Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (2023)

Table of Contents

  • Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications at a glance
    • Bluetooth - how it all began
      • Bluetooth: a number game
        • Bluetooth creates a buzz in the market
          • 1. Find your airport terminal
            • 2. Skip the long queues
              • 3. Enjoy guided museum tours
              • Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.0 - A detailed comparative analysis
                • 1. Speed
                  • 2. Range
                    • 3. Battery bandwidth
                      • 4. Compatibility
                        • 5. Hardware support
                          • 6. Message capacity
                            • 7. Bluetooth beacon
                          • Should you really get Bluetooth 5?
                            • Wrapping it up

                              There is no denying that Bluetooth is the most popular wireless technology used in all electronic devices today. Each year, consumers are delighted with more modern Bluetooth versions - whether it is for smartphones or the Internet of Things.

                              From audio streaming (in-car speakers) and location services (asset tracking) to data transfer (fitness trackers and wellness monitors) and device networks (monitoring systems) - Bluetooth has created an important role for itself in our day-to-day lives.

                              But such was not the case before. It was only in 2014 that Bluetooth 4.0 got an upgrade and was launched in the market with a new feature, Bluetooth Low Energy [BLE], to meet the increasing demand for wireless connectivity between small devices.

                              This version was geared towards apps that required lower power consumption, such as fitnesswearablesthat transmit temperature data in small amounts to mobile phones on request. Other features of the version included low energy secure connection and link-layer privacy.

                              Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications at a glance

                              After the subsequent success of version 4.0, the market introduced Bluetooth version 5.2 on December 31, 2019. Although geared towards low-powered apps, it offers an improved BLE data rate and range - allowing devices to send even more sophisticated data to the end-users.

                              Unlike Bluetooth 4.0, it provides four different data rates to accommodate various transmission ranges: 2Mbps, 1Mbps, 500kps, and 125kps. That results in better call quality and significantly superior performance and functionality.

                              That makes it a clear successor to Bluetooth 4.0 thanks to its pro-Internet of Things upgrades andBluetooth beacon. This article attempts to analyze Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.0, along with their variations in detail. But first, let us take a step back to study its history.

                              Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (1)Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (2)

                              Bluetooth - how it all began

                              Bluetooth was invented by an electrical engineer Jaap Haartsen in 1994, while working for Ericsson in Sweden, as an alternative to the RS-232 cable standard for connecting PCs to computer peripherals.

                              Four years later, Haartsen played a crucial role in setting up the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), comprising 35,000+ member companies in various sectors such as computing, telecommunications, and consumer electronics.

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                              Today, the body controls technology development, protects trademarks, and runs a management qualification program to ensure all manufacturers comply with their standards to sell a Bluetooth device.

                              So far, Bluetooth has released 12 versions, most of which are stemming from the same series:

                              Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (3)Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (4)

                              Bluetooth: a number game

                              An ABI Research states that Bluetooth beacons are expected to reach a 133% CAGR between 2016 and 2021 in retail, advertising, and personal tracking sectors. In 2020, the volume of BLE-enabled devices shipped worldwide is expected toreach 8.45 billion.

                              Moreover, BLE shipment is set to triple by 2023, with 1.6 billion devices shipping each year. Speaking of demographics, North America has the highest rate of Bluetooth usage at approximately 40% across devices thanks to increased use of hands-free headsets, connected watches, and otherInternet of Things Development.

                              The technology has undoubtedly evolved from connecting PC ancillary systems into a domestic IoT connectivity solution. Let us study some compelling use cases of Bluetooth.

                              Bluetooth creates a buzz in the market

                              1. Find your airport terminal

                              Miami International Airport installed Bluetooth beacons to each terminal and critical areas such as restrooms and food courts. That way, travelers can download the airport app and be guided straight to their terminal from the security check-in area.

