Are you trying to increase your Bluetooth signal range?
Some quick ways to increase Bluetooth signal range are to use an updated device, set up a range extender or signal amplifier, clear physical obstructions, avoid conflicting devices such as wi-fi and microwaves, reset your Bluetooth, and disconnect Bluetooth devices, not in use.
It’s also essential to understand Bluetooth basics and the current versions available to achieve the increase in signal range and improve the overall quality of Bluetooth signal between your devices.
How Does Bluetooth Work
Bluetooth is a short-range high-frequency radio transmitter that runs on a similar signal to the Wi-fi at around the 2.4Ghz frequency range. This make Bluetooth a highly efficient and effective protocol for transmitting data between enabled devices, whether audio, video, or documents.
By connecting two enabled devices, those devices can share various media without the hassle of a cable, which makes life in the modern age that much more straightforward and convenient.
Update Your Bluetooth Version To Increase Signal Range
Currently, the latest devices are running either Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0. These are not only more stable but have a greater range up to 100ft. The older versions of Bluetooth only had a range of around 33 feet.
So one of the ways to increase your Bluetooth signal range is to have an updated device. Older devices running earlier Bluetooth versions will have a limited capacity, which can be why you aren’t getting a decent signal range.
Check your Bluetooth version on your device, and if it is using an older version of the protocol, then see if you can update it to the 4.0 version; if not, then you can determine whether it’s worth it to upgrade your device to one that has the current version.
Bluetooth Buffering – Why It Happens
Many people look to boost their Bluetooth signal because of the bane of modern existence- buffering! That slow death when your favorite song suddenly stops playing through your Bluetooth speaker or is intermittent at best.
Usually, this is caused because too many devices are connected at once. Existing Bluetooth protocols only allow seven devices to connect simultaneously and retain signal integrity.
More than that, you will start pulling your hair out. We forget to disconnect devices that aren’t being used, which adds to the signal load. Buffering or even signal loss can occur when that load gets too much.
Disconnect Devices To Increase Bluetooth Signal Range
The Bluetooth signal becomes weaker and less stable as more connected devices reach the maximum load. To remedy this, simply disconnect or switch off any devices that aren’t being used, which will boost the signal range and strength.
As long as the devices are paired or haven’t reset either or both, you only have to turn the Bluetooth back on when you want to reconnect, and that is one of the great conveniences of this protocol.
Another way to boost the signal range is to either amplify the signal at the source or use range extenders, so let’s look at how these devices can increase the Bluetooth signal range, starting with range extenders.
Use A Range Extender To Increase Bluetooth Signal Range
Like the Wi-fi range extenders, these devices take existing signals and boost their signal to increase the range. Outdoors can increase the range capacity to up to 150ft and indoors by 70ft!
If you need more signal strength than that, you can form a ‘daisy chain’ using two extenders to get the range to where you need it.
Range extenders often do more than just increase the range. They also increase the signal speed, which means better clarity and stability on phone calls and faster (almost unnoticeable) reconnection where the signal drops.
Bluetooth range extenders can be used at home and in the car to maintain connectivity, whether for audio and video calls, between headsets and devices and for Bluetooth speakers and other entertainment devices.
Bluetooth extenders come in different classes, much like power amplifiers do for home theater, so let’s look at those in detail.
What Are Bluetooth Amplifier Classes
Audio amplifiers are classed according to their power, but with Bluetooth range extenders, they are classed according to how much energy they use and their effective range once connected.
Class 1 Bluetooth Range Extenders
At the top of the range are the Class 1 extenders. These operate at a power level of 100 milliwatts and can connect devices up to 330 ft (100m) apart. These are often what you will find with the modern Bluetooth 4.0 and 5.0 devices.
If you want to know which is the best Bluetooth range extender, the Class 1 product will be the optimum regardless of how much range you need. Like some other adult products – you can NEVER have too much!
Even if the space you are working in is smaller than 330ft, you can rest assured that your Bluetooth signal will reach every nook and cranny in your home or office, so whether you’re in the bath, lounge, or outside, your devices will always be connected.
To give you an idea of power consumption, 100 milliwatts equals 1/10th of a watt of 0,1W. To get to 1W of power usage, you would need to run this device for 10 hours, and to get to 1 kWh; you would have to run this device for 10 000 hours!
One of the only considerations with the Class 1 devices is that they use a lot of power so you will be recharging them more often than Class 2 devices. But the benefits of these outweigh any inconvenience of charging.
Many people complain that connecting two high-quality Bluetooth speakers often results in instability in the connection. If you want to ensure buffer-free partying, then adding a Class 1 extender will allow both speakers to run simultaneously with no issues.
They are also easy and straightforward to install, requiring no unique connections. Simply power it up and connect the extender to the external antenna, and you are good to go!
Class 2 And Lower Bluetooth Devices
The most common Bluetooth devices operate at a much lower power level of only 2,5milliwatts, 40 times less than the Class 1 device. These only have an effective range of 33 feet or 10 meters or 1/10th of the class 1 extender.
