We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers. Bluetooth is everywhere.
We use the ubiquitous wireless technology to send music from our smartphones to all kinds of devices ranging from car stereos to portable speakers to virtual assistants.
Modern digital life is a practical paradise for music lovers, but what about all of the audio gear from yesteryear?
Bluetooth receivers are small dongles that plug in to stereos using a standard 3. With a bluetooth receiver, you can bluetooth-enable any stereo and easily stream music from your smartphone to it. All bluetooth receivers have the same basic feature set: they make music from your smartphone wirelessly available to a stereo.
Beyond that, some models have additional features that we consider indispensable. Here are the ones that are most important. Not all bluetooth receivers support auto-pairing, but we consider it a critical feature. Receivers without auto-pairing force you go through the connection process on your phone every time you want to enjoy bluetooth audio, which makes them a major hassle to use. Many bluetooth receivers can only connect with a single device at a time, which can make swapping a headache.
While this might not sound like a big deal, it really is. The included double-sided tape makes it easy to position just about anywhere. Adding bluetooth to your existing electronics can help unlock new functionality. Here are the most common places for a bluetooth receiver.
iFi ZEN Blue: A Bluetooth Receiver Crafted For Audiophiles
Car bluetooth receivers plug in to an existing auxiliary jack a 3. Some bluetooth receivers made for cars include FM transmitters. Most bluetooth receivers are powered by micro-USB cables.
Bluetooth receivers are incredibly affordable, but not all of them are a great value. Keep an eye on feature lists — a good candidate in this price range will support bluetooth 4. Practice pairing your smartphone and bluetooth receiver when you first get it. Every bluetooth receiver has its own unique connection process, and each one takes a minute or two to get comfortable with. Practice enough so that you can take advantage of all the controls without disrupting your music or phone calls.
Both Android phones and iOS phones feature easy-access control panels that enable you to do things like turn on WiFi, use the phone as a flashlight, or get to a calculator with one tap. Look around your smartphone to find where you can most easily turn bluetooth on and off, so you can always enable or disable the feature as needed.
If you often rent cars, keep a spare bluetooth receiver in your travel bag. A bluetooth receiver can take wireless signals from a bluetooth device like a smartphone or tablet, and make the audio available to a home or car stereo.
A bluetooth transmitter connects directly to an audio source and wirelessly transmits the audio signal to any available bluetooth speakers. If you need a device that will receive bluetooth audio from your smartphone, buy a bluetooth receiver. If you need a device that will take an existing music source and make it available to an existing bluetooth stereo, buy a bluetooth transmitter.
Bluetooth takes a raw audio signal and compresses it for transmission to a receiving device, but the compression is so effective that the end result is practically indistinguishable from the original. But before you write it off, listen for yourself. Most listeners find bluetooth audio exceeds expectations. It depends on the size of the battery, but most portable bluetooth receivers can be recharged in two to four hours. Simple to set up and use, this affordable receiver offers very good audio for music and hands-free calling.Updated November 12, by Christopher Thomas.
This wiki has been updated 20 times since it was first published in June of Though flying cars were promised way back in the s, we still don't have any. But technological progress hasn't failed in every way. We do have Bluetooth receivers. They might not seem flashy today, but imagine telling someone from the past they could play music from their phone wirelessly over any stereo.
And that their phone was a powerful computer in their pocket. It would blow their mind. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
Skip to the best bluetooth receiver on Amazon. The 1Mii B06 Plus appx. It's especially useful for its ability to accommodate hands-free phone calls.
Designed to simplify the streaming process, the Audioengine B1 Premium appx. It also has a precision-tuned antenna to extend its wireless range. Utilizing version 5. It allows for low-latency transmission as well as independent volume control.
It also offers USB Type-C connectivity for when you're in an extremely crowded area and have trouble maintaining a strong connection.
It's fully compatible with aptX Low Latency-enabled components, allowing you to watch movies and TV without any perceptible audio delay. It sports a convenient indicator light that displays exactly which of the supported high-end codecs it's currently using.
It can pump your favorite streamed music to a powered speaker thanks to versatile outputs including RCA jacks and a stereo mini plug. More than just a wireless adapter, the EarStudio ES appx. November 07, There are two common types of Bluetooth receivers. One is geared toward home entertainment; this type is perfect for routing into any self-powered speaker to create a straightforward in-home streaming setup.A Bluetooth audio receiver is an easy, affordable add-on, and we think the StarTech BT2A Bluetooth Audio Receiver is the best choice for most people—thanks to its combination of connectivity, range, audio quality, and usability.
