Bluetooth is one of the most popular standards for people looking to connect their digital musical catalog wirelessly. But there are a ton of devices that haven’t heard the news. Whether you’re looking to turn your phone into a wireless media center for your car’s stereo or liberate your home theater system from its unsightly nest of wires, a bluetooth receiver is one of the best options available.
These wireless receivers can often fit into the palm of your hand (a far cry from the square-edged monstrosities that once dominated home stereo systems). If you’re in search of the best bluetooth receiver, we have you covered. The ten receivers below lead the pack, but keep in mind there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for everyone.
Quick Look: 10 Best Bluetooth Receivers
- TaoTronics TT-BA07 Bluetooth 5.0
- 1Mii B03 Long Range Transmitter Receiver
- Mpow BH129 Bluetooth Receiver
- esinkin Bluetooth Audio Adapter
- TaoTronics TT-BR04 Bluetooth Car Kit
- 1Mii B06 Plus Bluetooth Receiver
- Roav Bluetooth FM Transmitter Receiver
- TaoTronics TT-BR010 Bluetooth Receiver
- AUKEY Bluetooth Wireless Audio Adapter
- TaoTronics TT-BA09 Wireless Digital Optical
1. TaoTronics TT-BA07 Bluetooth 5.0
Versatility is the name of the game with this compact little bluetooth audio receiver. Getting it to work on your car stereo or standalone speaker is as simple as clicking the 3.55 mm adapter in place. But it also doubles as a transmitter, allowing you to get extra life from an older source that isn't equipped with Bluetooth functionality and broadcast its audio direct to a Bluetooth-compatible speaker.
And its 2-in-1 functionality lets you transmit to dual devices simultaneously, ideal for when you're looking to set up a multi-speaker system or broadcast music to both a speaker and a pair of headphones. The inclusion of an aptX codex ensures that you'll receive smooth and crisp CD quality performance on your speakers without having to worry about lag. The 2-in-1 receiver lets you keep it charged while playing, but it also comes equipped with a battery that can last 10 hours.
2. 1Mii B03 Long Range Transmitter Receiver
This device isn't as compact as some of the other options on the market, but if you're looking to use a single hub you can use to broadcast music throughout your whole home, you'll be hard pressed to find a better Bluetooth transmitter. Its range is one of the best in the business at with a reach of up to 110 feet indoors or 230 feet outdoors. That means that if you set it up strategically, it can cover a significant portion of most living spaces.
The inclusion of inputs and outputs for both 3.5mm connections and optical cords makes it the perfect choice for a TV or home theater system that doesn't come with its own Bluetooth receiver, streaming devices like the Roku, or even personal assistant hubs like the Amazon Echo. It can even remember the last two receivers connected to it.
3. Mpow BH129 Bluetooth Receiver
Portability is the name of the game with the MpowBH129, and that's a feature that's been hard wired to practically every aspect of this receiver's design. Consisting of nothing more than a 3.5 mm jack and a small plastic piece with a play button and an on/off toggle, it can fit easily in any pocket. The built-in mic and compatibility with 129 third party voice assistants make it a safe choice for making calls while you're behind the wheel.
The ability to connect to two Bluetooth devices at the same time means that you won't have to make a choice between hands-free calling and listening to your tunes as you drive. Musical performance is improved by the inclusion of a CSR chip. All these features combine to make it potentially the best 3.5mm Bluetooth adapter for use while on the road.
4. esinkin Bluetooth Audio Adapter
Esinkin's Bluetooth adapter for stereos may be somewhat limited in what it can do, but what it does, it does well. While you likely won't be using this Bluetooth audio adapter as the hub for a complex stereo system, and while it isn't reasonable for use in your car, it's a perfect choice if you have limited space in you're home and you're looking to use your laptop, tablet, or phone as an audio player.
The inclusion of RCA inputs allows it to work with most traditional speakers, while the addition of a Bluetooth to 3.5 mm jack (with included cord) makes it just as suitable for listening to streaming music through a set of headphones. And it doesn't take a tech whiz to get it working either. A single button allows you to enable Bluetooth functionality on this receiver.
5. TaoTronics TT-BR04 Bluetooth Car Kit
Like the Mpow BH129 Bluetooth adapter for receiver, this kit is built for use during your daily commute. But while this kit is a little bulkier and littered with wires, it comes with a richer set of features. A big selling point is the ability to mount it on your dashboard or simply clip it into your A/C vent, but just as useful is the included USB charger that allows you to keep it powered right through your vehicle's cigarette lighter adapter.
