The UB400 is a very popular Bluetooth Adapter. It’s a tiny USB device that plugs into your laptop and provides connectivity when your laptop doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth.
The UB400 was first introduced in 2019. The manufacturer TP-Link then released a newer product called the UB500 in 2021.
In this post we explain the differences between the two products.
UB400 uses Bluetooth 4.0 technology while UB500 uses BT 5.0.
BT 5.0 is twice as fast as Bluetooth 4 and provides four times the range for greater coverage. The table below shows the difference
|BT 4.0||BT 5.0|
|Range||60 meters / 200 feet||240 meters / 800 feet|
|Speed||1 Mb/s||2 Mb/s|
What does this mean for you?
If you’re using your BT connection for a mouse and keyboard application, the lower speed isn’t that big of a deal. However if you’re using it for streaming music audio and multiple data streams simultaneously then the UB 500 is much better on account of the higher throughput.
The range for BT 5.0 is higher which means that it uses a better or more sensitive chipset. This also means that it can perform better with fewer dropouts, cutting out or jitter.
The audio codec within the UB400 and UB500 dongles determines to a large extent the quality of the audio.
- UB400 supports SBC (Sub band Coding).
- UB500 supports both SBC and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding)
UB500 is a better option for audio applications as AAC has better sound quality than SBC.
The UB400 supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/XP
UB500 on the other hand supports Windows 11/10/8.1/7
In other words TP-link have dropped support for Windows XP with the newer generation of product.
I don’t know many people using Windows XP these days. However if you still are, then it would make sense to pick the UB400 over the UB500. Note that you will need to manually install the driver for XP and Win 7.
None of these devices support the MAC operating systems, Linux, Android or Raspberry Pi.
Bottom line: If you’re on Windows 11, we recommend going with the UB500.
The two USB dongles are identical in size. There is no difference in the dimensions of both products: · 0.58 × 0.27 × 0.74 in (14.8 × 6.8 × 18.9 mm).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does UB400 support Windows 11?
While the TP-link product data sheet only indicates plug and play support for Windows 8, 8.1 and 10, the Amazon product page indicates there is support for Windows 11. Make sure to download the driver from here.
Does UB500 support Windows 11?
Yes it does. If you are having issues with this, please download the drivers from here.
Does UB500 support MacOS?
TP-Link does not officially support MacOS for their UB500. However some users have reported success with getting it to work with MacOS.
In this post we have explained the differences between UB400 and UB500.
The UB500 has several significant advantages over the UB400:
- Longer range
- Higher bandwidth
- Better sound quality
It’s a newer product and will be supported for a longer time as well.