Questions to consider before you buy a Bluetooth adapter

What range does a Bluetooth adapter reach? What does Bluetooth Class mean?

The Bluetooth range depends on the so-called class of the Bluetooth device:

Class 1: up to 100m

Class 2: up to 10-50m

Class 3: up to 1-10m

How far the connection reaches and how well it holds up ultimately depends on your environment. Reinforced concrete walls between communicating devices can lead to loss of range and speed.

With a USB-Bluetooth-Adapter, you can easily and cheaply upgrade your Bluetooth device. (Picture source: 123RF / Amorphis)

However, the simultaneous use of several Bluetooth devices, a WLAN connection, or microwaves do not have any negative effects on the connection quality. For home use, however, we recommend that you choose at least a class 2 Bluetooth adapter.

Which Bluetooth versions are available and which one is right for you?

Bluetooth has been around for almost 30 years now and has of course improved over time and adapted more and more to our needs. In the following table, you will find all Bluetooth versions with their most important features and innovations compared to their predecessor.

Due to their improved energy efficiency and the increased safety standard, we recommend the purchase of Bluetooth adapters from version 4.0 onwards, although this version is not always downward compatible with its predecessor.

Therefore, pay attention to whether the manufacturer explicitly promises downward compatibility or whether the packaging indicates a Smart Ready marking. So-called Smart Ready Bluetooth devices combine the Classic Bluetooth Standard 2.0 and the Smart Ready 4.0 version and thus enable backward compatibility with the newer 4.0 version.

What is the difference between a Bluetooth receiver and a transmitter?

Simply explained: A Bluetooth transmitter only sends data and a Bluetooth receiver only receives it! This difference can only be found in Audio Bluetooth adapters. Before you buy an audio Bluetooth adapter, you should consider whether you need a transmitter, receiver, or possibly even both.

Bluetooth Transmitter Example: Watch TV with Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

If you already have Bluetooth headphones and want to watch movies on your TV in the late evening, you need a Bluetooth transmitter. It sends the movie sound to your Bluetooth headphones.

Simply plug the Audio Bluetooth transmitter into the 3.5mm audio jack of your TV and pair the transmitter with your headphones according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Bluetooth Receiver Example: Play music from your cell phone with your hifi system

Since most smartphones and tablets already have built-in Bluetooth functionality, you only need a Bluetooth receiver for your speaker system. It receives the audio signals from your transmitter and plays the music through your stereo system.

What is a 2in1 Audio Bluetooth Adapter?

If you are not sure what you need or want to stay flexible with your audio adapter, we recommend a 2in1 Audio Bluetooth Adapter. With this adapter, you can switch between transmitter and receiver mode with a switch lever.

What is aptX?

In the Bluetooth profile A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) the audio codec called SBC is normally supported. However, SBC is a compressed lossy encoding of audio signals. With SBC, audio files like MP3 are converted and compressed again before they are sent to the receiver.

This slow and energy-guzzling treatment is audibly not good for the audio data. The special thing about the aptX – codec is that even though an audio signal is compressed as it is requested by the wireless transmission via Bluetooth, the audio signal after decompression shows hardly any loss compared to the original track.

Another advantage of aptX is its high encoding speed. Because the previous standard codec SBC is slow and needs more power.

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