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BIF
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Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 5:26 pm

Have you ever had trouble with one BT audio device constantly stealing the audio stream from another device?

I have a simple setup. Stereo in living room, with a small "Rocketfish RF-BTR212" bluetooth receiver for playing content from my iPhone over the stereo. In fact, the stereo just stays on all the time and in "Aux" mode because I hardly ever play content from any other input (no tape, no CDs, not even AM or FM radio...all that stuff comes from my iPhone Music, Podcast, or iHeartRadio apps).

That Rocketfish website has reviews up to last year, but I think I may have had this thing since 2011 or 2012, because that's shortly after I bought my iPad 3 and I wanted to start doing this stuff...listening from my phone device. Up until recently, this little BT receiver has been left always on.

Ever since about October (when I bought my iPhone 6 XS), I've noticed that when I'm listening via my airpods or via a bluetooth enabled Ryobi battery radio, the BT receiver "steals" the audio from the other device.

This happens at any time, and doesn't matter if I'm sitting next to my iPhone or have it attached to me while I do yardwork or am just sitting in my home office and not moving around.

Always, within a few minutes, the old Bluetooth receiver in the living room will "steal" the BT audio and the audio will stop playing on my airpods (or a Ryboi BT radio that I have) and the audio will start playing on the stereo in the living room. I can restore audio to the airpods by double-tapping the left one (pause/play). Then the content shifts back to my airpods. To restore to the BT radio, I can shut off and turn on the radio, and then the audio will play okay for a few minutes until the receiver BT steals it again.

I've proven that it is the Rocketfish BT receiver causing all this, because when I either unpair it from the phone or just unplug it from the wall, my content never gets "stolen"...it just keeps playing on my chosen output device.

So now my thinking is that maybe the iPhone XS is using some newer BT protocol and the Rocketfish receiver device is just confusing all the other devices in the house. Or it's just cooking itself after all these years of being on 24/7. I'm thinking of just replacing it.

Thoughts on this?
 
jihadjoe
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:18 pm

Unless it has a screen and some controls on it I suspect receiver is just a dumb device that just listens to whatever connects to it. The problem is with your iPhone, which somehow prefers the Rocketfish to your Airpods and so drops the Airpods and connects to Rocketifsh everytime it's seen as available.

https://superuser.com/questions/397916/ ... us-devices
This is very simple. (Meaning that there is only one way to do this!) The bluetooth standard lacks an option for setting a specific priority on a device. This is usually handled by the operating system.

Under bluetooth settings please add (or remove and re-add) the devices to change the priority. The devices should be listed in priority, and attempt to connect in the order listed. If a device with higher priority is available during a periodic scan it should attempt to drop the connection to the current device and reconnect with the higher priority device.


Problem now is how to actually change the priority on IOS. In Settings I can look at a list of BT devices paired with my iPad but there seems to be no way to rearrange the stack. At least on Ford Sync I can choose which phone it prefers to connect to, so when I come into the car carrying three BT devices it knows I use my Android phone for calls. On Android if your version of the OS doesn't do so there's an app that allows you to set BT device priority.
 
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:39 pm

1) It sounds like you kind of want to replace the receiver anyway, and it sounds like that would probably solve the stealing audio issue.

2) Consider a non-bluetooth receiver (or possibly just a newer one) and get the audio to your speakers via a slightly different path. Consider letting the only Bluetooth in the path be to the Airpods.

3) I'm also an iDevice user, and I happen to hate Bluetooth, so I use Spotify Premium to handle the wireless portion of the audio stream, and best of all, that's handled over Wifi (or even Ethernet depending on devices used). Now audio selection can be controlled via Spotify app on phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, Shield TV, and it's sent to Spotify on the Shield which is connected to a DAC (Schiit Modi 2 Uber in this case) via USB, and then to receiver/amp/preamp of choice. At home, I will always listen through speakers, however I love the wireless audio controller roaming around with me.
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BIF
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 7:04 pm

MOSFET wrote:
1) It sounds like you kind of want to replace the receiver anyway, and it sounds like that would probably solve the stealing audio issue.
That's probably the best answer.
2) Consider a non-bluetooth receiver (or possibly just a newer one) and get the audio to your speakers via a slightly different path. Consider letting the only Bluetooth in the path be to the Airpods.

