Bluetooth 5.3 vs Bluetooth 5.0: What’s the Actual Difference?

bluetooth 5.3 vs. bluetooth 5.0

Bluetooth 5.3 vs Bluetooth 5.0: What’s the Actual Difference?

Key Points

  • Bluetooth 5.3 brings security improvements and better overall connectivity compared to Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Both Bluetooth 5.3 and 5.0 have a broadcast range of around 200 yards, but 5.3 can optimize channel selection for a stronger connection.
  • The broadcast speed of Bluetooth 5.3 remains the same as 5.0 at 50 MB/s, but 5.3 offers improved audio support with lossless or near-lossless codecs.
  • Compatibility with Bluetooth 5.0 is more universal, while compatibility with Bluetooth 5.3 is newer and may vary depending on the manufacturer.
  • Bluetooth 5.3 is recommended for better security, improved connectivity, and lossless audio support.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs. Bluetooth 5.0: what has changed? Bluetooth 5.3 has been on the market for about two years now and brings some notable enhancements to the package. That said, it isn’t quite as revolutionary as 5.0. As a point release, that is expected — it isn’t a whole new version, after all.

With the season serving as the impetus for a new reason to buy a smartphone, tablet, or other tech, it helps to know what your intended devices are capable of. Today’s guide will be taking a closer look at the differences between these two protocols, and what has changed between releases.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs. Bluetooth 5.0: Side-by-Side Comparison

Bluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.0
Broadcast RangeAround 200 yardsAround 200 yards
Transfer Speed50 MB/s50 MB/s
Notable AdditionsBetter security features, less bandwidth wasted on repeat messagesImproved range, speed, and stability
Release Date20212016
Lossless Audio SupportYesNo
Multiple Devices AllowedYesYes
Optimized Frequency SelectionYesNo

As you can see, there are some slight improvements to different aspects of these standards. Bluetooth 5.3 isn’t a massive leap forward, but it is a necessary one.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs. Bluetooth 5.0: What’s the Difference?

Security Improvements

One of the biggest features of Bluetooth 5.3 is a revision to the way data is encrypted. Bluetooth calls this feature encryption key size control, and it allows messages to be sent with a minimum amount of data to keep encryption costs low. The release of 5.3 as a whole is geared toward security improvements, rather than any functional leaps forward.

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Bluetooth 5.0 was a generational leap, introducing some great features. However, security is rather lacking. Now, transmissions are encrypted, but this comes at the cost of heavier bandwidth. This, in turn, leads to more drain on a device’s battery.

Bluetooth 5.3 notably makes great strides towards the low energy efficiency of the standard. You still get the option for encrypted data and better overall connectivity. 5.3 can also swap between heavier bandwidth needs and low energy modes at the drop of a hat.

Broadcast Range

The broadcast range is identical between these two standards. Bluetooth 5.0 brought the ability to reach devices well over 200 yards away, and that hasn’t changed with the jump to 5.3. You still get access to the same extreme range as 5.0, just with the noted security improvements.

As Bluetooth 5.3 is a point release, there are a few minor improvements to connection quality. Where you’ll note differences is in the overall viability of the connection as 5.3 can optimize which channel is selected. This is something also seen in newer Wi-Fi standards. Picking the ideal channel for broadcast allows 5.3 to keep a strong connection, minimizing data loss.

At any rate, you’ll still have access to hundreds of feet of connectivity when using either standard. If anything, Bluetooth 5.3 is going to be more stable as it’ll pick the right channel to broadcast without having something go awry. 5.0 should also do just fine in terms of overall range, but might run into some interference issues if there is a fair bit of congestion across the wireless frequencies.

Broadcast Speed

There aren’t any real improvements to the broadcast speed of 5.3. You’re still operating at the same operational speed of 50 MB/s which was introduced with the 5.0 release. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as point releases with Bluetooth aren’t quite as huge as they were 20 years ago.

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You’re still getting access to double the effective speed of Bluetooth 4.0, just with some additional tweaks and features. 5.3 carries all of the improvements from 5.2, along with its own additions. Bluetooth 5.3 may appear faster than 5.0, and that’s for good reason.

