What are Bluetooth Profiles and Why You Should Care

William Elcock

Bluetooth that we use on a daily basis has a lot going on than what meets the eye. It's not just about wireless connectivity. There are a lot of devices that can be controlled using Bluetooth and there are dedicated Bluetooth profiles for each function. 

In this post, we will talk about various Bluetooth profiles that help you transfer files and control devices remotely. 

Bluetooth Profiles Main
Note: Bluetooth is supported by a network of more than 33,000 companies known as the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).

Bluetooth Profiles

The connection between Bluetooth devices is facilitated by sets of rules called profiles that define the allowed functions for the connected devices.

For example, you may recall that, before Bluetooth headphones, the first Bluetooth audio devices were earpieces. Bluetooth can also be used to transfer information between phones and to connect peripherals such as mouses and keyboards to computers.

Bluetooth

These different functions are governed by different profiles and provide the devices involved with the information on how best to transmit data in order to facilitate the desired function.

Currently, there are about 27 different profiles but the majority of us tend to run into a smaller subgroup of them more frequently. Let's take a closer look at some of the more relevant Bluetooth profiles.

1. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile

Bluetooth A2 Dp Headphones

This profile allows for the transmission of high-quality stereo audio. Your Bluetooth headphones and car stereo rely on this. Prior to the introduction of A2DP, the quality of Bluetooth audio was rather grainy and suitable only for phone calls.

2. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)

This profile allows for remote control functionality such as playing and pausing music. This is common with headphones where the volume and power buttons double as media control buttons.

3. Handsfree Profile (HFP)

Bluetooth Car Handsfree

This profile facilitates placing calls from a Bluetooth device. It's a critical part of car infotainment systems that support wireless phone calls.

4. Headset Profile

This profile allows for calls to be answered, ended, and the volume level adjusted from a headset. This is needed in conjunction with A2DP so that the users can switch between listening to music and making calls.

5. File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

This one is rather self-explanatory and lets users transfer files among Bluetooth devices.

6. Human Interface Device Protocol

Bluetooth Keyboard Mouse

This provides support for peripherals added to Bluetooth devices, including keyboards and mouses.

Final Thoughts

While all the profiles listed above are important, in recent years, Bluetooth headphones have become increasingly popular. Although the audio quality is not yet on par with that of the wired counterparts, the convenience of going wireless is cherished by many.

Bluetooth is a technology that is constantly evolving and it will be interesting to see how it continues to develop in the coming years.

If you want to learn more about the other Bluetooth profiles in existence, see Motorola's informational resource.

Also See
#audio #bluetooth

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William Elcock

Written By

William Elcock

William has been helping friends troubleshoot tech problems for several years and thus made the natural progression into tech blogging. In addition to consumer electronics William also has a vested interest in various renewable energy topics.