The dual USB slots in this adapter allow you to power your phone at the same time as well. Clean, backlit controls allow users to easily and safely navigate their playlists, and this adapter also comes equipped with cVc 6.0 noise cancellation. Whether you're listening to your favorite music or making a hands-free call, you can expect a high level of clarity.
6. 1Mii B06 Plus Bluetooth Receiver
The 1Mii B06 has a lot of the same advantages of the 1Mii B03 in place. With a line-of-sight range of 164 feet and a maximum indoor range of 70 feet, it doesn't have quite the same value as the former, and it doesn't include a transmitter, but if you're just looking for a tool that can convert your speakers to wireless, this Bluetooth receiver for stereos is one of the better options you'll find.
Three buttons make up the entire interface: one for powering up, one for automatically connecting to the last synced device, and one for activating 3D sound. That latter is a feature you won't find in many Bluetooth receivers, and that makes this receiver a tantalizing choice if you have speakers with that capability. It also includes a CSR chip to offer a better breed of audio performance.
7. Roav Bluetooth FM Transmitter Receiver
The SmartCharge F0 is one of the easiest-to-use options available for cars, but just don't expect to find any use for it in your home. Instead of working through a Bluetooth to 3.5mm port, this receiver plugs directly into your car cigarette lighter. That means that it will be constantly charging whenever it's in use, and the inclusion of two USB ports means you can keep multiple devices charging at the some time.
The three basic buttons on its face allow you to activate hands-free calling or skip through songs with a single click, while the high-sensitivity mic enhances the quality of your calls and reduces static and interference. In addition to traditional Bluetooth, SmartCharge can provide you with reliable performance by boosting the signal on unoccupied FM channels.
8. TaoTronics TT-BR010 Bluetooth Receiver
The Bluetooth stereo adapter offers a truly astounding battery life by all the industry standards. It's ability to keep going for a full 55 hours makes it a top shelf choice if you're looking to stream music through outdoor speakers. From camping expeditions to beach parties to backyard bonfires, this Bluetooth adapter for stereo has you covered, and while the outdoor range of 50 feet isn't the best in the business, it's still a respectable metric.
Intuitive controls are built right into the receiver so that you can control your music more easily, and it's capable of serving as a receiver for two separate speakers or headphones. While it's a bit light on features, it's one of the sturdiest workhorses you'll find.
9. AUKEY Bluetooth Wireless Audio Adapter
The promise of hands-free calling is a prevalent feature in Bluetooth audio receivers designed to be used in your car, but they're much less prevalent in home devices. This AUKEY receiver doesn't just offer hands-free calling, it also supports up to two devices so that you don't have to interrupt your streaming music while you're on the line. It offers 13 hours of charge time while in use and a whopping 720 hours while in standby, and while it's a bit ungainly, it can still work in a pinch if you want to wire it up to your car's stereo system.
A built-in microphone means that you don't have to rely on your phone's speaker while making calls, and a one-button interface makes it easy to get working. Contextual lights on the face of this receiver let you evaluate the strength of your signal.
10. TaoTronics TT-BA09 Wireless Digital Optical
If you're looking for a combination transmitter and receiver, the BA09 represents the top shelf option from TaoTronics, and while it may cost a little more, it's well worth it for users who demand the best. While most of the receivers on the market operate on a variation of Bluetooth 4.0, the BA09 supports Bluetooth 5.0, and that means better speed, better range without sound delay, and an overall more energy-efficient device.
This transceiver can charge and stream at the same time without any negative effect on sound quality, and it can pair with two speakers at the same time. While it offers the standard Bluetooth to 3.5mm and RCA connections, it also supports optical cords to provide a higher range of device compatibility. It's potentially the best Bluetooth receiver for home stereo or home theater systems, and the price increase over its competitors is pretty modest
Best Bluetooth Receivers Buyer’s Guide
Shopping for Receivers by Use
All Bluetooth receivers aren’t built equally. Some are built to have versatile use in both the home and car while others are more highly specialized. Here’s what you should look for when shopping for the best Bluetooth receiver.
