Operating in the 2.4GHz unlicensed industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) frequency band, Bluetooth technology supports multiple radio options that enable developers to build products meeting the unique connectivity requirements of their market.

Whether a product streams high-quality audio between a smartphone and speaker, transfers data between a tablet and medical device, or sends messages between thousands of nodes in a building automation solution, the Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR) radios are designed to meet the unique needs of developers worldwide.

Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)

The Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) radio is designed for very low power operation. To enable reliable operation in the 2.4 GHz frequency band, it leverages a robust frequency-hopping spread spectrum approach that transmits data over 40 channels. The Bluetooth LE radio provides developers a tremendous amount of flexibility, including multiple PHY options that support data rates from 125 Kb/s to 2 Mb/s, multiple power levels, from 1mW to 100 mW, as well as multiple security options up to government grade.

Bluetooth LE also supports multiple network topologies, including point-to-point, broadcast and mesh networking.

Bluetooth Classic

The Bluetooth Classic radio, also referred to as Bluetooth Basic Rate/Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR), is designed for low power operation and also leverages a robust Adaptive Frequency Hopping approach, transmitting data over 79 channels. The Bluetooth BR/EDR radio includes multiple PHY options that support data rates from 1 Mb/s to 3 Mb/s, and supports multiple power levels, from 1mW to 100 mW, multiple security options, and a point-to-point network topology.


Bluetooth Low Energy (LE)Bluetooth Basic Rate/
Enhanced Data Rate (BR/EDR)
Frequency Band2.4GHz ISM Band (2.402 – 2.480 GHz Utilized)2.4GHz ISM Band (2.402 – 2.480 GHz Utilized)
Channels40 channels with 2 MHz spacing
(3 advertising channels/37 data channels)
79 channels with 1 MHz spacing
Channel UsageFrequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS)
ModulationGFSKGFSK, π/4 DQPSK, 8DPSK
Power Consumption~0.01x to 0.5x of reference
(depending on use case)
1 (reference value)
Data RateLE 2M PHY: 2 Mb/s
LE 1M PHY: 1 Mb/s
LE Coded PHY (S=2): 500 Kb/s
LE Coded PHY (S=8): 125 Kb/s
EDR PHY (8DPSK): 3 Mb/s
EDR PHY (π/4 DQPSK): 2 Mb/s
BR PHY (GFSK): 1 Mb/s
Max Tx Power*Class 1: 100 mW (+20 dBm)
Class 1.5: 10 mW (+10 dbm)
Class 2: 2.5 mW (+4 dBm)
Class 3: 1 mW (0 dBm)
Class 1: 100 mW (+20 dBm)
Class 2: 2.5 mW (+4 dBm)
Class 3: 1 mW (0 dBm)
Network TopologiesPoint-to-Point (including piconet)
Broadcast
Mesh
Point-to-Point (including piconet)

* Devices shall not exceed the maximum allowed transmit power levels set by the regulatory bodies that have jurisdiction over the locales in which the device is to be sold or intended to operate. Implementers should be aware that the maximum transmit power level permitted under a given set of regulations might not be the same for all modulation modes.

Related Resources

Tuya Uses Bluetooth Mesh to Build Its IoT Platform For Smart Lighting

Connected lighting has been a hot topic both in public places and home scenarios.…

What Is Bluetooth LE Audio, and Why Will You Want It?

Wireless headphones are already worth the money, and soon, they’ll be even better. Bluetooth…

What’s New in Core Spec Version 5.2

Watch this technical overview of the new features introduced in version 5.2 of the…

6 Important Things to Know About LE Power Control

Bluetooth Low Energy Power Control, also known as LE Power Control (LEPC), is one…

An Introduction to LE Audio

The key features of the next generation of Bluetooth audio are explained, including the…

LE Audio: A New Age of Bluetooth Audio Sharing

To help us better understand LE Audio and what it means for end-users, we…

3 Ways LE Audio Will Transform Wireless Audio

Bluetooth® technology has become such a mainstay that it’s hard to imagine a time…

5 Things You Don’t Know About Bluetooth Range

From frequency hopping to forward error correction, watch Mohammad Afaneh share some things you…

How Bluetooth Will Continue to Drive Retail Innovation in 2020

Success stories can be found today in big box and boutique shops, fast casual…

Disrupting the Restoration Industry with Bluetooth

When Steven Kramer became aware of how antiquated water restoration operations had become in…

How to Automate Asset Tracking, Management, and Inventory in Healthcare and Pharma

Asset tracking is particularly important in healthcare as well as in pharma. Sometimes minutes…

Comparing RTLS infrastructure: Weighing Bluetooth and Competitors

Real-Time Location Solutions are adding more value for operators at a lower price point.…

Member Positioning Guide

Building on 20 years of innovation, the next generation of Bluetooth audio will enhance…

The Bluetooth LE Security Study Guide

Learn about fundamental security concepts, the security features of Bluetooth Low Energy, and gain some hands-on experience using those features in device code.

Long Range High-Quality Bluetooth Audio at L'Oreal Office

L’Oreal was looking for a new solution and wanted to test wireless Bluetooth headsets…

Bluetooth Location Services

See 8 use cases for enhancing building efficiencies and creating a better visitor experience, discover new data that supports the latest trends and forecasts, and find out what’s driving the rapid adoption of location services solutions.

How to Make Wearables Bluetooth Mesh Provisioners

Learn how to create applications for smartwatches and other platforms that can monitor and control nodes in a Bluetooth mesh network.

2019 Bluetooth Market Update

Supported by updated forecasts from ABI Research and insights from several other analyst firms, the Bluetooth Market Update highlights the latest Bluetooth trends and forecasts.

An Introduction to Web Bluetooth

Provides foundation-level information and hands-on labs that walk you through using Web Bluetooth APIs.

Overview – Bluetooth Technology

See how the global standard for simple, secure connection has expanded to meet the…