Bluetooth vs Wired Two-Way Radio Accessories

Bluetooth eliminates the cord between the radio and your accessories. In the past couple of years, we’ve noticed a higher demand for Bluetooth accessories, especially within Public Safety.  They want an alternative that won’t tie them down to wires and bulky cords. 

Should you be making the switch to Bluetooth and saying goodbye to cords? We’ll give you 5 things to consider being fully transitioning from wired.

The Move to Bluetooth

Today, Bluetooth seems standard. Things like our phones, speakers, and even cars connect wirelessly. So why are portable two-way radio accessories still using wires?

Not all radios come equipped with Bluetooth connectivity. A lot of agencies are still using older-generation radios that don’t have that capability.

In case your radio doesn’t have it, many accessories come with a wireless adapter that lets you connect the accessory to the radio.

Additionally, there aren’t a lot of Bluetooth accessory options out there with features that can compare to a wired accessory. Bluetooth may not be the answer for all industries.

Things to consider before switching:

Bluetooth connectivity is great, but will it be enough to replace traditional wired radio accessories? Here are some things to consider before jumping on the Bluetooth train.


Unlike Bluetooth, wired accessories, run off the power of your radio. Bluetooth accessories run on a battery, meaning you’ll have to recharge them each night. When shopping for Bluetooth audio accessories, take a look at their run time.

Tip: You’ll want something with at least 8 hours of battery life to keep you connected throughout the day.


Keep in close range

When connected to Bluetooth, each device can on be so far apart before they either disconnect or the audio will cut in and out. Some Bluetooth devices only have a 10-meter radius before the signal starts to drop off.

Tip: Always be sure you keep your Bluetooth-connected devices near one another. Don’t walk too far away.



Bluetooth interference happens when something interferes with the Bluetooth connection. Things like wi-fi, microwaves, physical obstructions like glass and wood, or other Bluetooth devices could cause interference.

Interference can cause your wireless accessories to skip audio, distorted sound, or drop your connection altogether. This can be frustrating if your device keeps disconnecting and you have to re-pair again.

Tip: Bluetooth v5.0 is the latest version of Bluetooth that does a better job at detecting and preventing interference. Look for Bluetooth devices with the latest version.



Bluetooth accessories cost more than wired ones. For example, Waveband Bluetooth speaker microphones cost 30% higher than wired speaker microphones. And the same can be said for other manufacturers as well.

Tip: Do your research to find the best bang for your buck. Check with your agency if Bluetooth is within your budget.



There is still speculation about whether Bluetooth is secure enough to be used within law enforcement and public safety. In most cases, two-way radios are encrypted to prevent eavesdropping on sensitive information.

While it’s difficult for people to intercept a Bluetooth signal because it only works short distances, it’s important to understand that any wireless technology isn’t going to be 100 percent secure.

Hackers can still listen in and hack your device. Because of this, we’re not seeing many law enforcement agencies use Bluetooth since they need to keep secure information private.

Tip: If using Bluetooth don’t share sensitive information, turn your Bluetooth off when not using, don’t pair devices in public, and be careful who you let connect.


Closing Thoughts

While Bluetooth has its benefits, wired two-way radio accessories are here to stay, at least for now. Wired are still dependable, secure, and easy to use, aside from their bulky wires and cord. If you’re thinking of using Bluetooth, consider what application you’ll be using it for and if it meets your needs.


Waveband Communications offers wired and Bluetooth two-way radio accessories for major radios including Motorola, Kenwood, Harris, and more. Our wired accessories are easy to use and durable in tough environments. Want something wireless? Check out our line of Bluetooth two-way radio accessories.

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TAYLOR THOMAS is a Marketing Manager at Waveband Communications. With her experience in critical communications, she helped public safety clients enhance their team communication through the help of two-way radio accessories.

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