Use Your Mac To Check The Signal Strength Of Any Bluetooth Device [OS X Tips]

Bluetooth Strength

If you use Bluetooth as much as I do, you’ll know that there are times when it works flawlessly and times when it does not. Many of the issues around sound quality of a Bluetooth speaker or the performance of a Bluetooth keyboard have to do with the strength of the signal going between your Mac and the Bluetooth gadget.

Here’s a simple way to check the signal strength of each device you’re using.

First, make sure that your device is paired with your Mac. Launch System Preferences and click on the Bluetooth icon to launch that specific preference pane.

Once you’re paired, the device will say “Connected” with a green dot next to it under the name of the device. Now, to check the signal strength, simply click on the device you want to check, and press the Option key on your keyboard. A little signal bar will come up, similar to the one on your iPhone. The more bars, the better the signal. The higher the number next to that, the stronger the signal.

Remembering math class, we know that a -100 is a lower number than a -50, and a -20 is a larger number still. So a negative number closer to zero is the way to go. As you can see in the screen shot above, the speaker I was connected to scored a -44. It was sitting right next to my Macbook Air, for comparison’s sake.

Now, when you have an issue with a Bluetooth device, hop into your System Preferences to see if it has a nice strong signal.

About the author

Rob LeFebvreRob LeFebvre is an Anchorage, Alaska-based writer and editor who has contributed to various tech, gaming and iOS sites, including 148Apps, Creative Screenwriting, Shelf-Awareness, VentureBeat, and Paste Magazine. Feel free to find Rob on Twitter @roblef, and send him a cookie once in a while; he'll really appreciate it.

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