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Bluetooth Versions

Learn about the different versions of Bluetooth.

A Bluetooth keyboard, controller, and headset, and a Bluetooth adapter Brandon Jones / TechReviewer

Last Updated: November 15, 2021

Written by Kevin Jones

What Is the Latest Bluetooth Version?

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The latest version of Bluetooth is 5.3. Bluetooth Core Specification Version 5.3 added feature enhancements regarding LE reliability when communicating with devices far away, encryption key length negotiation, LE periodic advertising, and faster switching between connection speeds.

  • Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) Audio and Isochronous Channels allow for sharing and broadcasting audio and include hearing aids.
  • Bluetooth LE Power Control automatically adjusts transmitter power level based on a receiver's signal level.

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What Does Each Bluetooth Version Support?

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Major Changes in Each Bluetooth Version
Bluetooth VersionMajor Features and Improvements
5.3
  • Minor enhancements regarding:
    • LE reliability when communicating with devices far away
    • Encryption key length negotiation
    • LE handling of periodic advertisements
    • Support for faster upgrading of connection speeds
5.2
  • Bluetooth Low Energy Audio provides support for audio with reduced power consumption
  • Bluetooth LE Audio also supports:
    • Isochronous Channels which allow for sharing and broadcasting audio
    • A new LC3 codec made specifically for LE
    • Hearing aids
  • LE Power Control automatically adjusts transmitter power levels based on a receiver's signal level
5.1
  • Bluetooth Mesh which allows for many-to-many communications
  • Angle of Arrival (AoA) and Angle of Departure (AoD) allow for tracking the position of devices
5
  • LE 2 Mb/s colocated connection
  • LE Long Range
  • LE Channel Selection Algorithm
  • Slot Availability Mask (SAM) for avoiding nearby LTE transmission frequencies
  • Higher Output Power

Starting in version 5, the naming scheme changed to not include the point number in major versions.

4.2
  • Internet of Things (IoT) related features such as Internet Protocol Support Profile (IPSP) v6
  • Low Energy Secure Connection
  • Improved privacy with Extended Scanner Filter Policies
  • Extended Data Packet Lengths for LE
4.1
  • Co-existence support for LTE, for reduce interference
  • Audio Architecture Updates for HD voice quality
  • Fast Data Advertising Interval
  • Limited Discovery Time
4.0
  • An entirely new stack called Bluetooth Low Energy was built to target very low power applications powered by a watch battery.
3.0 + HS
  • High speed data transfers of up to 24 Mb/s using a colocated 802.11 (Wi-Fi) link. Note that HS is an optionally supported feature.
  • Enhanced Power Control improves power management and fixes some headset link loss issues
  • Enhanced Retransmission Mode (ERTM) for L2CAP supports retransmission and flow control, and a low-latency Streaming Mode (SM) support neither.
  • Unicast Connectionless Data for small amounts of service data without an L2CAP channel
2.1 + EDR
  • Improved pairing security and experience with Secure Simple Pairing (SSP).

In previous versions, encryption wasn't required and could be turned off, and usage of expired keys could be easily attacked.

Starting in 2.1:

  • Encryption is required for most connection types
  • Encryption keys must be refreshed
2.0 + EDR
  • Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) allowing for data transfer up to 2.1 Mb/s. Note that EDR is an optionally supported feature.
1.2
  • Faster connection and discovery
  • Adaptive frequency-hopping to avoid interference on crowded frequencies
  • Retransmission of corrupt packets with Extended Synchronous Connections (eSCO)
  • Faster transmissions speeds of up to 721 Kb/s
  • Host Controller Interface (HCI) three-wire UART
  • Flow Control and Retransmission Modes for L2CAP
1.1
  • Unencrypted channels
  • Recieved Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)
  • Various interoperability problems from 1.0b were fixed
1.0 / 1.0B
  • The initial release of Bluetooth

Which Version of Bluetooth Is My Windows 10 Computer Using?

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You can find your Bluetooth version by going to the Windows Device Manager and opening the properties for your Bluetooth device.

The first step is to open the Windows device manager, which you can do by searching Windows (Windows Key + S) for Device Manager and opening it.

Look for Bluetooth in the list and click to expand to see more.

You'll want to look for whichever Bluetooth device/hardware you're using.

USB adapters are typically listed as Bluetooth (model #) USB Device.

Right-click on that and select Properties.

Device manager properties for Bluetooth device on Windows 10 Device manager properties for Bluetooth device on Windows 10 TechReviewer

Go to the Advanced tab.

Look for the Firmware Version starting with LPM. This number correlates to the Bluetooth version that your computer supports.

Link Manager Protocol Version Supported Bluetooth Version
LPM 5 and below Bluetooth version 3 or less (Typically not used or is deprecated)
LMP 6 Bluetooth 4.0
LMP 7 Bluetooth 4.1
LMP 8 Bluetooth 4.2
LMP 9 Bluetooth 5.0
LMP 10 Bluetooth 5.1
LMP 11 Bluetooth 5.2
LMP 12 Bluetooth 5.3

LPM number for Bluetooth device for Bluetooth version on Windows 10 LPM number for Bluetooth device for Bluetooth version on Windows 10 TechReviewer

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  • Works great with Windows 10, 8.1, and 7
  • Supports Bluetooth 5.0 TP-Link USB 5.0 Bluetooth Adapter TP-Link USB 5.0 Bluetooth Adapter Check Price on Amazon (affiliate link)
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