How do Bluetooth speakers work?

How Do Bluetooth Speakers Work?

You ever experience a small change and didn’t know its impact until it was right in front of your face? It happens to all of us.

It can be something as small as driving another way home because you wanted to break out of your routine.

Or, it could be reading a quote leading you to ponder on it, and eventually change your mindset.

Small changes happen routinely, but how often does one small change affect your whole life?

This is how the world should feel about Bluetooth and Bluetooth speakers.
Slowly, we’ve had Bluetooth technology develop.

We’ve had remotes with wires for a while, but Bluetooth transitioned over to game controllers and speakers.

Considering the amount of Bluetooth speakers around now, Bluetooth is the new normal. It has made its way over to home audio systems, car audio, and of course, outdoor speakers. Bluetooth technology is a revelation.

It’s what technology has always been about. Incremental changes over a period of time eventually lead to something new. Those incremental changes in turn lead to exponential effects.

One breakthrough created wireless mouses, wireless keyboards, wireless data transfers, and more.

It has changed the healthcare industry, computer industry, and consumer electronics industry. And this is what brings us to Bluetooth speakers.

Throughout the history of speakers, they’ve always been connected by wires. Now, the connection works through Bluetooth, delivering Bluetooth speakers.

But ever since the proliferation of Bluetooth speakers, we believe the understanding of Bluetooth technology hasn’t progressed simultaneously.

We believe understanding how Bluetooth works will help with your decision to choose outdoor Bluetooth speakers.

Understanding Bluetooth

Devices which need wires, need them to communicate.

The same concept happens with Bluetooth, except there are no wires.

Bluetooth is a technology where data is sent over a short range.

The connection for Bluetooth happens because of two components: computer chips and software.

For example, imagine a receiver has a computer chip inside it. On the other side are your outdoor speakers which receive whatever the chip is sending it.

If there are other devices in the area which use Bluetooth to connect, then it could disrupt Bluetooth signal.

In a personal area network, wavelengths are used to produce frequencies which allow devices to communicate.

To prevent disruption, signals spread over a wider range of frequencies. This means a wavelength won’t stay stagnant, instead, it constantly keeps changing which prevents it from being disrupted.

To understand this, think of a wave in the ocean. When a surfer rides a wave, they can ride one way for a while, but when the wave changes, the surfer adapts. They’re not going to ride one way, and accept falling flat on their face.

What doesn’t change is data.

Wavelengths contain data which is sent from software.

When software sends data, it starts out by sending audio files in a way only your outdoor speakers can understand.

In turn, your outdoor speakers interpret these files and acts on it. Other signals like volume, and which song to play are other signals your outdoor speakers interpret.

A connection between Bluetooth devices is called “pairing”, which makes sense, because you’re combining two devices.

Bluetooth is just a simple term describing how two devices talk to each other.

Although the range at which Bluetooth speakers communicate fluctuate, depending on what you’re sending.

Low On Bluetooth

Because of its short-range limitations, Bluetooth speakers can’t handle large amounts of data.

Low data-transferring tasks such as streaming, or talking won’t disrupt your signal, but watching a movie will.

Try watching a movie using your phone and wireless speakers, notice the difference?

Another common occurrence with Bluetooth is its low power. Before Bluetooth 4.0, Bluetooth’s battery didn’t last long.

Now, Bluetooth 4.0’s primary benefit is its energy conservation. User’s longevity can last 5-10 times longer. But longevity also depends on the user and how much they use it.

Another benefit to Bluetooth 4.0 is the different type of devices which connect to it. Even the smallest batteries can make a connection and make the internet of things more dynamic.

Also, small outdoor speakers benefit from Bluetooth 4.0. This inspires different types of speakers, and provides different types of products which consumers can enjoy.

Bluetooth Advantages

Advantages of Bluetooth include ease of transition.

Think of a home audio system and its Bluetooth capabilities, you connect your phone via Bluetooth, and you either stream music, or play a stored song.

Then, everybody who was once in the living room, end up moving outside to relax and enjoy themselves.

As the host, you want to provide a great experience for guests. So this makes it natural to play music outside. But besides the hassle of wires, your phone connects to your outdoor speakers right away.

This is the ease of transition advantage which Bluetooth has over wires. Dealing with wires brings a whole other set of concerns.

Why not pay for a wireless speaker to avoid those problems?

In addition to its ease of transition is its affordability. New technology is expensive.

