Bluetooth range is noticeably less than in windows

so i recently came across this post in community where someone appreciated the sudden increase in the sound quality maybe due to drivers. i asked him if he did something specific with the driver (maybe update it) or maybe he just ran "sudo update" and Naman told me to open a topic.

so here's the issue. I usually am in the same room as my laptop when wearing my wireless headphones. my headphones are boult flex q12. not much known but maybe if it helps.
so while i dont notice it much, but when i do leave the room, the audio starts to stutter, and i disconnect after a step or two.
i switched my room so i initially thought maybe its the walls. i recently was on windows (playing games) and went to the next room and realised that the audio doesnt depreciate until about 10-15 steps or more. i have not installed any special drivers in windows for my headphones.
Any help is appreciated.

╰─λ inxi -Faz
System:    Kernel: 5.14.14-zen1-1-zen x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 11.1.0
parameters: BOOT_IMAGE=/@/boot/vmlinuz-linux-zen root=UUID=873c951f-daf4-4fad-aecc-0961323840e3
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Distro: Garuda Linux base: Arch Linux
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: Micro-Star product: GF63 Thin 10SC v: REV:1.0 serial: <filter> Chassis:
type: 10 serial: <filter>
Mobo: Micro-Star model: MS-16R5 v: REV:1.0 serial: <filter> UEFI: American Megatrends
v: E16R5IMS.104 date: 08/30/2021
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model: MSI BIF0_9 type: Li-ion serial: N/A status: Charging
CPU:       Info: 6-Core model: Intel Core i7-10750H bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Comet Lake family: 6
model-id: A5 (165) stepping: 2 microcode: EA cache: L2: 12 MiB
flags: avx avx2 lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 62399
Speed: 3727 MHz min/max: 800/5000 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 3727 2: 4265 3: 3742 4: 4472
5: 4339 6: 4484 7: 4469 8: 3333 9: 4312 10: 4486 11: 3384 12: 4500
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Type: l1tf status: Not affected
Type: mds status: Not affected
Type: meltdown status: Not affected
Type: spec_store_bypass mitigation: Speculative Store Bypass disabled via prctl and seccomp
Type: spectre_v1 mitigation: usercopy/swapgs barriers and __user pointer sanitization
Type: spectre_v2 mitigation: Enhanced IBRS, IBPB: conditional, RSB filling
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Type: tsx_async_abort status: Not affected
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel CometLake-H GT2 [UHD Graphics] vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: i915 v: kernel
bus-ID: 00:02.0 chip-ID: 8086:9bc4 class-ID: 0300
Device-2: NVIDIA TU117M [GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile / Max-Q] vendor: Micro-Star MSI driver: nvidia
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Monitor-1: eDP-1 res: 1920x1080 hz: 60 dpi: 142 size: 344x193mm (13.5x7.6") diag: 394mm (15.5")
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Sound Server-1: ALSA v: k5.14.14-zen1-1-zen running: yes
Sound Server-2: JACK v: 1.9.19 running: no
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Sound Server-4: PipeWire v: 0.3.39 running: yes
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IF-ID-1: anbox0 state: down mac: <filter>
Bluetooth: Device-1: Intel AX201 Bluetooth type: USB driver: btusb v: 0.8 bus-ID: 1-14:3
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Report: bt-adapter ID: hci0 rfk-id: 2 state: up address: <filter>
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SMART Message: Unable to run smartctl. Root privileges required.
ID-1: /dev/nvme0n1 maj-min: 259:0 vendor: Kingston model: OM8PDP3256B-AI1 size: 238.47 GiB
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ID-4: /var/log raw-size: 100.08 GiB size: 100.08 GiB (100.00%) used: 34.19 GiB (34.2%)
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Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 62.0 C mobo: N/A
Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A
Info:      Processes: 378 Uptime: 1h 44m wakeups: 1 Memory: 7.59 GiB used: 5.94 GiB (78.3%) Init: systemd
v: 249 tool: systemctl Compilers: gcc: 11.1.0 clang: 12.0.1 Packages: pacman: 1572 lib: 488
Shell: fish v: 3.3.1 default: Bash v: 5.1.8 running-in: konsole inxi: 3.3.08

The fact that most companies don't provide open source drivers for their BT adapters on the Linux platform certainly doesn't help. Sometimes this results in Linux having inferior performance with some hardware.

Conversely, there is also some hardware that has better performance in Linux. Everything is constantly changing on a rolling distro. Sometimes this results in improvements, and sometimes it results in complete breakages. Bluetooth technology is rapidly evolving in Linux, so instability is unfortunately common of late.

Bluetooth is also a very poor technology IMO, and you are most lucky if you experience no issues. I avoid bluetooth like the plague.

Your Intel AX201 adapter does have open source drivers, but they are still very immature because of the devices newness. The drivers performance should improve over time as Intel works on its Linux support.


my headphones are three years old and they are from a relatively less known company, so i guess that could be the reason.

Can you try some other kernels, like Linux-LTS etc. and different desktop environments?
Or just boot from gnome barebones and see if it has larger Bluetooth range.

No, I don't think that headphones brand/model is to be blamed.

IMO, Bluetooth has its own use case. It is used in cases where bandwidth required is low and distance between devices is low as compared to wifi. Also, it consumes less power than wifi. Though power doesn't matter at all in desktop or even laptop, but it matters really a lot on other devices, like wireless headphones. Also, nearer the devices, lesser the power consumption in Bluetooth, which is not the case in wifi.

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