What is Dual-Mode Bluetooth?

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- everything RF

Nov 21, 2020

Dual-Mode Bluetooth devices are those that support both Bluetooth Classic and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). 

Bluetooth Classic provides a high throughput two-way communication link (up to 2.1 Mbps). It is commonly used for streaming audio / video and for applications that require a continuous broadband link.

BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) has been developed for low data rate applications with a throughput of up to 25 kbps. It has a lower latency than Bluetooth classic and as the name suggests, consumes less power. It is ideal for wearable devices, smart IoT devices, fitness monitoring equipment, and battery-powered devices.

Click here to learn more about the differences between Bluetooth Classic and BLE.

Dual mode Bluetooth takes advantage of both these technologies. The most common use case of this would be wireless headphones or speakers where BLE is used to pair and control the devices and Bluetooth Classic is used to stream the audio. Using Dual Mode Bluetooth here enriches the user experience by allowing faster Pairing, faster media controls, and high-quality audio streaming.

Most smartphones and tablets today have Dual-Mode Bluetooth chipsets. This way they can use Bluetooth Low Energy to connect to and control various smart devices and use Bluetooth Classic for all high data rate applications.