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Bluetooth headset microphone bad quality

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I try use my bluetooth headset (Sony WH-XB900N) in MS Teams. Sound ist good but other members in the video conference can't hear me very good. My voice is very quiet. The same in the test call option.

The microphone level in Win 10 is on 100%.

I tried the headphone in Skype and the quality is good there. Hardware is ok then.

I have the same issue on two different devices (Laptops). 

24 Replies
best response confirmed by ThereseSolimeno (Microsoft)
Solution

@Philipp71 Hard to say what the problem is. Microsoft have a certification program where audio devices are certified for Teams. They check quality of microphones and bluetooth connection before a device can be certified. One requirement is to use a bluetooth dongle to connect the audio device since the built-in bluetooth in the computer can be of low quality.

 

Check out certified devices here:

https://products.office.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/across-devices/devices/category?devicetype=36

@Linus Cansby thx for your support. None of the Sony Headsets is on that list unfortunately. 

The bulit-in bluetooth device is not the problem, because with the same laptop I can use my Sony headset and Skype without any issues.

@Philipp71 

 

I have the same headset and the same issues with Webex. On my mobile phones the headsets work well on all conferencing systems, just with the windows 10 laptop I have muffled to no sound, if I use hands-free microphone input device. As I workaround I use headsets for audio output and microphone of laptop for input device, but that is not nice.

@eagle81 

 

I tried a bunch of experiments. The core problem for me on my Thinkpad T470s was windows 10 itself cannot hear the microphone. I tried apps like sound recorder, even there my recording is muffled and bad. I tried another pair of headphones Bose QC35 and it works perfectly well. It's either Sony and windows 10 interoperability or bad drivers. Some expertise on this area will help.

Exact same issue here with the same headset. Calls on my mobile have great audio (the others can hear me and i can hear them, also in conference calls), but when connected by bluethooth on my windows 10 laptop they barely hear me.

 

When i use the cord with jacks the audio is excellent.

 

Also when testing connected by bluetooth, the indicator only shows a minimal result when talk (even if i shout really loud). Only when i make a sound right next to the microphone (on the earpiece) the meter indicates a substantial level, but this would give a deafening loud sound for the one i'm talking to if i used my phone.

 

Did a reset of the headphone, removed it from windows, paired again but still the same issue on my laptop.

@TENetherlands
First of all, non-supported Bluetooth devices without dongles can give audio quality issues using it with Microsoft Teams (but also with Skype for Business), that's why Microsoft selected some products from vendors that are certified for Teams.
I'm using the Sony WH1000-XM3 for listening to music but always switch back to the Plantronics 8200 when joining a Microsoft Teams call. It's not for the bad Bluetooth connection (because sometimes it works well), but it's for the microphone inside this headset as it isn't build to use as a communication device. When using my sony's, everyone in the call can hear everything here in the room, and with a kid of 2, it can be loud ;)

My advice is to use a certified Teams device to enjoy the best audio quality.

ps, if you still want to use the Sony's:
Are you using any other Bluetooth peripherals? Check the settings for that. Had it in the past that someone else (approx 2 meters away) was interfering on the Bluetooth channel as it was using the "High" output setting for his headset.

@Philipp71 I have the exactly same experience. I tried multiple ways, and multiple times to re-pair the headset. Others just complain that can't hear me.

My next action: contact Amazon to try to return the product.

I don't see that Sony or Microsoft are putting their focus on this, which is unfortunately for us.

@Philipp71 I am having similar issues with a new Samsung Buds +, it is working very well on the phone, tablet but very low mic volume on Windows. Tried multiple help options in Microsoft, changed my drivers etc - but no use! I cannot believe in this day and age bluetooth options are not compatible across devices :( 

I really wish Microsoft takes this up and provides some solution. There must be quite a few folks having these issues considering the situation where most of us are working from home.. The only option seems to be to buy an approved device for now.

Hi, Is this issue resolved? I have the same scenario. I work on Microsoft Teams and want to purchase Sony WH - XB900N headphones. Please do let me know. Thank you!

@Philipp71 You are not alone! Same problem - Skype/Teams - bad mic performance. Other apps - all ok. 

