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The Best Bluetooth Adapter Reviews & Buyer Guide

The Definitive Guide to Buy the Best Bluetooth Adapter in the Market

Last Modified On July 1, 2020

Today there are a lot of devices that come with Bluetooth connectivity. So, you need the Best Bluetooth Adapter to connect with your devices. We have put together extensive information to make your purchase decision more manageable and help you find the Best Bluetooth Adapter for you.

Well, there is a lot of difference between USB Bluetooth Adapter and Audio Bluetooth Adapters. All types of data (text, image, audio, video, etc.) can be exchanged with a USB Bluetooth dongle. With an audio Bluetooth adapter, only the exchange of audio files is possible, which is why they are primarily connected using a 3.5 mm jack.


What is Bluetooth Anyway?

Bluetooth is a standardized radio standard that enables wireless data transmission between multiple devices at short distances.

Already in the 1990s, essential parts of this radio procedure were developed for the Swedish technology company Ericsson. Other parts were later added by Nokia and Intel.

The name Bluetooth refers to the Danish King Harald Blatant (German: Blauzahn, English Bluetooth), who once hostile and large parts of Denmark and Norway. Bluetooth radio technology should also bring the digital world together more easily and replace various types of connections. The Bluetooth logo shows the king a monogram of the old Norse runes for H and B.


How Does Bluetooth Work?

According to DigitalTrends, Bluetooth sends and receives radio waves in a frequency band of 79 different channels between a bandwidth of 2.4 and 2.480 GHz.

If two devices want to connect to each other via Bluetooth, they take one of these channels at random. If this is already occupied, you simply jump to the next available channel frequency. This frequency hopping method is also called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS). In order to minimize the risk of interference from other signals (such as WLAN or microwaves etc.), paired Bluetooth devices jump back and forth between the channels almost 1600 times per second.

Bluetooth devices automatically recognize each other and up to eight devices can be connected to each other at the same time. During a Bluetooth connection, the devices form an ad hoc mini network, a so-called piconet. As long as there is space, devices can join or leave this piconet at any time.

One device acts as a controller (master), while the other devices bow to its commands (slaves). A chip with a transmitter and receiver unit is installed in devices with Bluetooth. Each device has a unique 48-bit serial number so that it can be uniquely identified within a Bluetooth network.

In order to be able to establish an optimal connection, you should ideally have the latest Bluetooth version. But don’t worry! As a rule, new Bluetooth versions are always compatible with older versions.


What Does SIG Mean?

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) is an interest group consisting of over 30,000 companies with the aim of promoting further development and spread of Bluetooth technology.

Bluetooth SIG is the owner of the Bluetooth trademark and publisher of the Bluetooth specifications. In 1998 it was founded by Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Nokia and Toshiba.

Today, technology giants such as Apple, Microsoft, Intel, Ericsson, Lenovo, Nokia, and Toshiba are among their biggest promoters.


What is a USB Bluetooth Dongle?

A USB Bluetooth dongle is a Bluetooth adapter that is connected to a USB port. You can integrate your computer with a Bluetooth function to connect wireless accessories and peripheral devices such as a headset, keyboard, mouse, printer, gaming controller, smart pens and much more.

You can also transfer any type of data with an active Bluetooth connection. For example, you can send videos or music from your smartphone to a specific device with USB Bluetooth dongle without any cable connection.

The USB Bluetooth adapter looks like a USB stick. The smaller, the better: In order not to attract too much attention, we recommend a Nano-USB Bluetooth adapter.

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Best Bluetooth Adapters in the Market Right Now

In any case, it’s imperative to understand what class of adapter is best for you and what make and model meet those details and play out the most dependably.

Product Model Rating  
asus-dongle-4 (THE BEST CHOICE)
ASUS USB Bluetooth Adapter 4.0 Dongle
 
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) CHECK PRICE
logitech-bluetooth-adapter (ADAPTER WITH LONG RANGE)
Logitech Bluetooth Adapter
4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5) CHECK PRICE
avantree-long-range-bluetooth-adapter (ADAPTER WITH LONG RANGE)
Avantree Leaf Long Range USB Bluetooth Adapter
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) CHECK PRICE
kinivo-bluetooth-adapter (HIGH PERFORMANCE ADAPTER)
Kinivo USB Bluetooth Adapter
4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5) CHECK PRICE

ASUS USB Bluetooth Dongle — The BEST Bluetooth Adapter

ASUS USB Bluetooth Adapter 4.0 Dongle

Features:

  • Best Price for a Brand Name
  • Easy to Install
  • Bluetooth Version 4.1
  • Long Range up to 32.8 ft

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

The Asus USB-BT400 Nano Bluetooth Stick can be used to establish a wireless connection to Bluetooth-enabled devices. Game controllers can also be used on a PC.

