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

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
49,085
10,445



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]
 

penajmz

macrumors 68040
Sep 11, 2008
3,797
4,026
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.
 

MH01

Suspended
Feb 11, 2008
12,107
9,298
This is very good news, especially as current BT is hamstrung by bandwidth when it comes to music .
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3568358

Winterflags

macrumors member
May 18, 2015
71
43
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?
 
Last edited:

foobarbaz

macrumors 6502a
Nov 29, 2007
548
630
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?
 
Last edited:

argentum47

macrumors regular
Jun 18, 2014
208
485
Would be nice if they remove SBC from the default audio codec and replace it with AAC (or aptX, but AAC is preferred).
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,448
3,015
Atlanta, USA
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.
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.
 

happydude

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2006
1,056
418
a gasping dying planet



Bluetooth 5, the next generation of Bluetooth standard, will be formally announced next week, offering double the range and quadruple 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.

Article Link: 'Bluetooth 5' to be Announced Next Week, With 4x Speed and Better Range
4x speed so we can now just not reliably connect quicker?
 

randomplaydo

macrumors member
Oct 9, 2014
98
195
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.
 

alexgowers

macrumors 65816
Jun 3, 2012
1,335
888
If there's no integrated contact-less instant pairing, I don't care.
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.
 

andreiru

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2008
339
80
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!
 
  • Like
Reactions: dwsolberg
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.