What's The Introduction Of Bluetooth Speakers

What's The Introduction Of Bluetooth Speakers

Bluetooth speakers are a revolutionary product in the music industry since they allow for more efficient use of space. These portable devices are fantastic alternatives to cumbersome conventional music systems.

You will appreciate how well their layout works with your lifestyle. A tabletop Bluetooth speaker keeps things clean while producing surprisingly good sound. Their small form factor belies their capacity to produce a full-bodied sound that is on par with or even superior to that of much bigger systems.

So let’s get a brief introduction of Bluetooth Speakers.

What are Bluetooth speakers?

An amplifier and loudspeaker with Bluetooth wireless connectivity that is paired (pre-associated) with one or more smartphones, tablets, iPods or computers. Available in all sizes, including replaceable battery and rechargeable models, as well as wall-powered units, the Bluetooth speaker receives digital audio streams from the host device, which are typically compressed. It then decompresses, decodes and amplifies the audio through the built-in speakers.

How Are Bluetooth Speakers Different From Wi-Fi Speakers?

While Bluetooth speakers connect directly to a single device using the Bluetooth wireless protocol, Wi-Fi speakers (often also called smart speakers) instead connect to your house’s Wi-Fi network, and are easily available to any computer, phone or other source on that network.

It is commonly said, on various internet guides to Bluetooth speakers versus Wi-Fi speakers, that Bluetooth audio just doesn’t sound as good as Wi-Fi audio, but this is definitely not always the case, and hasn’t been our experience at all.

If you are playing MP3s, normal Bluetooth audio will be totally sufficient to fully reproduce those MP3s and make them sound as good as they can possibly sound. And if you are playing high resolution files, like lossless FLAC files, there is actually a new Bluetooth standard – aptX HD – and this new standard provides true lossless high fidelity audio – even with full 24 bit audiophile studio masters.

But it’s our experience that, even with the older Bluetooth standard, a good Bluetooth speaker will sound incredible with any kind of music file and any kind of music, and better than a similarly priced Wi-Fi speaker. This may be because Wi-Fi speakers are more designed with various criteria in mind – styling and looks, compatibility with other smart devices and more – while Bluetooth speakers seem to be engineered primarily to sound good. And the best Bluetooth speakers really do sound fantastic!

So you don’t need to choose Wi-Fi speakers just because they have better sound, since new Bluetooth speakers can, and do, sound just as good. It is better to concentrate more on the functional differences between Wi-Fi speakers and Bluetooth speakers to figure out which is best for you.

Wi-Fi speakers usually need to be plugged into an AC power outlet, and so are not as portable. You can purchase several Wi-Fi speakers and put them in rooms all throughout the house, each accessing and visible on the Wi-Fi network, but many people find it is easier, cheaper, and simpler to have one more portable Bluetooth speaker and carry it to wherever in the house they want high-quality audio.

Wi-Fi speakers are often two-way, while Bluetooth speakers are not. This means that you can talk to Wi-Fi speakers in order to access the internet, make phone calls or send messages, set timers, and alarms, control thermostats, and appliances – the whole “smart-home” idea. Bluetooth speakers are designed to play music and other audio but are not always the best listeners.

This second point does make Wi-Fi speakers seem a bit more appealing, especially if you are going to begin setting up a whole interactive smart-home system, but the portability and affordability, the simplicity of use, and the generally excellent sound quality and overall quality and reliability of the right Bluetooth speakers make them a much more popular choice, and right for lots more people – especially if they want great-sounding music not just in the kitchen or bedroom, but on the beach or in the park as well.

In fact, everybody we know who already has, or is building, a new, fancy, expensive multi-room smart home system, with lots of speakers everywhere, still has at least one really good Bluetooth speaker system as well, and seems to use it most often.

How Do Bluetooth Speakers Work?

Bluetooth speakers work just like typical wired speakers, except for the way in which they receive audio signals.

Wired passive speakers receive their speaker level audio signals via hardwired speaker cables. Wired active speakers may receive speaker level signals through speaker cable or line, mic and instrument level signals through thinner audio cable.

Bluetooth speakers, as their name suggests, receive their audio signals wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Actually, to be more precise, the built-in power amplifier of the Bluetooth speaker will receive the audio signal wirelessly via Bluetooth.