The user particularly emphasizes the simple installation and safe nano design. The Bluetooth adapter is very popular with customers due to its stable connection.


Logitech Bluetooth — Bluetooth Adapter with Long Range

Logitech Bluetooth Adapter

Features:

  • Bluetooth Audio Adapter
  • Multi-Point Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Easy Pairing and Automatic Repairing
  • Long Wireless Range
  • Great Sound Quality

Overall Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

The Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter is compatible with PC speakers, stereos, and AV receivers. Thanks to the integrated multipoint Bluetooth, a smartphone and a tablet can be connected at the same time.

According to the seller, the adapter also creates a stable connection at a distance of 15 m. The buyers especially appreciate the good sound quality.


Avantree Leaf Long Range USB Bluetooth

Avantree Leaf Long Range USB Bluetooth Adapter

Features:

  • Best for Gamers
  • Long Range up to 60 ft
  • Plug and Play
  • Bluetooth Version 4.1

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Concerning this model, its range is outstanding. It comes with the correct best range of 60 feet, which will let you make some great memories. Besides, it comes with fantastic technology, which means that you will get any network interference or audio loss.

You can Streaming and listen to Music on this Bluetooth Adapter plainly, which makes it truly outstanding for the users who are tired of adapters that decline their signals.

The best thing on this device that it’s a plug and play model. You simply need to connect it and it will start working.


Kinivo USB Bluetooth Adapter — HIGH PERFORMANCE

Kinivo USD Bluetooth Adapter

Features:

  • Impressive range
  • Ease of setup
  • Affordable

Overall Rating: 4.2 out of 5 stars (4.2 / 5)

Kinivo USB Bluetooth Adapter is another in the list of high-performance Bluetooth adapters. In the modern era, these models often have unstable built quality, but it comes with the best-built quality. At this cost, it is incredible that it offers Class 2 Bluetooth technology.

The model accompanies the most recent Bluetooth innovation with the goal that you don’t need to stress over inactivity and network quality. It will consistently work extraordinary to convey your requirements. In view of that, you can make certain to make a good time using it.


How to Choose the Best Bluetooth Adapters?

In the following we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate Bluetooth adapters. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular device is suitable for you or not.

In short, these are:

  • Connectivity
  • Bluetooth version
  • Range
  • compatibility
  • Mass weight
  • Power supply & battery power
  • Plug and play
  • aptX – Codec support
  • Multi-pairing support
  • NFC support
  • Speakerphone

Connectivity

As you can read in detail above, the two types of Bluetooth adapters differ primarily in their connection options. Therefore, this can probably be seen as the most important criterion when buying a Bluetooth dongle and should not be ignored in this list.

So first ask yourself which connections the device you want to connect the Bluetooth adapter to has. Which devices you want to connect to via Bluetooth also plays an important role.

As the name suggests, USB Bluetooth adapters are connected via USB. USB 2.0 is currently the standard in retail. The faster successor version USB 3.0 is hardly offered yet.

Audio Bluetooth adapters are primarily connected to your hi-fi sound system, car radio or television with a 3.5 mm jack plug. Most audio Bluetooth adapters can also be connected with RCA plugs (RCA).

Adapters with digital coaxial or TOSLINK connections for a better sound experience can now also be found, albeit rarely.

Bluetooth Version

Nevertheless, this is also one of the most important factor that you should consider when choosing a Bluetooth adapter. Due to the low energy concept and the better security standard, we recommend you to choose adapters with the current Bluetooth version 4.0.

However, Bluetooth 4.0 is not always compatible with its previous versions! Therefore, pay attention to whether the manufacturer clearly promises downward compatibility or whether the packaging indicates a Smart Ready label.

Buying a Bluetooth adapter with version 3.0 is also possible without any problems. However, you should already do without older versions.

