One of the most amazing things about wireless systems is how common they have become. Surely, this renders them unexciting by this point to anyone under the age of 20, but many of us still remember the days of tangled wires or the frustration of never having enough cables when needed.
Nowadays, nearly all car systems, phones, and Smart TVs have Bluetooth capabilities. However, there’s a good chance that any older model you rent will still set you back to the cable era. Fortunately, that is nothing that a good Bluetooth receiver can’t fix. Small, light, and energy-efficient, this year’s crop of Bluetooth receivers and adaptors can hook your phone up to a complete surround sound system nearly instantly.
Here are the 12 best bluetooth receivers.
Almost pre-destined to be the audiophile’s favorite Bluetooth adapter, Bose’s take on the market combines a sleek, minimalist design, high-fidelity audio transmission, and good quality supporting cables.
Setting up this tiny device for the first time is easy in any scenario, but is a downright pleasure if you already use the Bose sound ecosystem: by integrating with the brand’s proprietary SoundTouch app, this adapter only needs to be plugged onto one speaker, and the rest of your Dolby-worthy home concert will sync itself via Wi-Fi.
That being said, your music source will need to stay quite close to the adapter, which means that those with larger homes will need to take the phone out of their pockets as they move around.
In addition to being fully compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 systems and below, it also offers Alexa integration and geofencing-based sound systems.
Reliable and able to handle multiple connections at once, this Logitech Audio adapter is a great option for those who need to switch quickly between their phone, tablet, and laptop. It’s also quite sensibly priced and light (it weighs just 7 ounces), which is quite expected for Logitech products – and a huge part of what has made this brand a favorite among gamers and hardcore PC users.
In addition, this model offers above-average range and is able to keep connected and playing with any device in its line of sights, without any burps or humps in the middle of your favorite songs. If you are the kind to receive frequent guests, then its ability to automatically acknowledge any previously paired device will come in handy.
Its geek cred is further compounded by this device’s ability to sync with Android, Apple, Windows, and Linux systems alike.
A highly functional minimalist option for anyone who wants to upgrade their car system, this tiny powerhouse by Roav offers seamless installation, a steady connection, and full compatibility with hands-free tasks.
Rather than just hooking onto the traditional USB port, this device plugs easily into the car’s cigarette lighter – making it perfect for older cars that don’t come with smartphone-friendly bells and whistles. It does, however, add two USB ports that will let you use the same energy source to charge a couple of devices, all while still enjoying high-fidelity music or using the mic during a quick chat. Meanwhile, the Bluetooth signal itself has a decent range of nearly 30 feet.
The button layout on top is simple but efficient, and sensitive enough to be handled with a quick tap without taking your eyes off the road. The symbols are intuitive enough and switch seamlessly between call functions, volume, and song shuffling.
Finally, the Roav transmitter also doubles as an FM radio booster, which will provide you with a markedly enhanced radio reception even if you are exploring the outskirts of town.
Unlike most of the devices on this list, who have stopped at Bluetooth 4.0 functionality, Taotronics has taken the bold step of offering the very best technology available only – and the price is not excessive either.
In addition to full Bluetooth 5.0 support, the TT-BA07 model also includes Low Latency specs powered by aptX, which sharply improve the sound’s fidelity and ensure no lag will creep up during reproduction – not even when live streaming. In addition, the 2-in-1 adapter included is capable of continuing using all functions even while the device is recharging back from zero-battery.
In addition, the audio codecs included offer superb performance across a variety of audio formats that go way beyond the standard MP4 and MP3. When used as a receiver, it also adds conveniently located volume and play/pause controls. If used as a transmitter, it will require you to use the source controls, however.
This is a discreet but functional option for home or office use. It skips on many of the added functions of high-end adapters, but it excels at providing quality and reliability for those things that it is capable of accomplishing.
Its multipoint Bluetooth compatibility blends well with its 3.5 mm jack and RCA ports, which enable quick connections to most portable stereos and speakers. This is exactly what you need if you just want to improve your laptop’s sound quality without calling an engineer to install a surround sound system all over your living room. Again, the high-end functions that audiophiles can’t live without are replaced by practicality and easy installation.
The package comes with its own set of high-quality cords, so you won’t have to hunt for them before its first use. It has a range of 50 feet, and thanks to its very light size, it is great if you want the sound to trail behind you around the house.
Having to choose between extra functions or extra dollars on our pockets is never an easy conundrum. In the Bluetooth receiver market, this niche seems to be pretty nicely filled by the StarTech BT2A, which offers fast reconnection, NFC capabilities with Android devices, a decent variety of codex, and simultaneous connection capabilities at a fraction of what an equivalent Bose would cost.
In addition, the StarTech converter is compatible with HDMI connections, RCA Stereo output, and has two-way digital connection capabilities.
The sound quality will naturally not be quite that an audiophile would be accustomed to, but when it comes to home use, it will be more than enough; it uses basic Wolfson technology, which is indistinguishable from high-range tech for anyone who is not a trained musical professional. Finally, it comes with its own set of decent-quality cables and adapters, so it will be ready to be installed.
Why should hands-free calls be limited to car use? If you have ever tried to juggle dinner while evading questions from the boss, you will probably have wished you had the same ability to talk on the go as you do while driving.
That option is now a full-fledged reality with the AUKEY Bluetooth adapter, which adds full hands-free and wireless capabilities to your home sound system. Slightly larger than most of the other options on this list, this device was designed for home use. However, it is still equipped with powerful internal batteries, which offer up to 13 hours of continuous music or 720 hours if left on standby.
