New BT dongle has very short range


#1

I just purchased a Bluetooth 4.0 USB adapter for my Linux Mint 18 desktop system, and was able to use it successfully to connect to multiple devices including phones for file transfer and multiple headphones with no major issues in Blueman.

My question is about the range, with both sets of headphones I tested with the maximum distance I could get from the computer was about 6-8 feet (clear line of site, no obstructions) and the audio is unintelligible, but if I take these same device and pair them to a cell phone and set it on top of the computer I can get about 3 times that distance before it starts cutting out at all… Is this normal for this dongle, or did I just get a lemon? The distance it can communicate to devices seems extremely short.

Thanks.


#2

I am sorry to hear about the range issues you have been experiencing. There are a few things that can impact the range of the adapter. In rarer instances, it can be an issue with the adapter’s radio.

• Is the adapter plugged in to a USB 2.0 port or a USB 3.0 port?

• You mentioned this is a desktop system. What side of the tower is the adapter plugged in to?


#3

I tried it in a USB 2.0 and a 3.0 port, in both the front and back, there was no difference in performance in position or port it is connected to. This is on an Asus M5A97 r2.0 motherboard with Linux Mint 18.


#4

Generally USB 2.0 is best, and to use it in the front port of the PC. There are known issues with a design flaw in USB 3.0 causing issues with 2.4GHz wireless interference with poorly-shielded USB 3.0 ports, and the rear I/O panel of a tower PC generally being poorly-shielded and having broad-spectrum radio interference.

We can try a replacement adapter in this case. Please contact us at support@plugable.com with the subject line ‘For Ticket #163436’. Please include your Amazon Order ID, and current shipping address, in the body of the e-mail.

Thanks!


#5

I am aware of the USB 3.0 issue in some situations and did try it in the front ports as well. I am out of town for a few days but when I get home I will try putting it on a USB extension cable and moving it away from the case by several feet. If I still have similar results I will email support.

Thanks for your input and prompt response!


#6

Just an FYI… I picked up another BT USB from another manufacturer, same results in range, must be something in my environment and doesn’t seem to be an issue with the hardware. Just thought I would update this so you know there is no problem here.


#7

Thank you for the update.

Based on the information provided, I would agree that there is something in the environment limiting range.

You may want to look at Apple’s article on potential sources of Bluetooth interference, as it covers a lot of interference sources.

https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201542

I hope you’re able to locate the cause.


#8