Bluetooth 5.3 vs 5.2: Key Differences Explained

Is Bluetooth 5.3 a great leap forward or incremental improvement?

What is the difference between Bluetooth 5.3 and Bluetooth 5.2? Bluetooth continues to improve as a short-range wireless communication standard.

There are some significant differences between 5.3 and 5.2 despite the nomenclature suggesting an incremental update.

The Bluetooth 5.3 standard was officially released in July 2021. In addition, it adds a number of new features. We’ll look at what the main differences are, and what they actually mean.

Bluetooth 5.3 vs 5.2: Key Differences

The Bluetooth 5.3 changes are intended to improve power consumption, device performance, and create an enhanced user experience. We’ll dive into the details shortly.

According to Bluetooth’s New Core Specification v5.3 Feature Enhancements blog post, there are four main changes.

Channel Classification Enhancement

The peripheral device can perform channel classification in order to increase connection reliability.

Adaptive frequency hopping (AFH) is a spread spectrum technique that is used by two Bluetooth devices that are connected. Through a channel selection algorithm, Bluetooth sends packets of data through smaller channels.

Previously, all of this work was handled by the central device. Sometimes, however, this can lead to a mismatch between appropriate frequencies, especially when devices are far apart.

The peripheral devices can also perform channel classification, improving throughput and reliability by ensuring the right channels are being used.

Encryption Key Size Control Enhancement

Data transmitted over Bluetooth is encrypted to ensure that only authorised devices can access it.

When creating a connection with another device, 5.3 offers a new “optional Host Controller Interface command” which allows the host to specify the minimum key size the controller can accept.

IoT devices, such as medical equipment, commercial lighting, and access control, may benefit most from this.

Periodic Advertising Enhancement

To increase the chances of receiving that data, Bluetooth devices typically send multiple copies of the same data.

By using Periodic Advertising, receiving devices can identify and discard previous data without sending it to the host. As a result, redundant data packets are processed more efficiently, reducing energy consumption.

Removal of Alternate MAC and PHY (AMP) Extension

Bluetooth systems with this system could include secondary controllers along with primary controllers in previous versions.

It was decided to remove AMP from Bluetooth 5.3 due to the low use of this feature.

Connection Subrating

There is a new connection subrating feature in Bluetooth 5.3, which allows for rapid switching between high- and low-duty cycles.

High duty cycles use more power, but offer higher bandwidth, whereas low duty cycles are more energy efficient. It is highly beneficial to be able to switch between the two modes rapidly.

The Bluetooth example is a hearing aid, which typically requires a low duty cycle, but must switch to high duty when the wearer receives a phone call or plays music on their smartphone. Sensor-based Bluetooth monitoring systems will also benefit.

What Does This All Mean?

You’re going to have to process a lot of quite technical information, so we don’t blame you if some of it doesn’t make sense right away. As a summary of these changes, we can say:

  • This new version of Bluetooth offers faster switching between low and high duty cycles, making it more energy efficient than Bluetooth 5.2
  • Energy consumption will also be reduced by removing redundant data.
  • Additionally, Bluetooth 5.3 should improve signal quality and reduce interference.

New devices, such as the iPhone 14, will have improved audio quality, longer battery life, and overall improved performance. Bluetooth 5.2 was still very good, so you may not notice the differences immediately. However, they are still there.


Bluetooth 5.3 and Bluetooth 5.2 are both versions of the Bluetooth wireless communication standard. While I can provide a general overview of the key differences between the two versions, please note that as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Bluetooth 5.3 had not been released. Therefore, I cannot provide specific details on Bluetooth 5.3. Nevertheless, here is a comparison of Bluetooth 5.2 and the previous version, Bluetooth 5.0:

Key Differences between Bluetooth 5.2 and Bluetooth 5.0:

Enhanced data transfer speeds: Bluetooth 5.2 offers improved data transfer speeds compared to Bluetooth 5.0. It provides faster and more efficient wireless data transmission, enabling quicker file transfers and more responsive audio and video streaming.

Improved audio quality: Bluetooth 5.2 includes enhancements for audio quality, such as support for the Low Complexity Communications Codec (LC3). LC3 offers better audio compression while maintaining high-quality sound, resulting in improved wireless audio experiences.

Enhanced wireless range: Bluetooth 5.2 features improved range capabilities compared to Bluetooth 5.0. It provides better signal strength and coverage, allowing devices to communicate over longer distances without losing connection quality.

LE Audio features: Bluetooth 5.2 introduces features related to LE (Low Energy) Audio, which is designed to enhance audio streaming over Bluetooth Low Energy connections. It enables support for multiple audio streams simultaneously, improves power efficiency, and introduces new features like Audio Sharing, Broadcast Audio, and more.

Please note that the information provided above is based on the Bluetooth standard as of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021. For the most accurate and up-to-date information on Bluetooth 5.3 or any future versions, it’s recommended to consult official Bluetooth documentation and sources.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

Q: What are the benefits of Bluetooth 5.2 over Bluetooth 5.0?

A: Bluetooth 5.2 offers several benefits over Bluetooth 5.0, including enhanced data transfer speeds, improved audio quality with support for the LC3 codec, extended wireless range, and features related to LE Audio.

Q: Are devices with Bluetooth 5.0 compatible with Bluetooth 5.2 devices?

A: Yes, Bluetooth versions are typically backward compatible, meaning devices with Bluetooth 5.2 can communicate with devices using Bluetooth 5.0 and previous versions. However, some newer features introduced in Bluetooth 5.2 may only be available when both devices support the specific version.

Q: Is Bluetooth 5.3 available?

A: As of my knowledge cutoff in September 2021, Bluetooth 5.3 had not been released. Bluetooth version updates are determined by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), and it’s advisable to check their official announcements or documentation for the latest information.

Q: Which devices support Bluetooth 5.2?

A: Bluetooth 5.2 is supported by a wide range of devices, including smartphones, tablets, laptops, smartwatches, wireless headphones, and other IoT (Internet of Things) devices. However, device compatibility may vary, so it’s important to check the specifications of specific devices to confirm Bluetooth 5.2 support.

For the most accurate and detailed information about Bluetooth 5.3 or any subsequent versions, it’s recommended to consult official Bluetooth SIG resources, including their website and documentation.

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