As it is, Bluetooth protocols will carry typical line level signals with ease. Like in wired setups, this signal level requires amplification from a power amp before it can properly drive the driver(s) of a loudspeaker.

To function properly with an audio device, a Bluetooth speaker must be paired (wirelessly connected) to the Bluetooth audio device.

Once paired, the speakers and digital audio device form a Piconet in which the audio device may effectively send its audio signal to the speaker via Bluetooth.

Note that smart speakers with voice assistant technology and pause/play controls will also send information back to the audio device via the Piconet.

Once the speaker's Bluetooth receiver receives the digital audio signal, it must pass through two key components before it can drive the speaker's drivers.

First, because Bluetooth transmits digital audio, the received audio signal must be converted into an analog audio signal. This is done via a built-in digital-to-analog converter.

Next, as we've previously discussed, the converted analog audio is sent through a power amplifier. The amplified output signal will have low enough impedance and high enough current to properly drive the speaker driver(s).

Once the signal is passed through the driver, it is the driver’s job to produce sound waves that represent the audio signal. This is how we hear the information of an audio signal via Bluetooth speakers.

Before we get into the details of how audio is transmitted via Bluetooth, let’s have a broader look at how audio is transmitted from the digital audio device to the Bluetooth speaker and how the audio is then converted into sound waves for the listener to hear.

The signal flow from a Bluetooth audio device to a paired Bluetooth speaker to the listener’s ears is as follows:

  • The Bluetooth-capable audio device plays a digital audio signal.
  • This audio signal is encoded by a codec (typically SBC “Low Complexity Subband Code,” which is supported by all devices) in the A2DP transfer standard.
  • This encoded audio signal is used as the modulating signal that modulates the Bluetooth UHF radio carrier signals.
  • The radio carrier waves are transmitted wirelessly as per Bluetooth standards between the audio device’s BT transmitter and the Bluetooth speaker's BT receiver.
  • The Bluetooth receiver then decodes the modulation signal from the carrier wave.
  • The A2DP encoded signal is then further decoded back to the intended digital audio signal (compression losses apply when encoding and decoding the signal).
  • This digital audio signal is then converted into an analog format by the speaker’s built-in digital-to-analog converter (DAC).
  • The analog audio is then amplified by a built-in amplifier circuit.
  • This amplified audio signal is then sent to the speaker drivers (note that, for stereo and surround codecs, the audio signals will be split at this point to drive their respective drivers).
  • The drivers their analog audio signal(s) into sound waves.
  • The listener(s) hear the sound waves.

That’s quite the signal flow for a technology that is so user-friendly. That’s part of the beauty of Bluetooth speakers and Bluetooth technology in general: the engineers and inventors take care of the complexities, and we can use the technology without thinking too deeply about it.

That being said, it’s good to have an idea of how audio is transmitted via Bluetooth technology to understand Bluetooth speakers better.

How to connect Bluetooth speakers via Bluetooth devices?

What good are Bluetooth speakers if they aren’t paired to an audio device? In this section, we’ll go into detail about how to connect your Bluetooth speaker to a wide variety of audio sources.

Luckily, pairing Bluetooth speakers is pretty simple if the audio device in question has Bluetooth capabilities.

Even if the audio device doesn’t have inherent Bluetooth technology, adapters are available to connect our BT speakers.

How To Put Bluetooth Speakers In Pairing Mode

Bluetooth speakers will have a pairing button that must be pressed in order to make the speaker available for pairing. We must also ensure that the Bluetooth receiver inside the speaker is properly charged.

Some speakers will have a dedicated Bluetooth pairing button. Others will have their power button double as a pairing button. Other designs will automatically go into pairing mode when they’re powered up.

If you’re unsure which switch/button to hit to engage pairing, consult the owner’s manual of the speaker. That being said, the pairing switch should be somewhat obvious if the speaker does not pair automatically.

Pressing the Bluetooth button all the way to the left will engage pairing mode, where the speaker will become discoverable to other devices. While in discover mode, the power button will flash.

Now that we know how to make Bluetooth speakers discoverable.

How to choose the best Bluetooth speakers?

Music is not just an art but it’s a feeling and for your love of music you want speakers that you cannot just use to listen to your choice of music but can also feel it. Bluetooth speakers are devices that are purchased not only for great sound quality but also for numerous other features such as portability, connectivity and more.

