Bluetooth reduces the sound quality

How to improve the sound quality of bluetooth headphones

Ines Walke-Chomjakov

If the sound of your Bluetooth headset is poor, the Windows drivers are often not fully installed. The tip shows how to change that.

EnlargeIf the Bluetooth headset is fully installed under Windows, it is listed with the addition "Stereo" in the list of available sound devices.

Your headphones are connected to the PC via Bluetooth. However, the sound quality is poor. The music sounds tinny and has no depths at all. Only pure language is tolerable, but not particularly clear either. In this article, we explain to you how you can track down the problem and solve it.

Buying advice: the best Bluetooth headphones

Check driver

Bluetooth headsets are paired with the computer. The operating system itself installs a suitable driver. If the sound of your Bluetooth headset is poor, the first step is to check that Windows has installed all the drivers for the device. To do this, click on the icon of the software for the sound card in the system tray - for example "Realtek HD Audio Manager". Right-click on the symbol to get to "Audio Devices". Under “Sound” select your headset from the list - for example “Headphones”. If you find this described with the addition "... Hands-Free", the device is only installed as a hands-free device with correspondingly poor sound when playing music. You can check this precisely by right-clicking on "Headphones", opening the "Properties" and checking the information on the sampling rate and bit depth under the "Properties" tab. If it says "1 channel, 16 bit, 8000 Hz (telephone quality)", your headset only works in telephone mode. This indicates that the driver installation for the headphones is not complete.

Connect devices via bluetooth

Install the manufacturer driver

Since most headsets do not come with driver media, look for a special driver for the device on the manufacturer's website under "Support" and your headset. The audio profiles, which are responsible for the entire range of functions of the headphones, are integrated in it. Download it to your computer and install it. Before doing this, remove the incomplete driver.

Uninstall the headset

If no explicit manufacturer driver can be found, reconnecting to the computer often helps. To do this, first uninstall the headphones. In Windows 10, click on the Windows icon and Devices Bluetooth. Select your headphones and click on "Remove device". Confirm the question with "Yes".

Pair the headset again

Re-establish the connection with the headphones under Devices -> Bluetooth. To do this, reactivate the Bluetooth function on the headset. Most of the time, you have to press a button on the headset and wait for an LED to flash. The headset appears on the computer as "Ready to pair". Click on “Pair” to reconnect the PC to the headphones. Windows will install the appropriate drivers during the process. The process is complete when the device is listed as "Connected".

Optimize sound on PC and notebook

Check the driver again

To check whether Windows has installed the full range of drivers for the device, switch back to the software for the sound card and click on "Sound" in the context menu. If the headphones with the designation "Stereo" appear in the list of available devices, the operating system has installed the missing driver for music playback. If you mark the device and click on "Properties", you can activate further signal processing functions such as "Bass enhancement or headphone virtualization" in the "Extensions" tab, which improve the sound.