'Bluetooth 5' to be Announced Next Week [Update: Bringing 2x Speed, 4x Range]

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Bluetooth 5, the next generation of Bluetooth standard, will be formally announced next week, offering quadruple the range and double the speed of the current low-energy wireless protocol.

    Executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Mark Powell, revealed the news in a published email sent to UK health and monitoring company Blue Maestro. The Bluetooth SIG, which is backed by Apple, Intel, and other major technology companies, will officially make the announcement on June 16 in London.


    The standard's adoption of the title "Bluetooth 5" drops reference to both the version and point number, indicating both a significant revision of the protocol and an effort by SIG to simplify its marketing strategy.

    The new standard is also said to offer significantly wider support for smart home devices and enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, in addition to increased support for location-based connectionless services, such as assistive navigation beacons.

    It's unclear whether Bluetooth 5 will come to existing devices as a firmware update or require new hardware, but the latter is more likely. Previously, Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 devices were not upgradeable to newer versions of the standard, but Bluetooth 4.0 devices could be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.1 via software patches.

    In October last year, Apple quietly added Bluetooth 4.2 support to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2, bringing 2.5x faster speeds and up to ten times higher data capacity to the devices.

    Rumors of impending upgrades to Apple's MacBook range typically make no mention of wireless protocols, while iPhone 7 leaks and speculation are also usually silent on the subject.

    However, given the increasing likelihood that Apple will remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Bluetooth will become the primary means of connecting headphones for most users unless wired Lightning earbuds are included in the box.

    Update: The article title and first paragraph originally stated that Bluetooth 5 would bring quadruple the speed and double the range of the existing protocol, when in fact it promises 2x speed and 4x range.

    Bluetooth SIG's PR agency contacted MacRumors to request the correction, owing to a mistake in the original newsletter copy that the SIG's executive director sent out.

    Article Link: 'Bluetooth 5' to be Announced Next Week [Update: Bringing 2x Speed, 4x Range]
  2. Sunday Ironfoot macrumors regular

    Apr 14, 2011
    Here's hoping for uncompressed wireless audio.
  3. jctech macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2013
    would be awesome to have a higher bitrate for audio without the need of AptX technology.
  4. pmau macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2010
    More bandwidth always requires more power ...
  5. Mactendo macrumors 68000

    Oct 3, 2012
    Hello reliable wireless headphones and better sound?
  6. penajmz macrumors 68040


    Sep 11, 2008
    New York City
    I'm hoping we don't have to wait for iPhone 8 for this... Since we're moving into a wireless world more and more every day.
  7. MH01 Suspended


    Feb 11, 2008
    This is very good news, especially as current BT is hamstrung by bandwidth when it comes to music .
  8. monty77 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 4, 2005
    UK, South Coast
    Here's hoping for a robust way to use BT devices full stop .. is it just me or are there ALWAYS complications with BT? Especially multipoint.
  9. cicalinarrot macrumors regular


    Apr 28, 2015
    If there's no integrated contact-less instant pairing, I don't care.
  10. Winterflags, Jun 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

    Winterflags macrumors member

    May 18, 2015
    If I'm understanding this correctly, it's likely both that the sending and receiving devices (e.g. iPhone and bluetooth speaker) will require hardware support for Bluetooth 5 to work?

    I was literally just on my way to the store to buy a Bang & Olufsen Beoplay A1 Bluetooth speaker, but now I might wait. I also discovered that it doesn't support aptX, so might as well hold off…

    How long from now can we expect this to be on the showing up in the market?
  11. foobarbaz, Jun 10, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016

    foobarbaz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2007
    Those $350 Bose headphones you bought on Monday? Already obsolete …

    Edit: You guys, isn't it obvious I'm kidding? Of course they're not obsolete.
    But they waited years to release their first Bluetooth QC and they do it a week before a new standard is released? That does deserve a little mocking … Was the product manager that much out of the loop?
  12. whsbuss macrumors 68040


    May 4, 2010
    SE Penna.
    Bose will market a new(er) set soon to address the new BT protocol, at $379
  13. argentum47 macrumors regular


    Jun 18, 2014
    Would be nice if they remove SBC from the default audio codec and replace it with AAC (or aptX, but AAC is preferred).
  14. John Mcgregor Suspended

    John Mcgregor

    Aug 21, 2015
    We don't know the specific, but not necessarily.
  15. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    So we'll get Bluetooth 5 on Apple Watch 2 to speed things up, maybe?

    ...But also a FaceTime camera video stream to s l o w t h i n g s d o w n a g a i n :(
  16. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Sep 23, 2014
    I have had bad experiences with Bluetooth in the past an generally try to avoid using it if possible. It was mostly connection issues.

    Maybe with BT5, I might give it another go.
  17. stu.h macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    West Midlands, England.
    Will go hand in hand with Apples omission of the 3.5mm

    Although I suspect the technology will take a while to end up on handsets.
  18. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    I think a lot depends on what device you're connecting to and (probably more important) how old that device is?

    For example; My iPhone 6 connects instantly and automatically to my Bose mini Bluetooth speaker as soon as I switch the speaker on. The connection is rock solid - practically hard wired. The Bose is only a couple of years old.

    OTOH, I have a much older Bluetooth speaker (which I really like), but it always requires some fiddling-around-with and button-pressing to connect. And it drops occasionally.
  19. happydude macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2006
    a gasping dying planet
    4x speed so we can now just not reliably connect quicker?
  20. cmChimera macrumors 68040


    Feb 12, 2010
    This is great news. Hopefully it finds its way into Apple devices this year.
  21. randomplaydo macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2014
    This lines up with my thinking on the post about the lightning headphones vs. 3.5mm headphones the other day. This whole thing with Apple getting rid of the jack isn't about this year, it's about next year. The 10th anniversary iPhone 8 (or whatever it's called) will set them up for the next 3 years of minor cycle refreshes. Starting with, probably, bluetooth 5 that will make bluetooth audio reliable and hopefully uncompressed....thus eliminating the need for 3.5mm jack for reliability.

    We have to remember that they know more about what's coming down the line than we do and they look 3-10 years into the future with their product planning, even though we only focus on NOW and how this will impact ME right NOW.
  22. Mac Fly (film) macrumors 65816

    Mac Fly (film)

    Feb 12, 2006
    Clearly wired EarPods will be in the box.
  23. alexgowers macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2012
    Ditto. I'm sorry but bluetooth just feels like a bad version of wifi that requires you to be in the same room and pair constantly if you have more than two routers! It should be able to be a remote connection over the internet if direct bluetooth isn't available. It should be instant connect without the need ever to pair etc. It's just a pants technology that is just stuck in the past.
  24. Benjamin Frost Suspended

    Benjamin Frost

    May 9, 2015
    London, England
    It'll never be as reliable as a cable, no matter what the speed. I have no interest in Bluetooth.
  25. andreiru macrumors 6502


    Apr 18, 2008
    Kurgan, RF
    My Bluetooth module paired with iPhone 6s drops connection and not stable when I hold the phone covering certain areas. If that's addressed happy days!

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146 June 10, 2016