Top 3 Best Bluetooth Adapters 2021:
- Best Overall Value: Sabrent USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter for PC
- Best Budget Option: Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth USB Adapter For PC
- Premium Pick: Avantree Leaf Class 1 Long Range USB Bluetooth audio Transmitter Adapter
If you want to live a wireless life and make all your devices connected, you need to get the best Bluetooth adapters available, and you’ll find them here.
There was a point where people thought that Bluetooth technology was going out of style and that it will be replaced by something else – little did they know that its time was just coming.
Today you can do a ton of stuff with Bluetooth technology – headphones, microphones, speakers, game controllers and all sorts of other gadgets.
But despite how popular it is, it’s still mostly confined to use with mobile devices or laptops, and a lot of PC’s simply don’t have built-in Bluetooth functionality.
If your PC also lacks a Bluetooth transmitter/receiver, there’s an easy solution – just get a Bluetooth adapter! These devices will allow your computer to easily interface with Bluetooth devices and open a whole new world of functionality to you.
Today we will take a look at some of the best Bluetooth adapters on the market right now and give you a few tips and tricks on finding the right one for you without spending a ton of money or time.
So, let’s get started!
Factors To Consider When Shopping For A Bluetooth Adapter
Most people don’t give too much thought to buying things like Bluetooth adapters – they’re tiny, they serve just one purpose, and any one will do, right?
Not quite true, though. There’s much more to these little things than meets the eye, and you need to look a little bit closer to get the full picture and find an adapter that will perform well.
If you want to buy a Bluetooth adapter that’s good and will work with all sorts of devices no matter what, here are the most important things you need to consider.
1. Intended Use
Not all Bluetooth adapters are made with the same use in mind, and depending on what they’re made for their performance is going to differ.
People tend to get just any Bluetooth adapter for any device, and if the device performs poorly. As a result, they don’t even think that the adapter might be the problem.
Do I need to tell you that a Bluetooth adapter won’t work well if it’s not used for what it’s intended for?
In reality, Bluetooth adapters intended for connecting your PC with your mobile device might not be ideal for, let’s say, connecting to a wireless speaker.
Always check what the intended use for a Bluetooth adapter is before you buy it.
2. The Range
Each Bluetooth adapter has a different range it can operate at. You’ll usually hear a lot about the maximum range, and that’s important but always keep in mind that the effective range of an adapter will be a bit smaller than that.
For example, an adapter with a maximum range of 10 feet probably won’t be able to work well with devices that are more than 9 feet away from it, even though it will connect with them. Always try and get an adapter with a maximum range larger than the distance you’re intending to put between it and the device.
- Bonus Tip: always take into account any obstacles that might come between the device and your Bluetooth adapter. Adapters with a higher range will usually have better signal strength as well, and they’ll be able to work through those blockages much better.
3. Bluetooth Version
Most Bluetooth devices currently on the market use either Bluetooth 3.0 or 4.0, and the same goes for adapters.
In general, Bluetooth version 4.0 zero is much better in terms of connection speed, stability, range as well as security. They also have backward compatibility, so they’re able to work with devices using older versions of Bluetooth . In general, it’s much better to get.
However, there is one upside to getting a Bluetooth version 3.0 adapter, and that’s the price. If you’re looking for something on a budget, that’s the version you want to get, but otherwise, you should go for 4.0.
4. Class 1 or Class 2
There are two different classes of Bluetooth adapters out there – the former is intended mostly for commercial use, while the latter is mostly for home use.
- Class 1 models usually have an extremely long range and can deliver great connectivity even through multiple obstacles. However, they are large, they cost a lot, and they’re not exactly practical – just setting them up can take a lot of time and effort.
- Class 2 models are mostly what you want – consumer devices that don’t take up a lot of space, are easy to just plug and play but don’t have a lot of range (which you won’t need anyway).
The general idea is – if you need Bluetooth for your business, it’s best to get a class 1 adapter, but for home use, class 2 adapters are more than good enough.
10 Best Bluetooth Adapters In 2021: Detailed Reviews
Now that you’re aware of all the basics, here’s what we think about the best Bluetooth adapters currently on the market!
If you’re the least bit interested in tech of any kind, you’ve definitely heard of Logitech, and you know they’re always at the cutting edge. That’s why we decided to start this roundup with one of their products.
This Bluetooth adapter is tailor-made for audio streaming, and if you want to stream music into any part of your house from your mobile device or tablet, this is the adapter you need to get.
It is able to remember all your devices with just the press of one button, and you can stream music from them at any time after that.
The maximum range is impressive – it’s 50 feet, and the signal strength is fairly consistent even at the edges of its range. Unless you’ve got a mansion, this will easily cover your entire home.
You don’t have to wonder if it will work well with your speakers since it is able to connect to most ones. If you don’t have Logitech speakers, don’t worry, it will work with products from almost any company. It can plug into anything with an RCA or 3.5mm jack.
Yes, that’s right – it plugs into the speakers. This adapter is only a receiver, not a transmitter, so it’s not meant to be used with wireless Bluetooth speakers at all. If that’s what you need, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
If you want to play music on your speakers in your home through your mobile device or table, this is the device to get.
