A month or so ago, I decided to pick up a new headset for gaming and Skype. I wanted to Bluetooth headset that I could use while charging so that I wouldn’t be bound by cords or batteries–at least not at the same time. I’ve had good luck with Logitech products, so I did a bit of research and went with the H800.
Out of the box, everything worked great. I paired it to my PC and–voila–I had sound. Great, right? Not so fast, my friend. I’ve had problems with this thing from day one.
Once I get it to work, I don’t usually have issues. The problem is getting it to work. The thing doesn’t reliably reconnect after being disconnected. Sometimes, I’d turn on the headset, and it would connect right away and work. This would happen, say, 15% of the time. Sometimes it would connect, but it would have unbearably poor audio quality. Sometimes it would connect, but it would have no audio. And sometimes it would simply not connect at all.
I found that my best bet when it didn’t connect and work properly would be to turn the headset off, disable the Bluetooth adapter through Device Manager, enable the Bluetooth adapter, and then turn the headset back on. This lil’ song and dance would get me a successful, high-quality connection pretty regularly. If that didn’t work, a reboot would usually do the trick.
The headset also comes with a USB nano receiver, and I’ve had no problems whatsoever using that. I don’t want to use the USB receiver, though, because it takes up one of three precious USB ports. I didn’t buy the headset to use as a USB device, and I’d be disappointed if I had to use the USB receiver instead of Bluetooth.
I was stumped on this issue. I didn’t think it was my computer because I have a different pair of Bluetooth headphones that I’ve no problems with. I didn’t think it was the headset because I’ve used it with my Surface RT with no problems. Everything that I could find online seemed to indicate that it was a problem with my Broadcom Bluetooth adapter driver, but I couldn’t find any updates anywhere. I’d tried reinstalling drivers for the headset and the Bluetooth adapter and anything else that seemed relevant, but nothing seemed to help.
And so I went on, using my headset by disabling and re-enabling devices in Device Manager until one day last week when I could no longer get the headset to work at all through Bluetooth. So annoying!
Since nothing I had tried up to that point had done anything, I thought I’d try upgrading to Windows 8. This is something that I’ve been putting off doing on this computer, anyway, and maybe the OS refresh is just what I needed. I felt encouraged when Windows 8 Setup told me that Broadcome Bluetooth Software was an incompatible program that needed to be removed before I could upgrade.
I did what needed to be done and upgraded to Windows 8, but I was no better off than I was with Windows 7. I could pair the device, but I could not get it to connect. It worked fine with its USB receiver. GAH!
Finally, I stumbled upon this forum post: Bluetooth headset is not working in Windows 8. The accepted answer said that the problem was solved by copying the Broadcom Bluetooth 4.0 driver from a working computer. I headed over to Google and searched for “Broadcom Bluetooth 4.0.” I found the Lenovo download page for it and installed it on my computer even though my ThinkPad W510 was not listed as a “Supported ThinkPad System.” When the install finished, I turned on my headset and guess what? It connected!
Despite my success, I’m not convinced that I’m in the clear. I turned off the headset and turned it back on. I had the same poor quality problem that I’ve had before. I turned it off and back on again. This time it connected, but I had no audio. I went to Windows 8’s wireless devices control panel, and turned the adapter off and back on. Now my headset connected and had good quality audio.
I love the headset when it’s working, but I’m really disappointed with the number of connection problems I’ve had. At the end of the day, I’m content to get them working by disabling and enabling the Bluetooth adapter, but it’s a step that I
wish I didn’t shouldn’t have to do. I’m going to pretend that everything works how I think it should by disabling my Bluetooth adapter when I’m not using the headset.
This article was meant to be more of a, “Hey, here’s what got me past the issue!” for other folks troubleshooting similar issues. It has somewhat of a gadget review feel to it, though, doesn’t it? So I’ll wrap up by giving you my opinion of the H800 headset from Logitech. It’s a nice headset. The audio quality is good, and it connects quickly and reliably through the included USB receiver. However, because of the problems I’ve had with the headset on my Lenovo ThinkPad W510, I would not recommend this as a Bluetooth headset, although it works flawlessly with my Surface RT. Based on my experience, you’ve only got a 50/50 shot for satisfaction with the headset as an exclusively Bluetooth peripheral.