This receiver offers high-quality audio, easy setup, reliable connectivity, digital audio outputs for higher-end systems, and range that easily covers a large room. The BT2A offers wireless convenience without sacrificing audio quality.
Pairing with a Bluetooth source is easy, and reconnection with sources is more reliable than with a number of other models we tested. Its range easily covers a large living room, extending into neighboring rooms, and due to quality components and support for newer Bluetooth-audio codecs, audio comes close to the sound quality of a direct wired connection. Both also include a Toslink optical digital-audio outputso if your existing stereo has better audio circuitry, you can take advantage of it, and both include NFC near-field communication circuitry for easy pairing with some Android devices.
None of these features are unique to the StarTech and Monoprice receivers, but these models offer the best combination of features, performance, and price.
This has the same features and quality audio as our top pick, but with a year of warranty coverage rather than two.
If you have a higher-end stereo system or speakers, the B1 offers a big improvement in sound quality, along with a big increase in price. It also provides exceptional range. The B1 sports a small external antenna that helps it achieve phenomenal range for a Bluetooth device.
The BT30 offers easy pairing and connections, along with range that slightly exceeds that of the Monoprice and StarTech receivers.
Best Bluetooth Audio Receiver Reviews
For dedicated in-car use, we recommend our top pick for car Bluetooth kits. I spent six years covering audio gear for Macworldwhere I reviewed more than 75 headphones, DACs, headphone and speaker amplifiers, and computer accessories. But just as important, I love finding great, affordable gear that connects people to the music they love. A dock-compatible receiver will let you inexpensively and easily add Bluetooth capability to most docks details beloweliminating not only the need to dock your device, but also the need for a pin-to-Lightning adapter.
Such a receiver will let you use your old speaker dock with any Bluetooth-equipped smartphone, tablet, or computer. We began by looking at the most popular models on Amazon and checking the websites of high-profile manufacturers, ultimately assembling a list of 76 candidates. We then considered how these products are used in order to identify the most important features and specifications, which resulted in a short list of serious contenders: eight models for general home use, two higher-end models, and four dock-connector models.
The main appeal of a Bluetooth audio receiver is the convenience of playing audio through your existing speakers without having to plug in a cable.
The receiver decodes the transmitted data for playback on your speakers. All Bluetooth devices support Low Complexity Subband Coding SBCa codec with low bandwidth and computational requirements, but that can sound downright bad in some implementations.Audioengine B1 High-Fidelity Bluetooth receiver. OVERVIEW
To provide better sound quality, many newer Bluetooth receivers including our top pick support the aptX codec; some also support MP3AACand other codecs. We found that receivers that support aptX also sound pretty good using SBC—if a receiver supports aptX, it can likely receive good-quality audio from your source device in some form or another.
So we considered aptX support an almost -mandatory feature for our top pick. Another feature we favored was digital audio output, which allows you to use a separate DAC for better sound quality. That said, we considered two models the Avantree Roxa and Moto Stream that lack digital output because they offer other intriguing features not found elsewhere.
However, we did connect each model to a full-size stereo system using a powered, pin—to—3. The audio of our dock-connector pick is good enough that any deficiencies are likely to be hidden by the limitations of the speaker dock itself. However, our two picks for most people do have this feature.
The 10 Best Bluetooth Receivers
To test our contenders, I paired each one first to a MacBook and then to an iPhone to see how easy it was to pair source devices to the receiver; how reliably the receiver connected and disconnected from sources once paired; and how easy it was to switch to a different source.
For devices that could pair with multiple devices simultaneously, I used up to six devices to test this feature, and up to nine to test pairing.
One particularly ambitious model, the Motorola Moto Streamhandled simultaneous connections from the MacBook, the iPhone, two iPads, and a Windows tablet. For example, a dock-connector receiver should connect to a source immediately when the dock which is usually off or unpowered when not in use is turned on.
To evaluate audio quality, I first used each device to listen to background music, then compared them head-to-head using my favorite test tracks played on the Mac and iPhone. Finally, to assess the range of each receiver—how far the receiver can be from the source device and still get a consistent audio signal—I set each receiver on a stand outdoors, started music playback on an iPhone, and walked slowly to compensate for connection latency along a tape measure with the phone held at chest level, noting the distance at which music started skipping.
