I came across this Ask HN on Bluetooth and its unreliability and found it quite fascinating. Feel free to deep dive into the thread’s comments for your own insights. I wanted to take a moment and consolidate some of the best comments on the thread:

On Interference from WiFi and other devices:

zh3: “Bluetooth is on the 2.4GHz band, and WiFi on that band is many times more powerful – so Bluetooth packets can only get through in the gaps between Wifi transmissions.”

chasil: “Bluetooth also has to put up with leaky microwave ovens, in addition to other users of the 2.4GHz band.”

freitzkriesler2: “I would check your environment for interference on the 2.4ghz range.”

On Bluetooth Performance in Different Environments:

macinjosh: “My experience, in recent years, is that BT performance has mainly been bad when in an open space.”

foobarian: “Being in the 2.4GHz band, it’s going to be a crapshoot depending on where you are.”

On Apple Devices and Bluetooth Experience:

city41: “People in the Apple ecosystem usually report Bluetooth works great.”

Aurornis: “Bluetooth isn’t perfect in Apple world…but it’s substantially better than the chaos described above.”

askonomm: “Bluetooth on my Apple devices work flawlessly, bluetooth on my non-Apple devices does not.”

CoastalCoder: “I’ve actually had great frustration with Apple bluetooth…”

shantara: “In AirPods settings on iPhone, there’s ‘Connect to this iPhone’ option… I won’t be surprised if it didn’t work as expected.”


On Windows and Bluetooth Compatibility:

t8sr: “I have never seen BT work at all on Windows, even in 2024.”

stronglikedan: “I can’t speak to the others, but if you haven’t been able to get it to work on Windows, then it’s you who are doing something wrong.”

tompagenet2: “I have several Windows computers – all four now running Windows 11. In all cases…Bluetooth keyboard and mice are used all the time and in all cases it works absolutely fine…”

On General Bluetooth Reliability and Functionality:

menacingly: “I actually love bluetooth, because I think it’s a miracle it functions at all across so many devices.

duxup: “In my anecdotal experience Bluetooth reliability has increased DRAMATICALLY in recent years.”


On Common Issues and Complaints about Bluetooth:

lxgr: “My only real gripe with Bluetooth is an implementation detail that many audio sink devices (headphones, speakers etc.) consistently get wrong: Almost all audio sink devices will connect to the last connected source upon starting up.…But what many devices don’t allow is “kicking out an existing source device” from a new connecting source device. Some newer Bluetooth sinks, including Apple’s AirPods, do support that behavior, and it’s been an absolute game changer for me. I really wish Bose would adopt it too; their “connect to two devices simultaneously” hack usually does way more harm than good, especially when some of these devices are shared in a household.

worthless-trash: “There are different versions of ‘bluetooth’ if the host cant negotiate with the client it doesn’t know how to deal with it.

On Bluetooth as a Technology Beyond Audio:

lifestyleguru: “Bluetooth is technology for location, tracking, and fingerprinting.”

someguydave: “Apple controls both sides of the link.”

vladvasiliu: “However, on Windows, things aren’t as smooth, even though it’s strictly the same hardware.”