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What is a Bluetooth class and what is a Bluetooth profile?

Bluetooth Class

Bluetooth classes define a Bluetooth device’s maximum power output; the higher a device’s output power, the longer the maximum range. The below table outlines the average power output and range of the four Bluetooth classes:

Class

Average power

Average range

1

100 mW

~100m

2

2.5 mW

~10 m

3

1 mW

~1 m

4

0.5 mW

~0.5 m

A device's maximum range can also depend on environmental factors, such as physical obstructions between the two Bluetooth devices.

In order to achieve the maximum range defined by a Bluetooth class, both devices must support the same class. For example, if you wish to communicate at a 100m range, both Bluetooth devices will need to be class 1 devices. If one of the devices is class 2, both devices will operate at the range of class 2.

Bluetooth Profile

Bluetooth profiles are additional protocols that that more clearly define the Bluetooth standard for very specific uses. Profiles define exactly how Bluetooth technology is used in specific situations.

Some examples of Bluetooth profiles are Serial Port Profile (SPP), Human Interface Device (HID), Hands-Free Profile (HFP), and Headset Profile (HSP).