Why is bluetooth speaker important

Bluetooth speaker purchase advice

In this article I would like to address the important points that play an important role in the purchase decision for a Bluetooth speaker. I only touch on some technical details superficially here. Over time, however, I will publish many and detailed articles in the article collection.

If you have further suggestions you can contact me here. You can find my test reports here: Test reports

Info: I recommend reading this article before you look at the Bluetooth speaker reviews, because not all features are equally important for everyone! Some people want more battery and others want AptX and NFC.
To be able to filter by properties I have the: Professional filter created.
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1 mobile (with battery) or stationary (socket)

There are Bluetooth speaker with rechargeable battery (mobile) and they exist as stationary variant (socket required). If you want to listen to music outdoors at the barbecue party, you need a Bluetooth speaker with an integrated battery. If you are looking for a loudspeaker for your home, then a stationary loudspeaker is the right choice. The stationary loudspeakers often have extended functions such as a radio, Spotify or network access.

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2 battery and runtime (mobile)

Mobile Bluetooth speakers have an integrated battery. The running times vary from model to model. There are speakers with a battery that lasts 10 hours and there are also speakers that last 24 hours.

Important information: The running time depends on the volume (and also on the type of music)! Of course, the manufacturers do not specify the battery life with the maximum volume. Of course, it would be ideal if the volume at which the battery life was measured was indicated. Until now, however, I have never seen this as an indication in the technical data. Of course that doesn't mean that the battery only lasts half as long when you listen to metal :)

I only mention this so that you won't be surprised afterwards if the loudspeaker only lasts 11 hours instead of 14 hours. But still enough for any party.

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3 Outdoor / Splashproof?

There are waterproof bluetooth speakers. A protection class is usually specified in the form of IPXY. X stands for protection against contact and foreign bodies and Y stands for protection against water.

The following tables come from Wikipedia and explain the individual indicators

First digit (X)

1st code numberImportance:
ISO 20653DIN EN 60529Protection against foreign bodiesProtection against contact
00no protectionno protection
11Protected against solid foreign objects with a diameter of 50 mm or moreProtected against access with the back of the hand
22Protected against solid foreign objects with a diameter of 12.5 mm or moreProtected against access with a finger
33Protected against solid foreign objects with a diameter of 2.5 mm or moreProtected against access with a tool
44Protected against solid foreign bodies with a diameter of 1.0 mm or moreProtected against access with a wire
5K5Protected against dust in harmful quantitiescomplete protection against contact
6K6Dustproofcomplete protection against contact

Second digit (Y)

2nd code numberImportance:
Protection against water
ISO 20653DIN EN 60529
00no protection
11Protection against dripping water
22Protection against falling dripping water when the housing is inclined up to 15 °
33Protection against falling spray water up to 60 ° from the vertical
44Protection against splashing water on all sides
4KProtection against splash water from all sides with increased pressure
55Protection against water jets (nozzle) from any angle
66Protection against strong water jets
6KProtection against powerful water jets under increased pressure, specifically for road vehicles
77Protection against temporary immersion
88Protection against permanent immersion
9Protection against water during high pressure / steam jet cleaning, especially agriculture
9KProtection against water during high pressure / steam jet cleaning, specifically for road vehicles

Frequently occurring protection classes for Bluetooth speakers

IPX4: Protection against splash water on all sides

IPX5: Protection against water jets (nozzle) from any angle

IPX6: Protection against strong water jets

IPX7: Protection against temporary immersion, 1 meter deep for 30 minutes. (Example: JBL Charge 3)

When is this feature important?

Complete immersion (IPX7) I seldom consider it necessary. For example, if you turn the speaker on pool or at a party (it could rain or someone spilled beer) it is recommended at least IPX4 to have.

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4 Bluetooth (classes, range, profiles, versions)

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4.1 versions

There are different versions of the Bluetooth standard. I have omitted versions 1-3 because they are out of date. I only mention the important features that play a role for Bluetooth speakers. If you want everything in detail, I refer you to Wikipedia again: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#.C3.84ltere_Bluetooth-Versionen

Bluetooth 3 (2009)

Bluetooth 4 (2009)

More energy efficient (low energy). Fast connection and transfer possible (Smart).

Bluetooth 4.1 (2014)

Bluetooth 4.2 (2014)

An even more energy-saving low energy mode. Higher transmission speed.

Bluetooth 5.0 (2016)

EDR: EDR stands for "Enhanced Data Rate". Data transfer up to three times faster. 2.1 Mbit / s maximum.

So we see that a bluetooth speaker should have at least 4.0. In the best case even 4.2. I have personally not seen a Bluetooth speaker with a version smaller than 4.0.

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4.2 Profiles

Bluetooth has different profiles. Here are the important ones:

A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile): This profile allows the streaming of audio data. Every Bluetooth speaker has this, because that is exactly the main point of such a speaker.

AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile): Remote control of audio and video. Own light also always available.

HSP (Headset Profile): Speech output via headset

HFP (Hands Free Profile): cordless telephony in the car

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4.3 classes

There are currently three different classes:

  1. Class 1: Up to 100 meters range outdoors
  2. Class 2: Up to 50 meters range outdoors
  3. Class 3: Up to 10 meters range outdoors
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4.4 How much range do I need?

Personally, I haven't had a range problem with a Bluetooth speaker so far. Most of you will have the loudspeaker within a maximum of 5 meters. Anything else doesn't really make sense either, because why should I position the speaker 20 meters away from me? Of course there may be special purposes where a very long range makes sense. But only you know whether this applies to you.

Tip: I mention any connection problems in the test reports.

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5 Microphone / hands-free system / telephoning

It is also possible to make calls with many Bluetooth loudspeakers or the output (what the caller says) is via the loudspeaker. To do this, the smartphone must of course be connected to the loudspeaker. This is usually called a Speakerphone designated.

In addition, there are also Bluetooth speakers, which have a built-in microphone, which can then be used for phone calls. This basically means that the loudspeaker can be used like a headset, only that it can stand freely on the table.

Tip: If you only want to use the loudspeaker for making calls, there are already very affordable models from 15 euros.

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6 connections

In my opinion, every bluetooth speaker should have at least one AUX port. This connection makes it possible to connect non-Bluetooth-enabled devices to it. For example an old iPod, which can then simply be connected to the loudspeaker with a normal 3.5 mm jack cable.

Most Bluetooth speakers have a micro USB port. The integrated battery is charged via this.

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7 What is the meaning of the watt number?

Loudspeakers are often given a wattage. Now the question arises whether more watts are better or not? This question is not easy to answer because it gets a bit more technical here. That's why I keep it short and simplified. Loudspeakers have different degrees of efficiency, which in turn means that a 50 watt loudspeaker can be louder than one with 150W. So we see that we cannot simply evaluate this value by its number.

Info: Watt tells you how much amplification the loudspeaker can handle.

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8 What is aptX and do I need it?

aptX is a proprietary codec that is used by Bluetooth to transfer data. Proprietary means that a manufacturer has to pay license fees for the use of aptX and therefore aptX products are then possibly slightly more expensive than those without. The advantage of aptX is that the audio quality is better and above all aptX has a lower latency (delay).

Does the latency delay benefit us when listening to music? Not really in my opinion. Does the audio quality bring us more? In theory yes, but I couldn't find any real difference in my experiment. I suspect that the quality of aptX only becomes noticeable when you use expensive hi-fi equipment.

info: If you connect the loudspeaker to output the sound of a film over it, then the lower latency can be useful. How so? simply because it could happen that the film can lose lip-sync due to latency.

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9 frequency ranges

Which frequency range do I even hear?

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10 Miscellaneous and special functions

Color selection

Personally, I usually don't care about the color, as long as it's not neon green, pink or purple. However, more expensive models from brand manufacturers are often available in different colors. Cheap models, on the other hand, are often only available in one color.

Automatic shutdown

Most Bluetooth speakers turn off automatically if they have not received a signal for a period of time.

Multi-pairing

With multi-pairing, several devices (mostly smartphones) can be connected to the loudspeaker.

NFC

NFC stands for "Near Field Communication". A connection can be easily established with NFC. For example, the smartphone is simply lifted to the loudspeaker and connects automatically.

Info: Both devices must be NFC capable for this to work!

weight and height

Depending on what you plan to do with the speaker, the weight plays a role. If you want to take it with you on vacation, for example, then you don't want to reduce your luggage limit with a 3 kg loudspeaker alone. The weight and size simply play a role if you want or have to transport the speaker without a car.

Loading time

The built-in batteries of the speakers must of course be charged. It is usually the case that the charging time is longer, the larger the battery is.

Reconnect automatically

When the speaker is switched on, the smartphone automatically reconnects to it, at least if it was last connected to it.

Compatibility with smartphone OS

Some manufacturers may have apps for the speakers. So you should also check whether they are available for your smartphone OS. It is usually also stated which OS the loudspeaker is compatible with. Android has always worked for me so far and Apple iOS is usually also specified.

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11 How are you going on?

I recommend you take a look at my detailed reviews now.

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