Bluetooth has come a long way since its early days when it would take minutes to just send a single file over. As the number of Bluetooth devices increases, especially headphones, the standard itself keeps getting better with each iteration.
Right now, Bluetooth v5.2 is the latest and greatest in terms of what the standard has to offer. That said, Bluetooth 5.0 was probably the most significant change. Bluetooth 5.1 and 5.2 are improvement updates over version 5.0 that make it even better.
In this article, we’re comparing Bluetooth 5.0 and 5.2 to see how much of a difference these small changes have made.
While the range isn’t exactly much of a factor in real-life applications, Bluetooth 5.0 more than doubled the previous Bluetooth range coming in at around 400 meters. This is of course considering there are no obstacles between the communicating devices. The indoor range for Bluetooth 5.0 is rated at around 40 meters.
As for Bluetooth 5.2, the range remains largely the same, although you will get better connection stability thanks to version 5.2 supporting more advanced data transmission protocols like EATT.
Transfer speeds and latency
Bluetooth 5.0 doubled the transmission speeds as well over previous Bluetooth protocols coming in at around 2 Mbps. Bluetooth 5.2 maintains this speed but with the addition of Enhanced Attribute Protocol (EATT) which is an upgraded version of ATT allowing for more secure and stable transfers.
As for latency, while the numbers are once again similar between the two protocols, Bluetooth 5.0 practically removed any latency you’d get in your earphones when watching a video, especially if you were streaming. Bluetooth 5.2 builds upon this by slightly improving latency thanks to its support for better audio codecs such as LC3 and ISOC.
As mentioned above, Bluetooth 5.2 supports better audio codecs such as LC3 and ISOC. ISOC stands for Isochronous Channel. This allows one Bluetooth device to connect to multiple source devices meaning users can switch between inputs at the tap of a button.
ISOC is also the foundational technology behind low-energy Bluetooth audio and the corresponding codec — LC3. LC3, otherwise known as the Low Complexity Communications Codec is a major improvement over Bluetooth and BLE as it uses less power and less bandwidth while still maintaining high-bitrate audio transmissions. This allows for better audio quality and longer battery life.
As you can probably guess by now, Bluetooth 5.2 beats Bluetooth 5.0 when it comes to power saving. Thanks to its ISOC and LC3 support, Bluetooth 5.2 devices are more power efficient as compared to Bluetooth 5.0 devices without sacrificing transmission speeds, range or quality.
Which one should you pick in a device?
Bluetooth 5.2 is the better standard between the two but hasn’t seen widespread adoption yet because of production delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bluetooth 5.0 and 5.1 devices are still mainstream in the market however and are easily available (and also cheaper).
Of course, Bluetooth 5.2 is catching up and we expect to see it being introduced in mainstream products. Until then, unless you require the multipoint connectivity or the longer battery life that Bluetooth 5.2 devices can provide, you can pick either of the two and be perfectly happy with your choice.