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September 21st, 2017

The hype around Bluetooth 5!

With the growing popularity of wireless headphones and wearable devices, Bluetooth is more common than ever. In fact, according to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which oversees the development of the technology, 13.9 billion Bluetooth-enabled devices will ship by 2020.
Good news then that the technology has just been improved. Bluetooth 5 is more powerful than ever, with enormous potential for the Internet of Things and wireless music listening alike.
Bluetooth 5 is the next iteration of Bluetooth, the wireless technology that’s found in smartphones, smartwatches, tablets, wireless headphones and speakers, laptops, desktop computers and more and, being the latest version that has rolled out, it’s packed with a lot of power.
So, how powerful is the Bluetooth 5, really?
Compared to its predecessor (Bluetooth 4.2 Low Energy), it’s twice as fast, has four times as much range, and can transfer eight times as much data. This means speedy and reliable over-the-air connectivity, leading to faster firmware updates and data uploading.
With the greater network range, wireless speakers or headphones work way better even if the sound source is at a good distance. We’re talking about over 200 meters (800 ft)! It also allows for whole-home coverage for IoT devices like security cameras, smart fridges, smart thermostats and more. Wireless headphones and speakers will work much further away from the sound source, and you can stream the same audio to more headphones/speakers simultaneously.
You can connect more than one pair of wireless headphones to a single sound source over Bluetooth 5. If your device has the right functionality, for instance, Samsung’s Bluetooth Dual Audio feature, you can adjust the volume of each independently. Very handy for sharing or traveling by train or plane.
Another exciting feature is that Bluetooth 5 can detect interference at the edges of the 2.4GHz and neighboring LTE bands, and automatically prevent it. This should make for clearer music listening from any wireless device!
With its efficient use of broadcasting channels on the increasingly popular 2.4GHz band, it opens the way for “richer, beacon-based Bluetooth solutions”, according to the SIG. One can expect greater wireless connectivity wherever they go, from sports stadia to shopping centers.
 
Which devices are compatible with Bluetooth 5?
As of now, there aren’t many devices that are compatible with Bluetooth 5. The Samsung Galaxy S8 was the first phone to work with the technology, followed by the bigger Galaxy S8 Plus and Note 8.
It has since been joined by the new LG V30 and the recently announced Apple iPhone 8, 8 Plus and iPhone X smartphones.
While they are compatible, without any Bluetooth 5 compatible headphones and speakers, the of the greater range or faster speeds cannot be experienced. This should, however, start rolling out later this year.
Although, the Galaxy S8’s Bluetooth Dual Audio feature works just fine with any standard Bluetooth speakers and headphones.
The focus of Bluetooth 5 is on the Internet of Things and greater connectivity.
It also aims for improved battery life, by using less energy efficiently, which should mean longer battery life for wireless speakers and headphones.
These are the few things to watch out for in Bluetooth 5!