Bluetooth Receiver Sensitivity

What is Bluetooth Receiver Sensitivity? What is the range?

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- everything RF

Mar 16, 2021

Bluetooth Receiver sensitivity is the measure of the minimum signal strength a Bluetooth receiver can interpret i.e. the lowest power level at which the receiver can detect a radio signal, maintain a connection, and still demodulate the data.

Receiver sensitivity is expressed in dBm. Because receiver sensitivity indicates how faint an input signal can be to be successfully received by the receiver, the lower the receiver sensitivity the better. As the power of the signal is expressed in dBm, the larger the absolute value of the negative number, the better the receiver sensitivity.

The noise level and bandwidth of a Bluetooth receiver are two factors that affect its receiver sensitivity. Bluetooth technology standards specify that devices must be able to achieve a minimum receiver sensitivity of -70 dBm to -82 dBm, depending on the PHY used by the receiver. However, Bluetooth implementations typically achieve much higher receiver sensitivity levels. Implementations of the various Bluetooth PHY layers achieve varying average receiver sensitivities.

Here are some common Bluetooth PHY layer configurations and their average Bluetooth Sensitivity:

  • EDR 3M: -87 dBm
  • EDR 2M: -90 dBm
  • BR 1M: -90 dBm
  • LE 2M: -89 dBm
  • LE 1M: -94 dBm
  • LE 500K (CODED): -99 dBm
  • LE 125K (CODED): -101 dBm

These variations are due to the different modulation techniques used in the different PHY layers or the slight variation in bandwidths or because of the different methods used to reduce the noise figure of the receiver like the use of low-noise amplifiers (LNA).