People use wireless speakers to listen to music, to the radio, or even to watch a movie. And there are two types of wireless speakers: Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Despite the widespread use of both of them, many people still don't know what's the difference between Bluetooth and wireless speakers.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are two transmitters with almost the same use and are the only two transmitters that are frequently used today. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers both use radio waves to allow one device to send data to another, but is one of them better than another? This article will explain the differences between those two: WiFi speakers vs Bluetooth speakers and introduce you to the best wireless speaker you can use.
Understanding Features of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Speakers
Below are some of the features that you can expect from wireless speakers, both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth speakers.
There are some speaker models that allow you to connect to a smartphone or other device via a USB cable, which can prevent connection drops that often happen on wireless connections.
- Multi-room Compatibility
With multi-room compatibility for speakers, you can now enjoy music, podcasts, and audiobooks no matter which room in your home you happen to be in. This type of technology utilizes wireless routers and audio streaming services to enable synchronized playback from a single source across several rooms. It can also be achieved by using several Bluetooth Speakers that are capable of connecting to each other via Bluetooth. For example, The Souncore Speakers' innovative PartyCast Technology can link over 100 portable Bluetooth speakers like Flare 2 to create an electrifying experience like never before.
- Voice Recognition and Remote Control
Voice recognition appears to be a fun way to turn up the volume when you don't want to leave your comfy couch. A standard remote control or the soundcore app on your smartphone is usually a reliable way to control your speaker from a distance. Some new models even take voice recognition to the next level by including full-fledged smart-speaker functionality.
- Hands-Free Speakerphone Capability
This feature, which is only available on certain Bluetooth models, allows you to take phone calls directly on your speaker.
- Music Streaming Services
Some wireless speakers provide direct access to streaming music services such as Spotify, Amazon Music, and Apple Music, in addition to streaming digital audio from a device.
Consider the Audio Source for Your Speaker
Because speakers are typically designed for use away from home or outdoor use, their audio source is usually a phone or other mobile device.
In conclusion, the audio source for both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi speakers will be the same. It is most likely a smartphone, tablet, or computer.
How Bluetooth Speakers Work?
Bluetooth speakers function by having your smartphone, tablet, or other music source device emit radio waves, which are then picked up by a small chip within the speaker. Once radio waves connect the devices, they are considered "paired" and can share data, including soundwave data.
In comparison to speakers with Wi-Fi connections, Bluetooth-enabled speakers have some limitations. Its limited bandwidth can only stream MP3 files and other highly compressed music formats. The source of the audio must also be in close proximity to the speaker. Typically, a maximum distance of 20-30 feet. Lastly, Bluetooth audio latency is around 50 milliseconds (ms), slower than the average Wi-Fi latency.
How WiFi Wireless Speakers Work?
Wi-Fi, on the other hand, is a far more versatile option. Unlike Bluetooth, Wi-Fi is multi-channeled. This means that multiple devices can connect to a Wi-Fi signal at the same time, allowing you to play the same music throughout your house.
Signal strength is yet another advantage of Wi-Fi. As previously mentioned, a Bluetooth connection allows your wireless speaker to be no more than 30 feet away from the audio source. This is a generous measurement, as you will likely encounter interruptions after 15 feet. In contrast, Wi-Fi allows you to take your speakers as far as your Wi-Fi signal reaches.
However, the main advantage of Wi-Fi over Bluetooth is bandwidth. The amount of information that can be streamed over at once is determined by bandwidth. If you think of bandwidth as a pipe, Bluetooth is a thin pipe, while Wi-Fi is a pipe ten times the size.
Range Difference Between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Speakers
As mentioned before, Bluetooth speakers typically have a range of about 30 feet, making them ideal for playing music from a phone but less ideal for playing music from a computer on the other side of the house. WiFi-enabled speakers, on the other hand, have a maximum range of about 100 feet. Again, this goes back to the concept of portability. WiFi speakers are preferable for around the house, while Bluetooth speakers are better for when you leave the house.
Should You Buy a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Speaker?
To know whether you should buy a Bluetooth or Wi-Fi speaker, you need to know what you intend to use the new speaker for. If you love to travel or want to use the speaker for outdoor activities, where power outlets will be out of reach, then you need to choose a Bluetooth speaker.
On the other hand, choose Wi-Fi if you want a speaker that is suitable for home use. Wi-Fi speakers come with a "Smart System", which enables you to connect and control multiple speakers with your existing sound system.
Is it worth getting a Bluetooth speaker?
Bluetooth speakers are wireless, meaning they don't require cords and cables as traditional speakers do. Most of them have built-in subwoofers, which give bass notes a richer, clearer sound. A Bluetooth speaker can also be paired with multiple devices, allowing family members or guests to easily switch between sources. Because of their portability, Bluetooth speakers can be taken from room to room or outdoors, making them an ideal choice for events or parties.
Which is better Wi-Fi or Bluetooth speakers?
Both provide convenient access to audio content. Wi-Fi speakers offer better sound quality as they are connected directly to a home network and don't need to go through the same compression process that music from a Bluetooth connection does. But Bluetooth speakers offer more portability as they do not need an internet connection.
Although Bluetooth speakers have some drawbacks, they're more portable and don't need an internet signal to connect, whereas Wi-Fi speakers do and they are more expensive. If you want the best of both worlds and your budget allows, you can simply choose a speaker that is both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled.