Unfortunately, there is a bit of audio cut off for Bluetooth headsets and speakers. This is usually caused by the headset shutting down/being placed on stand by to conserve energy.
Other major screen readers have a option where a silent sound comes on to maintain a solid connection. As a result, this prevents cut off and any audio delay from occurring. For voiceover users using Bluetooth headsets or speakers, the cut off and delay is very prevalent.
I suggest that Apple create a feature in voiceover and/or accessibility settings where a silent sound can be turned on and off. This can create a greater level of consistency for all Bluetooth devices connected to a iPhone, iPad, Mac, and even an apple watch.
I have already reached out to apple about this. There seems to be some interest. However, more feedback is always desired. The more people reach out to Apple accessibility about this, the more likely it is to be implemented.
Consider that this can cause a slight loss in battery life. But making it optional can let people decide if they want to use it. Moreover, I have figured out a work around in another post using background sounds and airpods. I haven't noticed really any loss of battery. Maybe 20 minutes of usage if at all.
I am providing some information regarding screen readers on the Windows which already have this functionality.
As always, reach out to apple accessibility by emailing them at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling them at 18772043930.
Please follow these directions to enable the ability to constantly play silence to keep your Bluetooth connection alive.
Press Jaws key + 6 to open settings Center.
Press Control+shift+d to activate the Default Settings.
Type “blue” to locate the “Avoid speech cut off when using Bluetooth headphones” option
Press Space to select this option
Tab to Apply and press Space
Tab to OK, and press space
A description of this option From the settings:
Many modern Bluetooth headphones and speakers shut down after a while of not receiving sound to conserve battery. If this check box is selected, JAWS will keep them awake by constantly playing silence. You will not hear anything, but your device will remain active, resulting in more consistent speech. Note that the battery of your headphones/speakers could drain faster if you turn this on.
Download the following Addon: BluetoothAudio
Activate the NVDA Menu
Select “Tools” followed by “Manage Add Ons”
Press ALT+I to Install Addons
Locate the downloaded file and press enter
Verify you want to install the addon with Alt+Y
Press ALT+C to close the dialog after installing addon
Press ALT+Y to restart NVDA
From the addon page:
Bluetooth Audio is an NVDA add-on that improves sound quality when working with bluetooth headphones or speakers.
Most bluetooth devices enter standby mode after a few seconds of inactivity. That means that when NVDA starts speaking again, the first split second of sound will be lost. Bluetooth Audio add-on prevents bluetooth devices from entering standby mode by constantly playing a silent sound that is inaudible to a human ear.
Warning: using Bluetooth Audio add-on might reduce battery life of your bluetooth device.
Does anyone care about this?
I wonder if anyone cares about this issue.
I agree that Apple should add a feature that prevents the cutting off of audio when using bluetooth devices. I have experienced this issue when using the AirPods pro second generation
This would be great!
Thanks for the detailed writeup and your efforts in this area!
I agree this would indeed be a great addition. For now I do as you do, by either playing background sounds or music/manually add silent sound files, but it wouldbe great to avoid those kinds of hacks!
AirPods Pro 2 are my problem and shouldn’t need this workaround.
I agree Apple could and should implement this for Bluetooth headphones and speakers however they own the AirPods stack top to bottom from hardware to OS to firmware and the cutout for audio being set at something like 0.2 seconds is really driving me bonkers. It doesn’t need to be that short, 5 seconds would do fine and stop the choppiness I shouldn’t be dealing with from such an expensive piece of hardware. It makes it so I don’t want to use my expensive purchase which I guess we can just stick on the pile of degraded service at full price that we’re living with.