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I have just purchased AirPods. When I'm in my kitchen watching videos from my MacBook Pro paired with AirPods, the audio in the AirPods frequently tend to switch over to low-quality audio for a second. This is discernable because there is a volume spike/panning-style effect. This is probably due to connectivity issues.

I'm assuming the problem is due to one of the following:

  • The Wi-Fi LAN router connection to the MacBook
  • The Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connection from the MacBook to the AirPods

I don't think that the first point is the main issue because I don't usually experience audio loss when playing video from the MacBook speakers in this room – but it could be.

My question is: do AirPods directly benefit from better LAN Wi-Fi? I.e. does the LAN Wi-Fi improve device connectivity for the AirPods, for instance by 'empowering' the user to traverse further to other rooms, than would be possible if there was no LAN Wi-Fi present (like outdoors)?

If yes, that may suggest to me that I should upgrade my Wi-Fi router to improve the AirPod experience.

  • Since AirPods communicate over bluetooth - are you thinking that the Mac is streaming the music? I'm not picking up why WiFi is in the mix here unless you think it's making interference on 2.4 GHZ? – bmike Mar 27 '17 at 22:53
  • The question is if Wi-Fi LAN does anything to amplify or better the signal. The reason I'm asking is because the Wi-Fi LAN improves the performance of the Apple Watch, so I was wondering if it does the same for the AirPods. – Winterflags Mar 27 '17 at 22:56
  • I don't have any audio quality issues when I'm in the living room with the router and using AirPods with the Mac. But perhaps that's because the Mac has better connectivity to Wi-Fi. But I don't experience the same volume spike/panning effect/low quality audio switch when just playing on the regular Mac speakers in the kitchen, so it's a bit confusing as to why that happens with the AirPods. – Winterflags Mar 27 '17 at 22:58
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In a nutshell - no WiFi doesn't help the AirPods at all.

Problematic interference on the 2.4 GHz frequency range could hurt bluetooth quality, so I suppose you could power off the WiFi gear and test if that's in any way related to the signal issues you are seeing with AirPods.

  • 1
    You might have to have your neighbors power off their WiFi equipment too—and turn off the microwave oven. – owlswipe Mar 28 '17 at 7:14

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