Class 3 devices have even less power than Class 2 and have a range of just 3,3 feet or 1 meter and operate at just one milliwatt, while Class 4 devices are at the bottom end of this scale with an effective range of just 1,65 feet or half a meter.
Bluetooth Extenders Provide Other Functionality Too
Aside from the range extension, these devices work as transmitters and receivers, and they can switch between the two functions as required using the designated switch on the device.
As a transmitter, the extender will send signals to headsets, speakers, or any other devices in range, and when switching to receiver mode, it can then receive calls or other Bluetooth signals.
Let’s move on now to Bluetooth signal amplifiers.
Increase Your Bluetooth Signal Using An Amplifier
Range extenders and amplifiers are fundamentally different as the range extender only boosts the available signal further. In contrast, the amplifier boosts the sign at the source and transmits it to other devices at higher peak levels.
For example, you use your phone on Bluetooth as the primary signal for audio and calls throughout your home. The amplifier will boost the Bluetooth signal coming from your phone, and the extenders will pick that up and boost it even more.
Many of these devices, like the range extenders and amplifiers, also increase the number of Bluetooth devices that can connect, and in most cases, they double that number from seven to fourteen.
If you wish to create a new and powerful Bluetooth network in your home, using an amplifier and a network of extenders will ensure your signal is received and transmitted at high speeds and with low latency (delays) throughout the space.
Long-range transmitters and receivers can boost the signal to more than 200ft from the host device and allow you to connect speakers and headphones and stream from your phone, tablet, or computer.
Remove Physical Obstacles To Increase Bluetooth Signal
Although Bluetooth is a potent signal, it is still a high-frequency FM signal, which means it is linear, meaning it operates on line of sight.
When you lose the FM signal in your car when traveling through tunnels or over mountains, the linear signal cannot travel through or over obstacles, and without repeaters to boost and reroute the signal, it gets lost.
The same is true for Bluetooth, and if they are solid objects between the transmitter and receiver, the signal quality and strength will drop even with Class 1 extenders or amplifiers.
Firmware Updates Can Increase Bluetooth Signal
Keeping your software versions updated on Bluetooth devices can also improve the signal performance using updated hardware. The more updated both firmware elements are, the more likely you will experience a more consistent and stronger Bluetooth signal.
Another similar process that can improve signal is occasionally resetting your Bluetooth devices. This will allow you to connect your seven devices without issue, as this will clear cases like memory exceptions that may occur over time and with uninterrupted usage.
Your phone or TV is only a year old doesn’t mean that Bluetooth is the most up-to-date. Updating to the latest version, whether 4.0 or 5.0, will improve your devices’ signal quality and performance.
You can connect your device to the internet to check whether a firmware update is needed or not, and most devices will accept updates from connected USB drives that have the update loaded on them.
Keep Wi-fi And Bluetooth Devices Apart To Boost Signal
Both Wi-fi and Bluetooth operate at the same frequency, which can cause interference with the Bluetooth signal and strength. So the solution there is to separate the two devices as far as you can, which should allow for a better and stronger Bluetooth signal.
In the same vein, any device that emits electromagnetic radiation like a microwave, radio set, or even TV can also interfere with the strength of a Bluetooth signal. Make sure these are not in proximity to get the best results.
Too Many Running Apps Can Decrease Bluetooth Signal
If your phone or PC has too many apps open simultaneously, this can affect the Bluetooth signal and performance. Many of us will leave unused apps or programs running instead of closing them once we are done using them.
This, in turn, can lead to the host device having to buffer the Bluetooth signal, resulting in intermittent transmission and reception and frustration!
So if you find your Bluetooth is not operating at optimum, check how many apps are running and if you have too many, close a few, and then your Bluetooth signal should improve.
Check The Distance Between Host And Devices
Remember that if your device is Class 2, your maximum effective operating distance is only 32 feet. So if your receivers and transmitters are further apart than that or on that limit, your Bluetooth signal will be iffy at best.
To get a maximum signal, check which class you have and ensure you don’t exceed the range limits, and older Bluetooth devices with lower-class ratings will have even less range.
Use The Bluetooth Signal Booster App 3.0
If you use an Android device, you can download this app from the Playstore, and it is designed to optimize and boost the Bluetooth connection in Android devices. Once installed, you will need to restart your phone to take effect.
However, it should be mentioned that this is a paid app and if you are going to look at other similar apps, read the ratings and reviews before downloading alternatives.
Bluetooth is a convenient and intricate part of modern connected life, and you can be sure that as the technology experiences new versions and innovations, the range and functionality will improve accordingly.
In the meantime to get the best signal, make sure you have a clear line of sight, no interfering devices, and utilize quality range extenders and amplifiers if needed to keep your streaming and enjoyment and connectivity uninterrupted and buffer-free!