Many of you have heard of the term “crossing the chasm,” or are familiar in some way with the disruptive technology adoption curve. For those of you who are not, this term refers to the model in which new technologies transition from selling to innovators and early adopters to selling to the early majority of consumers. This is the most difficult jump to make in marketing disruptive technology and is where most new technologies get stuck and never make it to the mainstream. The theory suggests that if you successfully make this transition, it creates a bandwagon effect that leads to market integration. The significance of this information to the point I am trying to make here today is to highlight why Bluetooth should have never crossed the chasm as a solution for wireless audio.
Bluetooth was able to make this transition to total market integration in its early years, but the main selling point was very different from wireless audio solutions. I believe that today, Bluetooth technology would face ultimately technology-ending obstacles, however it was able to bypass this criticism based on circumstance. Bluetooth was originally created to replace cords for very short-range data transfer of data, first example was wireless headsets, but Bluetooth for wireless audio came much later. Since Bluetooth had already become an international household name for wireless connections, and the trust in the technology was already there, it was easier to market the technology as a solution for audio, and to ignore its limitations. But if you look at it from the perspective of a new technology, with no brand recognition, Bluetooth really doesn’t have any selling points other than “it works.” By this I mean, it can get the audio files from one device to another wirelessly.
Looking at Bluetooth technology to replace audio cables, it does not pass the test.
Imagine Bluetooth hadn’t already become the most recognized method for wireless audio. To make the switch from wired, high fidelity speakers and cables, innovators would need some serious convincing that Bluetooth can deliver the same experience they can already have.
Despite advances, Bluetooth is unable to transmit uncompressed audio, resulting in lower sound quality. Among innovators and early adopters, this would already be a huge deterrent to adopting Bluetooth technology for audio solutions. At this point, audio cables and wired speakers can deliver uncompressed, high fidelity, so it would be very difficult to convince audiophiles (innovators in this adoption curve) to give up quality for this new technology.
You simply cannot create a truly immersive listening experience, because Bluetooth is a 1:1 connection. (While some Bluetooth devices claim they can connect to multiple devices, this is done through an additional hop which adds latency, and compression which further reduces the sound quality.) Households used to wire in full sound systems throughout the home to send audio to multiple rooms. This cannot be achieved with Bluetooth technology.
Bluetooth is prone to interruption due to its short-range transmission and the wide variety of Bluetooth enabled devices. Distance from the receiver as well as blocking the "line of sight" of the two devices create serious connection issues for Bluetooth functionality.
Bluetooth has been adapted to work for audio, but it was not created specifically for audio and it shows. Its inherent limitations impact audio capabilities, making it a very unattractive solution for quality audio transmission. If you take a step back from the preconceived notions of Bluetooth and look at the technology as if it were foreign, Bluetooth should have never been adopted for wireless audio solutions in the first place.
**Audality’s wireless audio technology is the first, and the only solution, to deliver a consistent 24-bit HD sound with dynamic functionality, and limitless portability.**