Connecting 2 devices to the XL and receiving notifications on a laptop stops playback and/or causes choppy sound

When my phone receives a notification, the music that plays through my laptop stops. So I basically have to constantly resume my music after receiving a notification.

My Jabra does not pause music when receiving a notification on my FP4 while playing music on my laptop. So this makes me believe this is definitely a Fairbuds issue.

I reported the issue and it was forwarded to the product team.

Edit: the behavior is somewhat different now all of a sudden (maybe due to a reboot of the Fairbuds). When I now play music via my Fairphone and then do an audio test in my laptop audio settings, the sound doesn’t get distorted. But it also doesn’t play the sound from my laptop. When I start a song on my laptop, the music is playing, but no sound is heard either. Then when I pause the music on my phone, the music of my laptop gets through. But sometimes it takes a few tracks before the music gets through, it’s not consistent. Then, when I start playing music on my phone again no sound is heard, even when I skip tracks. Only after I close the music app on my laptop and start a new song on my phone, music is playing again. It’s still very buggy. But this is less annoying than when sound starts to crack or music is simply stopped and not resumed. So both situations are not great and definitely needs improvement.

I can definitely confirm the choppy sound when two sources are active!
It’s quite annoying when it happens, but not a huge deal for me as I usually don’t use this feature and just keep to one source at one time. Also, I have no experience with how other headphones handle this.

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My Jabra doesn’t distort, it pauses when a new device makes sound. For example if I play a song on my laptop while a song was already playing on my phone, it would pause my phone. And when a notification sound is triggered on my phone, the volume on the laptop is lowered, I hear the notification, and then the music from my laptop continues with the original volume. Basically as if everything was on the same device.

I suppose Jabra makes use of a queue, while Fairphone just tries to play both devices at the same time.

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That certainly sounds like a much more reasonable approach!

That’s pretty much my life with my Phonak hearing aids.
It’s not as bad anymore if you have some experience with these problems and if you know how to fix them pretty fast or how to avoid them.
And I’m using /e/ and Windows 10/11 (on my computer).

There is a priority mode for phone apps (and probably some messengers). So, if your Buds are connected to two other devices and one of them gets a call, then all other connections get paused.
In case of Windows this doesn’t work consistently.

As far as I can see, the Fairbuds have micros. So, the choppy sound is probably because of two different audio-modes. You can see these in the Windows settings. It’s the headphone only and the hands-free (headphone with mic) option.
In my case with the hearing aids, I get good audio if I only use the headphone mode and disable the hands-free mode. In the hands-free mode the sound is like a phone line connection between countries in the 80s.
If you don’t enable/disable the unwanted setting, then Windows just picks the mode randomly or depending on which app tries to use the sound device first.

The long lags until you hear sound again are probably because the other device didn’t close the connection correctly or the sound is still running (silently) in the background on one device or (mostly) the Windows device got the mode wrong after a disconnect and reconnect and the apps can’t follow up.
Or Windows or the hearing aids have a problem to connect again after switching the devices (happens quite often). Then the quickest solution is to restart the hearing aids or the computer.

But no matter what:
I always deactivate the Windows system sounds because my bluetooth connection goes into a powersaving mode if there are no sounds and it takes a second or so to reactivate it.
So, if there is a Windows sound like pling, then the connection will be reactivated, which changes the sound/source mode of the hearing aids - but the sound is already gone after that second and probably no other sound will follow until the bluetooth connection goes into power saving mode again. And this will repeat all the time.
This is probably a bit special for hearing aid users, since the hearing aids still work if they are not connected to any other devices.

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I don’t use Windows. I use Fedora (Linux) with the GNOME desktop environment. Both Android and GNOME automatically select the best available Bluetooth profile available. So both my Fairbuds and Jabra Elite 75t use the same profiles on both my Fairphone and laptop. So that’s not the problem in my case.

But only with Jabra the user experience is smooth, no choppy/cracking/indefinitely paused sound or odd behavior with playback when starting a song on a different device or when receiving a notification on either of the devices. It’s definitely a Fairbuds issue. My Jabra’s were 100 euros, these Fairbuds are 250. I know it’s fair trade and it’s a lot bigger so more production costs. But surely we can expect a smooth experience?

On their website they boast about ‘seamless dual point connectivity’, this is not the case and I don’t think that’s fair to the user. You probably agree, but I just want to make sure it’s mentioned in this thread. I’m not looking for small issues just to complain about Fairphone. I really want to love these products, but it’s very hard.

Edit: just connected my XL via USB-C and my laptop via Bluetooth. The same bugs are encountered, but no choppy/cracking sound. Just the infinite playback break and inconsistent switching between the devices. So that makes me believe something in the Bluetooth stack is not handled well on the XL.

I don’t really want to write it and you probably don’t want to read it but there is nowhere a word about Linux there. Are you sure this is a problem, which Windows and Apple users have, too?
I don’t own the Buds myself (that wouldn’t make sense for a hearing aid user :sweat_smile: ), so I can only speculate here.

Bluetooth is a standard, which works great on (Fedora) Linux with Jabra, just not on my Fairbuds. But it’s possible that it’s a bug in Linux because of something that the Fairbuds trigger, but not the Jabra. But from what I read in your comment, things seem worse in Windows :nerd_face: I haven’t had issues before. I have Jabra for about 6 years. For those 6 years it was a smooth ride, until I got the Fairbuds. I’m at the office tomorrow. I’ll ask my rich colleagues if I can pair with their Bose headsets and see how that goes.

Edit: I forgot we also have an old Mac with MacOS 11.7.4 here at home. I just tried the same things as I have on Linux. I can reproduce most of the issues, but yes, the stability is somewhat better using this Mac. So it could be in part the Fairbuds and in part Linux.

Issues I can reproduce on the Mac:

  • When receiving a notification on my phone, the playback on the Mac stops and doesn’t resume. On my Jabra the music volume is lowered briefly, but the music does continue.
  • Cracking sound when activating the Assistant on my phone while playing music on the Mac, but it’s less messy as on Linux.
  • The handover between playing music between Mac and my Fairphone is smoother. On Linux the handover has a long delay or doesn’t happen at all, this is both devices, not just the Linux laptop. For some reason this does work fine with my Jabra’s. Maybe the reason is that my Jabra uses Bluetooth 5.0 and the Fairbuds use 5.1. Or maybe some kind of difference in the profiles. I really don’t know. I can stream the logs on my Linux laptop. But my window of returning the Fairbuds is also closing. So I hope I can find time to do this.

Came to the forums for that issue and what’s worse is that my phone is on mute all the time anyway and it still stops playback on PC…

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Thanks for leaving a reply, it helps. But it also helps to contactsupport because the more people report this the sooner it gets on their todo list.

That’s normal.
Mute is not audio off - it’s just silent. The audio source is still running and producing zero decibel sound.

Regarding bluetooth connections, I’d also say it’s not very smart to open the connection for silent sound but I don’t think there is an easy way to change that.

Bose somehow manages to do that. Can’t be rocket science then.


After installing the latest Fairbuds firmware last week this behaviour has improved a bit, not so much pausing going on at least on the laptop. But still very frequent for notifications on the phone.

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Please also report this to FP by contactsupport, only then it will get on their radar. They don’t really actively monitor this forum. Welcome by the way! :tada:

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