How Does Bluetooth Work?
In order for a Bluetooth connection to be established between devices they must both be Bluetooth enabled. This means that each device must have the necessary electronic circuitry to transmit and receive the UHF radio signals and the software required to convert these signals into meaningful data for our applications to work. Any device that is Bluetooth enabled will usually be clearly marked with the Bluetooth logo in its packaging, user manual or possibly on the device itself. A Bluetooth device will also have a set of controls in its user interface for turning on, turning off and ‘Pairing’ the Bluetooth connection.
What is the Range of Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is designed for very low power use. The range of bluetooth transmission/reception typically will only be 10m – about 30ft. High-powered Bluetooth devices will enable ranges up to 100m (300ft). Considering the design philosophy behind Bluetooth, even the 10m range is adequate for the purposes Bluetooth is intended for.
What Sort of Devices use Bluetooth?
Bluetooth has become popular across many types of devices. It can be used in the home to connect computers to printers, speakers and other peripherals, Wifi systems but is predominantly used by mobile devices such as phones, tablets and music players to connect to audio peripherals such as speakers, headsets and headphones.
What is Bluetooth Pairing?
Bluetooth devices establish a connection between each through a mechanism called ‘Pairing’. Once ‘Paired’ the Bluetooth enabled devices can communicate with each other. The instructions supplied with a Bluetooth device will describe the exact procedure for pairing it to other Bluetooth enabled devices however the process is pretty much the same for all devices:
- Turn on both devices that you want to pair – we will assume a smart phone and speaker.
- Enable the Bluetooth feature on the smartphone (could also be an iPad/Tablet, iPod/MP3 player or PC etc..)
- Turn on the Bluetooth Speaker (usually the ‘end device’ such as a speaker, headset, printer, GPS device) and put it into ‘Pairing mode’ – the device manual will detail how to do this. On many speaker and headphone devices the pairing mode is enabled by keeping the main power on button pressed. While in paring mode the speaker will send out a signal which basically says ‘I want to connect to another Bluetooth device’. It will continue to send out this signal until another Bluetooth device sends accepts the signal. If there is no acceptance signal from another Bluetooth enabled device the speaker will stop sending out its signal after a period of time.
- On the smartphone go to the Bluetooth menu and search for (or add) a device. The smartphone should hopefully be able to identify the signal from the speaker and show its name in the list of available devices. You can then select the Bluetooth speaker name and the smartphone will pair with it.
- The Bluetooth connection is then made and the two devices can communicate. In some instances a passkey may be required to complete the pairing and the pass key will be outlined in the instructions for the speaker/headphone device instructions.
Once you have paired the two devices the smartphone will usually remember the speakers Bluetooth details so the next time you want to pair the two devices all you need to do is enable Bluetooth on both.
What are the Differences Between Bluetooth Versions?
Bluetooth has been around for a while now and as the technology has evolved newer versions have been created and implemented in the latest devices. There have been versions of Bluetooth from V1.0 however at this time we generally see V2.1, V3.0 and V4.0 in common use in consumer devices.
Bluetooth 2.1 was released in 2007, its data speed was the same as V2.0 – 3Mbps in theory (about 2.1Mbps in practice) but provided more data transmission security, less power and a better pairing system which did not require any PIN. In 2009, Bluetooth 3.0 was introduced with the ability to use Wi-Fi connections which brought more speed in data transmission – up to 24Mbps. The most recent version of Bluetooth is version 4.0 which has much lower power consumption making it very compatible with today portable smart devices.
What are Bluetooth A2DP, AVRCP, HFP, HSP Protocols?
The core Bluetooth technology creates a secure, fast 2-way connection between two or more devices allowing them to communicate. To make that communication understandable each device needs to use a common language – this is a set of protocols that allow the devices to understand and control each other’s features. If you want your devices to connect and stream music or to allow hands free calls both devices need to be compatible with a certain protocol that enables these actions.
This is why in the Bluetooth device specification you see something like ‘Bluetooth Profiles Supported: A2DP/AVRCP’. These are the protocols that a specific device is compatible with. This might sound a bit scary but it isn’t – for Bluetooth Speakers and Headsets there are only a few protocols you need to be aware of:
A2DP – A2DP stands for ‘Advanced Audio Distribution Profile’ and is a Bluetooth protocol that allows mobile users to stream high quality (stereo or mono) audio wirelessly. If you want to listen to your music on a pair of Bluetooth headphones or speakers both devices need to support this.
