Why Your Bluetooth Speakers Keep Cutting out (Solved)


Red JBL Bluetooth speaker

I realize you are on the verge of throwing away your phone/speakers but if you managed to get this far, why not read the rest. You might find the solution that gets rid of this pestering issue once and for all. Choppy voice reception on Bluetooth devices is not something new, and one that has plagued audiophiles for a long time. Hopefully, that reign of terror now comes to an end. 

Common reasons why Bluetooth speakers stutter are low battery, distance, signal mismatch, interference, obstructions, backdated firmware, and weakened signal strength because of age. 

Now that you are acquainted with the problems, it’s time to look at the solutions. 

How do a bad battery cause Bluetooth speaker cutouts and possible fixes?

Batteries become inefficient with time. They usually last 2-3 good years(depending on the manufacturer) after which you will get fewer hours out of your speaker. If the sounds start to crackle or cut out after like 30 mins of playback, sure enough, your battery is to blame and needs replacing.

Inefficient batteries are the most known cause of speaker cutouts and the sad part is that it’s inevitable. You can either change the battery or get a new pair. 

Depending on the speaker, you can swap out the old battery for a new one. For instance, if you are using a Bluetooth headset, you can replace the batteries. It might be difficult, but you can hire a technician for the job. Replacement batteries cost next to nothing compared to a brand new headset. However, changing batteries on earbuds is super difficult and you are better off buying a new one instead.

Check out this article if you want to learn more about how to replace batteries on your Bluetooth headphones.

Here is a video showing how to change your speaker battery.

1. Unscrew your speaker. 

2. Note battery specifications so that you do not get the wrong one that could potentially fry the circuit board. 

3. Swap out the old battery for a new one. Stick it in place with double-sided tape. 

4. You can also take out the power wires and attach a battery from the outside. Use tape or glue to hold the new batteries in place. 

5. Cover up the batteries with a plastic case.

Your Bluetooth speaker is as good as new. I have a friend who is an expert in Bluetooth speaker restoration. I bought a JBL Flip 5 three years ago and after all this time, I could tell that the battery was hanging by a thread. I simply loved the sound quality and was planning to buy a new one when my friend told me he would fix the problem. 

He returned the speaker the next day and to my surprise, it was good as new and the battery lasted longer compared to when I bought it all those years ago. Looking at my perplexed face, he revealed that he simply changed the batteries, which I never thought was possible. Lesson learned.  

How Wi-Fi interference causes Bluetooth stutter and how to fix it?

Low-end phones that are connected to Wi-Fi can cause Bluetooth audio to stutter, mainly because Bluetooth sends 2.4GHz radiofrequency waves to communicate with other devices and the Wi-Fi operates in the 2.4GHz to 5Ghz range. 

In theory, based on how Bluetooth actually works, there should not be any interference issues between it and the Wi-Fi. Bluetooth signals are generally very weak (1 milliwatt). Moreover, Bluetooth speakers use spread-spectrum frequency hopping, which means the signals rotate between 70 randomly chosen frequencies within range, changing up to 1600 times per second. Bluetooth also utilizes the AFH technology which identifies all bad channels and switches when it encounters them. 

Even after implementing all this, Bluetooth on low-end devices tends to stutter often. I use Realme Buds Air 2 and they always cut out when I receive calls while being connected to the Wi-Fi. The stuttering stops as soon as I switch off the Wi-Fi on my device, and that seems to be the only fix. If you are facing a similar issue, I suggest you avoid places with a lot of Wi-Fi-enabled devices or disable your smartphone’s Wi-Fi when you are receiving calls and listening to music.

How range affects Bluetooth speaker stutters and possible fixes?

Bluetooth devices can operate up to a distance of 10m. The signal strength weakens beyond that range and you will face serious stutter and cutouts as you reach the 10m mark. The best way to resolve the issue is to keep the source close to the speaker.

Assume you are using your phone at an outdoor party to play music on a speaker. If the speaker is taken away from you, then after a specific distance it will start to stutter and crackle. The speaker has to be with your phone at all times, otherwise, after a certain distance, the playback will cease immediately. Unfortunately, there is no way you can manually increase the range of the Bluetooth on your speaker. Try staying close to it as much as possible. 

How to troubleshoot Bluetooth speaker sound problems?

Bluetooth stuttering can be caused by lots of factors and the best way to troubleshoot it is to simply restart the device. 

Most devices start working normally after a reboot. If that fails, unpair the speakers from your phone and repeat the pairing process. You should also check if the speakers or your phone is trying to connect with other Bluetooth devices. Simultaneous connections with multiple gadgets, such as smart lights, microwaves, air conditioners, strain the connection causing all sorts of issues. 

However, in the case of Wi-Fi interference, I found that nothing seemed to work other than switching off the Wi-Fi. While you are at it, try upgrading the firmware and check if both devices are on similar Bluetooth versions. 

Lastly, connect a second pair of speakers and see if the issue is repeating itself. If it does, then there is something wrong with your PC/smartphone. If not then the speakers might be somehow damaged and need to be replaced.

F.A.Q.

Why do Bluetooth speakers turn off automatically when playing at full volume?

That’s probably because the device has reached its limit. It may be an issue with the battery, or due to an unstable voltage supply to both speakers caused if they are used while charging. 

Bluetooth speakers batteries are bound to run out at some point. If the problem keeps repeating, your best choice is to replace the battery, which is not too difficult and is a better alternative than buying a new one.

How to prevent my JBL speakers from automatic shutdowns?

JBL speakers often suffer due to backdated firmware and a quick upgrade should resolve the issue. Here are the steps to do so:

1. Download the JBL Connect app on your Android or iOS device. 

2. Connect JBL speakers to your phone and open the app. 

3. You should get an automatic prompt notifying that a firmware upgrade is available. 

4. Download and install the upgrade. It can take up to 5-10 minutes to upgrade the whole thing. 

The speakers should be working fine after the update. If not, you can try one of the aforementioned solutions.

How to reset Bluetooth speakers?

You have to unpair them from your smartphone/PC. Follow these steps:

1. Press and hold the power butting for 7-8 seconds. The speakers will reset to factory settings.

2. Go to the Bluetooth settings on your device and tap on paired devices. Delete the speakers from the list.

3. Connect both devices once again.

Conclusion

Bluetooth stuttering can be caused by a variety of reasons. The issues may even develop with time as the batteries get weaker and can no longer transmit efficiently as before. Whatever the reason, the solutions listed in this article should help you make short work of any and all such issues. Stay tuned for more helpful tips on speaker-related issues. Until next time. Happy listening!

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Difference between Bluetooth versions

Rune Bearson

As you can see, I love my headphones! I use them every day when commuting, watching YouTube videos, playing guitar/piano and doing chores. I'm a podcast addict and I like all kinds of music from metal to chillout ambient.

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