@RikoNw   Repeating the link to the Microsoft Teams enabled devices: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/microsoft-teams/across-devices/devices

 

Also including an article about why bluetooth in general doesn't work well on Windows PCs: https://www.howtogeek.com/354321/why-bluetooth-headsets-are-terrible-on-windows-pcs/

@Philipp71  Hello everyone, for those who have problems with the microphone, using it in windows 10, every time you start a call with any program after the call has started, put your finger on the right earbud and hold it for about 3 seconds to activate the use of the microphone, at that moment windows recognize it and it works perfect. They will have to do this each time they initiate a call, join a group or change applications.

@GauthamJ for the xb900n model, if the microphone is recognized and you just have isues with the sound level,,,Try every time you start a call with any program after the call has started, put your finger on the right earbud and hold it for about 3 seconds to activate the use of the microphone, at that moment windows recognize it and it works perfect. You will have to do this each time they initiate a call, join a group or change applications. i hope it works for you too,,

@Osmosys this is not working working for me. the microphone level is still very, very low. the other side is able to hear me but very very silent when I speak normal. I have to speak very loud so that the quality is a bit better (still not good)). 

The right answer is the one given by Philipp71 (put your finger on the right hearbud for 3 seconds, at the beginning of each call -- must be repeated everytime a call is initiated).
I have the same Sony headphones and the same issue. I've wasted so much time on this. When used on Android mic quality is fantastic. On Windows no one can hear me. Funny thing is a couple of time in Windows the quality/level was good but I have no idea how to reproduce this. There must be some debug logs or a way to debug this to understand what is going on.
Nathan18, have you tried holding one finger 3 seconds on the right ear when the call begins? You have to wait until the connection is established (the other end answered). You should hear a bip after the 3s delay.

After a week of testing, STR-STR solution does seem work most of the time to increase mic volume - Thanks!!

Now I need to figure out how to enable sidetone that is not delayed...

Bluetooth audio is good now, right? That’s what I’ve been hearing, so I purchased a $300 Bluetooth headset for my Windows PC, expecting to have a good experience. It was terrible. I blame Bluetooth—and Windows.

Full disclosure: My coworkers have had great experiences with Bluetooth audio on both Android phones and W1-enabled Apple devices. This is about PC headsets <a href="https://teatimeresultsz.com/">@Uk49s Teatime Results</a>.


Windows Won’t Tell You If It’s Using AptX
Bluetooth is confusing. As audio website Darko.Audio puts it: “Bluetooth audio’s dirty secret is not that it doesn’t sound very good, it’s that it will only sound good if certain conditions are met.”

Modern high-end Bluetooth headsets support AptX, an audio codec compression scheme that offers better sound quality. But AptX is only enabled if it’s supported on both the transmitter and receiver. When using a Bluetooth headset with a PC, it only works if your PC’s hardware and drivers are compatible.

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Other configuration issues may also disable AptX audio. As Darko.Audio explains, on a Mac, if you’re using 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi, if you have more than two Bluetooth devices connected to a desktop, or if you have more than one connected to a laptop, macOS drops down to lower-quality SBC audio over the Bluetooth Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) connection. That’s according to Apple.

Windows 10 now has integrated support for AptX, but it’s impossible to tell if your Bluetooth connection is actually using AptX. Android and macOS let you see this information, but it isn’t visible anywhere in Windows. So you’ll never know if you’re getting the highest sound quality possible.

RELATED: What's the Difference Between Bluetooth A2DP and aptX?

Bluetooth Doesn’t Support High-Quality Audio When a Microphone Is In Use


My headset had an integrated microphone, so I expected I could continue using the headphones normally while using the microphone.

But, shockingly, this doesn’t work. If you have a stereo headset with an integrated microphone, you can’t use the headset with normal sound quality while using the microphone. There just isn’t enough bandwidth available to Bluetooth devices, as Sennheiser explains.

Technically, when you’re just using the headphones as a sound output device, they’re using the A2DP Bluetooth profile, and ideally using AptX for maximum sound quality. When you need the microphone, they’ll use the headset profile or hands-free profile (HSP or HFP). This allows for both recording via the microphone and playback via the headphones, but the headphone sound quality is terrible when using HSP or HFP.

If you’re just using a Bluetooth headset to take a phone call, that might be fine. If you want to speak into your headset’s mic while listening to music, playing a game, or watching a video on your PC, you’ll be frustrated.