Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Bluetooth Problems with MacBook Pro Running Bootcamp (Windows)

For as long as I've been using my MacBook Pro, my Bluetooth has been abysmal. I run Windows via Bootcamp, but my wife uses her MBP as a Mac and she has the same problems (maybe worse). She got a nice little Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth speaker for Christmas and never even used it, because she couldn't ever get it to connect to her MBP (and for me to get it to work, it took some serious effort, and even then the performance was sub par).

I have several audio solutions set up around the house and studio, and Bluetooth is a fairly substantial part of the system(s), so today I decided to finally figure out what is going on, once and for all.

For those who come across this post with the same problem looking for a quick-fix answer, try this:

  1. Go to Device Manager > Network adapters > Broadcom 802.11n Network Adapter
  2. Right click and select Properties.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, go to Bluetooth Collaboration, and select "Enable" from the Value drop-down menu on the right.

After a lot of research, this seems to be the solution that works for most people.  And while it did help my problem, there are still major problems with my Bluetooth connection.

What it boils down to?  ANYTHING electronic (yes, I understand the computer is electronic, and that actually IS a factor!) will interfere with the Bluetooth Adapter's signal.  It really is just a matter of the Bluetooth hardware in earlier MacBook Pros being utter and total shite.

After I completed the steps above to enable Bluetooth Collaboration, I still had issues. I tried rebooting.  I tried altering other settings with both the network adapter and the Bluetooth devices (drivers on the MacBook as well as the devices themselves).  Then I remembered reading previously that a lot of people had problems with actual signal interference.  The MBP power block was sitting on the table (not near enough for me to think it'd be an issue, but still... on the table).  I moved it, and like magic, the music streaming over Bluetooth stopped stuttering.  But as soon as I started using my mouse (connected via wireless), the stutter started again.  So I unplugged the mouse receiver, but that didn't seem to help... and then I actually turned the mouse off via its physical switch, and the signal was smooth again... until I tried looking something else up on the web (using the MBP track pad instead of my mouse), when the stuttering started again.

So I am now better than where I started.  After enabling "Bluetooth Collaboration" for the network adapter, I can at least walk away from the laptop and stream a smooth music signal to my Bluetooth receiver and stereo.  However, if I touch the computer or put anything electronic anywhere near the MacBook, the signal will be interrupted and stutter like crazy.


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