We’ve covered before on the Rocket Yard that many 2012 Mac mini users using USB 3.0 devices had experienced random dropouts or even outright loss of the use of Bluetooth mice and keyboards. You can read more about the effect at this OWC Blog post. But to quickly recap, the cause is essentially the signal from USB 3.0 devices interfering with the 2.4GHz frequency of Bluetooth. (You can find more details via this white paper written by the USB Implementers Forum.)
Considering the ubiquity of users who have their USB 3.0 devices – such as the NewerTech miniStack – immediately next to or stacked on top of their minis, we came up with a remedy in the form of our Bluetooth Module Shielding Kit.
However, after testing the 2014 model, it appears that Apple has significantly improved its Bluetooth shielding on the new Mac mini. Our initial testing indicated an 11-foot increase in range from the 2012 model with the same set up.
- 2012 Mac mini with questionably shielded (no shielding kit) USB 3.0 cable tested with a miniStack – 8 feet before connectivity issues began
- 2014 Mac mini with questionably shielded (no shielding kit) USB 3.0 cable tested with a miniStack – 19 feet before connectivity issues began
We have not yet been able to test the 2014 Mac mini with an OWC Bluetooth Module Shielding Kit, but check back to the Rocket Yard for additional results in the near future.