Range

How far your Bluetooth signal should go depends of course on your intended use and your closer environment. How big is your apartment and how far will the devices to be paired be apart? Do you have reinforced concrete walls nearby that can reduce the possible range of the Bluetooth connection?

According to the study, you should choose a class 2 Bluetooth adapter with a range of approx. 10 meters is sufficient for everyday use.

If you live in a house and there is a floor between the devices, a class 1 Bluetooth adapter with an approximate range of 100 meters is of course better. However, Class 1 adapters are also significantly more expensive.

Compatibility

You only have to worry about compatibility with USB Bluetooth Dongles. Because the compatibility of audio Bluetooth adapters depends more on its connections. According to the motto: If it fits, then it fits!

With USB Bluetooth adapters, it is rather necessary to ensure compatibility with your operating system. Mac and Linux users have to be particularly careful here, because many USB Bluetooth dongles are only intended for use with Windows. This means that USB Bluetooth adapters can basically be linked to all common Windows versions, from Windows 10 to XP.

We generally recommend that you get a Bluetooth adapter with a so-called “Plug & Play” function to save you the hassle of installing a driver. With this function, the Bluetooth adapter is already installed in the operating systems specified by the manufacturer and can therefore be used immediately.

If you found a Bluetooth adapter without this function or if it doesn’t work right away, then don’t give up. As a rule, a Bluetooth adapter always comes with a driver CD or a download link for installing the appropriate driver. You can also use it to make individual settings, such as activating various Bluetooth profiles.

Size & Weight       

In the best case, a Bluetooth adapter should of course integrate into your devices as inconspicuously as possible. If you also want to be mobile with your Bluetooth dongle, its weight also plays an important role.

If you are looking for a USB Bluetooth adapter, then you have it easy. Nowadays, USB Bluetooth adapters in USB Nano size are offered almost exclusively. The USB stick therefore only protrudes 1-2 cm from the port and can get fixed permanently without being noticed or disturbing.

Power Supply & Battery Life

Having a Bluetooth connection finally means being wireless – well, at least almost. Because even a Bluetooth adapter has to get its power from somewhere.

A USB Bluetooth dongle is easily supplied with power via USB from the device to which it is connected and therefore does not need any additional cables or connections.

With audio Bluetooth adapters, it looks a little different. Since audio connections do not have a power function, audio adapters require an additional connection for permanent power supply. However, many Bluetooth adapters also have a battery so that they can be used wirelessly at least temporarily.

As a rule, most audio Bluetooth adapters are charged with a USB-to-Micro USB connection cable. Stationary Bluetooth adapters, on the other hand, often have no battery and are therefore permanently operated with a power supply.

With Audio Bluetooth adapters, dimensions and weight may depend on your intended use. In general, the following also applies here: the smaller and lighter, the better.

Many Bluetooth adapters, which are intended for permanent use at home on loudspeakers, for example, can sometimes be 5-7 cm on their longest side. Visually, these “large” adapters often fit better into a domestic technical landscape.

For an Audio Bluetooth Adapters, however, a maximum length of approximately 5 cm is recommended.

When buying, make sure to choose a Bluetooth adapter that is connected to the power supply options of your device to be provided. If your device has a USB port near the audio interface, you can charge your audio Bluetooth adapter via USB during use and do not have to worry about the battery life.

If you are looking for an audio Bluetooth adapter with a battery, we recommend choosing a device with a battery life of at least 7 hours.

Plug and Play

A Plug & Play (PnP) function enables the direct use of the Bluetooth adapter without further settings and driver installations. Plug & Play adapters can thus immediately establish a Bluetooth connection to other peripheral devices with just one push of a button.

We recommend laypersons and those who want to establish a fast Bluetooth connection without individual settings, to use Bluetooth adapters with a plug & play function.

aptX – Codec support

AptX support is particularly relevant for audiophiles, because this codec enables an improvement in the perceived audio quality. Accordingly, the aptX codec primarily plays a role for audio Bluetooth adapters.

What is aptX?

The audio codec called SBC is normally supported in the Bluetooth profile A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile). However, SBC is a compressed, lossy encoding of audio signals. SBC is used to convert audio files such as MP3 and compress them again before they are sent to the recipient. This slow and energy-consuming procedure is audibly not good for the audio data.

