When I ordered my first Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, I didn’t know how they worked and found myself losing connection all the time.
Because of this frustration, I ended up doing a ton of research on Bluetooth connectivity and ended up writing this article as an all-around resource for Bluetooth signal strength.
How Do I Check Bluetooth Signal Strength?
Checking your Bluetooth signal strength is easy if you know what you’re looking for. Bluetooth signal strength is measured by the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI). You can access the device’s RSSI by accessing the Bluetooth device settings and then reading the RSSI. An ideal RSSI is between -40 and -55.
Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) can be challenging to read, but it’s essential to understand that a high number means a better connection while a lower is a worse connection.
You will notice the number is indicated in negative, and you need to read them opposite what you expected.
Even though the signal strength will vary depending on different factors, in some instances, you will see that a connection of -45 is better than a connection of -100, which may lead to many issues when using.
Due to such reading indicators, here are some examples that will guide you to read your connection.
- -40 to -55 means a strong connection
- -70 and above represent a strong connection.
- -100 and below means you have a terrible connection
- -110 and below represents an unusable connection.
Suppose you notice the problem comes from batteries.
If you see a lousy Bluetooth signal, strength might result from a low battery from your device or environmental condition.
You will need to charge or swap it to see if the set will increase RSSI to become stable.
When it comes to environmental issues, you can easily overcome them, for instance, the wall causing interference.
You will need to rearrange your device accordingly to ensure your RSSI is increasing.
How Can You Make Bluetooth Signal Stronger?
Before starting your connection, you will need to run your device to check whether the software is still compatible with Bluetooth.
This will save you time since it will just take a few seconds for your Bluetooth connection to see if it’s going to work at all.
When you check software and hardware, you will need to troubleshoot your Bluetooth signal strength and other possible factors.
You will need to employ some of these troubleshooting diagnostics when you measure your signal.
- Make sure the Bluetooth-enabled devices are not close to each other.
- Ensure your wi-fi router is using different bandwidth.
- Check if there is any damage to the transmitters and the sensors.
- Get rid of any metals that might interfere with the Bluetooth signal.
- It would be best if you did not use multiple Bluetooth devices at once.
- Consider using a USB Bluetooth signal extender for computers.
Testing your Bluetooth device is an essential practice that will help you determine if it’s working well every time.
Also, with the help of a testing device, you can run a complete diagnostic to make your device operate to your expectations.
You can decide whether to source for any other outside factors that might be interfering with your signal.
Understanding Bluetooth Range
What do you think is the range in which this Bluetooth technology is likely to cover? It might not be easy for you to estimate, but it is designed to cover a wide range between two devices.
Unlike other wireless devices, Bluetooth signal strength provides developers with a solution to create Bluetooth wireless devices like keyboards, speakers, etc.
Most of these Bluetooth devices are essential in meeting your desires.
This is a crucial technology when you have excellent Bluetooth signal strength when using.
Some factors will influence the range between its connections.
It will help if you understand these key factors.
This usually stretches from 30 Hz to 300 GHz.
Did you know that you have a wide range when the frequency is lower, but it lowers your data rate support?
So, when selecting Radio Spectrum, you need to check on coverage and data rate.
Also, Bluetooth uses a 2.4 GHz ISM spectrum band worldwide, which is considered low-power wireless connectivity.
It’s the minimum strength of the Bluetooth signal the receiver can interpret.
However, Bluetooth has a higher sensitivity level that can achieve up to -103 dBm.
Thanks to this receiver sensitivity, you can measure how you can hear a sound depending on the PHY you will use.
It’s a design tradeoff between range and power consumption.
When you have a higher transmit power, it means your signal is strong even from a distance.
But if you increase transmit power, you’re likely to use a lot of power in your device’s battery.
So, this Bluetooth support technology can support shared power from -20 dBm (0.01 mW) to +20 dBm (100 mW).
Sometimes you may experience a reduction in signal strength because of radio waves that propagate through the air.
This might occur naturally over some distance and usually at a place where the signal is being transmitted.
At this point, you will notice that obstacles between the transmitter and receiver will affect the strength of the signal.
The primary use of the antenna is to convert electrical energy from the transmitter into radio waves and vice-versa for the receiver.
Depending on antenna, package, and location, they are likely to affect the strength of your signal.
So, Bluetooth can implement a wide range of antenna options from –10 dBi to +10 dBi.
What Are Common Bluetooth Signal Strength and Connection Issues?
What do you think Bluetooth uses to transmit its signals? Bluetooth uses Radio frequencies (RFs) to transmit signals between two devices.
During this sending period, your Bluetooth signals may be blocked, and your Bluetooth signal will drop.
Some of the common reasons that will result from these drops include:
Actual Physical Barriers
The place you live may have many physical barriers that can cause your Bluetooth signal to drop or become weak.
For instance, metals like filing cabinets, refrigerators, or metal walls should be your priority if you need to use Bluetooth.
Wireless Devices and wi-fi
Wi-fi routers are designed to use the same bandwidth as the Bluetooth device, resulting in signal issues.
Some Bluetooth devices may obstruct this connection while you’re using them.
You may experience unintentional RF radiators that will affect your signal strength.
If you are close to places like power lines, electric railroad tracks, and even your microwave oven, you’re likely to get weak or inadequate Bluetooth signal strength.
Bluetooth Channel Hopping
Bluetooth is essential when sharing documents or listening to your favorite music.
When you’re connecting two devices, it may pick up one interfering channel leading to the drop in your Bluetooth signal.
So, during the time you are changing, the signal will drop.
How Can You Check Bluetooth Signal Strength in OS X?
If you face challenges with your Bluetooth on your OS X, you will need to check the possible causes.
You will need to follow procedures to help you determine your Bluetooth strength in your device.
You click on the Bluetooth menu bar item and then move the item to let you know the signal.
Look for RSSI to see your signal strength.