Bose QC35 crackly, popping audio on Windows

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As a team we are in love with the Bose QC-35 (v1 and v2) headphones w/ mic, connected via Bluetooth, for their active noise-cancelling properties in our busy offices.  However, they are not great quality for audio inputs on in Meetings on Windows.  They work great on macOS, with crystal clear audio.

Testing with other Windows apps, we find that there is no issue with these headphones and audio quality.

We've tried such options as:
- "original audio"
- stereo
- setting the level
- PC's onboard BT v. Third-party dongle BT

Any ideas?
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Andan

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  • frustrated but hopeful!

Posted 4 weeks ago

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Jeff Salisbury, Champion

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Andan - when we were rolling out RingCentral my ServiceDesk team found that Bluetooth headsets on Windows 7 had a lot of issues, which seemed to be mostly resolved in Windows 10. If you aren't running Windows 10 you may want to see if that makes a difference.
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Andan

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Aww, we are on Windows 10, already.

So, subsequent testing results:
  • Affects Window 10 build 1803 the most
  • Affects built-in BT hardware and third-party BT dongles
  • Affects all BT headsets we tried (Bose, Plantronics, Jabra, Jaybird)
  • Does not affect Slack or Skype for Business audio nor Voice Recorder
  • Very specific to RingCentral
  • Didn't try Zoom








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Cecile Glassy, Champion

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2287 USA based users, 28 different sites, all Polycom VVX 500 handsets 3800 DID lines

2018-09-28 we are all on Windows 10, build 1803 and 1809, and have experienced these same issues with native Bluetooth v4, and BT dongle v2 and v4 with LG Tone headsets, also specific only to RingCentral apps. All other audio app interfaces, WebEx, GoToMeeting, SkypeForBusiness, Google Hangouts work fine with these Bluetooth Headsets using aforementioned native BT or BT dongles on these same machines.
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Fogg

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We actually noticed the issue is worse on 1803 vs 1607 windows. In 1607 the audio is hollow sounding where as in 1803 is pops and its crackly sounding. Same hardware even, just upgraded OS. It's Crazy.

Fogg - Subordinate of Andan
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hey Everyone, please check out the information on this thread and see if it will help you :)
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Well, it could be related, which is why I shared. Audio issues can also stem from Network Settings so it's always good to verify that everything is up to date according to our recommendations. Have you created a case for this?
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Andan

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Yep, we have a case open: 07703605

I feel confident saying the issue is not network issues as it very very specific in its occurrence conditions - BT headsets, Win10 1803, RingCentral - and is not evidenced outside those conditions - same headsets, same Windows 10 1803 user endpoints, literally any other app than RingCentral.

I... guess we will try the microphone access stuff, just to say we crossed it off the list. 

The reply to the case is to remove all win10 1803 updates.  Which is sort of like solving a termite problem by burning down the house?  Yeah, effective, but, um. So, we're not gonna do that.   
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Verifying that your network specs mirror what we have listed is also important as our applications require certain ports to be open in order to function fully (which other apps may not require). I'm sure the Support Agent assigned to your case will mention this in order to rule it out as well. Simply best practice to check! :) 

Keep us posted about how things go with your case! It may help someone else out who is having the same issue
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Andan

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Sure thing.  We've already gone through the RC network validation testing and re-config, which I notice I omitted mentioning.
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Ah gotcha! No worries :)
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Fogg

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Official response from support: Your headset is not on the approved (recommended) list (https://success.ringcentral.com/knowledge/TOCArticleRendererPkb.apexp?id=kA280000000GrWD&pubstat...), you're might have issues. You can make a feature request to add them. Tough luck.

FWIW: The only approved headsets are Plantronics. IMO that's not really acceptable to have one vendor as your approved headsets list. I do, however, 100% understand not having the Bose qc35 (I/II) as one on that list (its a nice headset but its not a enterprise grade phone headset). Where are other products like the Jabras, Sennheisers, Yealinks, and Logitech?


(Edited)
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Saadet - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hi Fogg,

If a Support Agent really said, "Touch luck" to you please let me know because that is not something we want happening.

The KB with the recommended headsets is simply a list of headsets that our Engineering Team has fully tested with our Product and know will provide the best experience. There are hundreds of different types of headsets on the market and we simply cannot test them all. But from my experience, most work very well! Sometimes you do have to adjust some settings and, unfortunately, there are things that are out of our control (ISP reliability, computer settings, network settings, etc.). Now, as I mentioned in another reply above, there are some reports of this version of Windows causing some issues with headsets and audio.
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Cecile Glassy, Champion

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This is already in a long running Bluetooth Headset issues thread in Feature equests. Fogg's statements echo our experience. This is totally unacceptable that no other Major Brand headsets can be tested and approved for out of the box compatibility. We have hundreds of offices using LG Tone Bluetooth Headsets needed for other work they perform in their jobs unrelated to RingCentral. They should not have to have an additional $350.00 headset just to work with RingCentral products. LG Tone headsets are a mainstream manufacturer, and are Bluetooth v4 compliant out of the box and work flawlessly with all other Bluetooth capable software.
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Fogg

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Please note, I was paraphrasing the "tough luck" but as a customer, that's effectively what being told 'your headset isn't on our supported list and we can't support everything' translates into. 07703605 is my case number, I was paraphrasing off a phone call I had with someone. I also have an email stating "Please remove all updates to Windows 10 1803 as a workaround." This is also.... lax in response to a legitimate problem with RingCentral's interfacing of bluetooth devices. Rolling back major OS deployments is not a 'workaround.' Maybe a posting along the lines of 'if you use bluetooth and are looking to update to Windows 1803, we suggest against it' for everyone to read much like the current MacOS deployment issue that is being seen as well may be more of an appropriate action.

I do understand that there is only specific issues with bluetooth but it sounds like this is already a well known issue and something might need to be posted to inform people of the risks. I also understood these risks when I upgrade to confirm my suspicions of the problem. For an issue to be ongoing like this to be active for going on 5 months (since 1803 release roughly) seems like a slow response on behalf of the RingCentral development as well.

Cecile, would you mind posting that link for the ongoing bluetooth headsets thread you were referencing? I would like to 'Me too' that thread.
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Cecile Glassy, Champion

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These are the threads we follow on this issue 

http://ringcentraladminusersgroup.org/faq/headsets.html
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Fogg

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Thank you!