What is special about the aptX codec is that an audio signal is compressed here as well, as requested by wireless transmission via Bluetooth, but the audio signal after decompression hardly any loss compared to the original track.

Another advantage of aptX is its high coding speed. Because the previous standard codec SBC is slow and requires more power.

Multi-pairing Support

Multi-pairing enables the simultaneous connection of several devices to the Bluetooth adapter. The advantage of this function is that you can quickly switch back and forth between multiple source devices such as smartphones or tablets without having to pair them again and again with the Bluetooth adapter.

We recommend an audio Bluetooth adapter with multi-pairing function if several people in your household want to use the Bluetooth connection with different devices. E.g. if every now and then everyone wants to play music from their smartphone with the stereo system.

NFC Support

The so-called Near Field Communication (NFC for short) is a nice gimmick to simplify the pairing of the devices to be coupled. NFC is a technology that enables Bluetooth-enabled devices to establish wireless communication with each other simply by touching the devices.

In everyday life, you may already have learned about NFC technology when paying cashless with a smartphone or an NFC-enabled bank card.

In order to be able to use this function, both devices to be coupled must of course have an NFC chip, which is why the purchase of a Bluetooth adapter with NFC is rarely worthwhile. However, if your smartphone has such an NFC chip installed, the purchase is well worth considering. Especially if you always want to pair other devices with the Bluetooth adapter.

Speakerphone

A Bluetooth adapter is not only practical for wireless music playback, but is also an important asset for hands-free calls in the car. So if you are looking for an audio Bluetooth adapter for your car radio, we recommend one with a built-in speakerphone.

There are models that can be attached to the dashboard with a subtle bracket, for example, and thus make it easy to operate your music or phone calls. Such Bluetooth adapters are also powered via USB. If you don’t have a USB port in the car, don’t forget to get a suitable cigarette lighter plug with a USB power adapter.


Frequent Asked Questions

What is the Difference Between Adapter and Dongle?

There is no!

The terms adapter and dongle can be understood as synonyms in relation to Bluetooth.

Originally, the term “dongle” actually meant copy protection plugs such as hard locks and hardware keys. In the meantime, a plug that remains in a USB port for a long time is known colloquially as a dongle. But not only Bluetooth adapters, but also WLAN adapters or USB memory sticks can be called a synonymous dongle.


What is the Alternative to Bluetooth Adapters?

The only alternative there is to get a new device with a built-in Bluetooth chip. Wireless is in and technical multitasking in the future, which is why most technology manufacturers are increasingly optimizing their new devices for wireless use.

There are hardly any electronic devices on the market today without a Bluetooth option. Of course, buying a completely new device is not always the cheapest option, which is why you can also expand your old favorite devices with a Bluetooth adapter.


How is Bluetooth Different from WLAN?

Bluetooth is primarily intended for the transmission of information within short distances, especially when speed only plays a subordinate role. Bluetooth is, therefore, best suited for applications that only require a small bandwidth.

Just like transferring music or making calls using a headset. The use of Bluetooth is also energy-efficient and inexpensive compared to WLAN.

Wireless LAN, on the other hand, is suitable for networks with many participants and when a fast connection is essential. With appropriate routers, a significantly higher range can also be achieved.


What is the Range of a Bluetooth Adapter?

The Bluetooth range depends on the class of the Bluetooth device:
Class 1: up to 100m
Class 2: up to 10-50m
Class 3: up to 1-10m

How far the connection goes and how well it lasts depends on your environment. Reinforced concrete walls between the communicating devices can lead to loss of range and speed.

However, the simultaneous use of several Bluetooth devices, a WLAN connection or microwaves has no negative effects on the connection quality.

For domestic use, however, we recommend choosing at least one class 2 Bluetooth adapter.


Which is the Best Bluetooth Versions?

