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I recently picked up a bluetooth headset (Motorola S10-HD) and started using it with my MacBook Pro (17" purchased new in 2010) running Lion 10.7.2.

Here's what works - stereo audio:

  • iTunes
  • Spotify
  • Pandora (via browser)
  • games (e.g. Minecraft, which is a Java app)
  • audio from YouTube
  • Plex, VLC, other video players

Here's what doesn't work well - stereo audio fails and the headset seems to go into mono (i.e. tinny-as-hell) mode:

  • Google Hangout
  • Skype
  • GoTo Meeting

Here's what's just downright catastrophic. If I'm listening to stereo audio and then decide to jump into a Skype call (Google Hangout, or GoTo Meeting), bluetooth often crashes and I can only get things working again by shutting down the device, disabling bluetooth, and getting things back up and running again. But the audio is still horrible, and MUCH better using just a simple set of iPhone earbuds and mic. About 80% of the time during such a call, bluetooth crashes. And about 90% of the time, after the call ends, Skype is shut down, or I try to switch back to playing stereo audio, I get a hard crash!! The gray screen of death descends and I'm told I need to restart my machine.

In one such instance, even after a reboot, I could not enable bluetooth again ("Turn Bluetooth On" was grayed out in taskbar).

Is this just a weak implementation of bluetooth by Apple, or is this a hardware issue? I've seen others posting similar issues even on the Apple support site indicating that bluetooth headsets are failing left and right, but I haven't seen anyone mention hard crashes.

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NOTE: just another silly behavioral gripe -- iTunes ALWAYS launches when the headset connects to the MBP. Apparently that's the same behavior for any bluetooth headset and OSX. Lovely. – jtalarico Jan 26 '12 at 20:59
I am experiencing similar problems with a Logitech wireless headset. It's not so much a mono/stereo issue, but instead skype sinks the whole OS when I try to make a call using the headset (no gray screen however) with the only remedy being a hard reset. I am trying to find some answers through google but am not very optimistic about it :( – posdef May 22 '12 at 7:50

Try directing all system audio output through Soundflower, which will ensure that the interface to the hardware is consistent across the different applications. So either all of them will cause the hard crash or none will, presumably.

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