Does the PlayStation 4 have a Bluetooth problem?

PS4 an controller

It’s bad enough that the PS4 is stuck on an older 2.1 standard of Bluetooth – not even the lower powered standards have been implemented, which might have improved battery life on the controllers – but is the Bluetooth range worse than it was on the PlayStation 3?

With the PS3 users would happily find that their controllers would work from the other side of their house. The PS4 should, theoretically, be the same. None-the-less many users are reporting communication issues from just the next room.

My PS4 is in a different room to my TV – the PS4 is literally behind the wall that the TV is mounted on and is less than 1.5 metres from where I sit. However, I often find a sudden lag occurring between my controller and the PS4.

So, what could the cause be? There are 3 possibilities, or a combination of them…

  • It’s under-powered in the PS4
  • The location of the transmitter is causing reception issues
  • The Dualshock itself is to blame rather than the PS4

Let’s look at what differences there are between the implementation.

On the PS3, a teardown of the PS3 Slim shows the Bluetooth antenna in the lower left hand side of the console, attached to 3-dimensional metal connectors. It uses a Marvell 88W8780 combination WiFi/Bluetooth chipset, although specifications for this don’t seem to be available.

A teardown of the PS4 shows the Bluetooth chip to be on the rear left of the console (looking at it from the front). Instead of a physical cable the chip is connected to a right angled plate via a connector on the motherboard. The Marvell 88W8797 chipset used is a combination WiFi/Bluetooth/RDS radio set-up and it supports Bluetooth 4 (maybe a future software update will allow this).

What the latter chipset shows is that it supports both Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 allows a range of up to 100 metres but consumes 100mW to do so – Class 2 only allows a 10 metre range but consumes just 2.5mW. Is there a possibility here that the PS4 has switched from Class 1 to 2 to ensure that carrying audio to the controller doesn’t dramatically impact controller battery life? Indeed, the Bluetooth in the controllers themselves are also critical but Sony has released little information about these. A Sony FAQ for the Dualshock 3 states that the range is 30 feet – that is consistent with a Class 2 device. If the PS3 was Class 1 I would have expected this range to be greater.

So, conclusion? We don’t have one. Without firm details of the Dualshock 3, 4 and PS3 Bluetooth we can’t ideally compare. Certainly, it would appear that the positioning and configuration of the Bluetooth within in the PS4 is not as good as the PS3. If you’re having issues I’d make sure that left hand side is as close to the controllers as possible.

Sadly, long term, there isn’t a solution – there doesn’t appear to be such a thing as a Bluetooth extender (shame).

David Artiss

David is the owner and main author of this website. Working as an IT Professional for 25 years and programming for far longer, he is a self-confessed geek and gadget fan. Overweight, glasses wearing and having a deep interest in science fiction and comic book heroes, he doesn't avoid the stereotype.

8 Responses

  1. ben says:

    Hi similar problem i haven’t had any problems playing from a different tv untill about 2 weeks ago and it just wont work in the furthest room anymore. Im 10-12 meters away from the console. Am i being greedy or do you think ill be able to improve this?

  2. Rogerio says:

    If you look closely, there is a split in the metallic plate where the wire is welded and the tip of it. this division was almost pressed against mine. I took a thin screwdriver and was just calibrating the distance of this division. was a bit tricky course, but it was great. Excuse my English, I am Brazilian and it is difficult to write English properly to a good understanding. very careful to close the console to not knead again. test well before it closes …

  3. ange says:

    I notice mine only lags when i plug in the p4c headset so i have to play tethered to the station if i want to talk and play. Im hardwired cause im next to the router and ive checked every signal in the house nothing is interfering! Has me very upset cause my warranty just ran out and i dont know if its a hardware problem or from reading poeople dealing with this that its a software problem. Its not my controllers as they are all new.

  4. Rogerio says:

    I solved the problem of my PS4 system. what I did?
    open the console and in front of the left side at the bottom of there is a metallic structure connected to motherboard by a thin wire. this structure is responsible for receiving and sending the blueetooth signals. just gave a calibrated in angle along the edge of it and the problem was solved. my Dualshock 4 works up through walls like the Dualshock 3. amazing how perfect works now.
    Do so at your own risk, as it will void the warranty of the PS4.

    Hugs to all …

    • David Artiss says:

      Sorry, what do you mean by “just gave a calibrated in angle along the edge of it”? I’m curious as to what you did to improve the signal.

    • Lars M says:

      Same problem, and same question as David (how do you do it) since I would like to try the same fix.
      I have 5 meters distance, 2 walls and my PS 4 in a rack. Pretty bad it doesn’t work :(

  5. Claude-Alain says:

    Exact same problem for me. The Playstation is in a rack, behind the wall. No problem with the PS3, lag with the PS4. So I no more have a PS4…

  6. Carlos says:

    I have my ps4 in media rack and having lag issues.

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