Some M1 Macs are exhibiting Bluetooth issues

With Apple’s refreshed MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini computers powered by the company’s M1 laptop chip in customers’ hands now, we’re starting to see first reports of the inevitable teething issues that accompany every new hardware launch.

Some of the affected customers have vented their frustration with Bluetooth connectivity plaguing these new Mac models in Reddit forums. MacRumors reports that ‌Mac mini‌ owners appear to be worst affected, “with the problems compounded by the fact that many rely on wireless peripherals to interact with their Mac in order to free up available ports.”

From the report:

One user reported identical issues after receiving a replacement unit from Apple, while another user was able to successfully connect their Logitech accessory using the included Unifying Receiver Bluetooth dongle. However, there’s still no consensus on whether it’s a software problem or something more deep-seated.

It should be noted that the M1 chip does not handle Bluetooth connectivity.

Other problems with Bluetooth on the M1 Macs range from intermittent disconnects of wireless peripherals to completely non-functional Bluetooth connections. Many third-party Bluetooth mice, keyboards and headphones are acting up, as well as their first-party counterparts such as the AirPods, Magic Mouse and Magic Keyboard.

I must say I’m not surprised.

Apple has a long history of Bluetooth connectivity issues across its various platforms. Part of the problem is the underlying complexity of the Bluetooth protocol, but Apple certainly carries its share of blame for that. The Bluetooth stack in macOS has always been a mixed bag, plagued with reliability and connectivity issues, and these reports underscore the problem.