If you’re looking for a good soundbar, then the likelihood is that you’re going to want one that’s Bluetooth. Though it’s been around for a while now, Bluetooth is still the easiest way for us to connect two devices like this together.
But how exactly does a Bluetooth speaker work, and why are they still the most popular form of technology for wireless speakers? Well, we’re going to look a little closer at the workings of a Bluetooth speaker so it’s a little easier to understand.
How do Bluetooth speakers work?
In short, Bluetooth is quite simply the technology that we use to send data between two devices, and in a Bluetooth speakers case, it’s audio sent via the network. This is the same technology that’s found in many devices in our household; our phones, our laptops and all sorts of different tech equipment.
Although it was invented all the way back in 1994, it wasn’t until the following decade that it became popular and widely used across the globe. Nowadays, it’s the most popular way to send data between devices without having to use a cable.
What is Bluetooth?
Essentially, Bluetooth is just a method of sending data over a certain distance – typically this distance has to be pretty short for you to be able to maintain a good connection. This actually works in the same way that a radio signal works – data is transferred over a radio wave signal instead of the more stable method of using a cable.
It has become commonplace in society, and it’s used by the majority of people worldwide to move data between two or more devices. It gets rid of the needs for cables and wired to connect things together.
What frequency does Bluetooth use?
Bluetooth uses the same frequency band (2.4GHz) as some forms of wifi, although most of us are more likely to use the 5.0GHz band for wifi nowadays. This is generally a pretty low powered frequency, and it’s used for a whole host of different devices around your home (cordless phones and baby monitors also operate over this frequency band). Higher powered bands are used for other methods, like radio broadcasting.
We used this frequency for both of the devices to communicate, but that does really explain how they work. Essentially, the radio waves are transmitted to each other by the amount of times that the electrical current is vibrating or oscillating. With 2.4GHz, this is actually a billion times per second – so to operate over this network, radio waves are emitted by the vibrations at a rate of 2.4 billion times per second. Pretty impressive.
Is Bluetooth free?
One of the most common misconceptions about Bluetooth is thaty it costs money, or that it will use up your data allowance. This isn’t actually true.
Bluetooth doesn’t use up any of your phones allowance, as it’s a free technology that’s been integrated into your device already. So, it doesn’t use up any data, as it doesn’t work over the same network as your phone will, or your wifi either. In most cases, if you think that Bluetooth might be using up some of your phones data, then it’s more likely to actually be one of the apps you’ve installed on your phone instead.
Can anyone connect to Bluetooth?
Another very common question about Bluetooth is whether anyone can gain access to it, or if it can be hacked much like a wifi network can. The truth is that yes, your Bluetooth network can definitely be compromised, though this is pretty unlikely for the most part. However with newer phones, this is becoming less and less possible as long as you keep them up to date.
Are there any alternatives to Bluetooth?
Although Bluetooth is definitely the most popular way to send audio data, there are other methods that you can use to play music on your speaker from your device. Here’s just a few of the alternatives out there that you can use.
- Wireless wifi – Misunderstood by a lot of people, a Bluetooth speaker doesn’t need wifi for it to work. And in the same way, a wifi speaker doesn’t need a Bluetooth for it to work either. Of course, the big advantage here is that it’s very easy to have Bluetooth built into our devices, and there’s no subscription or cost for this. With wifi, you need to have the capability to use it, which typically costs money and can only be used at home, or in certain areas.
- Zigbee – Another less known alternative to using Bluetooth is to use Zigbee. This also works over the 2.4GHz frequency band, although it’s a little slower than Bluetooth. On the plus side, you can connect a lot of devices to each other via Zigbee at the same time.
- Cable – Although there are many different ways to connect two wireless devices together, the most reliable way to do this is still via a wired connection. If you’re looking to get a good speaker setup in your home, then for the most part a wired connection is going to be more reliable and the better choice.
In conclusion, this is just a short guide to the inner workings of a Bluetooth speaker, and it’s pretty clear to see why they’re the most popular form of wireless speaker to date. Bluetooth uses the most common frequency band currently available for most devices nowadays, and it provides an easy way for us to transfer files or data between two devices. Whilst in the future there may be more stable ways for us to get two devices to communicate, for the time being this is the best way to do so.