The convenience of Bluetooth technology, which came to the market in the late 1990s, is amazing. Just pair your preferred device and you’ve got wireless audio. It may be clever, but there are some limitations that must also be considered. The amount of audio information that can be transmitted is finite and its reach is limited.
If you’re thinking about the purchase of a Bluetooth speaker or a wired speaker, here are some pros and cons to consider when comparing the two technologies.
#1. Audio Depth and Quality
This category is a definite pro for the wired speaker and a definite con for the Bluetooth speaker. Wired speakers can transmit more audio information to the speaker, creating a sound that is rich and full. Because the data on a Bluetooth pairing is limited, the audio quality tends to be flat and somewhat tinny. The newest Bluetooth advancements bring the music quality to nearly CD level, but it will likely be Bluetooth 5.0 before this disadvantage goes away.
This category flips the script. Bluetooth technologies are more convenient than even Wi-Fi and music is trending toward making it readily available anytime and anywhere. Wired speakers are immobile. You can wire a home to have one platform provide music in any room, but the time and expense of doing that are much higher than pairing a speaker to a device and then hitting play.
This is another clear win for Bluetooth technologies. Let’s face it: if you’re using a Bluetooth device, there’s a good chance you’re using headphones or wanting to use one of the best outdoor speakers to relax or have music for a get-together or party you’re hosting. You can take a Bluetooth speaker into a pool with water-resistant options today. Wired speakers give you better sound, but aren’t as portable.
This category is a toss-up. Bluetooth offers a consistent playback stream, but the final quality of the music depends on several links in the chain that takes the music file from your device to the speaker. If the file is of low quality, then your playback will be terrible. If the connection is through a wall or has interference, it will be a poor-quality result. Wired speakers, though they lack portability and convenience, give you a consistent result. You can have playback issues if you’re running a scratched CD or a crinkled cassette, but that also means you’re working with old-school tech that will limit your quality anyway.
#5. Technology Access
If you’re using a Bluetooth speaker, then it can be used for more than just music. It can become a way to take a phone call when you’re on the go. It can help you connect with your team when you’re trying to take down a boss on the latest video game. Wired speakers can give you some of that access too, but not with the same microphone pairing that a Bluetooth speaker provides.
In the Bluetooth vs. wired speaker debate, what matters the most is your personal application. If you want world-class audio quality and don’t mind that you need a technology headquarters in your home to get it, then wired speakers are perfect for you. For those who want convenience and portability, then Bluetooth is your best option.