Home Fix Fixed: Bluetooth headphone stuttering problem in Windows 10

Fixed: Bluetooth headphone stuttering problem in Windows 10

Having a stuttering issue when listening to music, podcast or watching movies with your Bluetooth headphone connected to your Windows 10 laptop or PC? It happens and happens a lot. 

My Sennheiser BT 4.40 headphone, all of a sudden, started to stutter when connected to my Windows 10 laptop, with a static noise ruining the audio. The audio would often cut in and out randomly, forcing me to use the aux cable.

However, using the AUX cable is not a solution, especially when you have invested in a Bluetooth headphone for a cordless listening experience.

If you are also experiencing this issue, the good news is, Bluetooth headphone audio stuttering issue is not occurring due to an issue with your headset. In all probability, it is your WiFi or laptop’s Bluetooth chip that is causing the problem.

This is also evident with the fact that when connected to smartphone, the audio over Bluetooth on my headphone sounds perfectly fine.

Finally, I fixed the Bluetooth audio stuttering problem by following a few troubleshooting steps. I have listed similar steps in this article as well to help you resolve issues with Bluetooth headphones. So, let’s get started. 

How do I fix the Bluetooth headphone audio stuttering problem in Windows 10?

1. Run Windows audio troubleshooter 

Let’s begin with the obvious, running the Windows audio troubleshooter. This troubleshooter can scan the system for audio related issues and recommend fixes accordingly. You can run it from the taskbar, and here’s how.

  1. From the taskbar, right-click on the Speaker icon.
  2.  Select Troubleshoot sound problems option.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  3. The troubleshooter will scan the system and prompt you to select the affected device.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  4. Select your Bluetooth headphone and click Next. Make sure the headphone is connected to your laptop and click Next.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions and apply recommended fixes.
  6. Close the troubleshooter screen and check for any improvements.

If the issue persists, try running the Bluetooth troubleshooter. Bluetooth troubleshooter can help you find and fix problems with your Bluetooth devices.

Run Windows 10 Bluetooth troubleshooter

  1. Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security and then choose Troubleshoot.
  3. Scroll down to the Find and fix other problems section.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  4. Click on Bluetooth and then click the Run the Troubleshooter button.
  5. Windows will check for Bluetooth capability, turn off and on the Bluetooth device and then check the Bluetooth radio status.
  6. Apply any recommended fixes if prompted by the troubleshooter.

You may see a ‘the troubleshooter made some changes to your system, try attempting the task you were trying to do before’ message with a list of applied fixes. Click close and check if the Bluetooth headphone stuttering on Windows 10 problem is resolved.

2. Switch to a 5GHz WiFi Network 

Bluetooth headphone stuttering

If you are using a WiFi network at your home, check if the router uses a 2.4 GHz frequency band. Switching to 5 GHz radio frequency seems to have helped several users fix stuttering audio with Bluetooth headphones on Windows 10. If you are already using a 5 GHz network, try switching to a 2.4 GHz band frequency instead.

Many electronic devices and appliances use the 2.4 GHz frequency including microwaves, and Bluetooth devices like your headphone, to transmit or communicate between the devices. 

If you have many devices using the same band, it is likely to be congested; thus, you may experience damaged speed or bad signal quality. 

If your laptop is closer to the router, switch to a 5 GHz frequency to reduce congestion. It also offers a higher speed compared to the 2.4 GHz band.

Before you switch off the 2.4GHz band, make sure you have a dual-band router that supports 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies. If not, consider upgrading to a dual-band router.

3. Disable Hands-free Telephony Bluetooth service

At times, Windows by default may set up your Bluetooth headphone as a hands-free headset, thus prioritizing two-way communication and hands-free features. Due to inadequate power, your Bluetooth headset may experience issues when used for music listening. 

To resolve the issue, try disabling the hands-free telephony Bluetooth service from the headset properties.

  1. Press the Windows key, type control and click Control Panel.
    Bluetooth headphone stuttering
  2. Click on View Devices and Printers under the Hardware and Sound section.
    Bluetooth headphone stuttering
  3. Under the device section, right-click on your paired Bluetooth headphone and select Properties.
  4. Open the Services tab in the Properties window.
    Bluetooth headphone stuttering
  5. Under the Bluetooth services section, uncheck the Handsfree Telephony service.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Try using the headset again and check if the Bluetooth headphones crackling Windows 10 problem is resolved.

If the issue persists, disable the Remote Control service in the headset properties. 

Disable Remote Control service

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Click on the View device and printer option.
  3. Right-click on your Bluetooth headset and select Properties.
  4. Open the Services tab.
    Bluetooth headphone stuttering
  5. Uncheck the Remote Control option under the Bluetooth Services section.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes.

Close the Properties window and control panel and reconnect your wireless headset to your PC. Check if the audio stuttering issue is fixed.

