Does Bluetooth work outdoors?

I am looking for Bluetooth wireless stereo headphones to replace the earbuds to my BlackBerry. I frequently listen to podcasts when I take the dog for a walk. But in the reviews of some bluetooth headphones, some people complain they don’t work well outdoors, because apparently bluetooth requires something to reflect off of if the two devices are not in direct line of sight. Some complained that the headphones didn’t work well if the BlackBerry was in your pocket. This would be a significant downside, and I would rather not spend $100 for something that won’t work outside.

Is this a Bluetooth problem, or are there Bluetooth headphones that work well outside?

Being out doors would make no difference. Other then the wind blowing in your hear and mouth piece.

It works fine out of doors, so long as you aren’t too far from the device. At best, Bluetooth has a range of about 10m (~33ft) for class 2 devices, and 100m (~330ft) for a class 3 device, assuming a clear line of sight. If there are any obstructions (particularly walls) that range is significantly reduced and you may get dropouts/intermittent audio. Bluetooth uses the 2.4GHz RF spectrum, so it can also be interfered with by other devices using the same frequency range, such as many cordless phones. However, Bluetooth also uses spread spectrum frequency hopping, so it’s capable of hopping frequencies within that band to find a relatively stable connection wherever possible.

Being an RF signal it behaves the same way any other RF device does, so it can reflect off of surfaces, which can help connectivity, and thus it’s possible that if you put yourself on the other side of a large brick wall in an otherwise flat open field, you might have connectivity problems even if you’re still relatively close to the radio.

My Bluetooth headset appears to work just as well outdoors as indoors, although I have not specifically done range-testing on it.

I am not concerned with range, my Blackberry will always be in my pocket. I had heard reviews that some headsets had problems outdoors, even when both devices are on your person.

Never had a problem with any Bluetooth device out of doors, except maybe when the signal is blocked by my own body. (i.e. phone in right breast pocket, headset in left ear, head turned to the left so the signal has to go through my body and clothing). Most modern headsets though broadcast at a high enough dB not to be particularly bothered by that though. Class 3 devices (most all of them these days) operate at 25dB, while the older Class 2 devices broadcast at 5dB.

What I have seen is that my Bluetooth earpiece & mic for my cellphone is very sensitive to wind noise. Such that it’s almost unusable outdoors. As were the previous 3 I’ve owned. For whatever reason the wired cell headsets I’ve had were less sensitive to wind noise and could be used outdoors.

None of this has any relevance the the OP’s need for Bluetooth playback-only earphones. But I would not be surprised to find that many of the reviews posted by typical internet dummies don’t make the distinction clear.

Works fine outdoors. But as others have pointed out, wind noise is bad.