Apple managed to set a new benchmark with AirPods, not just in terms of functionality but also connectivity. Thanks to its own secret sauce W1 chip, AirPods have no connectivity issues that are usually associated with Bluetooth devices. Despite these improvements from Apple though, your AirPods will probably cut out for a few seconds while crossing a street.
This is quite amusing since AirPods can work in other challenging areas pretty easily where other Bluetooth headphones struggle. The same stands true for other Bluetooth headphones in the market which will cut out for a few seconds while you are crossing a particularly large street. Ever wondered why? It is because of how Bluetooth works.
As explained by Dan Seifert of The Verge in a Twitter thread, Bluetooth works very differently from Wi-Fi. It needs a surface to bounce off, and while you are crossing the street, there are no large flat surfaces for the signal to bounce off. Due to this, you will almost always notice a drop in connection on your AirPods or Bluetooth headphones while crossing a street. Theoretically, this also means that your Bluetooth headphones will stop working while you are in an open park. However, in an open park, Bluetooth signals don’t have to compete with other signals so it does not have to work at its peak efficiency.
I know the exact spot when crossing 5th Ave in front of the library where every pair of Bluetooth headphones will cut out. to the step.
Experience the same in the middle of Grand Central Terminal. to the step.
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) April 15, 2018
If like me, you have always wondered why your Bluetooth headphones cut out randomly for no reason at all while walking on a street, well now you now finally know.