Bluetooth has been around for almost 30 years now and has of course always improved over time and adapted it more and more to our needs. The following table lists all Bluetooth versions with their most important features and innovations compared to the predecessor:

VersionFeatures
Bluetooth 1.xMaximum data rate: 1 Mbit / s
Bluetooth 2.xMaximum data rate: 2.1 Mbit / s
— Enhanced Data Rate (EDR)
— NFC pairing
— Downward compatible
Bluetooth 3.xMaximum data rate: 24 Mbit / s
— high-speed support through WLAN and UWB channels
— enhanced data rate (EDR)
— NFC pairing
— downward compatible
Bluetooth 4.0— Low Energy (Smart and Smart Ready)
— Faster connection establishment
— NFC pairing
— Improved security: AES-128-bit encryption
Bluetooth 4.1— Dual profile: can be sent and receive at the same time
— Low Energy
— NFC pairing
— Improved security: AES-128-bit encryption
Bluetooth 4.2— Extended security, higher transmission speed
— IPv6 support
— Dual profile
— Low Energy Smart
— NFC pairing
— AES 128-bit encryption

Due to their improved energy efficiency and increased security standard, we recommend purchasing Bluetooth adapters from version 4.0. However, this version is not always backwards compatible with its previous version.

Therefore, pay attention to whether the manufacturer explicitly promises downward compatibility or whether the packaging indicates a Smart Ready label. So-called Smart Ready Bluetooth devices combine the Classic Bluetooth Standard 2.0 and the Smart Ready 4.0 version, thus enabling downward compatibility of the newer 4.0 version.

Bluetooth 5.0 was adopted in December 2016. The aim of this new version is to quadruple the range and double the data rate. In addition, new services such as location transfer are to be introduced.


What are Bluetooth Profiles?

Bluetooth profiles determine which data can be exchanged between two Bluetooth devices. The profile thus virtually specifies the actual function of a Bluetooth device.

Bluetooth devices can therefore only communicate with each other if both support the corresponding Bluetooth profile. The most important profiles for everyday Bluetooth use are:

  • OBEX: exchange of data
  • HSP: Headset connection
  • A2DP: transmission of audio data
  • HFP: hands-free car kit

Important: All Bluetooth profiles only work if they are supported by both devices.


What is an Audio Bluetooth Adapter (AUX)?

If you want to play your music from your smartphone or tablet on your hi-fi stereo or car radio, you need an audio Bluetooth adapter. In contrast to the USB dongle, an audio Bluetooth adapter only enables wireless transmission of audio signals.

The advantage over a USB adapter is that it can be connected via a 3.5mm jack, which of course is more likely to be found in audio devices.

In contrast to the USB adapter, an audio Bluetooth adapter cannot draw power from an audio jack and must therefore be charged with an additional connection.

If the audio Bluetooth adapter remains permanently connected, a permanent connection to the socket is recommended. Most audio Bluetooth adapters are charged via micro USB like modern smartphones. If there is a USB port near the audio jack, it can also be charged during use.

Attention: This USB port of an audio Bluetooth adapter is only used for power supply and is therefore not to be confused with a USB Bluetooth adapter!


Difference Between a Bluetooth Receiver and a Transmitter?

Simply explained: A Bluetooth transmitter only sends data and a Bluetooth receiver only receives it! You can only find this distinction with audio Bluetooth adapters.

Before you buy an audio Bluetooth adapter, you should consider whether you need a transmitter, receiver or maybe even both.

If you already have Bluetooth headphones and want to watch movies on your TV in the late evening, you need a Bluetooth transmitter. This sends the video sound to your Bluetooth headphones.

To do this, simply plug the audio Bluetooth transmitter into the 3.5mm audio jack on your TV and pair the transmitter with your headphones according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Since most smartphones and tablets already have an integrated Bluetooth function, you only need a Bluetooth receiver for your speaker system. This receives the audio signals from your transmitter and plays the music through your stereo.


What is a 2-in-1 audio Bluetooth Adapter?

If you are not sure what you need or want to stay flexible with your audio adapter, we recommend a 2-in-1 audio Bluetooth adapter. With this, you can switch between send and receiver mode with a switch lever.


How much do Bluetooth Adapters Cost?

A Bluetooth chip is already integrated into many modern mobile devices, computers or speakers, which is why external USB Bluetooth adapters are already commercially available for 10 to 15 dollars.

Well, the situation is different from audio Bluetooth adapters. The wireless streaming of music to an external speaker system is becoming increasingly popular and this can also be seen in the prices and quality of the adapters.

You can get cheap and simple models between 20 and 30 dollars. 2in1 audio Bluetooth adapters that can both receive and send music, depending on the quality and brand, start at 30 dollars. Top models with an elegant design and extra features such as Multipair or NFC start at 45 dollars.

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