When you first hear “Bluetooth” your mind probably imagines the ability to use a mic or a pair of headphones without a cord. But, in reality, Bluetooth technology has a lot more going on underneath the hood than it lets on.

Bluetooth allows for cordless headphones, sure, but Bluetooth – the technology itself – encompasses far more than that. And each function is what’s called a “Bluetooth profile.”

But what are Bluetooth profiles?

What is a Bluetooth Profile?

For every function that Bluetooth offers, it is considered a “profile.” These cordless, Bluetooth headphones you have? That’s one profile. Your Android or iOS device connecting to a computer – that’s another Bluetooth profile.

These functions are governed by a set of rules, and change depending on the profile being used. A profile that governs a Bluetooth keyboard is going to be different than a profile that rules over audio devices.

You see, Bluetooth doesn’t just give you the ability to hear music without a cable. It can also transfer files, connect two devices together and so much more.

Let’s take a look at what each profile is.

Bluetooth Profiles

1. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile or “A2DP”

One of the most common profiles people are aware of. If you’ve ever used a pair of Bluetooth headphones or stereo speaker, you’ve been using Advanced Audio Distribution Profile.

2. Headset Profile

In some cases, a headset will have physical buttons to adjust the volume, answer and end calls. Without the Headset Profile, this can’t be done with just A2DP alone. They work together to make those functions work.

3. Audio/Video Remote Control Profile or “AVRCP”

Of course, sometimes you run into a situation where a headset has a play and pause button that also functions as media control. For that function to work, it needs AVRCP.

4. Human Interface Device Profile or “HID”

Are you a gamer? Do you surf the web from your couch with a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard? Then you’re familiar with Human Interface Device Profile.

Mice, keyboards, console controllers – Sony’s current generation of controllers, DualShock 4 – use HID to bring you wireless fun and convenience.

5. Hands-Free Profile or “HFP”

It’s common these days to see cars with Bluetooth technology built into their systems. These have allowed the driver, and its passengers, to connect various devices to the car. Whether it’s to make phone calls, headsets or infotainment – all are using Hands-Free Profile.

If your vehicle has a built-in touch screen, chances are it comes with Bluetooth, too.

6. File Transfers Profile or “FTP”

Believe it or not, Bluetooth is even capable of transfering files from one device to another without the assistance of a wired cable. And the best part? You don’t need Wi-Fi.

So long as both devices in the equation can connect to one another with Bluetooth, files can be transferred between them.

7. Video Conferencing Profile or “VCP”

VCP hasn’t been set free yet, but it should provide a Bluetooth connection that allows for video conferencing over a 3G connection.

Bottom Line

As you can see, Bluetooth technology is more than just a convenient wireless connection. There’s quite literally a few dozen different profiles that provide support for a plethora of different functions. And more are on the way, one of which is VCP.

Another future profile is Tempow Audio Profile. It’s a much better version of A2DP, offering more audio functions than its predecessor.

It’s safe to assume that Bluetooth isn’t going anywhere and is only getting better as time goes by. The very nature of being able to transfer information, connect devices or profile additional functions without a network connection, is just too good of a technology to throw to the wayside.