                              2. Skip the long queues

                              Since 2013, Apple Stores in the USA have been using beacons to communicate with users once they enter the facility and check-in for the Apple Store app's service. They are sent notifications on their Apple devices regarding discounts, sales, hot favorites, and more.

                              3. Enjoy guided museum tours

                              The Brooklyn Museum of Art provides guided tours through their official app. Location-based triggers serve content as visitors walk through the museum. It is an impressive way for the museum to communicate with visitors and allows the latter to interact with the exhibits of their liking.

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                              Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.0 - A detailed comparative analysis

                              Bluetooth 5.0 was rolled out in 2016 and designed to meet all the wireless world's advanced privacy and security standards. It requires the latest hardware to run smoothly and is not compatible with its older versions, like Bluetooth 4.0. So, how do the two versions fare against each other? Time to analyze Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.0:

                              1. Speed

                              One of the most impressive Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications includes speed. It is twice as fast as Bluetooth 4.0. Clocking in at a decent 2Mbps, it can meet all theInternet of Things compatibilityrequirements.

                              A packet of data worth 251 bytes can actually be sent in 1060 microseconds compared to the previous version that recorded a set time frame of 2120 microseconds.


                              This shows that even though the data is sent faster, the packets' distance has not been shortened or wedged. In a nutshell, Bluetooth 5.0 is certainly 1.7X faster than BLE 4.2.

                              2. Range

                              The range is one aspect that consumers would not notice audio either start cutting out or completely stops because the device is out of range. This was an issue with Bluetooth 4.0; however, the advanced technology states otherwise.

                              While Bluetooth 4.0 supports 10m in an indoor range and 50m outdoors, its successor supports 200m in the outside environment and 40m indoors. That shows that Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications are far superior to any versions of Bluetooth 4.0.

                              Bluetooth 5 allows low-energy transmission providing data range for more range.


                              The advanced range means you can listen to music through your wireless headsets from your smartphone while moving around the house or garden without disrupted streaming.

                              3. Battery bandwidth

                              As you know, Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications were refined for the Internet of Things. That means the new version of Bluetooth was designed to use less power on each device than version 4.0. For instance, all audio devices communicate over BLE, and you can switch on your Bluetooth for a more extended period without worrying about the battery running out.

                              How else do you think your headsets or smartwatches can sustain and go on for such long hours? Sure, the hardware has a huge role to play in power consumption. But the maximum transmits the power in Bluetooth 5.0 stands at +20 dBm while the older version was defined at +10 dBm.

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                              4. Compatibility

                              Compatibility is a huge factor in technology, mainly if you deal with mobile phones or the Internet of Things. You would want to move forward with new trends and continually upgrade your various tech devices. However, that is not always possible.

                              You cannot just throw your smartwatch in the bin or purchase a new mobile phone only to stay in vogue! That is the issue Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications address once and for all!


                              Bluetooth 4.0 is only compatible with devices that were designed specifically for the version 4 series. However, it will not work with devices that have Bluetooth 5. Although that is not a problem with version 5 and is backward-compatible with all version 4 series, it will not utilize all Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications on the device.

                              5. Hardware support

                              Bluetooth 5 met the requirements for the Internet of Things thanks to its extraordinary range and increased speed. Its predecessor, on the other hand, gets a boot because of its speed and faulty range. Samsung Galaxy 8 and 8+ work well with Bluetooth 5.0.

                              However, to take full advantage of Bluetooth 5.0, you will need the new and improved gear. For instance, you might need a Bluetooth adapter to make a device work properly. By plugging into a USB port, you can upgrade your device with the latest version.

                              This is not the case with Bluetooth 4.0 - which won't be compatible with any version series except for its own.

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                              6. Message capacity

                              Bluetooth version 5.0 specifications include a large messaging capacity of 255 bytes, giving more bytes for actual data payload. However, Bluetooth 4.0 has a small message capacity of 31 bytes that only give 17-20 bytes for actual data payload.

