BlueAnt Firmware Updates

One of the nice features on many of the newer Bluetooth accessories is the ability to update the firmware. BlueAnt Wireless has a handful of Bluetooth headphones and speakers that can be updated reducing the need to replace your Bluetooth accessory.

We recently reviewed BlueAnt's S4 Bluetooth Speaker (which is firmware updateable) and discovered that BlueAnt had released an updated firmware version. Firmware Version 1.6 is reported to enhance the integration with BING-411 and newer phones and improve voice prompts.

The update process for the S4 is similar to that for BlueAnt's T1, Q1, V1, Z9i and Z9.  Curious how the update process went? Ease on past the break to learn more about BlueAnt's update process and how the latest update effected the S4.

First steps

So, how do tell what firmware version your BlueAnt accessory is running? The easiest way is to go to your Windows Phone's Bluetooth screen and check your paired devices. The firmware version will follow the BlueAnt model. For example, the S4 read, "BlueAnt S4 v1.5". The v1.5 is the firmware version.

You then head on over to BlueAnt's Website to see what the latest firmware version is. For example, the most current firmware version for the Q1 is v8.19. In my case with the S4, version 1.6 is showing as the most current.

From here, you have to register your product, set up a username/password and download BlueAnt's Firmware Updater (10mb file).

The Firmware Updater is only compatible with 32 bit, Windows XP and Windows 7 computers. It is not compatible with 64 bit systems or Apple Mac machines. This does limit the availability of updating BlueAnt's accessories. There is no word when a 64 bit version will be available but it is anticipated that Apple support will be ready sometime in October 2010.

BlueAnt Firmware Updater

Once you install the Firmware Updater and launch the program, it will walk you through the update process. From checking for firmware updates to walking you through connecting your BlueAnt headphone/speaker all you need to do is follow the steps.

The update process took just under ten minutes from installing the Updater to seeing confirmation that the update was successful. Naturally, future updates will take less time because there's no need to re-install the updater.

Updating the S4 is similar to re-flashing the ROM on my Tilt2. The process wipes the device clean and once the process is complete you will need to re-pair the BlueAnt accessory with your Windows Phone.

Is the Update an improvement?

While having the ability to update your Bluetooth accessories is a great way to keep the technology current, some updates sound good but don't work out so well.

In the case of the BlueAnt S4, the update to firmware version 1.6 has been a noticeable improvement over 1.5. The accuracy and effectiveness of voice prompts to the S4 and to BING-411 has improved. I find myself repeating commands a lot less.

Another improvement is with the random volume changes I experienced during my initial test of the S4. At the time, I've been running the updated firmware for two days and have yet to have a spontaneous volume change. All in all, I'm pleased with the fixes this update made.

If you own a BlueAnt Bluetooth product that can be updated, head over to BlueAnt's Support Site and see if the firmware is current.  If not, getting your Bluetooth device updated only takes a few minutes and can improve the overall performance of your device.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Blueant S4 firmware Update process did not work for me. I tried 2 different 32 bit PCs running XP and received various errors. After waiting on Blueant phone help desk for 30 minutes, agent asked, why I wanted to upgrade fimrware? DUH??? He went on to say try disabling your antivirus software? Im sorry, if your development team cant devise an update process that works with antivirus software, you need to hire a new software development team or find a new method to provide updates.
  • Same thing happened to me as well! Disabled my antivirus, but the phone got stuck in DFU mode. It would never charge again nor even update...
  • Ditto! I also got stuck in DFU mode but I tried like 7-8 times, unplugging usb each time, also restarting my PC once somewhere in between and the 8th time it worked and now everything is good. I am not sure what did it but I was ready it take it back to the store and get it replaced. I really really like all the features!!
  • Actually one more thing I have noticed that the bluetooth connection is too strong. Even when I am inside the house my iPhone is still connected to the car in the garage :(
  • Found out how to fix this. On the S1 visor unit there are two recessed screws on the back. Remove them and pry open the unit. Take that back cover and line the inside with heavy duty foil. Clear the areas that need to be seated and the holes that take the screws. Now you must  use heavy duty type tape and cover the foil the same way to prevent shorts. Put the cover back on and your done. It will now pair only very close or inside the vehicle. It will pair and unpair automatically, so you can leave it on. The standby battery life is fantastic, just recharge it when it lights yellow. Enjoy.........
  • The Difference Between 3G and BlueAnt..
    binaural beats
  • It appears no longer to be possible to even download the S4 firmware updater from the Blueant Website. I can't find any link to it or any instructions regarding it. I wonder if they removed it on purpose or if it's just super well hidden. I submitted an email support request and received an email auto-reply that they'd get back to me within 5 business days. I am increasingly unimpressed with this company.
  • If you are clear enough with the BlueAnt tech support they will send you a link to the BlueAnt Universal Updater.  I think they quit providing it because it is apparently possible to brick your device if the update does not complete.