With the advent of smart and connected homes, Bluetooth is making life all so easy. The technology, which has been in use since 1994, connects two devices over a short range (usually 30 feet for older Bluetooth versions). You can use the tech when you need to share files, listen to audio, and do much more.
Almost every home today has a Bluetooth device. These devices include smartphones, TVs, speakers, earbuds, and even kitchen appliances. You can connect these devices with ease over a close range, but is there a way to increase the range?
How To Increase Bluetooth Range
The easiest way to extend Bluetooth range if you have an older version of Bluetooth is to get a newer device. Older devices may have an older version of Bluetooth that only allows you to connect devices up to 33 feet apart. If two devices are further apart from that, Bluetooth will not connect.
However, if you go for devices with Bluetooth 4.0, you can enjoy a range of up to 100 feet. This means that you will have a strong signal past the 30-feet range. Although the signal will be weaker at 100 feet than it will be at 50 feet, you still enjoy a longer range when you have a new device.
Most new devices offer Bluetooth version 4.0 or Bluetooth version 5.0, which are not only faster, but also offer a longer range. Bluetooth 4.0 not only offers a longer range, but is also safer than older Bluetooth versions.
These new Bluetooth devices offer so much convenience as they can connect over a long distance. You can hook an earbud in your ear and enjoy music or make calls as you drive. The headphones and the speakers now offer a better way for you to listen to your music with the need for wires.
Besides getting one of these new devices, how else can you enhance the range of your Bluetooth?
Using Range Extenders
Bluetooth has its limits. Even if you get the updated Bluetooth 4.0, you still cannot connect devices that are more than 100 feet apart. Bluetooth range extenders will help you go further than the standard connection range.
The extender, also known as booster or repeater, allows you to connect devices up 150 feet apart outdoors. When indoors, the extender allows you to increase the distance by up to 70 feet. If you still need a longer range, you can use two range extenders to create a “daisy chain” that extends the range from where the first extender stopped.
These extenders have more functions than just getting your Bluetooth signal to go further. The best extender will make the signal stronger and transmission faster so that you can avoid the delay that occurs when you need to connect Bluetooth devices. Again, if there is a disconnection, the extenders will establish the connection fast to keep you listening to music or making your call.
You can use these extenders as transmitters and as receivers, and this allows you to use them in several Bluetooth devices at home, in your car, and anywhere else.
How Are Bluetooth Extenders Classified?
Bluetooth range extenders are in different classes based on the classes of Bluetooth they work with. These classes of Bluetooth are according to their range and the amount of power they consume.
Bluetooth Class 1 is the best. It operates at 100 milliwatts and can connect devices up to 100 meters apart. This is what you find in the best and most advanced Bluetooth devices running Bluetooth 4.0.
There are also devices with Class 2 Bluetooth. These are the most common devices, and they operate at 2.5 milliwatts. You can connect devices in this class only when they are 10 meters or closer apart.
Other devices are Class 3 devices, which have a range of only one meter and consume one milliwatt of energy. Class 4 devices are at the bottom of the range battles – they connect devices only 0.5 meters or closer and consume only 0.5 milliwatts.
Devices in Class 1 are the best when you need a long range and fast speeds. However, you have to be ready to charge your device often as devices in this class consume a lot of energy. You can have range extenders for devices in any of the classes above.
The extenders for Class 1 devices will be powerful to give an even longer range.
The main advantage of these devices is that they are easy to install. All you may need to do is attach the extender on the external antenna, connect it to power supply, and you are good to do. There are no complex setups and configurations and your device comes ready to use.
If you have problems with your Bluetooth connection, the range extender can help you fix that. In most cases, when you have high quality Bluetooth speakers, and you connect more than two of them, this may reduce the quality of the audio. The extender ensures the signal is strong enough to make the signal strong.
What Else Does a Bluetooth Extender Do?
The main function of these extenders is to boost Bluetooth signal. If you have a Bluetooth amplifier, you can replace its antenna with an extender antenna and enjoy Bluetooth from a range of more than 190 feet. To enjoy a longer range, you need to have an extender that receives Bluetooth from a long range too.
For instance, if an extender receives Bluetooth signals from a range of 85 feet and extends the range by 85 feet, then you will have extended your Bluetooth range to 160 feet.
There are also dual stream extenders that allow you to hook multiple devices without weakening the signal. For instance, you can connect your headphones and your speakers and stream at the same time and enjoy high quality audio while at it.
Most of these extenders work as transmitters or receivers. You may see a switch that allows you to switch it from one or the other, depending on your needs. When used as a transmitter, the extender sends signals to Bluetooth speakers, headsets, or any other device in range – you only need to press a button and the unit starts broadcasting to devices in the area.
You can also use it as a receiver. Here, you are able to pick a call from your cell phone or receive audio from other devices.
Some of these extenders allow cable connections from which they can receive input from several devices.
The reason I find these devices impressive is that they offer low latency. This means that although the signal first comes to the extender before it goes to the devices, there is no delay in the transmission. If anything, the extender removes the delay and makes the transmission faster.
If you are streaming audio from your TV to your Bluetooth speakers, the video on the TV and the audio in your speakers will be in sync so that you can have a great listening experience.
There are so many brands to choose from out there. These include Miccus, Besign, Amphony, and Avantree among others. Ensure you get the best brand for the best connection. When you have high-quality Bluetooth speakers such as JL Boombox 2 or UGOO Tough XL, you need high-quality extenders to match for the best audio quality.
Other Ways to Enhance and Extend Bluetooth Connection
While your Bluetooth device may allow you to connect from 30 feet away, there are instances where that is not possible. Interferences and obstructions come in the way, and you find you can only connect from 20 feet away. In fact, you can connect from a longer range when outdoors than you do indoors.
Below are simple tips to enhance the connection:
Bluetooth uses short radio waves to connect two devices. Although these waves are invisible, they can be obstructed by physical barriers such as walls, electrical connections and metal pipes in walls, and people in a house can cause obstructions. If you can physically move the obstructions, do so.
If you cannot move obstructions, move the devices so that there is less obstruction along the path of connection. If possible, the transmitting device should be placed higher so that the waves can move efficiently.
Turn Off Devices Not In Use
You may never have to do this unless you have tried all other tips, and you still can’t extend the range to make the signal stronger. Ideally, signals from other devices will not affect Bluetooth signals, but if you have so many devices, and you are experiencing signal problems, you need to switch off some devices.
Reset Your Bluetooth
You may need to switch off and on again your Bluetooth and your Bluetooth devices to reset. In most cases, you should be able to connect up to seven devices to your Bluetooth connection with no major issues. However, most devices might suffer minor issues such as memory exception.
When you reset your Bluetooth and the devices, you clear these common issue and get your devices ready for a strong signal. If you do not reset every day, do so when your connection experiences problems.
Buy New Stuff and Keep Updating
You may have new devices, but the technology is old. Just because your TV is only a year old doesn’t mean that it will make fast Bluetooth connections. When shopping, check the Bluetooth version in the devices to ensure you have version 4.0 or better.
Besides, you need to update your devices, especially your phone and your TV or other devices with access to the internet. When you update your software, you take care of issues such as memory constraints and hardware issues that affect your Bluetooth range.
Your Bluetooth devices will work perfectly if they are only 30 feet apart. If the distance is any longer, the signal gets weak and with it the audio quality from the speakers. You can deal with this issue by using audio extenders.
Or, you can take the weak signal as an excuse to get the latest Sonos Move or JBL GO2 speakers. These speakers have the latest version of Bluetooth to receive signals from a range of up to 100 feet. Even with the latest version of Bluetooth and with extenders, you still need to update your devices and keep obstructions off to keep the signal strong.