                              7. Bluetooth beacon

                              When we were at the use cases section, we learned about the Miami International airport installed beacons for a better traveling experience? Well, the reason Bluetooth 5.0 beacons are so popular is because of their range and speed. However, the same cannot be said about Bluetooth 4.0, which had lesser speed and range.

                              Bluetooth 5.0 offers a connectionless Internet of Things, which makes its beacons so apt! It optimizes responsiveness and ensures faster and smoother connectivity.

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                              Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (5)Bluetooth 5.0 vs 4.0 - Comparative Analysis Guide | Intuz (6)

                              Should you really get Bluetooth 5?

                              When considering the benefits of Bluetooth 5.0 over Bluetooth 4.2, the features that stand out are the faster speed and the greater range. You can get up to twice the speed (2Mbps versus 1 Mbps), four times the range (800 feet versus 200 feet), and eight times the bandwidth of your old Bluetooth. We have discussed all of this before.

                              It is important to remember, though, that you cannot have all of it at the same time — the devices need to choose between speed or range for any given transfer of information.

                              For instance, a Bluetooth tracker tag might opt for greater range, while headphones designed mainly for music playback might prefer greater speed.

                              Of course, these are ‘line of sight’ maximums, so anything that comes in the way of the two objects will naturally interfere with the signal.

                              Nonetheless, these are commendable improvements, and they also apply to BLE, so your IoT devices can benefit from better speed and range while still being power-efficient.

                              Another major advantage of Bluetooth 5.0 is that it simultaneously enables two devices to pair with a third device. Imagine this scenario: there are two people with their wireless headphones listening to the same music from the same smartphone or controlling the speakers in your bathroom as well as your kitchen with just one phone.

                              That being said, we recommend that you go for Bluetooth 5.0 only if you know that all the paired devices will be using it. For instance, your phone might support Bluetooth 5.0, but your car or your smart home device might not.

                              In fact, this is quite likely, as automobile manufacturers are not always super-prompt about updating their cars’ Bluetooth, and the same applies to home device makers. So, please do your research before you think of upgrading to that.

                              Luckily, Bluetooth 5.0 is backward-compatible with Bluetooth 4.2, so your two devices can still connect and share information the usual way, even if you cannot leverage the extra speed and range. Plus, if you are genuinely keen on making Bluetooth 5.0 a part of your life, consider verifying that any new item you buy is compatible with it.

                              Wrapping it up

                              As the Internet of Things,Android app development, and iOS app development expand, Bluetooth's usage will continue to soar for days to come. One cannot imagine life without Bluetooth, is it not?

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                              When Apple first introduced the headphone Jack many years ago, they embraced Bluetooth technology as the new audio connectivity standard. Since then the technology has evolved by leaps and bounds, and the article proves how!

                              Given what we have learned in our comparative analysis of Bluetooth 5.0 vs. 4.0, there is no doubt that Bluetooth 5 version series are much better than the previous versions.

                              If you need any assistance concerning Bluetooth-compatible Android app development and iOS app development, please do not hesitate tocontact us.


                              What is the diff between Bluetooth 4 and 5? ›

                              Compared to Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth 5.0 can transmit eight times more data, at twice the speed, across four times the range.

                              Does Bluetooth 4.0 have better sound quality? ›

                              Bluetooth 4.0 should improve audio quality, provided you have devices that support aptX or A2DP: aptX, an audio codec designed for CD-quality audio transfer over Bluetooth. A2DP, or Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, which is designed for sending stereo audio over Bluetooth to speakers, car stereos, and headphones.

                              What happens when you connect a Bluetooth 5.0 device to a Bluetooth 4.2 device? ›

                              Backwards Compatible

                              If you buy a new smartphone with Bluetooth 5, it will operate as Bluetooth 4.2 if you are connecting to a Bluetooth 4.2 device. That means that you'll still be able to connect, but you won't see any benefits. Bluetooth 5 won't connect to legacy devices.