If the issue persists, open the Properties window again and uncheck the Remotely Controllable Device option. Save the changes and check for any improvements.

4. Restart Bluetooth support service 

The Bluetooth support service helps in the discovery and association of remote Bluetooth devices. If the service is stopped or experiencing issues due to a glitch, it can cause installed Bluetooth devices to fail to operate correctly. Make sure the service is up and running by following these steps.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type services.msc and click OK to open Services.
  3. In the Services window, scroll down and locate Bluetooth Support Service.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  4. Right-click on Bluetooth Support Service and select Restart.
  5. Right-click again on the service, select Properties and make sure the Startup type is set to Automatic
  6. Right-click again to make sure the service is running, and then close the Services window.

Turn on Bluetooth on your PC and then connect your headphone. Check if the Bluetooth audio lag in Windows 10 is fixed. 

5. Disable sound enhancements 

  1. Right-click on the speaker icon in the taskbar and select Open sound settings.
  2. In the Sound window, scroll down and click on the Sound Control Panel.
  3. In the Sound window, right-click on your headphone and select Properties.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  4. In the Headphone properties window, open the Enhancements tab.
  5. Check the ‘Disable all enhancements’ box.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save the changes. 

Once enhancements are off, reconnect the Bluetooth headphone to your PC and check for any improvements. Once the issue is resolved, try enabling a few enhancements to see if that works.

6. Reinstall WiFi and Bluetooth drivers 

Reinstalling Bluetooth and, strangely enough, WiFi drivers have resolved the Bluetooth stuttering issues for many Windows 10 users using a wireless headphone. Here’s how to reinstall Bluetooth and WiFi drivers on your PC.

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open Run.
  2. Type devmgmt.msc and click OK to open Device Manager.
  3. In Device Manager, expand the Bluetooth section.
    Bluetooth headphone stuttering
  4. Right-click on Qualcomm Atheros Bluetooth device and select Uninstall device.
  5. Confirm the action and click Yes to uninstall the Bluetooth driver.
  6. Next, expand the Network adapters section.
    stop Bluetooth interference
  7. Right-click on Qualcomm Atheros Wireless Network Adapter and select Uninstall Device. Confirm the action and complete the uninstallation process.
  8. Once uninstalled, close Device Manager and restart your computer.

After the restart, Windows will automatically scan for hardware changes and install the required drivers for your Bluetooth and wireless network adapter. 

Connect your Bluetooth headphone to the computer and check if the stuttering issue is resolved.

7. Troubleshoot Bluetooth adapter 

If you are using a third-party Bluetooth adapter to access Bluetooth on your PC, check the hardware device for the issues. At times, incompatible hardware can also cause Bluetooth interference in Windows 10 laptops.

To diagnose the issue, unplug the Bluetooth adapter and reboot the computer. After the reboot, connect the Bluetooth adapter and wait for a Windows prompt to add and pair the device. 

Click Yes and wait till you see the Connection Succeeded message.  

Now your headphone should be connected to your Windows 10 computer over Bluetooth and working as it should.

Use an external Bluetooth adapter 

If turning off your WiFi connection resolves the stuttering issue, try using an external Bluetooth adapter. You can find a sub $10 Bluetooth external adapter on Amazon.

After connecting the external Bluetooth adapter, make sure to disable the built-in Bluetooth device from the Device Manager.

Use a USB extension cable for the Bluetooth adapter 

If the issue is occurring due to radio interference from the motherboard, try connecting your USB enabled Bluetooth adapter using a USB extension cable. 

Connect your USB extension cable to the USB port that you used originally to connect your USB Bluetooth adapter, and then connect the Bluetooth adapter to the extension cable. Reconnect your Bluetooth headset to the computer and check for any improvements. 

Disable Phones’ Bluetooth 

When you have a Bluetooth headset connected to your PC, turn off Bluetooth on your smartphone. Several users have reported resolving the Bluetooth audio stuttering problem after turning off Bluetooth on their smartphone.

8. Install Windows update 

bluetooth headphones crackling windows 10

Open the Updates and & Security section and check for pending Windows 10 updates. For a known issue, Microsoft may release a hotfix update to fix the problem.

Windows 10 update usually consists of bug fixes and driver updates for system hardware and peripherals to fix identified issues and improve performance.

  1. Click on Start and select Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
  3. Open Windows Updates.
  4. Click on Check for Updates and then download all the pending updates. 
  5. Once installed, reboot the computer and check for improvements.

Jeez! that is one too many solutions to try. Unfortunately, the Bluetooth headphone stuttering issue can occur due to several reasons. Depending on the user case, try following as many solutions as possible until you find the correct fix to resolve the issue. 

In most cases, switching to a 5 GHz band frequency from 2.4 GHz or vice versa should fix the problem right away. 

Don’t forget to let us know which solutions helped you fix the problem in the comments below.

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