By Werner Ruotsalainen on Fri, 06/26/2009
AT&T may have royally messed up the Bluetooth A2DP support in their firmware - after all, they've removed BT tethering; during this, they may have also (without their knowing about it – after all, evaluating A2DP quality needs some practice, which they may not have at all) messed up A2DP in some way.
Could please anyone with an AT&T model compare the A2DP sound quality of their iPhone to that of any other, A2DP-enabled phone, PDA or operating system (for example, Windows 7, which already has A2DP support out of the box)? Note that you will NOT want to compare A2DP to the quality of wired headphones; A2DP will always have somewhat lower audio quality than wired headphones (I’m referring mostly to the distorted highs). I cannot test this myself as I’m European and don’t have access to the AT&T version / firmware.
I recommend the following two (stereo) YouTube clips:
THIS: in addition to paying attention to the distorted highs during playback, pay special attention to the doublebass in the first 5-10 seconds of the song. It’s mostly there that aliasing could easily be heard. (If you can’t imagine what it sounds like, I recommend giving a try to a pre-WM6 Windows Mobile PDA or phone with the MS BT stack supporting A2DP – there, there is a definite, higher-quality “aliased” sound when the low-frequency sound of the doublebass is heard.)
THIS song has plenty of good-quality highs. They aren’t distrorted at all when listened to via a wired pair of headphones; via A2DP, there will be a certain amount of distortion. Pay special attention to them when trying to decide whether the AT&T implementation of A2DP is indeed worse than that of the competing platforms (Windows Mobile 6+, Symbian S60, Blackberry etc.)
Also, according to Sascha Segan (see the comments HERE), there is a definite sound quality difference between the 3G and the 3GS models. Does anyone have both (at least the 3G being AT&T)? Could they please compare the sound quality between the two? (Incidentally, in this article I've also explained the A2DP support of OS3 - but not on AT&T.)