Are you sick of a tangled web of cables? Does every attempt at cable management leave you in a panic? It might be time to dump the wires for Bluetooth devices and use a Bluetooth adapter to keep everything neat.
Best Bluetooth Adapter Overall: Kinivo BTD-400
Finding a Bluetooth adapter that works across various operating systems is a nightmare. Some support Windows, but not macOS; Linux, but not Windows. And what about niche devices like the Raspberry Pi? With the Kinivo BTD-400, that’s no longer an issue.
It comes with excellent multi-OS support: Windows as far back as XP (32-bit and 64-bit), Linux Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora, and even Raspberry Pi. More importantly, it can connect with as many as seven devices simultaneously. It’s the ideal Bluetooth adapter for tech gurus who load their primary device with various peripherals, from headsets to controllers.
For a reliable Bluetooth adapter suitable for gaming and office desks, the Kinivo BTD-400 is a top choice. It works on multiple operating systems, can connect to seven devices at the same time, and its budget-friendly price will leave you feeling satisfied.
- Plug-and-play design
- Respectable maximum range of 33 feet
- Suitable for office desk or gaming station use
- Solid and consistent 1Mbps transfer speeds
- Ideal choice if you own a variety of operating systems
- Won’t connect with wireless headsets connected to popular consoles
Best Budget Bluetooth Adapter: TP-Link UB400
Thanks to EDR technology, the TP-Link UB400 has a maximum transmission range of 65 feet and data transfer speeds of up to 3Mbps. In addition, it can pair with seven devices in total—this means the TP-Link UB400 can handle multiple devices simultaneously while maintaining a robust and reliable connection.
The TP-Link UB400 comes plug-and-play ready for Windows 8 to Windows 11, no driver required, though Windows 7 and XP will need one (which is free). Once you consider the adapter’s low price, you can see the UB400 is the best-value Bluetooth adapter for PC gamers.
$10 $12 Save $2
The TP-Link UB400 offers good value when you consider you can connect up to seven devices at the same time. Not only that, but it has a good transmission range with reliable connections.
- Compatible with Windows XP to Windows 11
- Great data transfer speeds
- Really good transmission distance
- Ideal choice for PC gamers
- EDR and A2DP technology
Best Bluetooth Adapter for Multiple Devices: ASUS BT500
The ASUS BT500 can connect up to seven devices simultaneously—headsets, speakers, gaming controllers, keyboards, gaming mice, printers, and even mobile devices. But what’s arguably its best feature is that it’s backward compatible with Bluetooth devices as far back as version 2.1. There’s no fuss to get started either; simply plug the Asus BT500 into the nearest USB, and you’re good to go.
Performance-wise, the BT500 is impressive, reaching Bluetooth-enabled devices as far off as 130 feet. With the addition of EDR technology, the ASUS BT500 has a much faster data transfer rate, helping it reach speeds of up to 3Mbps.
Best for Multiple Devices
$17 $20 Save $3
Bluetooth technology is convenient and gets rid of so many cables. If you have plenty of Bluetooth accessories, and can’t bring yourself to cut back, it’s best to consolidate all your Bluetooth devices to one adapter: the ASUS BT500.
- Great transfer speeds
- Works with niche hardware like Raspberry Pi
- EDR technology
- Pairs with up to seven devices
- Works with older Bluetooth technologies
- Mac and Linux users have to look elsewhere
What makes the Avantree Leaf Class 1 an excellent choice for gaming on the couch is its ability to transfer sound while simultaneously capturing the audio from your headset’s microphone. More importantly, you’ll still experience good audio quality that’s lag-free, thanks to the Avantree Leaf Class 1’s support for AptX Low Latency and FastStream.
Best of all, you won’t have to worry about poor connection quality. With Bluetooth Class 1 technology, the Avantree Leaf Class 1 has a long-range transmission that reaches up to 60 feet, which is undoubtedly more than enough if you’re only sitting on the couch or at a desk. Simply plug in the device—no driver download required—and enjoy the entertainment.
Avantree Leaf Class 1
Best for Gaming
Maybe you have a respectable entertainment center–a good soundbar, a headset, and a current-gen console. You like gaming from the couch but don’t like the idea of wires all around you. If there’s any Bluetooth adapter that can solve those issues, look to the Avantree Leaf Class 1 for help.