5.2 introduced multiple data streams to the standard. You won’t notice it happening, but data is sent across multiple channels, allowing for higher-quality connections while still broadcasting heavier data requirements. This also keeps power use to a minimum, thanks to the LE audio and ISOC features.

Lossless Audio

Previous versions of Bluetooth had to rely on lossy audio codecs to handle music playback and calls. This leads to noticeable compression and digital artifacts during playback, especially at higher volumes. Now, smartphones aren’t the only thing that uses Bluetooth for digital audio needs, as you’ll certainly find a plethora of soundbars and other audio-centric devices using it for connectivity.

Bluetooth 5.0 has better overall connections and speed but still leans on the older audio codecs to get things done. As such, this is one of the areas where you’ll see a real and noticeable difference between 5.0 and 5.3.

5.2’s improvements are also seen across 5.3, resulting in clearer audio support. You get to use lossless or near-lossless audio codecs while maintaining minimal bandwidth usage. This is one of the biggest edges 5.3 has over the older 5.0. While 5.3 is a marked improvement across the board; audio playback makes a massive difference for the likes of Dolby Atmos and other very demanding audio codecs.

Compatible Devices

Compatibility with Bluetooth 5.0 is going to be much more universal, thanks in part to it being a standard going on seven years of age. Thankfully, Bluetooth as a protocol is fully backward compatible. As such, if you have a newer device running 5.2 or 5.3, any 5.0 accessories should work just fine.

Compatibility with 5.3 is going to be a bit spottier, as it is a newer standard. If you’re purchasing a device made in 2022 or later, you should have 5.3 compatibility. However, this is going to vary depending on the manufacturer.

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Just as a general example, the newly released Raspberry Pi 5 uses an older version of Bluetooth, with support only existing for version 5.0. On the other hand, the newly released iPhone 15 and its variants also come with support for Bluetooth 5.3.

Support for newer standards isn’t going to be universal, so you’ll need to check which version is available when purchasing a wireless device. Thankfully, as they are all backward compatible, you should be able to use any older accessories or devices with a new one capable of supporting Bluetooth 5.3.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs. Bluetooth 5.0: 5 Must-Know Facts

  1. Bluetooth 5.3 brought improved security features to the standard.
  2. Bluetooth 5.3 can use lossless audio codecs.
  3. Bluetooth 5.3 is the definitive version of the standard.
  4. Bluetooth 5.0 doubled the transfer rate of Bluetooth 4.0.
  5. Bluetooth 5.0 greatly increased the range to establish a connection.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs. Bluetooth 5.0: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Choose?

So, which of these standards is the best? Really, when looking at point versions of standards, you can just assume that Bluetooth 5.3 is going to be better. As a whole, it brings all the enhancements and features of Bluetooth 5.0 along with the improvements from 5.2 and its own list of features.

Bluetooth 5.0 is still a fantastic standard, so if you have a supported device it’ll be just fine. However, if you’re looking for something more secure and with support for lossless audio codecs, 5.3 is the way to go.

Thankfully, you don’t have to throw out or upgrade all of your accessories and devices. If you want to leverage the power and speed of Bluetooth 5.3, you will need a compatible device to connect to, as well as any sort of accessories that use the protocol.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use Bluetooth 5.0 accessories with Bluetooth 5.3?

You absolutely can; any Bluetooth device is fully backward compatible with any standard an accessory might use.

How many channels does Bluetooth have?

5.0 introduced the use of 40 channels, but they’re far wider than previous versions. Bluetooth 4.0 and below had 79 channels operating at 1 MHz compared to the 40 channels at 2 MHz of 5.0 and above.

Can Bluetooth 5.3 use multiple accessories connecting to the same device?

It absolutely can, there is better support for simultaneous connections when using Bluetooth 5.0 and above.

Does the new iPhone support Bluetooth 5.3?

Yes, the iPhone 15 and its variants come with support for Bluetooth 5.3.

Will I notice the improvements of Bluetooth 5.3 if using a 4.0 device?

No, you’ll still be able to use it, however. To reap the full benefits of Bluetooth 5.3, you’ll need a compatible device as well as accessories that use the protocol.

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