'Bluetooth 5' to be Announced Next Week [Update: Bringing 2x Speed, 4x Range]

Bluetooth 5, the next generation of Bluetooth standard, will be formally announced next week, offering quadruple the range and double the speed of the current low-energy wireless protocol.

Executive director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, Mark Powell, revealed the news in a published email sent to UK health and monitoring company Blue Maestro. The Bluetooth SIG, which is backed by Apple, Intel, and other major technology companies, will officially make the announcement on June 16 in London.

bluetooth
The standard's adoption of the title "Bluetooth 5" drops reference to both the version and point number, indicating both a significant revision of the protocol and an effort by SIG to simplify its marketing strategy.

The new standard is also said to offer significantly wider support for smart home devices and enhanced Internet of Things (IoT) functionality, in addition to increased support for location-based connectionless services, such as assistive navigation beacons.

It's unclear whether Bluetooth 5 will come to existing devices as a firmware update or require new hardware, but the latter is more likely. Previously, Bluetooth 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 devices were not upgradeable to newer versions of the standard, but Bluetooth 4.0 devices could be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.1 via software patches.

In October last year, Apple quietly added Bluetooth 4.2 support to the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, and iPad Air 2, bringing 2.5x faster speeds and up to ten times higher data capacity to the devices.

Rumors of impending upgrades to Apple's MacBook range typically make no mention of wireless protocols, while iPhone 7 leaks and speculation are also usually silent on the subject.

However, given the increasing likelihood that Apple will remove the headphone jack in the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, Bluetooth will become the primary means of connecting headphones for most users unless wired Lightning earbuds are included in the box.

Update: The article title and first paragraph originally stated that Bluetooth 5 would bring quadruple the speed and double the range of the existing protocol, when in fact it promises 2x speed and 4x range.

Bluetooth SIG's PR agency contacted MacRumors to request the correction, owing to a mistake in the original newsletter copy that the SIG's executive director sent out.

Popular Stories

new best buy blue

Best Buy's Memorial Day Sale Has Record Low Prices on iPads, MacBooks, and Much More

Friday May 24, 2024 7:12 am PDT by
Best Buy today kicked off its Memorial Day weekend sale, and it has some of the best prices we've tracked in weeks on iPads and MacBooks. Specifically, you'll find record low prices on the 5th generation iPad Air, iPad mini 6, M2 MacBook Air, and M3 MacBook Pro. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Best Buy. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment,...
macOS 15 Feature

macOS 15 System Settings to Get Design Overhaul

Thursday May 23, 2024 12:51 pm PDT by
With the macOS 15 update that is set to debut at WWDC in June, Apple plans to rearrange "menus and app UIs," according to a report from AppleInsider. The System Settings app, which was last updated with macOS Ventura, will get one of the biggest updates. With macOS Ventura, Apple renamed the System Preferences app to System Settings, introducing a design similar to the Settings app on the...
6chatgpt mac app

5 Reasons to Use OpenAI's ChatGPT App for Mac

Thursday May 23, 2024 6:07 am PDT by
On May 13, OpenAI during its Spring Update announced that it would be releasing a desktop ChatGPT app for the Mac in the "coming weeks," and said that ahead of a wider launch it had started rolling out the app to some ChatGPT Plus subscribers. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. After testing the app for a few days, we thought it was worth sharing some reasons why...
iOS 17

Apple Sheds More Light on iOS 17.5 Bug That Resurfaced Deleted Photos

Friday May 24, 2024 2:36 am PDT by
Last week, some iPhone users reported that Apple's iOS 17.5 update had introduced a bug that caused old photos that were deleted to reappear in the Photos app. Apple quickly released an iOS 17.5.1 update to fix the issue, but for many users, its explanation of "database corruption" in the release notes was all too brief, and did little to allay concerns about the privacy of their data. Apple ...

Top Rated Comments

Sunday Ironfoot Avatar
104 months ago
Here's hoping for uncompressed wireless audio.
Score: 41 Votes (Like | Disagree)
foobarbaz Avatar
104 months ago
Those $350 Bose headphones you bought on Monday? Already obsolete …

Edit: You guys, isn't it obvious I'm kidding? Of course they're not obsolete.
But they waited years to release their first Bluetooth QC and they do it a week before a new standard is released? That does deserve a little mocking … Was the product manager that much out of the loop?
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
monty77 Avatar
104 months ago
Here's hoping for a robust way to use BT devices full stop .. is it just me or are there ALWAYS complications with BT? Especially multipoint.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jctech Avatar
104 months ago
would be awesome to have a higher bitrate for audio without the need of AptX technology.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Benjamin Frost Avatar
104 months ago
It'll never be as reliable as a cable, no matter what the speed. I have no interest in Bluetooth.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Arran Avatar
104 months ago
So we'll get Bluetooth 5 on Apple Watch 2 to speed things up, maybe?

...But also a FaceTime camera video stream to s l o w t h i n g s d o w n a g a i n :(
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)