In addition to a built-in microphone, AUKEY has included a 3.5 mm jack and RCA compatibility. The main panel only has one large button, which can be a bit hard to figure out at first, but once its internal logic becomes self-evident, it makes its operations a breeze.
Elegant, tiny, and full of digital capabilities, the Etekcity Roverbeats Unify is the ideal choice for anyone with a stylish but small flat who wants to make the most of its smart home capabilities.
The Unify model adds NFC capabilities that automatically connect to any previously paired devices and allows you to switch between sources and output seamlessly. It offers a total range of 33 feet, so it’s really meant for flats rather than houses.
That doesn’t mean that it cannot be carried around or used as a car adapter; despite offering many functions that are usually not included in car adapters (such as Pandora, Spotify, and SiriusXM compatibility), it still weighs less than 10 ounces and will easily fit inside your glove compartment or mug holder.
In addition, the battery allows up to 10 hours of continuous operation, which is enough for the lack of a car adapter to be overlooked.
Longer battery life and wider compatibilities than the BA-07 mean that opting for the TT-BR010 should be seen as a pleasure rather than a splurge. Despite the fact that its Bluetooth capabilities stop at 4.2, it should be remarked that this model excels at everything that it can handle; if you are the type to prefer quality over quantity, then surely this is something you can get behind.
Thanks to its total range of 50 feet and highly-responsive button pad, the BR-010 is more than capable of holding its own when confronted with devices that cost twice as much. In addition, the battery can handle 50 hours of continuous reproduction; if you are planning a beach party or a three-day camping trip, then this is the ally you will need to ensure you are not cut off at the most awkward of times.
Tiny and incredibly powerful, MPOW has managed quite feat with a device that is just two inches long and 1half an inch thick. This is the kind of device that can be permanently hidden in your pockets, leaving you completely without an excuse to hook onto any available sound system.
This is quite a marvel of micro-engineering that actually relies on its diminutive package in order to perform as it does; the internal battery has the capacity to perform for up to 15 hours in a row, which is undreamed of even for many smartphones.
Other main features include dual-connection capabilities, which will allow you to queue up your music between two source devices. The built-in mic does not offer the kind of high-fidelity you would want for singing along, but it has enough range to let you answer calls while on the car without having to strain your voice. The switching button is responsive and ergonomic and is incredibly intuitively, which is hard to achieve with single-button operation.
Finally, MPOW’s powerhouse offers wide compatibility between audio systems, car stereos, and pocket devices. It doesn’t have NFC capabilities, but at this point, these are almost an afterthought.
In the audio world, top-end users are not just those who are willing to spend more – but those who are able to appreciate the difference in sound quality provided by high-fidelity equipment. If you have already spent a few thousand dollars in your home or professional audio system, and enjoy the type of trained ear that can recognize the difference, then your Bluetooth receiver must be capable of transmitting data packet at a speed worthy of its environment.
The Audioengine B1 Premium was created for such demanding ears. Its price tag places it firmly in the professional equipment range, but so does its performance. In addition to handling Bluetooth 5.0 and all older versions, it is equipped with a wide array of audio codecs and format compatibilities, so this device can be customized as much as you need it to. The default settings that are activated on Plug and Play mode are nothing to be sneered at, but if you need to bring your bass to that special sweet spot, you will find little to limit you.
A rich sound is not the only advantage offered by this gadget: 30 meters of high-fidelity range, high-quality cables – likely to be better than most of the ones you would be tempted to buy separately – and a set of versatile adapted all come included.
Most people will be tempted to just use their Bluetooth receiver in order to play whatever is streaming from their phones. While a small stereo may be able to hide any defects during transmission, what happens if you are trying to plug into a powerful amplifier? You could chance the occasional metallic edge to your tunes, or you could just get a specialized amplifier-worthy model, such as the Amphony 300.
Forget portability and battery life; the Model 300 is made for those who want their music to be powerful and perfect. Its two channels can handle up to 40 watts of RMS power with minimal distortion. Made from light and smooth aluminum, it won’t overheat despite the compact internal circuitry and the lack of fans. After all, this gadget is smaller than a deck of cards (not counting the antenna) and consumes less than 2 watts of power when on standby. It also has a total range of up to 100 feet, which means that the real limitation will be that of the emitting device.
What to Know Before Buying a Bluetooth Receiver
Informed shopping is smart shopping – and you are here to learn more about the best available Bluetooth receivers on the market, it’s best to take a minute to review which features to look for:
Most Bluetooth receivers can be plugged directly into a wall socket. However, are you planning to use this while on the move? Or in your car? Then, make sure that your new purchase comes with a car adaptor or a potent battery.
Bluetooth Signal Compatibility
At this point in 2019, there are many different Bluetooth versions available, each one handling up to 40 different data packaging protocols. The latest and brightest is Bluetooth 5.0, which is still not widely used for speakers or audio systems (although it has proven invaluable for Smart Home systems and the Internet of Things). Most mid-range devices will run 3.0 or 4.0 versions. Almost always, newer versions of Bluetooth will be retroactive that is, they will be compatible with all prior versions. However, take a few minutes to check what you already have and what you are planning to buy; it’s way easier than asking for a refund.
Have you ever had to waste a precious minute before starting your car to pair a new phone to the sound system? A Bluetooth receiver that allows for 3 or more simultaneous connections can prevent this burdensome task.