iPhone 3.0 A2DP first impressions

by Justin Horn on Mar 19th, 2009 @ 3:05 am


UPDATE 6.21.09 A2DP bluetooth on iPhone 3G S works great, 3G not so much

UPDATE A2DP on iPhone 3.0 beta 4 follow up

Now that the first beta of iPhone 3.0 is out I decided to take a dip into the wireless stereo world with my first pair of A2DP headphones, the Motorola¬† S9-HD. I plan on posting a more detailed review after I’ve had a few days to test everything out, but here are my first impressions…

Good stuff! First I wanted to test to make sure it was truly in stereo so I played a couple songs that have very distinct use of the left and right channels. I used Money by Pink Floyd and Mr. Brightside by The Killers (Treaty of Paris is just the last song I was listing to before taking the picture). Everything worked as it should with the correct audio on the left and right channels. The sound quality is pretty good, but it just doesn’t seem quite as good as the wired set. This could be the norm for all I know since this is my first set of stereo bluetooth headphones.

One issue that is a bit annoying is the music gets choppy or even stops playing for a few seconds when trying to do anything with the phone. Even browsing for another song to play inside the iPod app causes this issue. When you just let the phone be, like locked up in your pocket, it plays perfectly. It’s possible the sound quality and stuttering issues are due to this being the first beta, so I don’t want to harp on it too much just yet. Even with these cons it’s already good enough for me to use the wireless set over the wired when it makes sense, like…er, jogging?

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View 15 Comments
iPhone, iPhone Accessories, Reviews, Speculation


  1. Trent
    March 19th, 2009 2:11 pm

    I want to know what it does to the battery life?

  2. 2.
  3. Justin
    March 19th, 2009 2:15 pm

    Trent, I agree. We can be sure this will definitely will have a negative effect on battery life, just a matter of how much? When I do the full review, which I should be posting sometime next week, I will compare the usage of the included 3G headphones with this Motorola set.

  4. 3.
  5. Gordon
    April 1st, 2009 11:24 am

    I can’t see how it can use up more battery that the bluetooth dongle I have to plug in at the mo!

  6. 4.
  7. thelimeygeek
    April 6th, 2009 8:31 pm

    I just got a pair today and I found that I could pause, adjust the volume, but the track changes had no affect.
    I also experienced the break up whenever touching it or doing anything with it.
    Also to my annoyance, I could not use the mapmyrun and the ipod at the same time, the audio would stop when I started the program up!

  8. 5.
  9. [...] first tried the A2DP bluetooth when 3.0b1 first came out and it was definitely beta. Since then it’s slowly improved. The [...]

  10. 6.
  11. jesper
    May 20th, 2009 3:30 am

    I have the Nokia bh 503 stereo hedaset and it sounds great. but have one problem, can’t switch to the next song on the headset. play hold and volume works great.

  12. 7.
  13. Justin
    May 20th, 2009 9:44 am

    jesper, I can only pause/play from the headset. Oh, and the volume of course since that’s part of the headset and not the iPhone.

  14. 8.
  15. dohspc
    May 30th, 2009 5:24 am

    I went and got this headset too when I put beta 5 on my iphone lol. It does work better than previous betas but can be choppy at times. I find it’s best to use a memory clearing program such as “MemoryInfo” (in the app store) to free up the system ram before using the audio bluetooth. Hopefully apple will keep allow the headphone to control forward/backward music selection by the time 3.0 is released.

  16. 9.
  17. Justin
    June 12th, 2009 9:56 am

    Just posted this on the A2DP beta 5 update post…I still can’t control anything but pause/play and volume on the headset on iPhone 3.0 GM release.

    I’m hoping when I move to the iPhone 3G S it will be able to handle the iPod App and bluetooth better. I think the problem is when the iPhone is trying to track accelerometer movements it’s too much for it to handle.

  18. 10.
  19. Chad
    June 17th, 2009 10:48 pm

    A2DP released today with 3.0 but still no ff/rev controls. Seems trivial for Apple to fix if they already implemented play/pause. Hmmmmmm… When will Apple?!?

  20. 11.
  21. Tech Head
    June 20th, 2009 9:38 am

    I with Chad – how in the he!! can ScrApple implement A2DP Stereo and NOT provide Skip controls!!! They have also apparantly locked it down to headsets as I can’t even connect it to my BT A2DP Stereo receiver that I use with my car (Anycom BAR-10), which is downright ridiculous!!!

    When will 3.1 be released to correct these simplistic shortcomings???? Maybe a ScrApple VP can inject another snide remark at the next WWDC with why MS Windows Mobiles and RIM have successfully implemented this functionality years ago!!!!

  22. 12.
  23. fonplay
    June 24th, 2009 3:20 pm

    Justin, can use your advice with A2DP. I have a motorokr t505 car speaker. While I can connect the “phone” of my iphone to it, the iPod will not play music through the t505. Lots of hits in google refers to a bt button at the bottom of “now playing”. That does not seem to exists. When I am not on the “now playing” panel of iPod, bt shows a connection. I have an iPhone 3G. THANKS!!

  24. 13.
  25. Justin
    June 24th, 2009 3:29 pm

    fonplay, It sounds like you have connected it properly so my guess is it’s just not compatible. I’ve heard people having problems connecting to their built in car system as well. I don’t understand how different equipment isn’t compatible if they are all using the A2DP standard, but hopefully in the next few weeks there will be more reports on what will and won’t work with iPhone A2DP.

  26. 14.
  27. kudzu
    June 29th, 2009 11:39 am

    iPhone 3.0 supports A2DP, but it does not support AVRCP, which is Audio Video Remote Control Profile. If I’m not mistaken, its the AVRCP that controls the ability to go to the next song or back with the S9-HD’s buttons. But there IS another way to do it, to advance anyway. Another feature of 3.0 is the ability to go to the next song by shaking the iPhone. This can actually be kind of a pain if you are running or walking fast, you’re phone will jump to the next song accidentally. But controlled, it does allow you to go to the next song without having to “wake” the iPhone.

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  29. Mr Evets
    July 4th, 2009 2:53 pm

    I dont care about battery since my car stereo suports a2dp blueooth and i have a car charger to replenish the battery.

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