Bluetooth has become an irreplaceable wireless protocol for many devices.
But there are surprisingly few Bluetooth microphones on the market today, and many people say it’s because they’re bad.
So, why are they so bad?
Here are 7 reasons why Bluetooth microphones are so bad:
- Bluetooth doesn’t support high-quality microphone audio.
- The aptX codec rarely works on Bluetooth microphones.
- Bluetooth microphones have compatibility issues.
- A Bluetooth microphone can randomly disconnect.
- A Bluetooth microphone can suffer from interference.
- Bluetooth adds a noticeable delay when you speak.
- Built-in Bluetooth on computer motherboards is bad.
Despite Bluetooth’s popularity and recent development, Bluetooth microphones still suck.
This article will explain a few reasons why you shouldn’t replace your wired microphone just yet.
1. Bluetooth Doesn’t Support High-Quality Microphone Audio
Bluetooth allows you to walk around your home wearing a headset without any wires attached.
It’s great for lengthy phone calls and short breaks when gaming.
But the problem with Bluetooth is that even playback sound quality isn’t even close to a wired connection.
And it’s even worse when we’re talking about audio recording using a microphone.
According to a convention paper, advancements in Bluetooth technology indicate that it’ll replace wires. However, we’re not even close to achieving that.
There are two main reasons why Bluetooth sound quality sucks – poor codec compatibility and limited bandwidth.
I’ll explain codecs in the next point.
But the bandwidth limitation means that your recording file quality will never be the best.
Newer Bluetooth versions like 5.1 and 5.2 promise a lot of bandwidth, in theory.
But in practice, it’s not enough to record uncompressed audio files like WAV at a high bit rate.
So, the Bluetooth protocol ruins your mic’s sound quality because there isn’t enough bandwidth.
2. The aptX Codec Rarely Works on Bluetooth Microphones
aptX Voice is the best codec for recording sound with a microphone. You should always use it.
If you get compatible earbuds with built-in microphones and an Android phone, it’ll work great. You get a crisp, clear sound in calls.
The only problem – aptX often doesn’t work.
Finding a microphone with aptX Voice is already difficult enough. Forcing your phone or computer to use aptX for the microphone is even harder.
That’s because the focus is always on Bluetooth headphones, not microphones. Recording sound quality is overlooked.
3. Bluetooth Microphones Have Compatibility Issues
Even if your PC and your mic support aptX, there’s no guarantee that it’ll use the codec.
Windows has support for aptX, but only in theory.
You can’t see what codec your computer is using with your microphone. The OS doesn’t have any settings that let you adjust the Bluetooth audio codec.
macOS is better with this, though. It’ll let you see whether your mic is using aptX or some other codec.
The end result is significantly worse sound quality. Plus, aptX can cut down the delay on Bluetooth mics. You miss out on that too.
4. A Bluetooth Microphone Can Randomly Disconnect
One of the worst issues with any wireless connectivity is random disconnects. You know this all too well yourself.
Imagine spending 15 minutes talking into your microphone to record a voiceover or homework (thanks, COVID).
You play the sound file back and realize that half the audio isn’t even there.
When you use a microphone, you want it to “just work.” But it’s never easy with Bluetooth microphones.
Any wireless connection is inherently unstable, and Bluetooth is no exception.
Your microphone will disconnect from time to time, no matter how close it is to your phone or computer.
5. A Bluetooth Microphone Can Randomly Disconnect
This relates to the previous point.
A clip-on Bluetooth microphone for your Bluetooth headphones sounds like a good idea at first.
However, that means you have two separate audio devices connecting to a single point.
This will cause a ton of interference between your microphone and your headphones.
Inevitably, one or the other will sound choppy or even get cut out completely.
Add a Bluetooth smartwatch to the mix, and it gets even worse.
My point: Bluetooth microphone audio is choppy. You shouldn’t rely on it for important calls.
Further reading: Can You Stream Video Over Bluetooth? 6 Surprising Facts
6. Bluetooth Adds a Noticeable Delay When You Speak
As if interference and low audio quality weren’t already bad enough, Bluetooth adds a delay.
And it’s not something like 10 extra milliseconds. People on the other side of the call will hear you a whole second or two later.
The delay is enough to make you interrupt someone when they start speaking.
You might come across as rude without even knowing. All because of a Bluetooth microphone.
The delay is also a problem when you’re recording a voiceover or video.
Your lips and sound will be out of sync.
Even if it’s a minor delay, it’ll still be very noticeable to the viewers.
And if you’re a gamer, the delay a Bluetooth mic adds can make the difference between winning and losing a match.
You can’t tell your teammate where the opponents are in time, and they get shot down.
The delay you get with a Bluetooth microphone isn’t worth it for most people.
The few practical benefits come at the cost of a noticeable delay and poor sound quality.
If you need a wireless mic for professional video recording, get a 2.4 GHz, UHF, or VHF one.
The Sennheiser Wireless Microphone System from Amazon.com is the go-to of many journalists and YouTubers.
It has a transmission range of up to 300 ft (100 m) and phenomenal sound quality.
7. Built-In Bluetooth on Computer Motherboards Is Bad
This applies to laptop and desktop computer users. The motherboard in your PC allows all components to communicate and work together.
Motherboards have dozens of components and features. One of them is Bluetooth.
Of course, not all computers come equipped with Bluetooth out of the box.
But when they do, the Bluetooth receiver usually sucks. This leads to poor audio quality, interference, and delay with your Bluetooth mic.
You can somewhat remedy that by using a Bluetooth USB stick. However, they aren’t known for their great sound quality either.
They’ll add even more delay to your recording audio.
While you can get away with a Bluetooth mic on your phone, you should never buy one for your computer.
Stick to traditional wired mics to get the best sound quality.
Besides, there are few reasons why you’d need a Bluetooth mic in the first place. Other than a clean, wireless desk setup, of course.
BONUS: The Battery in a Bluetooth Microphone Can Die
Let’s say you hypothetically bought the best Bluetooth microphone in the world. It has amazing sound quality and no noticeable audio delay.
Everything works great… Until you run out of battery. If it uses AAA batteries, you’ll have to waste money on buying new ones all the time.
And if it’s a rechargeable one, you can’t just put a new battery in and continue using it.
That makes audio recording on the go challenging. It limits your recording time.
Or maybe you want to play some video games after a long day with your friends. You hop on Discord and play for a couple of hours.
Suddenly, your friends can no longer hear you. Embarrassed, you tell them that your mic battery is dead and can’t talk with them anymore.
The worst part about limited battery life is that you can’t do anything about it.
There are always going to be a few inconveniences attached to your Bluetooth mic.
Meanwhile, a wired microphone just works.
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