Mouse, trackpad and earbuds have all become wireless in recent years. But what if your laptop, PC or audio system does not have a Bluetooth option? Or when the existing connection is defective? With a bluetooth dongle, also called USB bluetooth adapter, you can easily make your equipment wireless. Would you like to play the music on your smartphone via your audio system? You can do this simply by connecting a bluetooth audio receiver to your installation.
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What is Bluetooth?
This is a wireless technique specially designed to wirelessly connect peripherals to a laptop, PC, tablet or phone. Think of a wireless mouse, keyboard or trackpad that can be easily and safely connected to another device. Or to peripherals such as a wireless speaker or AirPods, which allow you to enjoy your favorite music anywhere without wires.
The technique is specially designed for peripherals. A number of important features have been taken into account. For example, it’s energy efficient. The rechargeable batteries of a trackpad, mouse or AirPods last a long time. Its use is also safe.
A peripheral must first be paired with a laptop, tablet or smartphone before it can be used. Encryption keys are exchanged so that typed-in data on a keyboard or a telephone call made via AirPods are securely exchanged.
One exception is Bluetooth low power devices, where energy saving is a priority and privacy is not really important. This wireless technique has been upgraded to a higher version several times since its introduction in 1994 to provide new capabilities, energy-efficient connections and greater range. You should take this into account when choosing a wireless adapter.
What is a Bluetooth adapter?
A Bluetooth connection, with the exception of low power connection, always involves a two-way connection. Before a peripheral device and a computer, tablet or smartphone can communicate with each other, the devices must first be introduced to each other. This process is called pairing where encryption keys are exchanged. This ensures that the connection is secure.
The Bluetooth station in the PC, tablet or smartphone is the master of the connection and can simultaneously maintain a connection with multiple peripherals. The receiver is called a bluetooth adapter. This can either be built-in or connected to a laptop and PC via a USB port.
An external Bluetooth adapter is particularly useful if a laptop’s internal wireless adapter is out of date, or if your laptop or PC has no adapter. You do not have to carry out an expensive repair or upgrade, but simply order an external adapter that you plug into a free USB port. For a laptop it is best to choose a model that’s not too costly. You can leave a bluetooth adapter in the USB port when you store the laptop.
Specifications and features
More transmission power means a longer range, but also a higher energy consumption. Lower transmission power means a shorter range, but much less energy is also required for the connection. Bluetooth devices are divided into three classes depending on their transmission power.
- Class 1 has a transmission power of 100 milliwatts (mW) and has a theoretical range of 100 meters. In practice, this will be a maximum of 20 to 30 meters due to external influences.
- Class 2 has a transmission power of 2.5 milliwatts (mW) and has a theoretical range of 10 meters. In practice, this will be limited to a number of meters by external influences. Class 2 is sufficient in many situations and is therefore the most commonly used class.
- Class 3 has a transmission power of 1 milliwatt and is used for devices that have a long battery life.
This wireless technique has several versions. The higher the version, the higher the transfer speed and the possibilities that the connection offers. V 2.1 offers a maximum of 2 Mb/s, V 3.x offers a maximum of 24 Mb/s depending on the profile used and V 4.x low energy is intended for devices that last a long time with their battery.
Wireless music transfer with Bluetooth adapter
A Bluetooth connection has no noticeable delay, so that changing the volume and switching to another song is immediately audible. This wireless technology is therefore ideal for music transfer from, for example, a smartphone to a loudspeaker.
The rise of the smartphone and the wireless speaker has made this technique particularly popular.
Do you want to play music from a laptop or PC on a wireless speaker and your computer has no suitable Bluetooth adapter? Then order a USB bluetooth adapter.
Would you like to use the aptX bluetooth profile with excellent audio quality? Then choose a separate bluetooth transmitter with the aptX profile.
Note: your speaker or headphones must also have the aptX profile. Do you want to stream music to your audio system? This is easy with a wireless music receiver. A lot of various models with a choice of battery or mains voltage available on Amazon. You can also opt for analog RCA and jack outputs or for optical Toslink connections. If you have a smartphone with aptX option, choose a music receiver with aptX chipset for the highest music quality.