                              Is Bluetooth 5.0 still good? ›

                              The most recent version of the Bluetooth protocol, Bluetooth 5, is an improvement upon the previous BLE standards. It is still geared towards low powered applications, but improves upon BLE's data rate and range.

                              What is the biggest advantage of Bluetooth 4? ›

                              The real benefit of Bluetooth 4.0 is energy efficiency. Designed primarily for devices that collect information frequently, either as much as five times a second or just once every hour, the standard is optimized for long battery life.

                              What version of Bluetooth is best? ›

                              Bluetooth 5.3 is the most advanced version yet – its benefits include greater energy efficiency (meaning longer battery life), a more stable wireless connection over long ranges, and less interference.

                              What is the highest audio quality for Bluetooth? ›

                              The higher the maximum data rate the codec can manage, the less data it has to discard, and the better the sound can be. All Bluetooth devices include the SBC codec, which has a maximum data rate of 345 kilobits per second, or kbps—about a quarter of the data rate CDs deliver.

                              Does Bluetooth 4.0 support Dolby Atmos? ›

                              You are able to experience Dolby Atmos through Bluetooth, but this is only possible if the content you are streaming is mixed for Dolby Atmos and the audio output device you are connected to is Atmos-enabled.

                              Do I need Bluetooth 4 or 5? ›

                              Faster, stronger, and better

                              The biggest benefits of Bluetooth 5 are faster speeds and more range. And we mean a lot faster and further. Bluetooth 5 has a maximum of four times the range, eight times the bandwidth, and twice the speed.

                              Which Bluetooth version is best for audio? ›

                              Bluetooth 3 + HS (High Speed) used the power of Wi-Fi, allowing faster transfer speeds. As such, it could transmit larger amounts of audio and video data. Thus making it the most common Bluetooth version for headphones, speakers, and portable media players.

                              How many devices can connect to Bluetooth 5.0 at once? ›

                              You can broadcast to two devices simultaneously with Bluetooth 5, sending audio from your smartphone or laptop to multiple rooms in a house, creating a stereo effect in one space, or sharing audio between two sets of headphones.

                              Does Bluetooth 5.0 slow down Wi-Fi? ›

                              WiFi signals and Bluetooth signals both use the 2.4 Ghz frequency band, and this can cause them to interfere with each other.

                              Can Bluetooth 5.0 go through walls? ›

                              Bluetooth is not a line-of-sight wireless technology, which is to say the receiving end does not require an unobstructed path to the transmitter to achieve a strong Bluetooth signal. Like radio waves, Bluetooth signals can pass through solid objects.

                              What is the current Bluetooth version 2022? ›

                              As of October 2022, Bluetooth 5.3 is the latest version. It was released in 2021. Although the latest version of Bluetooth is 5.3, it might not be available on all devices. That is, devices shipping in 2022 might still be coming with Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.1.

                              Is Bluetooth 5.0 lossless? ›

                              Bluetooth connections don't support lossless audio.

                              Why is Bluetooth 5.0 better what are the problems with the previous versions? ›

                              Longer range: Bluetooth 4.2 can hold connection to another device for a maximum of 60 meters (200 feet). With Bluetooth 5.0, that distance is quadrupled to 240 meters (800 feet). Lower battery use: Despite transferring data faster, Bluetooth 5.0 does so while consuming less power, which improves battery life.

                              What is the main limitation of Bluetooth? ›

                              They are slower compared to other wireless technology like WI-FI and LAN with optic fibre. They have a small data range of up to 50 meters. They still have some security issues while data is transferring. They have lower bandwidth.

                              Why is Bluetooth 5.0 better? ›

                              The aptX compression standard said that the speed of the audio quality in the CD is upto 1 Mbps. In the Bluetooth 5.0 speed is 2 Mbps which is better wireless audio quality. Devices are commonly selected for better speed and longer range. Bluetooth 5.0 is having better speed and working in the greater range.

