Is it possible for Bluetooth headsets have a good mic and good audio quality?

I have had a lot of bluetooth headsets and earbuds in my life, and one thing that has always held true is that no matter how great the audio quality of the speakers are, the moment they enable their microphone the output audio quality goes to absolute shit. Invariably, the microphone audio quality is also always complete garbage.

I assume this is because to have a microphone they need to switch to “HSP” mode (Headset Profile), which severely limits the bandwidth for audio for some reason. So it this just a limitation of Bluetooth? Should I steer clear of Bluetooth for my next wireless headset for meetings?

Are there any exceptions to this? Is it possible to have a Bluetooth headset that doesn’t have absolute garbage audio quality while the microphone is enabled?

I’ve always had better audio quality with wireless headsets that use a dongle w/ 2.4Ghz signal. Assuming you are using a PC. Of course, wired is always better.

I am indeed using a PC, but I already have a great wired headset. I’m specifically looking for a wireless one, because I like to get up and walk around while I talk :stuck_out_tongue:

Basically the reason I’m asking this question is to know whether or not I should completely exclude Bluetooth headsets from my search.

You’re correct in that they need to limit bandwidth for certain applications, such as a call. This is done to reduce latency. Even with aptx ll you could still see upwards of 100ms which is a lot when you add in latency from a phone call or voip program. It could easily reach a quarter second or more. This would cause most people to step on eachother or have awkward gaps in their responses.

Of course not all bluetooth devices are created equal and how you interface with them matters as much as the quality of the headphone. The bluetooth receiver is extremely important. Its not enough to just support the latest tech, it also has to be good at its job. Sadly not all are.

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It’s going to depend on your budget. I use SteelSeries Arctic Pro Wireless on my desktop. It comes with a base station and uses a 2.4Ghz lossless signal to the headset. It also has Bluetooth to connect your cell phone. The range is a good 30ft even through walls.

I also use HyperX Cloud Stinger headset that I tend to use with my laptop since it uses a simple USB dongle but is also 2.4Ghz. They are a lot cheaper, especially if you can find them on sale, but the build quality isn’t as good or as comfortable to wear as the Arctis Pros.

These are both full-size headphones though, not earbuds. I’m pretty sure you’ll need to step up to the larger form factor for better audio quality. There might be some high-quality wireless earbuds out there that can give great audio and call quality but I don’t think they would be cheap.

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Think of BT this… good enough for youtube vids and basic audio. If you are looking for audiophile levels of sound quality, best get a set of wired. BT has improved a bit in the last couple of years there exists cheap enough BT 5.0 headphones to give them a try.

I know some time ago Jay of Two Cents was raving about a wireless headset that specifically did not have crap mic quality exactly like you are describing.

If I remember correctly he put it down as a problem to do with having to share simultaneous in and output as a singular device. Either or is fine but both together reduces the bandwidth and thus quality of both.

I can’t remember which headset it was, may have been corsair.

I am sure it is a cost problem but I am surprised that no one has separated the mic and headphone devices as a way to get around this, though I suppose you might also need separate revieviers/senders to fully avoid it.

Going to get my hands on these mid next month, I’ll let you know how they fair.

I have these and they are FANTASTIC.

These looked promising, but I’ve now watched several Youtube reviews with microphone tests, and unfortunately the microphone sounds absolutely terrible… There’s no way I’m getting a pair of headphones that expensive that sound like a webcam microphone with aggressive noise filtering :frowning:

After watching hours of reviews of the best rated conferencing/call center bluetooth headsets out there, including the ones suggested in this thread, I think the conclusion is that no, you can in fact not get good microphone quality over bluetooth.

The frustrating part is that some headsets support bluetooth + connection through a PC dongle, and it’s extremely hard to know if using the headset through the dongle will yield better microphone quality, or if the dongle is just a convenient bluetooth adapter… I can’t find any reviews who mention this. For all I know the reviewer is using the headset over bluetooth and completely destroying the mic audio quality when a better alternative without realizing it…

I’ll start a new thread about good wireless non-bluetooth headsets. Thank you guys for the help so far :slight_smile:

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