First-generation iPhone and stereo Bluetooth

Q: I have the first generation iPhone with the latest 3.0 upgrade. I wanted to get a Bluetooth headset for my phone and wanted to purchase the Motorola S9HD headset. My question is will this device work with my iPhone or do I need the DC650 device to make it work? I get conflicting advice so I thought you could answer me truthfully and not try to sell me something that won’t work!

– CW

A: The iPhone OS 3.0 update now provides stereo Bluetooth support, also known as A2DP, but only on the iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 2G.

For whatever reason, the original iPhone does not include A2DP capability from the 3.0 update, and the first-generation iPod touch simply does not include any Bluetooth hardware at all. You can find more information on the specific Bluetooth features supported by the various iPhone and iPod touch models in Apple’s knowledgebase article: iPhone and iPod touch: Supported Bluetooth profiles.

So unfortunately for owners of the first-generation iPhone, the 3.0 update doesn’t change anything in terms of the Bluetooth audio accessories that are supported. Standard monaural Bluetooth headsets continue to work in the same manner as they always have for phone-related audio, but there have been no further enhancements to the Bluetooth audio capabilities.

This means that the Motorola S9HD headset will still require the DC650 iPod adapter to be able to listen to music and other stereo audio from your first-generation iPhone. In this configuration, the S9HD basically works in the same way it would if you had a separate iPod and cellular phone: You use the DC650 iPod adapter connected to the Dock Connector port at the bottom to listen to your music, and pair the S9HD with the iPhone for making and receiving phone calls and listening to other phone-related audio such as Visual Voicemail messages.

With an iPhone 3G or iPhone 3GS, the DC650 adapter would not be required as these iPhone models now have native support for the A2DP profile for listening to stereo music.