When looking for car receivers, you want something more compact design, and the inclusion of anything apart from a cigarette lighter or 3.5 mm jack is extraneous. Range is also largely inconsequential, and that allows you to focus on products that prioritize sound quality. The support for hands-free calling is one of the most common features, and support for voice commands are valued but somewhat rarer to find. Built-in speakers are a huge boon for car receivers, but you likely won’t get much mileage out of them if you typically use your Bluetooth audio receiver in your home or outdoors.
Home receivers tend to place a higher importance on range and outputs. Carefully consider the devices you’ll want to connect the receiver to in the present and future. While RCA inputs are a nice bonus, you can always find a 3.5 mm to RCA converter. Just keep in mind that you may experience a dip in quality. If you’re looking for the crisper sound performance available (and you have the right output on your source), it could be worth splurging for a device that has optical support. The more range, the better as far as home receivers are concerned, since higher range devices allow you to control your music anywhere in the house.
If you want to use your receiver outdoors, you’ll be looking for many of the same things you’ll find in a home receiver. Great range is perfect if you’re planning to throw outdoor parties, but few outdoor speakers offer optical outputs, so that isn’t really a necessity. Instead, look for receivers that can offer you the best battery life for your buck.
The Difference Between Traditional Receivers and Transceivers
A Bluetooth receiver fundamentally serves a pretty basic purpose: serving as a middleman that allows you to stream audio to a device with no native Bluetooth capabilities. Most modern Bluetooth receivers allow you to stream music from a mobile device to up to two different sources, but the main limitation there is that it needs to be physically connected to your speakers (or headphones, or virtual assistant hub). That’s not a problem when you intend for your receiver to play a stationary role in your car or speaker system, but for users looking for more versatility, transceivers might offer a solution.
Transceivers pack receivers and transmitters into a single device. It can essentially transform your traditional speakers into wireless components, but it can also project streaming signals directly to Bluetooth speakers with wireless capabilities. That’s a huge advantage if you use an older TV, Roku, or stereo system but you want to have more leverage in how you align your wireless speakers. It can also work as a traditional wired transceiver in a pinch, connecting together a traditional source with traditional speakers.
The Particulars of Bluetooth
If you’re looking to stream music wirelessly, Bluetooth isn’t the only name in town. WiFi has become one of the more popular choices for users looking to set up a wireless sound system in their home, but Apple’s Airplay protocol (which essentially “piggybacks” on your WiFi network) is becoming increasingly popular as well. But Bluetooth offers some distinct advantages over these formats. It’s not the be all and end all of wireless streaming, but this older protocol still manages to hold its own in the current market. Here are some of the biggest pros and cons.
+ Broad Compatibility: Bluetooth’s legacy also makes it incredibly capable across a wide variety of devices. Most modern consumer electronics offer Bluetooth support, and that means a receiver or transceiver connecting a wireless device should be able to connect to practically any source you can imagine. While phones and tablets are the most common sources for Bluetooth receivers, many contemporary TVs, gaming consoles, and other components can be synced up with minimal fuss.
– Limiting Pairing Options: A variety of different devices can be connected across a WiFi network, but even the best Bluetooth only allows pairing with up to two remote devices at the same time. That should be enough for most users, but if you’re looking to coordinate highly complex systems, you should carefully scrutinize the value of Bluetooth.
+ Minimal Hardware: Bluetooth relies on what’s known as “point to point” protocol, meaning that the source and output devices you’re using are in direct communication. WiFi and Airplay require a proxy in the form of a modem or router. That makes these alternative wireless methods far less effective while on the road and requires more sophisticated configuration. Configuring a device to Bluetooth is usually as simple as activating Bluetooth on your source device and then clicking on the device you want to connect to in a pop-up menu.
– Limited Range: The best Bluetooth connections still offer maximum ranges shorter than 200 feet. That means you won’t be using Bluetooth to control your home automation from miles away, but it’s generally enough to get the job done when looking to make a remote call from the drivers seat or control the music from your sound system from different rooms in your house.
+ Better Security: That lack of range can actually be something of an advantage as far as security is concerned. While a WiFi connection is always broadcasting, Bluetooth connections are only visible until two devices have been paired, and the short range means that someone looking to listen in on your phone calls has to be within the range of the Bluetooth connection. The ability to secure your Bluetooth connection behind a PIN code can add an additional level of protection to your communications.