10:09 am

    andy said:

    Never ever was I able to make something work without at least 60 minutes of misery and constant cursing with the help of this big pile of steaming shit mocked as a “wireless technology”. Bluetooth is the biggest failure in the modern history of technology.

  32. July 30th, 2012 at 9:30 am

    VMUNIX said:

    Worst wireless technology by far, even IRDA is much better (i.e. simpler) in some cases (sending/receiving files from mobile devices, contacts/email syncho. etc.). I have at this moment in my desk 3 devices that refuse to work together, Moto Milestone 2, Sony Ericsson random GSM mobile, and windows 7 64bits, what a fucking waste of time BlueTooth is.

  33. December 9th, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    RandomBob said:

    I wholeheartedly agreed that Bluetooth sucks, but with exception. Mainly, it just sucks on Windows. it’s very slow, makes the entire computer unresponsive, unreliable, and does not play well with Skype.

    My cheap crap-phone has no trouble at all playing music on BT, using a BT headset for phone calls, and transferring files; only grips is the lag in switching tracks.

    I just installed 10.10 Ubuntu (because Ubuntu 12 has some crippling driver issues, like failing at suspend). Anyways, Bluetooth on Linux is very simple. Plug in Bluetooth adapter, click the “+” button, turn on BT headphones or cell phone and it’s connected. Done. It even handles most passcodes automatically. In the sound options, you can set headset to do stereo audio or mono 2-way. Much, much simpler, faster, and overall better than Windows.

  34. May 19th, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Sokked said:

    For some reason, Bluetooth sucks in about 90% of cases and if you happen to be among the 10% congratulations, but you’re not somehow smarter or doing it more correctly than the majority. You’re just very lucky. Yes, under Max OS luck tends to go up slightly, and under windows or linux it goes down. But so what, who needs Plug & Pray crap these days, we need an actual technology for actually getting things done, not some fancy shmanzy toy that fails to work every other time.

  35. June 1st, 2013 at 10:00 am

    CG said:

    2013 and it still is the worst performing over complex waste of time ‘wireless’ technology ever.

  36. July 26th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    SteveC said:

    Bluetooth might be the worst technology, that won’t go away, in the last 20 years. Every time I try to use it, I want to scream in frustration. Why doesn’t the world realize that Bluetooth is terrible and find a replacement?

    In the last hour:

    1) I’d like to listen to music on my phone that’s connected via Bluetooth in my car… NO can’t do it! Only works for the phone. I need to plug in the headphone jack for music. WHY?!?!

    2) I’d like to listen to music on my Bluetooth speakers… Phone isn’t paired to the speakers… I’d like to pair it, but I need a DAMN manual to figure out how to pair it. WHY does it need to be this hard?!?!?

  37. July 30th, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    J said:

    Reading these reviews filled me with so many fuckin laughs because it’s all so astoundingly true!!! About how bluetooth is the equivalence of having a severe case of blueballs! Just all around sucks!! As a lack of music quality is what you can expect when investing in many bluetooth items. Since bluetooth seems infamous from jacking away almost all of the bass within songs, as well as muting the high’s and mids (fahkin horrible!!). My $18 generic 3.5mm fm transmitter works better than the $30-$50 Shittooth receivers i’ve purchased! Good luck trying to pair multiple devices to a bluetooth, as you’ll want to BLOW YOUR FUCKIN BRAINS OUT! An just try to stand between the bluetooth device and the device it’s been paired with. To see if no skipping / dropping out bullshit occurs!! What happened to the claim of “no interference for up to 30′” Yeah, Go Fuck Yourselves!

    I’m with you guys… Think I’ve fucking had it with shittooth… I’m ready to run fahkin speaker wires ALL OVER THE WHOLE GOD DAMN HOUSE!!! FUCK IT!!! But most of all… FUCK BLUETOOTH!!!

  38. November 21st, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    RJG said:

    Why, after all these years of misery is Bluetooth still being used? I am baffled. It’s like a bicycle with wooden wheels. Kinda works, but lots of wasted effort. Why is this happening? Can a techie explain it to a mere mortal? Actually a bike with square wheels is a better analogy. I’m paired but randomly connected.

  39. May 19th, 2014 at 4:33 am

    Bluetooth is used in hell said:

    2014 reporting in. This antique protocol is still in use and still sucks. It sucks so badly that if the devil himself appeared in my room and take a dump on me, I would still take the time to finish this post to explain how much it sucks. I have never ever got BT to work properly. Even connecting my iphone to my macbook pro fails…and they’re both from the same company.

  40. June 10th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Ross said:

    Yes, just to confirm: it’s 2014 and Bluetooth drivers and management in both Windows and Linux suck. Badly. The only OS that does it right is Android.

  41. June 12th, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Steve said:

    I really do wonder why bluesucks (not calling it Bluetooth) is still used. It’s an ancient technology by now. I remember my computer prof talking about it in 1999 and even back then it had years on the odometer already rolled by. Now it’s 2014 and bluesucks has only become worse.

    I have several of those Logitech wireless mice and keyboards and omg, the battery life is amazing and it awakens from sleep mode all the time instantly without lag. Without lag! that’s right. why can’t Logitech just make a wireless standard and force other companies to use it.

  42. August 17th, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Kevin Smythers said:

    Yep – here we are in August 2014, and BT is still a heap of steaming turdulence. Tried Win Vista x64 and Win 7 with my newly acquired AEC stereo headphones – not a CHANCE! Worst of it is – the £1.00 cheapo Dongle from Poundland WILL “discover” them but WON’T use A2DR for stereo audio. The £8.99 Inatech BT 4.0 dongle has no f***ing idea!” Windows itself is the main hurdle, though!

    What an effing waste of space, time and effort.

    Whoever thought BT was a ‘Standard’ should have several parts of his/their anatomy dismembered – preferably those with high blod flow supplies (which would OBVIOUSLY NOT include his/their man-vegetables, cos he/they CAN’t have any!)

    Fetch me my trusty 3.5mm jack extension, PLEASE!

    Disgruntled BSc CompSci Graduate and Electronics engineer of OVER 40 years!

    Kev S

  43. February 24th, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Jay Man said:

    2015. February. Winter in Austin. Acoustic bar music in the corner. Knowing the bar wifi to be nonexistent, I sought to log onto the Web via the iPhone Bluetooth pairing I had previously synced up with my laptop. I clicked, Connect!
    Sublime continued to play in the bar, but it said my laptop profile was unsupported. My options were to forget the device or wait. I chose to forget, assuming I would resync quickly.
    No such luck. My laptop looked for devices and found about three Unknowns, someone’s earpiece and another guy’s display. My iPhone was neglected.
    Fuck Bluetooth.

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