Friday, December 28, 2007

MacOS X Leopard, iPhone and Stereo Bluetooth Headphones - A2DP

Over a year ago I bought stereo bluetooth headphones on eBay, its a multifunction unit the OMIZ OMS600, and it includes an MP3 player (with MicroSD slot), FM radio, Stereo A2DP headphone and Headset with Mono audio/Microphone. When I tried to configure it on MacOS X Tiger it didn't work because there was no A2DP headphone support.

MacOS X Leopard now supports A2DP and "just works" with this headset. The Mac sees both the Headset (Mono audio/mic for Skype etc) and Headphone (A2DP Stereo) as separate devices. After the usual Bluetooth device wizard setup, simply put the OMS600 into the headphone mode and pick "Use Headphone" from the Bluetooth dropdown menu on the Mac, the Mac's internal speakers mute, and the Headphones play. It worked over a 10 foot range walking around a room, crackled a bit at the limit and dropped the connection if I went too far away.

I don't see the OMS600 for sale any more, but there are plenty of A2DP headphones out there now, and its nice to see that Apple finally got the devices to work, and made it "Just Work" as usual.

The headset mode also works on my iPhone, but the A2DP mode doesn't. I paired the headset with the iPhone and was able to make calls and receive them. When using the FM radio or the MP3 player built-into the headset it paused and resumed for incoming calls. However when the Headphone mode was paired with my Leopard machine the iPhone didn't route calls to the Headset. The OMS600 headset has the microphone built into the left side earpiece with no voice tube or boom down nearer my mouth, and it doesn't pick up very clearly. The noise cancelling Jawbone headset works far better.

I listened to some music on iTunes (Radiohead In Rainbows and Gorillaz D-Sides are my current albums for serial listening) and waited forever for XP to start up in Parallels so I could fire up IE7 and see a Netflix Watch Instantly show about the Pixies reunion tour (called LoudQuietLoud). [Yes I know it would be nice if it worked natively on the Mac, but the studios only approve Windows DRM, and the alternatives all have issues that are taking way too much time to sort out].

Happy new year...

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