After moving from Symbian to Android, I noticed an audible* drop in audio quality when listening to music via bluetooth (A2DP). I woudn't say the quality is poor, but bad enough for me to investigate the issue. While it probably is audible all the time in some way, it's not easy to pinpoint - I can only notice the difference in some music passages. Unfortunately it's usually most audible in the passages with most impact, where it also bothers the most.

As audio quality issues are notoriously subjective, I did wonder whether I'm just imagining the effect or not. Turns out, I'm not - I haven't done any blind testing or anything, but comparing the same file A2DP streamed from my computer to the one streamed from Android (and for control doing the same comparison with wire-plugged headphones) it's easy to spot the difference.

Doing a bit of research into the issue, it seems A2DP can be used to stream audio into bluetooth receiver with multiple different codecs and setting. As far as I've understood the discussions related to this, it looks like this could be either caused because Android is using SBC codec instead of MP3 or because it fails to use high enough bitpool setting. There seem to be multiple reports of this problem around the net.

So my question is: How do I fix the sound quality?

Is it possible to change A2DP settings to get bluetooth audio quality matching that of Symbian and my laptop?

My Android device is GT-S5570 running 2.2.1.

* - I don't consider myself an audiophile, and I don't spend money of pro audio gear. This isn't something that's hearable only in perfect conditions at a sound analysis studio - I hear it using the cheapest stereo bluetooth headset I could find (BH-505 at 50€).

1 Answer 1


Looking into this problem further, I also found a google code issue about it. The discussion there points out that the problem seems caused by the bitpool issue, and is fixed in CyanogenMod (at least the latest versions). Also, even stock 2.3 is reported to improve the situation slightly.

So switching to CyanogenMod seems to be one (and only?) way of resolving the issue.

  • Since there seem to be no futher answers with other information, I'm marking this one as solved. Oct 25, 2011 at 9:07

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