So there’s a lot that you need to look out for to get an ideal Bluetooth, for which an understanding of the basic features is important. Therefore, here we have a list of a few basic things you should keep in mind while buying a Bluetooth speaker.

When choosing a Bluetooth audio system, we need to consider the following factors:

#1 Audio Quality

All sounds have a frequency, this is the measure of how high or low the sound is. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). For the subwoofer, it is important to understand the frequency for better sound delivery. Humans can listen down up to 20 Hz, as close as the subwoofer can get to that, it is better. Look for a sub that has a frequency range between 50-25 Hz.

The most important thing to look for in a Bluetooth speaker is the sound quality of the device. To ascertain the audio quality, you must pay attention to the total harmonic distortion which should be less than 1%. Another important thing to note is the frequency range, which should be between 100Hz to 20kHz. A lower frequency gives better bass quality.

#2 Audio Power of Speakers

The audio power can be determined by the measure of Watts. The higher the watts the efficient is the performance of the speaker. Keep in mind that larger rooms require speakers with more power.

The output power of the speaker can be measured by two categories mentioned on their spec sheets-RMS and Peak. Ignore the peak while purchasing the speaker. Focus on RMS that stands for Root Mean Square.

It is basically the measurement of the output of the subwoofer at a certain volume level given over a long period of working. This is calculated in wattages. Wattages are not the volume that you will play the music on. Wattage means how powerful the speaker is. More powerful the speaker, the higher the wattage.

All sounds have a frequency, this is the measure of how high or low the sound is. It is measured in Hertz (Hz). For the subwoofer, it is important to understand the frequency for better sound delivery. Humans can listen down up to 20 Hz, as close as the subwoofer can get to that, it is better. Look for a sub that has a frequency range between 50-25 Hz.

#3 Battery Life or Play Time

Bluetooth speakers give you the ease of carrying them around and the battery backup plays an important role in it. More battery life gives an all-day-long music listening experience. Smaller speakers have small batteries and larger ones have a large and long-lasting battery. Therefore, battery life is another important factor to consider in a Bluetooth speaker.

#4 Connectivity

Connectivity is also an essential feature. The speaker should have good all-around connectivity for which looking for a Bluetooth speaker with NFC would be a good option. It makes the speaker compatible and easily connectable with all devices even at low speed. A speaker having a wired connection feature apart from wireless connectivity would be an added up advantage.

A speaker can be connected through wired or wireless connectivity. A wired system would be connected to speakers from where it draws the audio. While a wireless subwoofer will be connected to speakers through Bluetooth or WiFi.

The thing about wireless subs is that you will be paying a lot just to get rid of the wires. Wired speakers are versatile and can connect to several different amps. To save money, retain performance and versatility, opt for wired subs.

A movie marathon, home streaming, solo watching, and much more are best experienced if you have high-performance Bluetooth speakers connected to your television.

Speakers not only enhance the voice quality but also refine it, tune it and equalize it for the best listening experience. If you are a movie enthusiast or just love watching TV, it is recommended to connect good speakers to your TV.

#5 Durability

Bluetooth speakers are convenient which in turn brings with it some risk. Because of the convenience of carrying the speaker wherever you go, you invite risks of damaging it. The speaker should be waterproof and damage resistant to not let your speaker get damaged because of any minor falls and even water.

#6 Portability

The speaker should be easy to carry for you. Therefore, consider the size, style, design, and all the other basic features to check for the actual portability of the device. Portability comes with comfort and ease and you need to check for all the features all together to look for a suitable Bluetooth speaker.

#7 Cost of the Speakers

This is the biggest deciding factor for buying a speaker. Speakers can start at a price range of Rs 30,00 and go up to even Rs 1 lakh or more. The quality of sound, frequency, and all factors change as the price goes up. A cheap yet powerful speaker can be bought in the range of Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000. If you are a true enthusiast then you may want to pay more for a high-quality speaker.

There are tonnes of options available in Bluetooth speakers, but choosing the right ones according to your use and preference will make the best buy. And comparing the price with the features of the speaker is also a great thing to do.

We hope the above-specified features help you in getting a full comprehension of Bluetooth Speakers and purchasing a good enough Bluetooth speaker.

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