- Lag-free audio performance
- Allows voice and audio to be captured
- Good transmission range
- Compatible with Windows, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Switch
- Plug-and-play design
- Audio quality is downgraded a bit to make room for voice chat
Best Bluetooth 5.3 Adapter: TechKey BT5.3
The Techkey BT5.3 delivers fast communication between devices at up to 3Mbps with minimal delay. It also incorporates improved BLE configuration for more power-efficient connections with low-power devices, as well as delivering stable high-speed data transfers with devices that require it.
The response time is also quick, and anti-interference countermeasures ensure reliable and stable connections. It’s the ideal adapter for connecting wireless speakers, headphones, or game controllers. Best of all, its class-1 radio transmission technology provides an outstanding 328-foot range, and you can connect up to five devices simultaneously.
Techkey BT5.3 USB Adapter
Best for Bluetooth 5.3
$20 $30 Save $10
For fast data transfer speeds and an enhanced transmission range, consider a Bluetooth 5.3 adapter. The Techkey BT5.3 delivers these advancements, along with better anti-interference capabilities, especially in the crowded 2.4GHz frequency band, ensuring better connections and efficiency.
- Long transmission range
- EDR and BLE technology
- Fast transmission speeds
- Supports A2DP, HSP, AVRCP, and HID protocols
- Windows only, compatible with 8.1 and later
- Downloading drivers can be cumbersome
Q: What is Plug-and-Play?
Simply put, a plug-and-play device will work as soon as you plug it in.
For two devices to communicate, like a computer mouse and a PC, they need to be able to “speak” to one another. To make this happen, your PC must have a driver who can speak the device’s language. Thankfully, plugging in a device tends to initiate the installation for the said driver, but even then, the two may not be compatible.
A device that is plug-and-play ready does not require installing a driver.
Q: What is EDR?
Several Bluetooth devices will state they support “EDR”—an acronym for Enhanced Data Rate.
Every Bluetooth device has a specific limitation to its ability to transfer data. However, if the device supports EDR, its data transfer rate is increased substantially, as much as two to four times. It’s definitely something you want to look for in a Bluetooth device, especially if data transfer is a concern.
Q: What should I look for in a Bluetooth adapter?
When deciding on a Bluetooth adapter, you must consider three aspects: range, compatibility, and Bluetooth version. From there, it’s just a matter of determining what’s most important.
For example, are you primarily a PC gamer? Then a device with the latest compatible Bluetooth version should be your priority, with the range being the least of your concerns. If you run a small business, range and compatibility should be the priority, provided you can score a Bluetooth adapter with Bluetooth 4.0 or later.
Q: What is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a wireless technology for exchanging data between devices. It has a short range and is ideal for wire-free connections between devices like smartphones and laptops with earbuds or speakers.
Q: What is the difference between Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth 5.0?
They are different Bluetooth wireless communication standards. 5.0 is a significant improvement on 4.0, offering upgrades on data transfer speeds, theoretically up to 3Mbps, compared to 4.0’s 1Mbps.
Theoretical transmission ranges are also significantly different, with BT5.0 offering up to 985 feet compared to the maximum of 300 feet provided by BT4.0.
BT5.0 also offers enhanced BLE capabilities, ensuring better energy-efficient communication with low-power devices while maintaining a consistent signal with those needing higher speeds. You also get more simultaneous connections with Bluetooth 5.0.
Q: What is the difference between a Bluetooth adapter and a Bluetooth receiver?
Bluetooth adapters and receivers serve different purposes in wireless connectivity. An adapter adds wireless Bluetooth connectivity to a device, such as a desktop PC, that may not have it already or if you want to get rid of all those untidy cables. Connecting a Bluetooth adapter means the PC can connect to various Bluetooth devices without cables, such as headsets and headphones, a mouse, or portable speakers.
On the other hand, a receiver specifically receives Bluetooth signals. Bluetooth receivers are typically used with audio devices that lack built-in Bluetooth capability. You can utilize the receiver to connect these devices, such as a traditional speaker or car stereo, and wirelessly play audio from your laptop, PC, or smartphone.
Q: How do I connect my device to my Bluetooth adapter?
Setup is generally straightforward as most Bluetooth adapters are plug-and-play devices; however, some may require drivers. If needed, check the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance.
For most adapters, simply insert it into the USB port on your PC or laptop, ensure the device you’re connecting is in Bluetooth mode, and you should be good to go.