4 Reasons Why Bluetooth Audio Quality can be Bad on Hi-Fi Speakers

4 Reasons Why Bluetooth Audio Quality can be Bad on Hi-Fi Speakers

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If you don’t like using cables, there are times when you’d have to put up with unpleasant Bluetooth audio quality on hi-fi speakers. 

It can be challenging to determine what causes this. Numerous factors can make the sound muffled, especially when you’re playing through a device that connects to your hi-fi speakers via Bluetooth.

In this post, I’ll discuss the issues that can compromise Bluetooth audio quality on a hi-fi speaker and how to fix them. Your hi-fi speaker system should sound better after following the recommendations here.

1. Volume Boost and EQ

Speakers require more power from the amplifier whenever the volume is turned up or when the equalization is set to high input impedance on specific frequencies.

Since my amp is always connected using cables, monitoring loudspeakers and home entertainment systems is not a challenge.

However, the problem comes up when connecting a speaker to an amplifier via Bluetooth. The speaker’s internal amplifier may not be that powerful in less expensive models.

As a result, the speaker doesn’t receive that additional power regardless of whether the volume is raised or the equalization settings are modified. High-end speakers that utilize high-quality parts typically don’t have this issue.

Either the volume needs to be lowered or the customized equalization setting needs to be disabled.

M Audio Studio Speakers
M-Audio Studio Speakers | Make Life Click

2. Compressed and Distorted Audio Data

The multi-layered compressing that the audio data goes through in Bluetooth devices contributes to their poor audio quality. The issue is made worse by Bluetooth codecs’ incapacity to transfer data at a high bit rate.

Remember that studios are where music is created in its most basic form. The best sound quality available is the original, but that song needs to be shrunk before it’s uploaded for general listening.

Otherwise, it would take up too much space. Because of this, lossy audio compression occurs.

The issue of lossy audio compression is challenging because some portions of the audio file are eliminated to reduce the file size. 

The customer is assumed to be unaware of the pitched sounds during this process, and most of the time, this is true. 

As a result, the music you play is frequently a reduced version of the original in terms of quality, which you might not even realize if you aren’t an audio engineer or audiophile.

How does Bluetooth fit into this scenario?

The audio files are already compressed and Bluetooth further impacts the sound quality due to extra compression.

Bluetooth struggles to transfer large amounts of data fast and in real-time, so the codec must compress the content for data to be exchanged without lag. This means that Bluetooth music streaming adds a second compression layer.

This doesn’t mean we’re doomed to listen to poor-quality audio. Thanks to technological advancements, lossless Bluetooth devices are now becoming possible.

Bluetooth - Audio Quality
Bluetooth connectivity | Make Life Click

3. Battery Issues

The speaker’s battery capacity also impacts the audio output’s quality. 

As mentioned earlier, when you turn up the volume, the speaker requires more power from the amp. When the intensity is turned up, cheap speakers with low-quality parts struggle to produce power.

The battery is the only source of power for your system so it can’t provide enough power to your hi-fi speakers when it’s low on charge.

A low battery makes it difficult for the speaker’s Bluetooth module to receive power. This leads to a weakened connection, which can cause several issues including distorted or muffled sounds.

Before playing any music, make sure your speakers are charged completely. The issue should be resolved if you hook it to a power source when the battery is low but you don’t want to stop listening to music.

4. Your Bluetooth Device Is Both Your Input and Output Source

Bluetooth is not ideal for multitasking. When you use a Bluetooth device as both a source for input and output, the output audio quality drops.

Since Bluetooth can be used for various purposes, each one has a unique transmission configuration. Each transmitting profile sends data at a different sampling rate than the others.

Imagine listening to a song online. Your Bluetooth device instantly changes to the activity-specific profile, which is the Advanced Audio Distribution. The sampling rate for this profile parameter is between 44,000 and 48,000 samples per second.

If you suddenly get a call while listening and you want to use the same Bluetooth device for calling, the device transmits between 8,000 and 16,000 samples per second when in hands-free mode. 

Sonos Move Speaker
Sonos Move Speaker | Make Life Click

This means that whenever you use Bluetooth to simultaneously transmit and receive sound, you use two separate profiles. The result is a sharp decline in sound quality. 

The bandwidth of Bluetooth headphones needs to be increased to support both. This is why it’s best to use a separate recording device if you’re a music composer or streamer who wants to record and listen at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to music on my hi-fi speakers, I work harder, cope better, relax more, and stay motivated. This is why I find it annoying when my speaker produces a muffled sound. 

I hope this article has been helpful in fixing poor Bluetooth audio quality on your hi-fi speaker.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Put them in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

A passion for writing and ongoing research projects gives Catherine an incredibly broad knowledge of all things. She has authored an incredible number of articles and can be found in the wilderness when not attached to technology or listening to podcasts.

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