Is Bluetooth Ready for Tomorrow?

Wireless technology has shaped the industry since even the very first radio.  We have been working at perfecting every wireless tech, from radios, to satellite, cell phone networks to WIFI and Bluetooth.  However, for the first time, the companies that design our newest phones are deciding that we must embrace some of the newest wireless tech, but is it ready?

How long has it been around?

Although the Bluetooth was named after an ancient Danish King, it has only been around for about 17 years.  In 1999, Bluetooth standards were first announced, and by 2000 we had our first mobile phones with Bluetooth.   Then in computers the year after that.  By 2008 the Bluetooth industry had shipped over 2 Billion chips and had grown from 400 Employees to 10,000.  These days, Bluetooth is a household term, and it’s an expected feature of our phones, televisions, even cars.

Just because it’s convenient, doesn’t make it the best.

It wasn’t until 2003 that the first Mp3 player with Bluetooth was introduced.  Since that time, we’ve learned to standardize streaming music and audio from our phones to our Bluetooth headphones.  There are many options in the market today, from the high-end Bose products, to more basic store branded items.  It seems everyone wants to get on the Bluetooth train.  This last year, for the first time ever, Apple introduced a phone with no auxiliary audio out port.  This meant if we’re going to listen to music, it will be wireless.  Now, Bluetooth streaming is very convenient, and listening devices are readily available, but Bluetooth tech has its major flaws as well.

So, What’s the Catch?

Anytime someone says the word “wireless”, they’re also saying “battery powered”.   Lithium Ion technology has allowed us to have faster recharge times, and much lighter batteries, which makes it more tolerable to put into devices we wear on our heads, like headphones.  However, the length of playback time varies greatly, depending on size of the headphones, the battery, and your listening volume level.  Also, wireless technology always has a range limitation.  Until recently, Bluetooth always had a max range of about 30 feet.  Now, with Bluetooth 5.0, you can expect closer to 100 feet, which is much more tolerable, but that means both your phone, and your headphones have to have the newest chip in them.  It forces us to buy brand new current devices, even if we have perfectly working headphones already.  Also, we face the issue with interference.  We learned from Ghost Hunters that electromagnetic frequencies are everywhere.  This is very true, and they can affect wireless technology very strongly in some cases.  If you’re curious about that, place your router next to your microwave, and then turn the microwave on.  Then try to access the internet with a connected device.  It will fail, because the electromagnetic frequency is interfering with the router signal.  Bluetooth is affected the same way by other household items, even wiring in walls.

For my final say, I’d have to give Bluetooth the credit it deserves, because it has grown so well and quickly over the years, and improved greatly.  It is very convenient, and readily available.  But due to some of its current flaws, and limitation, as well as its unpleasant price point at times, I’m going out on a limb and saying no, Bluetooth isn’t ready for me yet.