Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

https://www.duolingo.com/tonyfleming

Bluetooth sound problems?

My Lenovo laptop has a low volume, so I often used a Bluetooth speaker for listening. But it appears to cut off the first 1-2 syllables when I use it for Duolingo. Anyone else have this problem specifically or with sounds getting cut off by Bluetooth devices generally? Any recommendations?

3 years ago

4 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/MaxKuenkel

(November 2017) I have had the same problem with my desktop computer, when running the sound through a bluetooth speaker. This morning I spent several hours trying to find the solution on the Internet. I found the solution (not sure if it will work for you).

Apparently, when the computer is connected to a bluetooth speaker, there is some kind of Bluetooth power-saving protocol (it might be called A2DP or LE for low-energy) that is active by default: when listening to bluetooth-streamed audio, if it is not music, but spoken words, then after each word the computer attempts to 'close a gate' and stop the streaming, to save power for the bluetooth speaker. Then the next word comes, and the computer opens the gate and streams that word, but the first part of the word might be cut off.

Solution that worked on my desktop computer (HP Pavilion p7-1410, Windows 8.1):

right-click the taskbar Bluetooth icon, Open Settings, Hardware, Generic Bluetooth Radio, Properties, General, Change Settings, Power Management, then UNCHECK THE CHECKBOX: "Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power".

[edit]: update: I may have spoken too soon: I restarted my computer, and the PROBLEM RETURNED! Maybe my solution did not work, or I don't fully understand what I'm doing. I will continue to try to solve this. I will post an update if I make progress.

[edit]: update #2 (a week later): I made progress on this problem! My desktop computer does not have any built-in bluetooth capability, so I have been using a so-called "bluetooth dongle", also called bluetooth radio. This is a tiny bluetooth transmitter. You can buy these for less that $5, and plug them into a USB port on your computer. I've had this bluetooth dongle for about a year. I bought the cheapest one I could find. It turns out that it does make a difference which one you buy. The reason I say that is because I did an experiment: instead of pairing my bluetooth speaker with my computer, I paired my bluetooth speaker with my phone. Then I played the same audio. Now the result was different: none of the problems occurred. No gate that was opening and closing, no words cut off at the beginning of each syllable. So my conclusion is, the bluetooth transmitter inside my phone is of a higher quality, or better specifications, than the cheap bluetooth dongle I use with my computer. I am now considering buying a better bluetooth dongle, such as this one:

www.amazon.com/dp/B076FP4KQD/

[edit]: update #3: I have tried some different bluetooth speakers and bluetooth transmitters, from different devices. All results are the same (no improvement, problem continues). My conclusion is that this bluetooth transmission cutoff behavior is a quiet industry standard, meaning, the entire bluetooth industry has decided to build their products this way, without telling you, the consumer, about it, and without giving you any choice in the matter. This means that bluetooth headphones and speakers are NOT SUITABLE for language learning (not as designed by the manufacturers). But in my search on this topic, I found a WORKAROUND: at least it works on my Windows 8 desktop computer. There is something called "Online Tone Generator". It does what it says. If you go to that website and play a continuous tone in the background, this will prevent the bluetooth audio cutoff after each moment of silence. It works with all frequencies, but it is obviously best to use a frequency that the human ear cannot hear, such as this one (above 20K Hz): http://szynalski.com/tone#20154 So: bookmark that link, click on it at each language learning session, it will ensure continuous bluetooth transmission without audio cutoff after silence.

11 months ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Hav99
Hav99
  • 20
  • 21

Thank you very much! I got the same problems and ended up with Online Tone Generator in the background!

7 hours ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JeffGullic

I have the same problem on my iPad.

3 years ago

https://www.duolingo.com/margrankin
margrankin
  • 25
  • 11
  • 11
  • 10
  • 10
  • 8

I have that issue with my Bluetooth headphones, but it cuts off the end of the clip rather than the beginning. My wired speakerphones play the whole thing normally, but I often need to practice without disturbing others. I use Firefox but I should probably check other browsers too.

1 year ago