A Bluetooth® mic is a cordless microphone that relies on Bluetooth® technology, a proprietary radio technology, to communicate wirelessly with another device. The microphone may be a stand alone unit that is used solely as a microphone for activities such as broadcasting or recording. More commonly a Bluetooth® mic is part of a headset used by mobile phone users. The mic may be mounted in front of the user, attached to a headset, clipped to clothing, or used as part of an earpiece.
In selecting a Bluetooth® mic, one must ensure that it is compatible with the device with which it is intended to be used. A device must have the specific capability to be able to communicate with the Bluetooth® microphone, otherwise an adapter will be necessary. For Bluetooth® technology to work with a device, the product packaging typically lists the types and models of devices which are compatible with the microphone.
After purchase, the microphone must be powered up before it can be used. The power source of the Bluetooth® mic is either a replaceable battery or rechargeable battery. Most Bluetooth® headsets are sold bundled with a compatible recharger.
Before using, the Bluetooth® mic must be linked or "paired" with its device. Pairing allows the two units to communicate with each other privately and securely, usually through the use of a shared secret key, also known as a code or passkey. This passkey is a permanent feature of the Bluetooth® microphone, although it may be deleted from shared devices. Some paired devices will also encrypt data that is shared, which may help ensure privacy of conversations when using a Bluetooth® microphone.
Pairing two compatible devices is a simple process outlined in the instructions accompanying the Bluetooth® device. In the example of using a Bluetooth® mic with a cellular phone, the user must first set the cellular phone with built-in Bluetooth® adapter to search for the Bluetooth® device and recognize it. Once the phone recognizes the microphone, the user must then enter the supplied code that will allow the phone to communicate with data from the microphone.
Microphones that use Bluetooth® 2.1 Near Field Communication technology may be paired by bringing the two devices within a range of about 4 inches of each other without needing to enter a passkey or perform any other manual programming. Once the devices are paired, they may be used together within limited range of usually up to a 200-300 feet with declining quality. However, for optimal results, the equipment sharing the trusted passkey should be within a few feet of each other.