This is a tiny device – but it hides more power in itself than you would think!
For a start, it’s both a transmitter and receiver so it can be used for so many different things! Music streaming is the largest use for it, and it can easily be used to stream music from a mobile device or a laptop to a wireless speaker.
You can now live in the home of the future where you press a button on your mobile phone and a speaker three rooms away just starts paying your favorite song.
It uses Bluetooth 4.0, so it’s safer and more secure than other devices, and it can be used even with devices that use older versions of Bluetooth .
It also features NFC capability which allows you to amplify the audio of any NFC-capable smart device you have by simply touching it to the adapter to connect it to it.
It does have a limited battery life though, and if you want to use it all day, it is not the best option around – the charge will last for 10 hours at most. It also takes a while to recharge, so keep that in mind.
That’s the price you pay for it being so small and inconspicuous.
It is one of the best devices to use on the go, for sure, but if you want to use it in your home all the time, the battery life might be a bit limiting.
This is a simple dongle, but it has an incredibly wide variety of uses on Windows devices, and you can use it with almost anything.
Your mouse, keyboards, printers, projectors, microphones, Xbox One and PS4 controllers and more can be connected with your PC through this simple little dongle. Any BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) device should be compatible with it.
You can use it with any Windows-based device that’s running Windows XP and up. For Windows 10 and 8 you can just plug it in, and the drivers will be installed on their own.
For older versions of Windows, you will have to install the drivers from the CD that comes with the adapter, which can be a lengthy and messy process. It is a bit inconvenient since most of us still use Windows 7.
This dongle also doesn’t support Macs or Linux. If you want to use this with your iPhone or Mac laptop, you’re out of luck. It’s a real shame since the device is great otherwise.
The range is impressive for an adapter this small – it reaches up to 33 feet, and the signal is mostly consistent.
The Bluetooth version is 4.0, which is great since it makes the adapter much safer.
Overall, it’s a good device for regular use with things like mice, keyboards, and controllers. Not so much for audio or video devices though and it won’t work with most of them, just keep that in mind when purchasing.
If you’re a tech enthusiast that’s working on a tight budget, you might be dismayed that you always have to be a generation behind the times in order to afford the tech you want.
Well, this Bluetooth adapter comes at an affordable price but is still keeping up with the times.
For a start, it’s running Bluetooth version 4.0 instead of 3.0 which is already a plus. It also works will all modern Windows operating systems and is set-up for plug and play action on Windows 8 and 10.
For lower versions you will have to install the drivers, which can be quite bothersome, we know, but that’s the standard nowadays.
Sadly it does not work with MacOS, but it does work with some versions of Linux, though you will have to do some tinkering in order to get everything set up properly.
It works best with devices like headphones, computer mice, keyboards and some game controllers, including Xbox/Xbox One and PS3/PS4 controllers, among others.
However, it’s not that great for speakers, and Bose headphones in particular seem to have a problem with it.
Both the range (33 feet) and the data transfer speeds (3mbps) are impressive for a device this small and affordable, so you’re not missing out on anything on that front. It also has A2DP support for an enhanced audio experience.
Avantree makes a lot of different Bluetooth adapters, and this one is specifically designed to be used with audio devices.
The Leaf, as it is called, looks really nice with a natural-looking green color and a practical design.
However, the design is not the only modern thing about this device, not at all. It’s compatible with all major devices, including those running MacOS, Windows, and Linux. It can also be used with some game consoles – PS4 and Switch, to be exact.
It also works as a plug and play device for all those devices – yes, even older versions of Windows, down to Windows XP. No need to install any drivers at all!
It is able to transfer sound to any pair of headphones or set of speakers, and it will all sound as good as the source. You also won’t have to deal with nasty delay due to the aptX Low Latency technology, which reduces the latency drastically.
This is incredibly important for gamers who need to hear every sound and react to it incredibly quickly. You never know when you might hear enemy steps behind you, and you don’t want to turn around too late!
Another great thing for gamers is that it allows for simultaneous music and voice while gaming if you use it with a pair of headphones from Avantree which have fast stream technology enabled.
The range is amazing as well – up to 60 feet and with great signal power to boot.
The cost is a bit higher than for most other similar dongles, but it does pay off in our opinion, especially if you’re a music enthusiast or a dedicated gamer.
If you need an adapter that won’t cost a lot but will work well with all your iOS devices as well as on your PC, this is probably the best option out there.
It’s running Bluetooth 4.0, and it’s compatible with iPhone X/8/8P as well as iPhone 7/7P and all Lightning devices that run iOS 18 or any later version.
You can just plug it in and use it straight away since no app or drivers need to be installed. No more difficult setups and unnecessary programs that are taking up your phone memory!
In addition to that, it can also work with all Windows devices that use Windows 8 and up. You will need to install drivers in that case from a CD that comes with the adapter, which is a drag.
On the plus side, it’s compatible with Linux as well, which we honestly did not expect when we first tried it out.
