Bluetooth or Zigbee : Which is the more reliable ?

Dear readers,

I'm a future arduino user. My project is to transmit data between an arduino with sensors (live music on stage) and another arduino backstage (generating midi signals).

Data will be short messages (just for generating a midi message or another one).

I need :

  • short delay between stage action and backstage
  • the best reliability

Should I prefer Bluetooth (bluetbee) or Zigbee for the communication ?

Thanks for your advice.


PS : I hope my English is not so bad :wink:

I would suggest XBee because they are so easy to use and you can get a variety of different ones for different distances.

Bluetooth can be a pain to set up and could have range issues (depending on the distance between the two devices and possible obstructions).


Oddly enough I am using both in one project - 2 Arduinos communicating via XBee and PC to one of them by Bluetooth. “Reliable” is vague. I think Zigbee is more robust; connections broken and made again are no big deal. They can be a bigger deal in Bluetooth. Bluetooth has the “magic easy support” in a Windows PC, which you don’t care about, so its biggest advantage is moot. I have not had to initiate pairing, but it is my understanding that it is not trivial. My Bluetooth device is one Windows sees as a serial port and I do all the pairing from that side. Anyway, I would say Zigbee for your situation, but wonder why you would rule out the simple transceivers.

A little additional thought - the technologies you are considering are good for reliability in the sense that you know valid data makes it back and forth, even if it involves some error recovery you aren't aware of. With some simpler RF devices, you are aware of the errors and/or have the possibility of things being missed. But if you are using this for music performance related work, error recovery involves going back in time, so nothing really fixes that (if anyone knows what will, please enlighten me). The one upside to the simple devices is that everything happens, or doesn't, right when you operate the device.

Thanks mowcius and arbarnhart !
Much appreciate your advices. [smiley=dankk2.gif]

As you suggest, that's true that it's worth considering simpler RF devices.

However, I think I will try this direction in a second step, if error recovery represents big time issues. I've found good tutorials to start with xbee or bluetooth, and make them work with my need, which will help me to start in the arduino world... :sunglasses: