How To Extend Bluetooth Range
Bluetooth has been around for a while now and is a great way to stream audio to speakers without the hassle of connecting speaker wires.
But, have you ever noticed that the range of Bluetooth is limited? Sometimes it can be hard to connect your phone to your speakers. Your phone might be several feet away and the signal just doesn’t reach.
The good news is that there are ways to extend the range of your Bluetooth signal. One of the easiest ways to increase Bluetooth range if you’re using an old version of Bluetooth is to buy a brand new device.
The older devices might have an earlier version of Bluetooth which only permits users to connect devices that are 33 feet apart. In the event that two units are farther than that, Bluetooth will not connect.
If you opt for devices that support Bluetooth 4.0 that supports it, you will be able to get a range of up to 100 feet. This means you’ll receive a high-quality signal well beyond the 30-foot distance.
Even though the signal will be less strong at 100-feet than it would be at 50 yards, you will still benefit from a wider distance with an updated gadget.
The majority of new devices support Bluetooth Version 4.0 (or Bluetooth Version 5.0 which is not just more efficient and more reliable but also has a greater range. Bluetooth 4.0 does not just provide an extended distance, but is also more secure than earlier Bluetooth versions.
The latest Bluetooth devices provide a lot of convenience since they connect over a large distance. It is possible to connect an earbud to an ear and listen to music or make calls while you drive.
Headphones and speakers are now a better option to listen to your music without the use of wires. In addition to purchasing one of these latest gadgets, how else can you increase the range that you can get from Bluetooth?
Using a Repeater
Another method of increasing reach is by introducing repeaters in your area. Repeaters receive messages and repeat them, which means that a repeater situated on the outside of the connection could extend that edge to its most distant distance.
This increases the size of the network without additional complicated engineering modifications to the device that was initially used.
But, it is usually most effective in networks where all devices are stationary. It’s because it’s easier to predict the location of devices and to carefully plan the placement of repeaters where they’ll be most efficient. If devices are in motion, the repeater’s node could be completely useless.
Another drawback is that it puts an additional security load on the application because devices must know what repeaters to have confidence in.
This involves enabling all devices to be able to trust the repeater node, and in the event that the node is replaced, it is necessary to re-provision every device to the new repeater. This could be an unacceptably high amount of maintenance for some.
Using Range Extenders
Bluetooth has its limitations. Even with the upgraded Bluetooth 4.0 you can’t connect two devices that are greater than 100 feet apart. Bluetooth range extenders will let you extend the normal range of connection.
An extender also referred to as a repeater or booster, lets you connect devices that are up to 150 feet apart outside. If you are indoors, the extender allows you to extend the distance up 70 feet.
If you’re still looking for an extended range, you can make use of two extenders to form the “daisy chain” which extends the range of the first extender ended.
The extenders can do more than simply enable the Bluetooth signal to travel further. The ideal extender makes the signal stronger, and the transmission quicker, allowing you to be able to avoid the delay that happens when you connect Bluetooth devices.
In the event of a disconnect, the extenders will restore the connection speedily to keep your music playing or making calls.
These extenders can be used as receivers or transmitters Which lets you make use of them on multiple Bluetooth gadgets at your home or in your car or anywhere else.
Using Bluetooth Mesh
Compared with Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth Mesh networks are able to achieve much longer distances because they use all the nodes of the network.
This is similar to having a repeater except that each Bluetooth device on the network functions as an auxiliary repeater.
The device receives a signal, determines if the message is intended for them, and, if not, passes it on to other devices. This way, messages are distributed across the whole network until they get to their intended recipients.
There are certain best practices that will help Bluetooth Mesh networks function better with battery-powered devices.
One of them is to enable the Low Power Node feature, which allows devices to maximize their sleep time and also enable “friend” mode on certain nearby devices.
This means that the nodes will sleep longer and will check in occasionally to the friend node to receive messages.
They won’t listen all the time, which could be a huge draw on battery resources (something as high as 3 or 5 milliamps of power consumption per day).
For more information on each of these ways to extend range, check out our white paper ” Four Approaches for expanding the range of Bluetooth.”
Mahendra Tailor offers more details on each one, and also suggestions on how to mix techniques to create a unique solution that will result in more security and range for all devices within the network.
Also Read: How to Reset Powerbeats Pro Earphones
Amplifying the Signal
Undoubtedly, the most popular method to increase the range of any wireless device, many engineers might opt to increase the power that devices transmit to ensure that messages are accepted.
While this is a feasible option, it has its own disadvantages and limits on the amount of power that can be used.
The relationship between the amount of power you use and battery life is a direct trade-off, and increasing transmit power has serious implications for how long the battery life of your Bluetooth device will last.
If you are able to increase the power, it is necessary to test the change in a real-world setting to assess the reduction in battery life that results and whether this is suitable for your particular application. A modest increase could seem insignificant.
However, a boost to maximum power can have a major effect on the battery life. Like all other things, it’s tough to determine the value of modeling, and making the effort to test in real-world scenarios will allow you to make sure that the boost in power is beneficial and doesn’t cause issues on its own.