It features anti-interference technology so you can be sure that the signal won’t cut out nearly as often as with some other adapters.
It’s best for use with audio devices, but you can definitely use it for much more than that. You can also use it for devices like printers and projectors as well as gaming devices.
Honestly, it can do almost anything, and it’s a steal at this price.
If you’re a Linux enthusiast, you’re going to love this Bluetooth adapter since it supports nearly every Linux-based operating system that you can think off. Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint – you name it.
It’s also compatible with Windows-based devices running Windows 7 and up.
However, it cannot be used with Mac computers if that’s what you need, but this is not a Bluetooth adapter designed with people who use Macs in mind, let’s be real here.
While it does use Bluetooth version 4.0, this adapter does not add 4.0 support to PCs that it plugs into, which is a black mark against it as most others do have that function.
It also cannot be used with just any device – smart TVs and car stereos are a no-go, for example. You will also need special drivers for certain devices, which can be a huge drag and a waste of time.
If you want to use it, it’s best used with mice, keyboards and wireless headphones. Bluetooth speakers are also good with it.
We have to say that if you’re not a dedicated Linux user, you probably won’t’ get too much out of this adapter. If you are, however, this is probably the best choice for you, and it will definitely be worth the money, even though it is a bit finicky.
Kinivo made a good Bluetooth adapter here, one of the best ones for use with Linux based decides and Raspberry Pi, though it also works great with devices that use Windows XP and up.
For Windows 8 and up, it’s plug and play, no drivers needed. For everything else, you will have to install the correct drivers to use it though, but we found that the process was not too time-consuming in this case, expect on Fedora, for some reason.
It also works with Mac devices running Mac 2011 and up, though you’ll also have to install drivers in that case.
The range is good, a standard 30 feet, not bad for an adapter this small. The signal is mostly consistent as well, even on the edges, which is always a good sign.
It can easily be used with a wide variety of devices – anything from headsets, speakers, and microphones, to things like mobile devices, printers, projectors and more.
While it is nothing too spectacular, this Bluetooth adapter works with most modern devices and the price is fairly good, so you’re probably fine buying this if you’re on a bit of a tight budget at the moment.
You might encounter some problems if you try to use it with gaming controller though, but other than that it performs remarkably well.
Rocetek had a Bluetooth adapter on the market in the past, but this one is the upgraded version of that one, and it definitely shows.
Now it’s compatible with all versions of Windows from XP and upwards and it’s plug and play for Windows 7 and above. It doesn’t work with MacOS devices, though.
You will have to install some specific drivers for certain devices. This includes things like headsets and speakers, for example, which is not too great.
The good thing is that it can connect up to 7 devices at the same time – an impressive thing for something this small and a definite upgrade. The range is 33 feet, which is quite decent, and the transfer rate is around 3Mbps.
However, it still doesn’t work with some specific devices. Car stereos are a no-go for example, as are PS4 controllers and Nintendo consoles in general – if you want a Bluetooth adapter for those, you‘ll have to look elsewhere.
It does work for PS3 controllers and Xbox One controllers though, so if you’re a gamer, those are the ones you can use it with. You might need to install additional drivers, though.
If you want to just get something that will work and costs next to nothing, this will probably be your go-to Bluetooth adapter.
It’s fine, we understand – we’ve all had those times of need where we just wanted to get something working and didn’t care about buying something that’s well made.
However, despite the dirt-cheap price, this is not a bad Bluetooth adapter at all, though it definitely isn’t the most versatile or functional one out there.
It works with Windows XP and up and is plug and play with Windows 8 and up – so far, so good. It’s not compatible with any other operating systems, though, which is a shame.
It also uses Bluetooth 4.0, which is a nice surprise – devices this cheap usually tend to run Bluetooth 3.0, which is not quite what you want.
The range and data transfer rate are quite standard – 33 feet and 3 Mbps – not incredible but quite good for this price.
It’s best for use with things like speakers, headsets, mic, and keyboard. It can work decently with other things too, like printers and gamepads, but it’s not ideal for those uses.
Overall, we’d say that this is great value for the money if you want to use a Bluetooth adapter with a Windows PC and just need something that works. This definitely fits the bill.
Final Thoughts & Recommendations – The Top 3 Bluetooth Adapters On The Market
If you’re enthusiastic about getting new tech and turning your life into something like a sci-fi movie, you want to get the best Bluetooth adapter that you can find – and we totally get you.
As usual, here are our top three picks:
Best Overall Value – Sabrent USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter for PC
- Sabrent’s Bluetooth adapter can do almost anything you would want out of it, and it’s compatible with most devices and operating systems you can think of. In addition to that, it also comes at a bargain, so it’s definitely great value for the money.
Best Budget Option – Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth USB Adapter For PC
- This is the best option for those on a budget since it supports most modern devices and runs Bluetooth 4.0 while still being affordable. It’s got everything you might need while costing next to nothing, which is a great combination.
- The Leaf is definitely a premium option designed specifically for gamers and audio enthusiast. If you are one, it definitely pays off to get it, and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better Bluetooth adapter out there.