If you find yourself having issues with your Bluetooth audio device under macOS, you might want to try some of these suggestions.
I was experiencing harsh stuttering / choppiness with Bluetooth audio coming from MacBook Pro mid-2014 under macOS Mojave 10.14.3 beta (18D32a), while using my very moderately priced wireless headphones (Sony WH-CH500 – Amazon Link). Note that this was something that rendered using the headphones impossible, the audio would be skipping and breaking like crazy.
If you search online, you’ll find several possibilities to fix issues as such, but most likely there are many different possibilities for the same bad audio behaviours many experience.
What Worked For Me
In my particular case, and at least for the time being I’ve pinpointed the Magic Trackpad 2 as the culprit for my particular issues.
While the trackpad is working wirelessly, Bluetooth audio is horrible. However, by simply connecting the trackpad to the computer using a Lightning cable (hence disabling the Bluetooth connection) it instantly stops any audio inconsistencies.
The trackpad keeps working as it should, apart from the inconvenience of being wired. It’s a weird issue but others have also found some strange incompatibilities going away by a multitude of other options.
Other Options For You To Try
1. Setting Custom BlueToothAudioAgent settings
From what I’ve read this will help if you have some issues with audio quality, like some hisses or breaks here and there. Open Terminal and issue these commands (these can be copied and pasted provided you press Return on the final command as well):
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Apple Bitpool Max (editable)" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Apple Bitpool Min (editable)" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Apple Initial Bitpool (editable)" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Apple Initial Bitpool Min (editable)" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Negotiated Bitpool" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Negotiated Bitpool Max" 80
defaults write com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent "Negotiated Bitpool Min" 80
This will require you to reset the following service (and reconnecting your device after):
sudo killall coreaudiod
You also have the option of controlling those settings using the Bluetooth Explorer utility that comes bundled with Xcode (under Tools > Audio Options).
2. Clearing the SMC or PRAM/NVRAM
This a common recommendation from Apple to help you solve weird hardware issues you might have with your Mac, and Bluetooth audio aren’t any different.
How to reset NVRAM / PRAM
Shut down your Mac, then turn it on and immediately press and hold these four keys together: Option, Command, P, and R. You can release the keys after about 20 seconds, during which your Mac might appear to restart.Apple, for more on this: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204063
– On Mac computers that play a startup sound, you can release the keys after the second startup sound.
– On Mac computers that have the Apple T2 Security Chip, you can release the keys after the Apple logo appears and disappears for the second time.
How to reset SMC
– After your Mac shuts down, press Shift-Control-Option on the left side of the built-in keyboard, then press the power button at the same time. Hold these keys and the power button for 10 seconds. If you have a MacBook Pro with Touch ID, the Touch ID button is also the power button.
– Release all keys.
– Press the power button again to turn on your Mac.Apple, for more on this: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201295
3. Resetting the Bluetooth module
All Bluetooth devices probably will be disconnected after this. Click the Bluetooth icon tray icon while pressing Shift + Alt/Option, and will find a new menu entry for Debug. Follow that to find and choose Reset Bluetooth Controller.
4. Changing the default input device
Although it makes little sense, many users report that selecting the internal microphone instead of their Bluetooth device’s also solves this. Apparently it will be likely to solve issues for Bluetooth 4.0 devices connecting to later controllers.
To do this, Alt / Option click the Bluetooth tray icon and select the internal microphone entry.
4. Generic Procedures
Other causes for these issues might be general wireless incompatibilities. You might want to go through Apple’s recommendations on this: