How to troubleshoot and fix Bluetooth speakers stuttering

Bluetooth has in many ways helped revolutionize how we use our devices acting as a great alternative to the use of wires reducing clutter and the need for cable management.

However, things do not always go smoothly when using BT speakers as the audio sometimes cuts in and out. This is known as an audio stutter.

Stuttering in Bluetooth speakers, especially Bluetooth speakers is common. It is mainly caused by the interference of the BT signals between the transmitter and the receiver. You in turn get choppy sound from your Bluetooth speakers.

If you have experienced this for some time now and are wondering how to stop it, we have some possible fixes that can help you deal with this Bluetooth speaker problem.

So, let us look at some common causes of Bluetooth speaker stutter and some fixes that you can use.

Why wireless Bluetooth speakers keep stuttering

  • Bluetooth signal interference- This is the most common cause of stutter in BT speakers. The source of the interference can be your Wi-Fi signal which uses the same 2.4Hz frequency as your Bluetooth speaker, crossbody interference, fluorescent lighting, and even microwaves.
  • Weak signal quality due to Bluetooth range on your specific device.
  • Low charge on your wireless speaker.
  • Your Bluetooth drivers may be out of date.
  • Outdated device.
  • Audio processing errors due to mismatching formats on the audio being transmitted and what the speaker module is capable of processing. This commonly happens when trying to play audio with more than 2 channels on a stereo headphone.
  • Mismatching Bluetooth profiles.
  • Clutter on the transmitting device when several Bluetooth devices are connected to the same.

How to fix stuttering audio on Bluetooth speakers/headphones

1.      Move your speaker closer to the transmitting device

Bluetooth devices transmit data using radio frequencies with each transmitting device having a specific transmission range.

As your BT receiver moves farther away from that range, you may experience choppy audio. Consequently, as you move even farther out of range, the speaker and the transmitting device whether it is your smartphone, computer, home theater receiver, TV, tablet, and so on will get disconnected.

You can check the range on your device’s manual or online to ensure that you are always in range to avoid getting choppy audio.

Moving your speaker or phone to a different position can also reduce cross-body interference.

For example, if you are using Bluetooth headphones with your phone, switch your phone’s position from the left to the right pocket to see if the problem goes away. You can also try placing the phone on a table closer to the headphone if you are home.

2.      Ensure your speaker is fully charged

As I mentioned earlier, if your headphones are low on charge, the audio can frequently cut in and out reducing your listening experience.

The solution for this is pretty straightforward. You need to ensure that your headphones never go below a certain point as far as the charge is concerned.

However, if you have been using your cans (headphones) for longer, you may need to replace its battery if its health has gone down. You can tell if your battery’s health has dramatically reduced if does not keep a charge for as long as it used to.

3.      Restart your speaker and phone/computer/tablet etc.

Sometimes a simple fix such as unpairing and pairing your speaker and your audio source can solve the audio stuttering problem.

If that does not work, restart both devices and pair them again to see if the issue goes away.

Resetting your Bluetooth speaker/headphones/earbuds by pressing the power button to turn it off and holding it for some time. Most speakers will have an LED light that will flash to let you know once the Bluetooth information has been reset. Your speaker may also have an app that you can use to clear the information before pairing again.

4.      Reduce the number of devices connected to your audio source

Unpair all devices that may be connected to your source and “Forget” all of them. You should also clear the Bluetooth cache if you are using your phone or tablet as the source.

Clearing the cache or any Bluetooth information on your transmitter will help get rid of corrupt data that may be causing stuttering on your speaker.

5.      Try connecting different audio devices

The first thing you should do is to ensure that the soundtrack is not choppy by unpairing your speaker and using the speakers on your source.

Then connect a different headset or speaker to your source to see if the problem persists. If the audio stuttering goes away, then your headset may not be compatible with the Bluetooth on your source.

The next logical step is pairing your speaker to a different Bluetooth device to know if the problem may be coming from your source. If the audio is seamless and clear, you will need to troubleshoot possible Bluetooth issues on your source before finding a solution for the same.

6.      Ensure your devices have matching Bluetooth profiles

For two Bluetooth devices to pair and work together seamlessly, their Bluetooth profiles need to be compatible.

Audio devices mainly use Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) and Handsfree Profiles. If your audio source and Bluetooth speakers do not match, you will have problems with choppy audio.

Reconfiguring Bluetooth profiles is difficult and there is not much you can do as a user if they are mismatched. However, the manufacturer can successfully reconfigure the Bluetooth firmware meaning that you will need to get into contact with them for the way forward.

A mismatch can also occur if your BT receiver and transmitter use different Bluetooth versions such as pairing a phone with Bluetooth 2.1 with Bluetooth 5.0 headphones.

7.      Check for any updates on your devices

If you are using a Windows computer as your audio source, you will need to check for any updates and update your Bluetooth and audio drivers. Having outdated drivers can be the reason your audio is stuttering.

The same case applies to your phone or tablet.

You will also need to update the firmware on your speakers to avoid having a mismatch. However, not all wireless speakers issue software updates but you can check online or get into contact with the manufacturer’s customer care to confirm any available updates.

8.      Remove any barriers that can cause interference

As I pointed out earlier, interference is the leading cause of audio stuttering in Bluetooth speakers including headsets.

Interference can be caused by barriers such as concrete, glass, your body, metal, power cables, fluorescent light, Wi-Fi signals and so on which can weaken the Bluetooth radio waves. Removing or avoiding barriers between the transmitter and the receiver, should make the signal stronger and even fix the audio crackling.

9.      Change the channel on your Wi-Fi router

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth use the same frequency band which is 2.4GHz but the Wi-Fi signal can go as high as 5GHz in some routers. This means that interference can easily occur between the two which can manifest itself as stuttering in your audio device. You can solve this using the steps below.

First, turn off your Wi-Fi router but leave your Bluetooth devices paired and turn the router back on. Once you reboot your router, it should be able to choose a different channel with a different frequency band to that used by your Bluetooth devices.

You can also manually change the channel on your router. To do this you will need to log in to your router’s interface usually done using the router’s IP address and choose a different channel. The user manual or online manual should have instructions on how you can access and change your channel or even frequency band from 2.4GHz to 5GHz if possible.

However, when changing the channel on your router, select the channel with the least traffic. You do not want to use a crowded channel making your network slower.

10.  Upgrade your Bluetooth speaker

If you have been using your headphones/speaker for some years, it may be time for you to grab yourself a new set of gadgets with the latest firmware if you are experiencing stuttering.

When upgrading, ensure that you get your money’s worth by getting a high-quality device that will last you longer. Treat each gadget you spend your hard-earned money on as an investment.

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