Examples are the latest iPhone, new game console, or a self-driving car. Technology can be expensive, but as time and systems make it easier to produce, new technology equipment becomes cheaper.

The exact opposite is true when talking about Bluetooth. If you look at products on Amazon, Bluetooth technology is cheap. Portable Bluetooth speakers are a clear example.

But with affordability comes inherent weaknesses. If you purchase cheap shoes, don’t be surprised if they breakfast.

Same can be said for Bluetooth speakers. When you purchase cheap speakers, their inherent weakness is its security.

Connection to a device using Bluetooth leaves you susceptible to attack.

Bluetooth Disadvantages

When you connect to Wi-Fi in areas besides your home, doesn’t your phone warn you of the security risks you’re taking?

This happens because you’re opening yourself to hackers and scammers.
The same is said when you connect via Bluetooth.

Bluetooth technology is great when it comes to convenience and affordability, but security measures aren’t taken seriously enough.

Hackers can intercept your signal and hack into your phone using software. By connecting to an unsecured connection, your phone is open for hackers to see texts, photos, videos, and whatever else is on your phone.

To protect yourself better you need to take precautions. In a world where more devices are connected, it’s only a matter of time before your device gets hacked.

If you were at a party and you become the DJ, you then become paired with the speaker. People at the party know you’re the one controlling the music which makes you a target.

Any bad actors at the party can intercept your signal and blackmail you.
Be wary of where you connect your phone. We know Bluetooth is taken for granted, but examining your surroundings before making yourself vulnerable saves you.

The same can’t be said for the other disadvantage.

If you’ve ever connected your phone to a wireless speaker and walked away to use the bathroom, you’ll hear the music quality get worse.

This is due to distance.

That’s why there is new technology to solve this problem.

Another disadvantage is Bluetooth audio systems aren’t all wireless.

A speaker still needs power. If it doesn’t get that power from batteries, guess where it will get power?

A plug. And plugs are wires.

Bluetooth Conclusion

What’s remarkable with Bluetooth is there are 2 main components:
Computer chips and software.

The impact 2 components make is outstanding once you think of the technology Bluetooth enables.

What’s not simple is the process Bluetooth technology goes through to avoid getting tangled with other signals.

Bluetooth products are in the personal area network industry. When you think of personal area, we think 2-3 feet away from somebody. Once you get into the 2-3 feet zone, it gets uncomfortable. It causes disruption.

Same situation plays out for Bluetooth disruption. For signals to not get disrupted, signals spread over a wide range of frequencies. This makes it harder to get tangled with other signals.

This means a wavelength won’t stay stagnant, instead, it constantly keeps changing which prevents it from being disrupted.

Isn’t it great?

Technology like this changes the world. Technology like this proliferates the phrase, “internet of things”. It’s a phrase which means all types of devices will be connected in one way or another.

All the energy from your devices flowing in and out through your hub is incredible to think about. One downfall before Bluetooth 4.0 was low battery. With Bluetooth 4.0, not only is battery life longer, but smaller devices can connect to it.

A whole new breed of outdoor speakers which are pocket-sized can come out of this technology, and this can be demonstrated by looking on Amazon. There are so many different speakers, its hard to choose which one is right for you.

Bluetooth speakers are great for small outdoor parties. They can be your source of music when outdoors playing basketball.

But one disadvantage with Bluetooth technology is a short-range connection.

Standard class 1 Bluetooth devices have a range of 328 feet. Although that might seem like a lot, you have to take into account other frequencies disrupting your Bluetooth signal.

Another problem is security. Connection to an outdoor speaker, or any other outdoor system via Bluetooth leaves you vulnerable to hackers. If you know you’re vulnerable to everything inside your phone being exposed and are fine with it, then take the risk.

Just know it can happen anywhere you connect via Bluetooth.

That vulnerability does have a positive side. It makes it easier to transition systems. By pressing a couple of buttons, you’re on a different speaker.

Wires complicate matters because there are times where you have to find the specific one to get the speaker to play.

The ease of transition makes life more convenient.

Another benefit to Bluetooth is affordability. There are many cheap selections you can purchase right now.

Whether it’s for basketball or a small get-together, wireless outdoor speakers via Bluetooth will have its up and downs. Just remember what the advantages and disadvantages are.


Thanks to Noisy Labs for this guest post.

About Dylan Garton

Dylan Garton is a co-founder, video producer and editor for the Skill Builder social media platforms.

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