I conducted this test first obstructed by my body which significantly reduces rangeand then unobstructed. To get a feel for the real-world range of each device, I also connected each receiver to my home stereo, located in the living room near one edge of my 1,square-foot apartment, then walked around the apartment with my phone while music was playing.
The StarTech BT2A Bluetooth Audio Receiver is our top pick for most people thanks to its combination of good sound quality, range, usability, connectivity, and price.
It comes from a reputable vendor, has a two-year warranty, and is reasonably priced.Mass Fidelity is a relative newcomer on the digital scene. The words 'audiophile' and 'Bluetooth' are not usually found in the same sentence, at least in these pages. Sure, the online audio 'press', the ones that regurgitate press releases, primarily about the latest earbud or bass pounding headphones, publish lots of shiny pages.
The look is first class, the content much less so. But not so fast with the stereotypes. The folks at Mass Fidelity have taken their time to produce a simple, beautiful little silver box that contains the magic that good designers use to further the art. Bluetooth is for some a black magic art. The build quality is superb. Only a tiny LED is visible on the top. The LED will change from white to orange. Orange indicates digital mode. I used the Relay in as comfortable a lifestyle mode as possible.
Ease of use and quality sound is what the Relay is about. Inside Relay is a legendary Burr-Browna costly DAC usually found only in top shelf audiophile home audio and home theatre systems.
This combination of advanced hardware and firmware preserves all the musical detail, dynamic range and full bandwidth response that elevate digital music from a mere collection of notes up to emotion-packed artistic expression.
Yes, and more. My go to test track [American Beauty Soundtrack by Thomas Newman, Track 1] throws the digital kitchen sink into the mix — bass from the abyss, a plethora of struck percussion tuned and untuned and multi layered highs.
As good as my reference system? The Relay reclocks, too. The SONOS connection is a no brainer, but the ability to listen to Tidal Hi Fi streaming or a personal library on your device through your high end reference system is pretty special.
High end systems usually don't take prisoners. Stay tuned. When you think of the technology involved — akin to walking a tightrope without a net — that the Relay sounds so good is quite an achievement.
Musical information is what audiophiles are all about. Information at the source, during delivery and at the blunt end. Recent Reviews. Star Components. Terms of Service. I used my iPhone 6S Plus as the paired Bluetooth device.
Connection was quick and effortless. Further information: Mass Fidelity. Anthony Kershaw. Scriabin Symphony No.Check it out here. However, with the ZEN Blue, iFi looks to elevate the Bluetooth Receiver to a full-fledged audiophile source component, giving the wireless signal the same care other companies give to CD-players and stand-alone DAC components.
This means that every possible source device is covered, at the highest resolution its Bluetooth audio specification will allow. Many manufacturers would simply rely on this chip to deliver the DAC function, but this is not the iFi way.
Besides giving the audiophile treatment to internal electronics, the external interface is also very robust starting with an aluminum enclosure, and continuing with a plethora of digital and analog outputs. The ZEN Blue adds high-quality Bluetooth reception to any audio system via analogue or digital cable connections. A switch at the back dictates how the digital signal is routed; either through the DAC and analogue output stage, or directly to the digital outputs.
On the analogue side, RCA stereo outputs allow connection to amplifiers, active speakers and the like, while a 4. For digital connections, optical and coaxial outputs are provided — these allow connection to anything with a built-in DAC and corresponding digital input, such as an AV amp or an external hi-fi DAC. I guess the success of this product will be based on how many audiophiles are ready to adopt Bluetooth as a primary source.
The Zen Blue will be available for purchase in October. You must be logged in to post a comment. Skip to content April 17, Search for:. Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply You must be logged in to post a comment.Enjoy a limitless universe of high definition digital music through your existing Hi-Fi audio system. Experience stunning, high resolution wireless audio quality thanks to its cutting edge electronics.
Integrated with MCU and a MHz DSP that allows support for bit audio over Bluetooth for aptX HD, this chipset is known to provide a much more stable signal strength especially in situations with lots of interference. The delay between your TV and speakers is a common problem within many wireless audio solutions.
Digital tracks are simple sequences of code. To turn this code into a signal that speakers can recognize, you need digital-to-analogue converters DAC's for short. In short, this means that the sound you hear is crystal clear, rich and retains a wonderfully full dynamic range. Superior wireless solution allowing you to enjoy your music while you move around your home with no loss in audio quality. Limited range and signal dropouts have traditionally plagued Bluetooth audio systems.
