Bluetooth is designed to allow devices to communicate wirelessly with each other over relatively short distances. It typically works over a range of less than 100 meters.
The range has been intentionally limited in order to keep its power drain to a minimum.
The fact that it is battery friendly is a major plus, and one of the key reasons why it's become so ubiquitous in mobile devices.
To get Bluetooth devices talking to each other you first need to 'pair' them, which is very straightforward.
Make sure the two devices are within range of each other and set them both into pairing mode so they start looking for each other. This process will vary from device to device – on a smartphone that’ll mean tapping a Bluetooth icon like the one below, while on a stereo you’ll probably have a dedicated Bluetooth button that’ll also have a symbol like below.
To pair a set of stereo Bluetooth headphones with a phone you usually start with the headset turned off and press and hold the power button until it enters pairing mode.
Open the Bluetooth menu on your phone and set it so it’s visible to all nearby Bluetooth devices. The phone then finds the headset and automatically pairs with it.
Sometimes you'll also need to enter a paring PIN number, which is usually printed in the headset's manual.
There are loads of great reasons to use Bluetooth. It uses very little power so it doesn't drain your phone's battery as much Wi-Fi or 4G.
Bluetooth can be put to a pretty broad range of uses. On most phones you can transfer contacts, photos and video between devices via a Bluetooth connection without having to install any extra software.
Use Bluetooth to connect smartphone to headsets or car kits for hands-free calling. There are even keyboards now on the market that connect to phones and tablets via Bluetooth.
The latest version of Bluetooth (v4) is Low Energy, to accommodate for the Internet of Things. This allows devices to connect and interact with each other wirelessly – many of which rely on Bluetooth to do this, as well as Wi-fi.