Check Bluetooth version available on Windows, Linux and Mac

Bluetooth is one of the most common method/technology used to transfer the files between a mobile device and the computer, connecting to gaming devices and wireless speakers, but many times the version of Bluetooth is not supportive which creates issues in connecting and transferring the files. While most of the "smart" devices today support Bluetooth 4.0 or later, you won’t be really able to transfer the files if your Windows 10 system is not supporting at least Bluetooth 4.0.

For those who don’t know, Bluetooth 4.0 is an optimized version of Bluetooth technology which enhances the feature while maintaining the compatibility with other devices. It is also termed as low energy version of Bluetooth because it is supported by the small battery operated devices as well.

Not everyone is actually aware of the Bluetooth profile version of their device, which is quite important. However, we can easily check the Bluetooth version manually too, there are certain tools also available which will help you checking the version of Bluetooth on your Windows 10 PC.

Windows

You can easily check the Bluetooth version of your Windows 10 PC via the Device Manager, press Win+X to open the Start Menu and select Device Manager.

Under Bluetooth, you will see several Bluetooth devices.

Select your Bluetooth brand/module and right click to check the Properties.

Check Bluetooth version available on Windows, Linux and Mac

Go to the Advanced tab and check the firmware version. The LMP number shows the version of Bluetooth your PC is using.

Check Bluetooth version available on Windows, Linux and Mac

Below is the LMP (Link Manager Protocol Version) version table:

LMP 11 - Bluetooth Core Specification 5.2
LMP 10 - Bluetooth Core Specification 5.1
LMP 9.x – Bluetooth 5.0
LMP 8.x – Bluetooth 4.2
LMP 7.x – Bluetooth 4.1
LMP 6.x – Bluetooth 4.0
LMP 5.x – Bluetooth 3.0 + HS
LMP 4.x – Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
LMP 3.x – Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR
LMP 2.x – Bluetooth 1.2
LMP 1.x – Bluetooth 1.1
LMP 0.x – Bluetooth 1.0b

Is your adapter supporting a Bluetooth revision much lower than the current 4.0 / 4.1 specification? If it is then using a new Bluetooth adapter in your computer may help improve reception. If you are using devices that send a lot of data such as constant streaming audio or video then you really want ensure that both adapter and device are at least compatible with Bluetooth version 3.0 + HS.

It is a bit of time consuming so if you don’t really want to open so many tabs to check the Bluetooth version, you may want to use some third party tool and do not want to get into device manager to check the version, Bluetooth Version Finder can be your choice.

Linux

To find the version of Bluetooth adapter on your Linux, open the terminal and use this command:

sudo hcitool -a

Find the LMP Version.

NOTE: if the version is 0x6 or higher, your system is compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy 4.0 technology. Any version lower than that indicates an older version of Bluetooth.

The LMP version can be found also with the hciconfig -a command:

hci0: Type: BR/EDR Bus: USB
BD Address: 5C:93:A2:A3:59:56 ACL MTU: 1022:8 SCO MTU: 183:5
UP RUNNING PSCAN ISCAN
RX bytes:1146297 acl:195 sco:10904 events:84051 errors:0
TX bytes:72067880 acl:83905 sco:10762 commands:83 errors:0
Features: 0xff 0xfe 0x0d 0xfe 0xd8 0x7f 0x7b 0x8f
Packet type: DM1 DM3 DM5 DH1 DH3 DH5 HV1 HV2 HV3
Link policy: RSWITCH HOLD SNIFF
Link mode: SLAVE ACCEPT
Name: 'ubuntu-0'
Class: 0x6c0100
Service Classes: Rendering, Capturing, Audio, Telephony
Device Class: Computer, Uncategorized
HCI Version: (0x7) Revision: 0x3101
LMP Version: (0x7) Subversion: 0x1
Manufacturer: Atheros Communications, Inc. (69)

The HCI Version (0x7) indicates version 4.1

NOTE: please make sure that Bluetooth is enabled if you run the command.

The mapping of HCI version to the bluetooth specification versions are:

| HCI version | Bluetooth version |

| 0 (0x0) | 1.0b |
| 1 (0x1) | 1.1 |
| 2 (0x2) | 1.2 |
| 3 (0x3) | 2.0 |
| 4 (0x4) | 2.1 |
| 5 (0x5) | 3.0 |
| 6 (0x6) | 4.0 |
| 7 (0x7) | 4.1 |
| 8 (0x8) | 4.2 |
| 9 (0x9) | 5.0 |
| 10 (0xa) | 5.1 |

Finding the BD Address of a remote device

Very helpful for detecting remote devices was the command hcitool. The following command shows all connections.

hcitool con
Connections:
< ACL BB:BB:BB:BB:BB:BB handle 12 state 1 lm MASTER

Detecting Bluetooth version of remote devices

The BD Address of the remote device is needed to find the Bluetooth version with the following command.

hcitool info BB:BB:BB:BB:BB:BB

Requesting information ...
BD Address: BB:BB:BB:BB:BB:BB
Device Name: Nintendo RVL-CNT-01-TR
LMP Version: 2.0 (0x3) LMP Subversion: 0x1d8d
Manufacturer: Cambridge Silicon Radio (10)
Features: 0xbc 0x02 0x04 0x38 0x08 0x00 0x00 0x00
<encryption> <slot offset> <timing accuracy> <role switch>
<sniff mode> <rssi> <power control> <enhanced iscan>
<interlaced iscan> <interlaced pscan> <afh cap. slave>

MacOS

Bluetooth 4.0 is required today to use many modern Bluetooth devices with their full potential. Here's how to determine if your Mac is Bluetooth 4.0 compliant.

  • Click the Finder menu.
  • Select About This Mac.
  • Click on the More Info... button.
  • Click on the System Report... button.
  • Select Bluetooth from the sidebar on the left, underneath "Hardware".
  • Scan down the list of information until you find "LMP Version".
  • If your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, LMP Version will say 0x6. Anything lower than that is an older version of Bluetooth.

What is LMP?

LMP is not just an acronym to identify the Bluetooth version (not only, at least); LMP is a protocol.

The Link Manager (LM) carries out link setup, authentication, link configuration and other protocols. It discovers other remote LM’s and communicates with them via the Link Manager Protocol (LMP)

LMP (Link Manager Protocol) message is a packet, or PDU (Packet Data Unit), sent between the LMs of a master and slave Bluetooth device; these messages are not propagated to the device's host, but they may trigger an HCI event to be sent to the device's host.

Into this protocol there is the specification of two specific packets that Bluetooth devices can request and send, called LMP_version_req and LMP_version_res. The requested device will send a response with three parameters: VersNr, CompId and Sub-VersNr.

  • VersNr specifies the version of the Bluetooth LMP specification that the device supports.
  • CompId is used to track possible problems with the lower Bluetooth layers. All companies that create a unique implementation of the Link Manager shall have their own CompId.
  • The same company is also responsible for the administration and maintenance of the Sub-VersNr. It is recommended that each company has a unique Sub-VersNr for each RF/BB/LM implementation.