                              Does higher Bluetooth version affect sound quality? ›

                              Bluetooth also comes in different versions, such as 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1, but these generally address data-transfer issues and rarely affect audio quality.

                              Does the version of Bluetooth matter? ›

                              The main Bluetooth versions differences are that the latest Bluetooth versions support higher data transfer speeds, have better connection range and stability, are more energy efficient, and offer better security than older Bluetooth versions.

                              Which Bluetooth version has the lowest latency? ›

                              Thanks to codecs like aptX, you can rest assured that Bluetooth 5.1 has less latency than previous iterations, particularly when it comes to streaming audio.

                              What does Bluetooth 5.0 do? ›

                              Bluetooth 5, released in July 2016, is the latest version of the short-range wireless standard. Compared to the previous version, it quadruples the wireless range, doubles speed, and increases the bandwidth to allow for broadcasting to two wireless devices at once.

                              Do I need Bluetooth 5 for headphones? ›

                              Best answer: The short answer is no; Bluetooth 5.0 introduces a handful of improvements to range, data transfer speeds, and power consumption, but it doesn't affect audio quality at all. You won't be missing out on much if your headphones use an older Bluetooth standard.

                              How do I know if my Bluetooth is 5? ›

                              2. Using Settings Menu
                              1. Enable Bluetooth on your phone.
                              2. Go to Settings > Applications > Running.
                              3. You will see all running apps there, find Bluetooth Share and tap on it.
                              4. You will see your Bluetooth Version below Bluetooth Share.
                              Jan 22, 2023

                              Does Bluetooth 5 interfere with WIFI? ›

                              Interference mitigation: Bluetooth 5 also incorporates features to better minimize interference. Remember Bluetooth shares the 2.4-GHz ISM band with Wi-Fi, ZigBee, and a bunch of other wireless devices, so there's a greater likelihood for interference.

                              Does Bluetooth version affect sound quality? ›

                              Bluetooth also comes in different versions, such as 4.1, 5.0, and 5.1, but these generally address data-transfer issues and rarely affect audio quality.

                              Does Bluetooth 5.0 drain battery? ›

                              Bluetooth 5 Uses 2.5x Less Battery

                              For the longest time, there's been this notion that Bluetooth drains your phone's battery quickly. That's a smartphone myth that simply isn't true any more. It has been power-efficient ever since the introduction of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module, a.k.a. Bluetooth Smart.

                              Is Bluetooth 4 enough for audio? ›

                              So both Bluetooth 4.2 and 5 can handle the highest quality wireless audio available, and with plenty of room to spare. This means that unless a higher-quality codec is developed, it doesn't matter how much better or faster the Bluetooth versions get: Your music isn't going to sound any better!

                              Can you use Bluetooth without internet service? ›

                              Bluetooth works by using radio waves to connect two devices, such as your phone and computer. You don't actually need a phone signal or internet connection to use Bluetooth. This means that it can work anywhere in the world, as long as the devices you're trying to link are both Bluetooth-compatible.

                              What is the maximum distance supported by Bluetooth 5? ›

                              It's not uncommon for Class 2 devices to reach 100 feet, but they don't officially support that range. In 2017, the Bluetooth SIG introduced the Bluetooth 5.0 specification, which increased the maximum range of Class 2 devices from 33 feet to 800 feet.

                              Do Bluetooth devices have to be 33 feet of each other? ›

                              Bluetooth devices must, however, be within 10 meters (33 feet) of each other, although the connection may be subject to interference from obstructions such as walls or from other electronic devices. Paired devices can connect to your phone when Bluetooth is switched on.

                              Does Bluetooth 5.0 work with all Bluetooth devices? ›

                              The good news is, Bluetooth 5 hardware is fully backward compatible with prior versions of Bluetooth. Your Bluetooth 5 phone will have no problem at all working with all the Bluetooth headphones, speakers, fitness trackers, automobiles, and everything else out there.


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