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With Bluetooth 5 becoming available on consumer devices such as the Samsung S8, I was wondering if it will offer any benefit if you use it with for example a wireless headset using a Bluetooth 4.1 chip?

As far as I understand it will offer quadruple the range and higher speeds, and as it is backwards compatible, will it offer any benefits for 4.* chips?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As Bluetooth is a two-way communication, both ends will have to be upgraded to get the benefits, so the simple answer is "no". \$\endgroup\$
    – Finbarr
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Finbarr So as long as the range of the BT4.0 chip stays the same, I won't have added benefits from using the BT5.0 emitter in for example a new phone \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 15, 2017 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ It may be that the newer 5.0 chips implement 4.0 a bit better, but you'll still be limited by what the other end can support. I doubt that a wireless headset will see any improvement as 4.0 runs easily fast enough anyway. \$\endgroup\$
    – Finbarr
    Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Finbarr Yeah, it runs fast enough, but stability and range would be nice to haves :P If you wish to post your comments as an answer I'll mark it as accepted as it did answer my question \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 15, 2017 at 12:02

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The simple answer is "no".

Bluetooth is a two-way communication, so in order to see any improvement from new features both ends of the link will need to be upgraded. There's no point in one end sending at higher power to get better range if the other end can't do the same.

It may be that the newer 5.0 chips implement the features of 4.0 a bit better, but you'll still be limited by what the other end can support. It's unlikely that a wireless headset will see any improvement in quality from the speed of 5.0 as 4.0 runs easily fast enough anyway, but obviously the enhanced range of 5.0 could be useful.

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