Technical terms get listeners confused from time to time. What is a Bluetooth radio? Does it refer to a regular AM/FM radio?
Bluetooth technology allows you to transfer data from one device to another without cables. It works for any compatible devices that come with Bluetooth chips, also called Bluetooth radios.
In day-to-day conversations, Bluetooth radios can also imply radio devices that enable Bluetooth connection, such as a Bluetooth SiriusXM car radio.
What is a Bluetooth Radio?
Long gone are the days of CD car players and auxiliary cables. With Bluetooth, you can stream music directly from your smartphone to your car radio, transfer files between two nearby devices, and listen to music on wireless headphones.
To enable the technology, manufacturers must integrate a microchip into their device, which is called a wireless Bluetooth radio.
The chip will convert the data you want to send into Bluetooth radio waves, transmit it to the paired device (which is tuned into the same Bluetooth radio frequency), and convert the signals it receives into text or audio data.
Bluetooth radios can be in laptop, Bluetooth radio PC, smartphones, Bluetooth stereos, and many other electronic devices.
In daily communication, the term can imply an AM/FM radio with Bluetooth technology, such as Dewalt Max, Jensen MPR210, Victrola Nostalgic, and Sangean WR-16. You can pair a Bluetooth radio for home with your smartphone, tablet, windows 7 computer, or windows 10 computer.
Applications of Bluetooth Radio
The introduction of Bluetooth wireless radio has reduced the need for long and messy cables. One of the most popular applications is wireless headsets, which makes contacting others and receiving incoming calls much easier for busy people.
Computer gadgets such as mice, keyboards, and printers no longer have tangled cables these days. Bluetooth enables stable connections for all nearby gadgets for unlimited periods.
The technology also makes it more convenient to enjoy music on your car’s Bluetooth radio device. Once connected via Bluetooth, your phone can be used to control the entire stereo system. You can switch songs, adjust the volume, and select the content you want to play.
Beyond that, it allows you to unlock doors and control smart home devices with your phone.
How Does It Work?
As mentioned above, Bluetooth over radio works through a microchip that transmits and receives data as radio wave signals. The technology is only short-range with a maximum of ten meters.
However, this range can be reduced when the connection encounters interference, such as solid obstacles and electromagnetic environments.
Pros and Cons of Bluetooth Radios
Bluetooth minimizes the need for cables. You can listen to music while working out, doing chores, and running errands. The best part is Bluetooth can maintain the high quality of the audio. So, you’ve got all the conveniences without sacrificing data quality.
The biggest drawback of Bluetooth is the range of connection. It only works for devices within 10 meters. So, if you wear wireless headphones while doing household chores, you might move too far away from the source and lose the Bluetooth connection.
If you want a further range, you might have to adopt a wired system or employ FM transmitters.
Alternatives to Bluetooth Radios
Bluetooth radios are vulnerable in environments with too many obstacles and long distances. So, you must switch to other alternatives when necessary.
The first option is wired systems. For example, you can use cables to connect the radio in the living room to the computer in your room upstairs. Wired systems are more stable and can extend as long as the cables can go.
Another affordable choice is infrared (IR) technology. However, it has many disadvantages compared to Bluetooth. Infrared waves cannot penetrate walls and rely solely on line-of-sight transmission. The range is also short and relatively unstable.
The last alternative is WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network). WLAN allows data transmission among computers in a local network. It is a popular solution for offices and home PCs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the point of a Bluetooth radio?
Bluetooth radios are microchips in Bluetooth-enabled devices. They let you connect two devices, transfer data, and remote control electronic gadgets with your smartphone.
Are Bluetooth transmitters better than FM ones?
FM transmitter works over a radio frequency. Basically, your data is sent on a radio channel and another device can tune into the same frequency to receive it. Therefore, the sound quality you receive is similar to that of an FM station.
Generally speaking, Bluetooth transmission is better than FM. Digital technology allows Bluetooth to maintain audio quality after transferring and avoid most interference. Plus, you can send more data at the same time.
Is Bluetooth better than USB input?
A USB input delivers more stable sound with better quality than Bluetooth. There won’t be any interference or disconnection in between, and you can enjoy a smooth stream of your favorite music.
In addition, USB inputs don’t consume the energy of a source device. If you use your smartphone to stream music to a radio via Bluetooth, your phone’s battery will drain pretty quickly.
Can you put Bluetooth radio in any car?
Yes, you can. There are many ways for you to add Bluetooth to your car these days. The easiest option is to purchase a Bluetooth kit. It’ll come with an audio cable and a power adapter.
All you need to do is to plug the cable into the auxiliary port and the adapter in the cigarette lighter to enable Bluetooth for your car radio. With such a simple device, you can connect your car stereo system to a smartphone and play the content of your choice.
In conclusion, what is a Bluetooth radio? It is a microchip integrated into Bluetooth-enabled devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Sometimes, the term also refers to radios that have Bluetooth functions.
Listening to the radio is becoming more convenient than ever. Besides being able to access your favorite content almost anytime and anywhere, you have multiple options to stream the audio. So, find the most suitable way for yourself and enjoy the experience!
Robert is our content writer. He has in-depth knowledge about two-way radio communication, including mobile, handheld, and base, as well as ham radio satellite and emergency communication. He is in charge of researching and reviewing the best and latest products as well as gathering information about your queries and issues in using ham radios.