To combat this issue, bluMe HD employs special circuitry and a precision-tuned external high gain antenna to extend the wireless range, ensuring consistent, stable, strong, and glitch-free performance for 30 meters feetproviding much more versatility than other Bluetooth receivers.
For systems that have 3. Exactly what it advertises. Appears to be extremely well made, and is extremely easy to use. Blends in perfectly with my 's ADCOM and Onkyo amp and preamp, providing 21st century convenience and stellar sound. Highly recommended, after a week it seems to be practically perfect.
Incredible value for the money. I could not be happier. Hooked this up to my old Yamaha receiver in the home office. Works flawlessly so far for playing podcasts from my phone and playing movies on my laptop. Receiver has very good audio however the power adapter provided does not suit for overseas. Much better if were provided with power adapter that is suitable for the destination country or even better provide an international power adapter with interchangeable parts. These are available at electronic and travel stores.
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Link to your collections, sales and even external links. Add description, images, menus and links to your mega menu Returns and Exchanges. Add up to five columns. Auris bluMe HD Bluetooth 5. No App or wireless router network required. Add to Cart. Makes any audio system wireless. Easy setup, connects in seconds. High gain antenna for long range streaming up to 30m feet. Wireless freedom without compromise bluMe HD employs the latest Bluetooth v5.
Always Synchronized The delay between your TV and speakers is a common problem within many wireless audio solutions.We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
A Bluetooth transmitter can bring your old technology up to date and keep you easily connected to your favorite playlist, both in the car and at home. Bluetooth transmitters pair with a device such as your smartphone, then pass an audio signal on to a non-Bluetooth device.
Whether they connect via a 3. These handy little devices are commonly used to update car radios, home stereo systems, and headphones. This BestReviews shopping guide will help you compare the options available in Bluetooth transmitter technology, the price points, and the features that work best for your needs. We strive to offer an unbiased point of view by sharing our experiences with products purchased by our team, rather than accepting free samples from manufacturers.
Read on to learn about the types of products to consider and some important features you might want to consider the best Bluetooth transmitter for your lifestyle.
A Bluetooth transmitter allows you to inexpensively and easily make this transition. Features to look for in a car-ready Bluetooth transmitter include:. Compatibility with the 12V auxiliary power outlets cigarette lighter receptacles already installed in your car.
Bluetooth transmitters made for home use can convert a wired speaker into wireless, or they can allow you to transmit audio to your wireless headphones from your TV or home sound system. Features to look for on a home unit Bluetooth transmitter include:. Many transmitters are rechargeable and only have ten hours of use available per charge. Others are powered by USB, or plug directly into a wall outlet. When plugged into a speaker in receiver mode, the device allows you to transmit audio to that speaker from your laptop or smartphone.
Even an inexpensive Bluetooth transmitter can provide a range sufficient for use in your car. Depending on your needs, and square footage, it also may do a decent job in your home. Most low-end, inexpensive transmitters broadcast to about 30 feet, which will accommodate your vehicle needs nicely. You can find Bluetooth transmitters with a foot range easily. However, that distance can be greatly reduced inside your home.
The devices promising super long ranges, like feet or more, easily be reduced to as little as 50 feet because of interference from the structure of your home. You may want to consider buying one of the Bluetooth transmitters designed to work with a second unit, if you feel you will need range extension. Available ports and connectivity are particularly important for car Bluetooth transmitters.
Many radio stereo systems have a 3. If your radio lacks this port, however, you need a transmitter that re-broadcasts the incoming signal via FM. Some lower-end Bluetooth transmitters only broadcast on a fixed FM radio frequency, but many allow you to set the frequency to an unused spot in your local FM traffic, reducing interference from existing stations.
Transmitters with this type of connectivity are a bit more expensive, but offer superior audio quality. Bluetooth transmitters tend to be advertised with simple audio transmission in mind, but some also facilitate hands-free calling. Car transmitters, in particular, tend to include on-board microphones.
When your phone is paired with the transmitter, the microphone on the device takes over. Cheaper devices often use older versions of Bluetooth. Newer Bluetooth versions, such as Bluetooth 4 and Bluetooth 5, provide faster transmission rates, consumer less power, and are more secure than older versions. A device that looks like a bargain price may use an older Bluetooth version, which can be immediately noticeable with a weaker signal and lower quality audio.