The second issue that comes with increasing the power is that there are various specifications for maximum power in various regulatory areas. In contrast, the U.S. permits a maximum power of 20 dBm while the E.U. can only allow up to 10 dBm.
This means that it is not possible to boost the required power level for devices that are intended for global use. The increased power of a design could result in the design failing testing for regulatory compliance and consequently not being certified.
It’s crucial to think about this in the beginning, as the need to reduce power to lower power at the conclusion of the design phase could quickly cause devices to stop communicating.
Bluetooth 5 enhancements
The 5th version of the Bluetooth specification introduced several improvements, all with the aim of making the low-energy part of Bluetooth more adaptable:
- The 2Mbps high-speed mode allows you to boost the speed of data rate or reduce the average consumption at the expense of a minor reduction in range.
- The 500kbps or 125kbps “long-range” mode permits you to extend the range but at the expense of a lower data rate and increased average current consumption.
- Advertising extension feature, which allows as much as 8x the amount of data that can be processed for broadcasting apps (like beacons)
- The maximum output power was increased from +10 dBm to +20 dBm, which allows stronger power amplifiers to be employed to increase the range.
- A new channel selection policy (CSA2) has been added, which makes it possible for multiple devices to be in the same environment without interfering.
FAQ – How to Extend Bluetooth Range
Does Bluetooth go through walls?
Can Bluetooth be able to penetrate walls? Absolutely, Bluetooth is able to penetrate walls.
How far can Bluetooth 4.0 reach?
Bluetooth 3.0 was adopted in 2009 and has increased the bandwidth to 24Mbps. The Bluetooth 4.0 specification, which was adopted in 2010, provides a theoretical range of 200 feet.
The Bluetooth specification specifies a minimum distance in the range of 33 feet, but the maximum range is determined by the power output of the gadget.
How do I know my Bluetooth range?
Examining the Bluetooth signal strength isn’t difficult If you know what you’re looking for. Bluetooth signal strength can be determined through an indicator called the Received Signal Strength Indicate (RSSI).
It is possible to access this Bluetooth device’s RSSI by going into the Bluetooth settings of the device and then looking at the RSSI. A good RSSI is between 40 and 55.
Does Bluetooth have long range?
Theoretically, for Bluetooth long-range, expect 12dB with encoded PHY running at 125Kbps when compared with 1Mbps.
This will result in 4 times the range. In reality, the standard Bluetooth devices, which support long-range, achieve around an 8dB improvement. This is about double the range of your device.
How far away can Bluetooth work?
approximately 30 feet
The range of Bluetooth (r) connectivity is around 30 feet (10 meters). However, the range of communications is dependent on the obstruction (person, wall, metal, etc.) or electromagnetic surroundings.
Be aware that not all audio devices are equipped with Bluetooth capabilities.
Can Bluetooth replace Wi-Fi?
It is possible to use Bluetooth to transfer data from one device to another without the need for WiFi. However, some devices require a WiFi connection in order to function. Therefore, there is no guarantee that all Bluetooth devices can function without WiFi.
What blocks a Bluetooth signal?
The most significant causes of interference are metal objects such as refrigerators, filing cabinet doors, metal doors, and wall studs. Additionally, water, bricks, and metal objects could hinder the transmission when using Bluetooth.
What determines Bluetooth Range?
The more comprehensive solution to your question about the application of Bluetooth (r) technology is that it is dependent on the circumstances.
As opposed to the other wireless technologies, Bluetooth technology is specifically designed to provide the widest range of distances between two devices, allowing developers to create wireless solutions that are best suited to the requirements of the intended application.
A variety of factors affect several key factors in the effective range of a reliable Bluetooth connection, which include the following:
- The radio spectrum extends from 30 Hz up to 300 GHz. The lower the frequency, the larger the range. However, the lower the frequency, the lower the data rate it can support. Therefore, choosing the right radio spectrum involves compromises between frequency as well as data rate.
- Bluetooth (r) technology utilizes the 2.4 GHz ISM spectrum (2400 up to 2483.5 MHz) that allows for the best balance between speed and range. Furthermore, Bluetooth (r) technology operates in the 2.4 GHz band and is accessible all over the world, making it the ultimate standard for low-power wireless connectivity.
- The physical layer (PHY) of wireless technology is what defines the modulation scheme as well as other methods it employs to transmit data across an RF band. (RF) range. This is a reference to the channels that are available, how efficiently these channels are used, the application for error correction, the security features installed to block interference, and more. When you look at the comparison between RF communication and verbal communication, you can consider the PHY as the determining factor for the quality and speed of your voice. Both affect the frequency that you hear.
- Bluetooth (r) technology gives you a range of choices for PHY, all having distinct characteristics which determine the effective range and data rates.
- Selecting a level of transmit power is a trade-off between distance as well as power consumption. The greater the power of transmission will be, the more likely that the signal will be heard over greater distances, and also the wider it’s effective range. However, an increase in transmit power will increase the power consumption of your device. Think of transmitting power as what you say in your mouth. The louder you speak, the further away your audience can hear you. However, the more energy you expend.