Stereo Bluetooth – iPhone 3.0

Hands up if you have had your iPod earbuds ripped out of your ears when you are walking, running, working out, or trying to get something out of a pocket or bag? Hate it? Well this is worth a try.

In a great (and overdue) addition to the iPhone – 3.0 adds A2DP support for Bluetooth Stereo Headsets. This allows you to cut the cord on headphones for both Phone calls and Music. Having regularly worn through more headset cords than you really want to talk about … this is an great alternative.

A couple of cautions however. While A2DP is supported – which adds all audio playback to the phone call handsfree functions, it doesn’t seem to support AVRCP – which provides remote iPod control. In trying the iogear Stereo Bluetooth (~$40 London Drugs) with a 16G iPhone 3G there was no problem answering a call, listening to audio, play/pause and volume. However the skip forward and back buttons would not work.

The other challenge of Bluetooth playback is the fact it requires some processing. There is noticable skipping of audio when the phone is doing something that taxes the processor. For example listening to audio and running MotionX GPS caused pauses in the audio for the first 10 min as the application was capturing and refining its GPS data (wireless data was also active). Likewise, if you are surfing the Internet this can happen as well. So in cases where Bluetooth + 3g/Wifi + GPS are all functioning at the same time. You are likely to have audio issues.

So for the serious listener, the wired headsets will still provide the highest quality playback. But if you can stand a odd blip here and there to cut the cord – it has some great benefits.

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