So this has been bugging me for a while.. MacbookPro 10,1.. 2.3GHz i7, 8GB DDR3 RAM and the fecking audio playback over Bluetooth skips! For a while I suspected the naff’ish bluetooth speaker I was using (Jam) but after upgrading to a BOSE SoundLink.. the issue remained. Seriously now.. what the fudge!
I’d poked around before with trying to fix this problem, but suggestions were stupid; “Turn off the WiFi, Move the speaker further away, Move the speaker closer”. All shit. It seemed to me like the audio agent on the Mac was being scheduled in a way that would introduce lag into the bluetooth stream. I’ve known of similar things before with radio.. delay a process too much and the packets fall out of sync and can’t be recovered which results in transmission gaps. Effectively lag.
Bit of Googling and found a damn useful thread: https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/167245/yosemite-bluetooth-audio-is-choppy-skips/179209#179209?newreg=4bc544772e98420999b564078c6d264d
I’d seen the commands to manipulate the BluetoothAudioAgent before but didn’t have much luck. The commands below though.. genuinely seem to have fixed my problems.
Firstly, see what you’re default values are:
defaults read com.apple.BluetoothAudioAgent
Might be prudent to make a note of any values displayed using the above command. Update the agent options by setting the values below;
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
Effectively – these commands control how “friendly” OSX is with other Bluetooth devices. Clearly though, being friendly doesn’t provide good audio quality.
After setting these values, reboot. After reboot, issue is fixed. Have been listening now for 90 minutes from Apple Music, YouTube and SoundCloud without a single skip.