In recent years, Bluetooth connectivity has become more and more prevalent in our everyday lives and how we listen to audio (through speakers and headphones). You may have wondered how exactly your Bluetooth speaker works, and by reading this article, you'll find out.
How do Bluetooth speakers work? Bluetooth speakers receive digital audio wirelessly via the Bluetooth protocol when paired with Bluetooth-enabled digital audio devices. BT speakers accept digital audio via BT wireless transmission; convert it analog audio; amplify it, and convert it into sound just as regular speakers would.
This article was written to help you understand how Bluetooth speakers work and how they connect wirelessly. We’ll dive deeper into Bluetooth speaker functionality and go through several BT speaker examples to further our comprehension. On top of that, we’ll also list out the steps required to connect (pair) our Bluetooth speakers to our other Bluetooth devices.
When it comes down to design, Bluetooth speakers are really no different than most other active speakers (with built-in amplifiers). The big difference is the wireless transfer of audio via Bluetooth rather than the typical wired connection (or other wireless methods).
The main purpose of a loudspeaker is to act as a transducer that converts electrical energy (audio signals) into mechanical wave energy (sound waves). This is true regardless of if the speaker is wired or wireless.
Every loudspeaker works upon this function: an analog audio signal (alternating current) passes through the driver and causes proportional movement in the driver’s diaphragm.
The diaphragm movement pushes and pulls the air around it and effectively produces sound waves that mimic the form of the AC voltage of the audio signal.
This critical action in speaker design is required regardless of the speaker type, the number of drivers, crossover network, enclosure and form factor, how it receives its signal (wired or wireless), or any other specifications that differentiate one loudspeaker from another.
The overwhelming majority of loudspeaker drivers are electrodynamic (otherwise known as “dynamic” or “moving-coil dynamic”).
The moving-coil speaker driver is illustrated and labelled in the picture below:
What Is Bluetooth Technology?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard. It is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances using short-wavelength ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio waves.
More specifically, Bluetooth uses the microwave radio frequency spectrum in the 2.402 GHz to 2.480 GHz range to transmit digital data wirelessly.
Bluetooth technology is a deeply complex subject, and we will only be scratching the surface in this article. If you’d like to learn about Bluetooth technology in greater detail, I’d suggest starting with this Wikipedia article.
The complexity of Bluetooth technology is due, in part, to its incredibly wide range of applications. Not only is Bluetooth used to transmit digital audio from digital devices to speakers (or headphones and headsets), but it is also implemented in the following wireless data transferring applications:
- Contol and communication between smartphones and other Bluetooth audio devices and Bluetooth-compatible car sound systems.
- Communication between a smartphone and a smart lock for unlocking doors.
- Communication between smartphones and other Bluetooth audio devices and Bluetooth-compatible wireless speakers.
- Communication between wireless Bluetooth headsets and intercoms/gaming systems/computers, etc.
- Streaming of data from Bluetooth-enabled fitness devices to smartphones/computers etc.
- Wireless networking between computers in close proximity.
- Communication between computers and their input/output devices (mouse, keyboard, printer, microphones, headphones, etc.).
- OBject EXchange transfer of files, contacts, calendars/schedules and reminders.
- Communications in test equipment, GPS receivers, medical equipment, bar code scanners, and traffic control devices.