Bluetooth is the easiest. It just connects to whatever device and I'm off to the races. Not sure how to get ethernet into my 1997 stereo. I'm not looking to make it more complicated.
3) I'm also an iDevice user, and I happen to hate Bluetooth, so I use Spotify Premium to handle the wireless portion of the audio stream, and best of all, that's handled over Wifi (or even Ethernet depending on devices used). Now audio selection can be controlled via Spotify app on phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, Shield TV, and it's sent to Spotify on the Shield which is connected to a DAC (Schiit Modi 2 Uber in this case) via USB, and then to receiver/amp/preamp of choice. At home, I will always listen through speakers, however I love the wireless audio controller roaming around with me.
Yeah, but I'm just not going to pay for any more subscriptions, unless I cancel my subscription with Techreport. And that wouldn't be the right thing to do because I get so much back in terms of good advice and technical help.
 
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:14 pm

Just giving ideas. I basically don't know anyone who isn't a Spotify user of some sort, but AirPlay could be an option (with some Apple device near the receiver), as well as Chromecast Audio and Youtube Music. Ya know, just ideas for anyone who comes across this later. For me, adding a Shield TV to the living room simplified a lot, much more than I initially thought. You know your situation best.

You wouldn't necessarily have to get ethernet to your 1997 receiver. My main receivers are a 1978 Pioneer and a 1978 Marantz, and they create beautiful music from any source, digital included. It does require at least one extra device though, a DAC, then feed the DAC any input you like. This SMSL amp combo device may give you some ideas, as well. I have a different SMSL Class D that's just power brick, amp, RCA-in, and speaker-out. It does a surprisingly fine job, but it's incredibly basic (I like that).
Be careful on inserting this (or any G34 chip) into the socket. Once you pull that restraining lever, it is either a good install or a piece of silicon jewelry.
 
BIF
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:19 pm

Wow, that little combo amp looks neat, and it's not really that expensive.

Thank you for your input. There are a lot of possible options on Amazon, ranging from $25 all the way up to a couple hundred. I'm actually willing to spend a bit more to get one that doesn't exhibit this issue; it's that annoying to me right now. :)
 
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:33 am

The aftermarket head end on my truck does this and it drives me insane.

I'm constantly outside with a set of 3M worktunes, and whenever I start my truck the receiver immediately steals the stream and I have to hit play/pause on the headset. Then to make matters worse when I turn the truck off, just before the head end shuts off, it sends a pause command to my phone, even when it's not the device playing music.
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Mon Mar 11, 2019 9:04 am

I think you'll have this problem no matter what. A Bluetooth device comes online and advertises its availability, and your phone just assumes you want to switch. The problem is the phone, not the home receiver or car stereo. The alternative is to always switch manually which is inconvenient. You guys are asking for electronics to read your mind and I think that's asking a bit much, even in 2019.

I'll concede that it would be nice if you could set an "order of preference" on your connected Bluetooth devices. That would solve the problem some of the time, I guess.
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Re: Looking for a BT Reciever that won't "Steal" from my Airpods

Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:00 pm

I don't think that "mind reading" is the problem, the problem is the host device automatically assuming the user wants to switch to a newly available device, or receive commands from such, when another device is currently active. That might be a desirable switch when the first device is a BT headphone or headset device and the second is a car entertainment system, and less desirable when two conventional playback devices are active in the same room. If the host device doesn't have options to configure priority and handoff then that's just bad interface.

But then, the larger problem is how fragmentary and scattershot the BT standard actually is, in part because of how it has been expanded beyond its original scope in a piecewise fashion. I was a bit baffled when I dug through the Developer Options for BT on my Pixel and discovered there are something like six audio codecs available, let alone the ten dozen other data streaming and control options that exist (and have to be negotiated between each unique client).
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