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Bluetooth Audio vs Aux – What are the Differences?

Bluetooth speakers connected to smartphone.

In recent years, Bluetooth has gained popularity in the world due to its convenient ability to connect devices wirelessly; however, music fans are also proclaiming that the audio from auxiliary ports has higher quality sound. In this sense, which is better?

High-quality sound with a wire, or more convenient and almost high-quality sound? Is the audio from an AUX connection truly better than Bluetooth?

Bluetooth Audio

What is Bluetooth?

Wireless Bluetooth 3.5mm AUX Audio

In short, Bluetooth connection exchanges data from one device to another without a physical wire. Bluetooth is used to pair devices together; this includes technology like your phone, smart devices, headphones, or even small computer gadgets like a tablet pen or mouse.

Pros

Bluetooth is relatively safe when it comes to hacking, as the device will constantly change frequencies to prevent your security from being breached.

Pairing your devices without a cable is extremely convenient, as there are no cords to tangle up, a greater distance of connectivity, and allows movement of connected devices. Bluetooth is always nice to use when a device needs to be paired to multiple others at once. In fact, due to its ability to share more than just audio information, it can be used for a variety of different connection purposes.

Cons

The first noticeable con of Bluetooth is that even though the range of connectivity is quite long, it is contingent on no obstructions being in the way of connection. Speaking of connection, you may not be able to tell if your device is connecting through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, as they are very similar and often work interchangeably.

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Another con of utilizing Bluetooth is that the connection can sometimes not work as well as needed. This could cause slight annoyance when listening to music, or even prevent you from hearing an important message when attending a virtual meeting due to the possibility of connectivity or quality lag.

Features

If a device has been connected with Bluetooth, it will automatically connect when in range. This could be a pro or a con depending on the situation; automatically pairing devices saves you the trouble of reconnecting manually, but if you are primarily using Bluetooth it may be wise to double-check your settings in case there is something you don’t want to be connected to at that time.

However, you can control this feature by using the “Forget this Device” option in your settings.

Because Bluetooth is a wireless connection, it can be automatically updated with new features as the technology evolves. This could be frustrating to those who don’t want to adapt to possible changing features, but it also paves the way for more convenience and more options for usage in the future.

Cost

Although Bluetooth is not typically a paid service, the price to utilize its features depends on your needs. Old devices won’t be able to connect to new devices, so you may have to purchase new devices to utilize Bluetooth. However, the technology is becoming more widespread, and even a lot of devices on the cheap end are being made with the capabilities.

Auxiliary Port

What is the Auxiliary Port?

Car USB and auxiliary ports

This connection type, shortened to AUX, is a basic port to connect audio sharing devices through a cable. This includes technology such as microphones, music players, headphones, or speakers. The AUX is primarily used to share digital music and is known as a staple for doing so among friends.

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Pros

Utilizing the AUX port allows for high-quality audio to transport directly from the device to your ears. This is great for car rides when you need to pump up the volume, or you need headphones to attend a private digital meeting without lag or delay in the audio quality.

Switching the user of the AUX is quick and simple. If your friends are sharing music, you can quickly unplug and hand over the cord for the next person without waiting for a wireless connection to work.

Cons

A major complaint with the use of audio ports, in general, is that some devices require different adapters, as technology adapts and old ports are changed. It is still possible to use old versions, but it can get complicated or annoying when you are connecting several things.

Another con that rocked the technology world was the decision for Apple products to stop including AUX ports on their devices. This shift has caused a lot of companies to follow suit and use this connection type less.

Since AUX ports require a cable, the physical cord will wear down over time, requiring the user to purchase a new cable. Devices also generally only have one port, so if you are wanting to connect multiple devices, the only way to make it work will get complicated. One more noticeable con is the fact that AUX cables only share audio, which severely limits its use compared to Bluetooth.

Features

Despite the changing world of technology, many manufacturers are finding new ways to incorporate the AUX into older devices, which were previously incompatible, to share digital music on them.

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Cost

AUX cords are generally more accessible than Bluetooth, as almost every major retailer, gas station, and convenience store carry them. Although most devices are now made with Bluetooth possibilities, for people who may want to use an old device or do not want to spend the money on Bluetooth capable technology, the AUX cord remains an easy and affordable option, as they are typically only priced from $5 to $20.

FAQs

Bluetooth wireless headphones with a charging case.

Which produces a higher quality sound?

According to the science of streaming music, the AUX connection does produce a better sound quality. This is made possible as the audio from a wire is essentially direct, whereas streaming through wireless connections is, in a sense, reproducing the sound. However, this difference is not noticeable to the average person, and typically is only an issue with hardcore music lovers.

Is there a way to reduce audio delay from Bluetooth?

Yes! Research your device and make sure it uses low latency audio coding. Although this may not always prevent a lag, it certainly does help make the audio smoother.

My car doesn’t have Bluetooth capabilities. What can I do?

There is a common fix around connecting old car speakers to Bluetooth; there is a device that plugs into the cigarette lighter and creates a Bluetooth connection straight to the vehicle. This product is relatively cheap, typically ranging from $10 to $50 for a low or average quality version.

What is the standard jack size for the aux input?

It is a 3.5mm jack.

Can Bluetooth be used while flying?

This depends. Generally, the rule of thumb is that devices larger than a smartphone will not utilize Bluetooth, and long-term range will not either. However, using a small device such as wireless headphones is acceptable and works just fine.

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