Bluetooth is a wireless technology spanning devices ranging from headphones and headsets to cameras and keyboards. What makes a Bluetooth device high quality pertains equally to the build, price and features of the device as well as what Bluetooth specification it adheres to. These issues translate into matters of reliability, battery life and range of the Bluetooth unit you choose.
1Brand: In electronics, there are trusted, reliable brand names and inexpensive, lower-quality options. Websites offering reliable comparisons and reviews can quickly inform you which Bluetooth device brands consistently win in terms of audio clarity, connection reliability and range. Take note of complaints and perceived shortcomings as well, evaluating whether reviewer issues will be problems for you too. In general, the brands offered by well-known retailers are recognized as having a good chance of quality. Using these resources to whittle your options makes you shopping and comparison trips easier when auditioning the devices in person.
2Costs: Bluetooth is a technology found in devices spanning multiple price ranges. Very often, less expensive units use older or less-capable revisions of the technology. However, devices not requiring longer range, such as desktop speakers may use a lower revision to keep costs down while not noticeably impacting performance. Always look for the highest revision number possible, weighing the cost versus the benefit for that enhanced range and performance. For example, Bluetooth 1.1 is an older specification, good for a few feet. Appearing in 2005, Bluetooth 2.0 enhanced range while reducing pairing dropouts. Bluetooth 3.0, 4.0 and above offer longer ranges, increased reliability and capabilities.
3Add-Ons: Many new notebooks offer built-in Bluetooth, waiting for you to pair a cell phone, headphones, game controller or speakers. However, many desktop computers and third-party devices require a dongle to add Bluetooth functionality. It is important before heading out and selecting a Bluetooth accessory to pair with your computer to determine what capabilities your device already has. Apple computers ship standard with Bluetooth, but not all brands of Windows PCs are equally equipped. For the fastest Bluetooth needs, version 4.0 often requires a new wireless card for PC users wanting full Bluetooth capability with keyboards, game controllers and devices like iPads. Check your owner's manual for a computer you already own or the website of a computer you want to purchase to determine which Bluetooth kit, if any, you require
4Practicality: Making purchases usually involves a personal measure of how devices and items are used on a daily basis. Bluetooth devices that operate on batteries might, for example, use a rechargeable battery. If you use the piece frequently enough, you should determine how often you'll be potentially replacing batteries. For equipment such as headphones, consider whether you will be using them during yard work and pairing with the stereo inside, or sitting at your computer. In this case range, size and audio quality matter. If you have a large vehicle, you might be sitting further away from your cell phone than someone driving a compact car, so increased headset range might be a concern. Make a list of how you intend to use the Bluetooth device and in what environments in order to best compare features, price and performance.