Audio problems with FIIO BTA30 Bluetooth transceiver and low sound levels
Apr 6, 2021 at 10:27 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

RobAudio

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Been having a bit of an Audio / Bluetooth nightmare.

A few months ago, we bought some new equipment, a TV & headphones.

TV: LG-oled55cx6la (https://www.lg.com/es/television/lg-oled55cx6la)
2 x Headphones: Sony WH-1000XM4 (https://www.sony.com/electronics/headband-headphones/wh-1000xm4/specifications)

We wanted to connect the headphones separately to each of our computers for working (each computer has Bluetooth on the motherboard), and then also jointly for both of us to watch the TV.

To my surprise, the TV would only allow 1 Bluetooth device to be connected at a time. (Surprising, as I hardly think connecting 2 headphones to a TV is an 'edge' case) :frowning2:

So, I found the FIIO - BTA30 transceiver (https://www.fiio.com/bta30) that supported LDAC, that from their site seemed to be what I needed to connect 2 Bluetooth headphones to the TV at the same time.

Once the BTA30 arrived, I then found in the manual that 'if' you connect 2 headphones, then it doesn't use the LDAC codec, and it uses some 'fallback' codec. Wasn't too happy that wasn't stated on the main page of FIIO, since that was basically the ONLY reason I bought the device.

I'm connecting the BTA30 from the TV with an optical cable.

Now the problem. When we connect just 1 headphone, it connects and shows a 'white' light to show it's connected via LDAC. And everything is fine.

When we connect 2 headphones (which isn't that easy, I have to say. We seem to need to restart the device, and then make sure both headphones are turned on at the exact same time, otherwise it just connects 1 of them, and even then, sometimes only 1 connects, and we have to do it all again), then it swaps away from LDAC and shows a blue light. Also, we seem to have to manually disconnect and disable the Bluetooth devices on each of our PCs first, or it just tries to reconnect to them all the time, rather than the BTA30.

When 2 are connected, we get audio problems. Every time a scene goes 'quiet' (Typically in a talking scene, esp between different people talking when they 'pause'), the headphones (or rather I think it's the BTA30?) seems to turn off the sound, even though there is a slight sound, like background sound (very low music or ambient sounds) or something. This makes it sound terrible and very distracting, as the sound goes on/off all the time. It seems fine for the majority of the time, it's only a problem when it goes quietish.

This does not happen when 1 is connected, and it doesn't happen when we connect to our PCs either.

I can only presume that the non-LDAC fallback codec they switch to, is not very good, and causes this?

I did send a support question to FIIO about this, a few months ago, and I got a reply saying it was Chinese new year and they would get back to me. They didn't.

I have updated the firmware to current versions in all devices, BTA30 (BTA30_dfu_FW1.1), headphones and the TV.

So it seems that the device I solely bought because I wanted to connect 2 headphones, doesn't really work that well.

I have considered buying a 2nd BTA30, and daisy-chain it through the first one via another optical cable and the optical out of the first BTA30. And then connect each headphone to it's own BTA30, so then they should both connect via LDAC and 'fix' the problem.

Does anyone know if that is possible, or if there will be some other kind of limitation on that?

Have to say, I've never really looked at Bluetooth before, and from my experience in this, it seems totally rubbish at connecting, syncing and stuff, and I really wish we had just wired them now. But I thought by V5.0 and 2021, it would be good now. :frowning2:

I'm really reluctant to buy another, as I think it's terrible that you are basically forced to do that to get 2 headphones working decently, but if that is my only option, I guess I will have to, just wanted to check.

Any suggestions welcome,

Thanks, Rob.
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 5:30 AM Post #2 of 6

Roseval

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To my surprise, the TV would only allow 1 Bluetooth device to be connected at a time.

Bluetooth has always been a one to one connection.
The option to connect 2 speakers is available in Bluetooth 5 so rather new.

If have no personal experience with this product but it supports connecting 2 headphones as well.
As it has Toslink, you can also try the daisy chain.
Check the return policy before you buy.

https://avantree.com/oasis-plus-bluetooth-transmitter-for-tv

Hope you have better luck this time
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 7:38 AM Post #3 of 6

RobAudio

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Thanks, hopefully the Toslink will 'work' daisy chaining, but I'm not sure I can just trust that. Most of the places I can get the device from are in the US (I'm in EU) so the return process isn't so simple I guess.


That device only supports aptX codec, and the Sony's only have LDAC, so I'm guessing it will also fallback to 'SBC' which I'm guessing might have the same problem as the BTA30, if it is the codec that is causing the problem.

I've also read that sometimes companies implementing the SBC fallback codec, use a very low bit rate. So maybe FIIO are doing this and they need to increase the bitrate. I'm not sure you can tell what btirate they are using though.
 
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Apr 7, 2021 at 8:57 AM Post #4 of 6

Roseval

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What about amazon?
https://www.amazon.es/Avantree-Tran...keywords=avantree+oasis&qid=1617799682&sr=8-1


Bitrate is pretty much about the amount of compression, the lower the more stable.
As a consequence people often struggle to get LDAC to run at its highest rate.
I think today SBC most of the time will run at 320 kbs, like high bit rate MP3.
This is my understanding of Bluetooth: https://www.thewelltemperedcomputer.com/HW/Bluetooth.htm

BTW: Your TV supports Bluetooth as well so connecting one headphone to the TV and the other to the BTA does that solve your problem?
 
Apr 7, 2021 at 9:26 AM Post #5 of 6

RobAudio

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What about amazon?
Yeah, there are 2 currently in Italy, so I could do that. That would be less 'fuss' about imports etc.

BTW: Your TV supports Bluetooth as well so connecting one headphone to the TV and the other to the BTA does that solve your problem?
Tried that previously, in LGs wounderful wisdom, they disable the optical out if you switch to bluetooth :frowning2:
 
Apr 11, 2021 at 4:49 AM Post #6 of 6

RobAudio

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Well, I contacted their support again, and got an answer.

They have 'recorded' the problem, and 'Theoretically' they can fix the bug, but they said it was unlikely to be 'soon' and could not advise when it could be fixed.

Also, regarding the 'Daisy Chaining' idea, they said that if you are using the Optical or Coaxial Input, then the Optical or Coaxial output is disabled, so that wont work. :frowning2:

I'm thinking, possibly an Optical 'splitter' from the TV could solve this, so that I then have 2 optical connections from the TV, but who knows if this is 'supported' or what other problems could happen :frowning2:
 
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