AVRCP – AVRCP stands for ‘Audio/Video Remote Control Profile’ and is a Bluetooth profile that allows devices to control media playback on remote devices. It is typically used with A2DP devices for next/previous track selection and pause/play functions when streaming music.
HFP – HFP stands for ‘Hands Free Protocol’ and is a Bluetooth profile to enable a two-way wireless speaker-phone to be used with a Bluetooth phone. Its most common use is with car kits. HFP is one of the most common Bluetooth profiles. Nearly all phones support it, including ones that do not support Headset Profile (HSP). Since all modern Bluetooth headsets support both HSP and HFP, phones without HSP can still use Bluetooth headsets via HFP. HFP does not support stereo.
HSP – HSP stands for ‘Headset Profile’ and is a Bluetooth profile to enable a two-way wireless headset to be used with a Bluetooth phone. Headset is one of the most common Bluetooth profiles and supports simultaneous two-way (full-duplex) audio, but it does not support stereo audio. HSP can be used with devices other than phones. For example, a Bluetooth headset could be used with a Bluetooth-enabled PC and VoIP software to place an Internet phone call.
Can I buy the MonkeyCanz MC-201 in high-street stores?
No, MonkeyCanz products are only available to order via Amazon at this time.
What sort of devices can I pair/connect to the MC-201?
You can pair the MC-201 speaker wirelessly to any device that is Bluetooth enabled.
Using the 3.5mm Line-in jack socket on the MC-201 and the supplied audio lead you can also connect any non-Bluetooth device as well.
Is it possible to pair/connect more than one device to my MC-201 speaker at the same time?
The MC-201 speaker can remember the last device it was connected to but can only play music from one device at a time. If you power the speaker within range of a Bluetooth enabled device it has previously connected to it will automatically connect to it.
Can I use my MC-201 speaker when it is charging?
Yes, you can use your speaker as normal while it is charging.
My MC-201 speaker doesn’t work properly. What should I do?
If you have any issues with your product we would like to help – please fill out our Contact Form with your query and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
How far can the MC-201 speaker and the paired device be from each other?
The speaker and the paired device have to stay within 10-30 meters of each other for the Bluetooth connection to work reliably. The range will vary depending on your local environment and interference from doors, walls and other radio signals such as Wi-Fi can reduce the range.
How long does the MC-201 battery last for?
The battery life is quoted as 12 hours. However, factors such as device volume and Bluetooth signal strength will impact the actual operation time from a full charge.
How does the MC-201 hands-free function work?
If you have your phone connected by Bluetooth to the MC-201 speaker and receive a call you can easily answer the call and use your speaker as a hands-free speakerphone. When you receive the incoming call simply answer it by pressing the ON/OFF button. When you have finished talking simply press the ON/OFF button again to hang up your call. If you make an outgoing call while the phone is connected you will automatically be able to use the speaker in hands-free mode.
How does the MC-201 NFC function work?
The Near Field Communication (NFC) function on the MC-201 can be used to effortlessly pair your device to the MC-201 speaker. Switch on NFC on your device then turn on the MC-201 and wait for it to go into pairing mode. Then simply touch the device to the NFC logo on the MC-201. Your device will then be paired to the speaker.
Can I change the volume of the MC-201 ‘Power-ON’ and ‘Connected’ Announcements?
The volume of the MC-201 announcements is fixed and cannot be changed.
How water-proof is the MC-201?
The MC-201 is rated as IPX-4 which resistant to splashing water from any direction. The speaker is not resistant to continuous jets of water from any angle or submersion in water.
I can’t connect to device because of Bluetooth incorrect pin or passkey
It is rare but on some older Bluetooth devices you may get an error stating that you cannot connect because of Bluetooth incorrect pin or passkey.
The best course of action is to:
- If previously connected, remove the MC-201 from your devices list of paired or known devices
- Place the MC-201 into pairing mode by turning the speaker off, then turning it on and keeping the ‘ON’ button pressed until the ‘Pairing’ notification is spoken
- Search for Bluetooth devices on your device and pair with ‘MC-201’ (or ‘A5-C’ for some versions of the speaker).
- If a pin code is requested use ‘0000’.
You should be able to successfully pair your device to the MC-201
Can I connect two MC-201 speakers to my bluetooth device?
You can only connect and stream music to one speaker at a time using Bluetooth.
How do I know when my MC-201 is fully charged?
When charging the unit the indicator led will light up red. Once fully charged the light will turn off.
If you pull out the USB cable and replace it again when fully charged the red light may come back on again but then turn off after a little while – this is normal.