Review of iPhone OS 3.0′s Stereo Bluetooth (A2DP)

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I know there will be lots of immediate feedback as soon as the new iPhone 3.0 OS is rolled out today. I wanted to get some feedback out right away on one thing I’ve really been looking for, the stereo bluetooth support. p590On the computer at home I have a pair of Plantronics P590 headphones. They are great bluetooth headphones, but I’ve never taken the time to use the phone features on my iPhone because what’s the point of wearing an ear piece that I can’t listen to music on?? After I got the new iPhone OS installed today I paired up the P590′s and tested out the audio quality and the effects on battery life.

Audio Quality

Starting off with Green Day I sat down about two feet away from the phone, the audio was perfect. I decided to hit up Google Charts to show how the audio quality was as I stepped away from the phone. Overall I was very impressed. I actually had to go outside to find enough room to really test the signal. Note: The audio quality was measured scientifically by me deciding how well I could hear the music compared to how well I thought I should be able to hear it.

I also ran an indoor/outdoor test. With the phone left inside, I was able to take about 8 steps to the door, and then 4 or 5 steps outside before the audio cut out. One last comment, I’m not sure if this is standard or not, but I had to get back within 10 feet or so to reestablish a reliable audio connection after I got out of range. I figured I should test the phone call audio quality too, just to make sure that was still okay. I decided to call my good friend the Billionaire Girl. Here is our conversation:

  • Me “Hey Billionaire Girl, Can you hear me now?”
  • BG “Yeah, what do you want? I’m crazy busy.”
  • Me “I’m testing the stereo bluetooth functionality on the new iPhone OS 3.0″
  • BG “I’m jealous, I just have this Blackberry junk that always seems to fall apart”
  • Me “Yeah, that sucks. Okay, bye.”
  • BG “You suck.”

The Billionaire Girl is amazing, and I suggest you subscribe to her blog, but she hates iPhone talk. At any rate, I’d say the audio quality for the phone works as expected, as well as switching over from iPod to iPhone and back within your Bluetooth headset.

Battery Life

I gave both my iPhone and Headphones a full charge then I let the music play all afternoon with the exception of about 30 minutes in phone use, a couple text messages, and very limited web browsing. Note: My email syncs every hour and I have Wi-Fi, Location Services, 3G, and of course Bluetooth enabled. … A couple hours in, things are looking pretty good. The battery is definitely going down, but it doesn’t appear to be draining any faster than using the iPod with the included wired headphones. … Three and a half hours in I got the 20% Battery remaining warning. I think we’re fading fast now. … Almost exactly 5 hours in my phone went dead. What are your thoughts, is 5 hours a respectable amount of time?

Conclusion

This feature was long overdue in my opinion. I’m very happy it’s here, I just don’t like wires, but it seems that I’ll need charging wires to get through a day of work. Maybe the 3G s will fare better on the batter. In general, I noticed as I was listening throughout the afternoon that my audio would peridocially “skip” like a CD skipping in random places. I wonder if that is just bluetooth cutting out for a moment here and there. The iPhone felt a little snappier than it did yesterday, if that’s from the upgrade to the 3.0 OS I’m happy to take any speed improvements I can get. Last, don’t miss any of the new 3.0 features, here is a great write up I came across today from the folks over at ismashphone.com.

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