If you've used any Bluetooth gadgets for a while, you are already aware of the fact that they have the tendency of draining your smart phone's battery quite fast. The good news is that the organization behind the Bluetooth communication protocol started to focus its energy on reducing power consumption since the fourth version of the standard. And now, Bluetooth 5.0 promises to use even less power. As you can imagine, this translates to longer battery lives for both your phone and your peripherals.
Another interesting feature is the ability of playing audio on two different devices simultaneously. This wasn't possible in the past, because the data bandwidth consumption would have been too big, so some of the signal packets would have been dropped on their way to the destination.
Bluetooth 5.0 has changed that, allowing two people to listen to the same track, played by a single phone, at once. Actually, you could even install two different music players on a single phone, and then have two people listen to two different tracks; that's a very cool feature, isn't it?
However, the main improvements are greater data transfer speeds and improved signal ranges. According to Bluetooth.com, the new standard offers a 400% range increase and a 200% speed increase. It is true that even with the new version, Bluetooth can only transfer data at speeds of up to 2 Mb per second, which is a tiny fraction from what we can achieve using Wi-Fi, for example.
Still, you should keep in mind that this protocol wasn't built with data-hungry devices in mind. In fact, the first iteration only had a speed of 0.7 Mbps and a range of 30 feet, while Bluetooth 5.0 can communicate with compatible devices on a distance of up to 800 feet. Sure, we will have to see what happens in real life situations, but things look very promising even on paper.
Some manufacturers plan to give people the ability of choosing between speed and range. This way, IoT devices which don't need to exchange lots of data with a computer can benefit from an increased range. Of course, you will want your headphones to benefit from higher speeds, because this will translate to an improved sound quality. Very few people will listen to music while being located hundreds of feet away from their phones anyway.
Lots of manufacturers have promised to release Bluetooth 5.0 compatible devices in 2018. As always, big companies such as Apple and Samsung are amongst the first ones that were able to produce phones which utilize this new technology.
So, if you love listening to music on your smart phone, Bluetooth 5.0 will help you get a higher quality audio on your wireless headphones. For other people, though, the need to upgrade may not be that pressing.