9 Best Bluetooth Adapters

Find the best bluetooth adapter for your computer?

This guide will give you all the information you need about Bluetooth adapters.

Here’s a list of the top 10 bluetooth dongles:

Best Bluetooth Adapters 2019

Bluetooth Adapter Range Version Bandwidth 
Asus USB-BT400
(Editor's Pick)
32.8 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Avantree Long Range
(Editor's Pick)
60 ft. 4.0 40 ms
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H.Guard Bluetooth
165 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Plugable USB Bluetooth
32 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Avantree Bluetooth Dongle
30 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Zexmte Bluetooth Adapter
33 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Cable Matters USB Bluetooth
30 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Highever Bluetooth Adapter
65 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Sabrent USB Bluetooth Adapter
30 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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Kinivo BTD-400
30 ft. 4.0 3 Mbps
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1. Asus BT-400 Bluetooth Adapter: Best Bluetooth Dongle

 

Asus is known for performance hardware for computers, and the BT-400 is designed with many powerful features. It’s built for Bluetooth 4.0 devices but is backward compatible with previous generations. The BT-400 is plug-n-play ready for Windows 10 and can support previous versions up to Windows XP. What sets it apart from other models is that you can pair multiple devices to a single adapter, and its form is designed to help save energy.

PROS

  • Bluetooth Low Energy support
  • Backward compatible

CONS

  • Software required for older Windows OS

2. Avantree Bluetooth USB Adapter Long Range: Best Bluetooth Adapters for PC Gaming

 

 

Low latency and range are two helpful traits for a Bluetooth adapter used for gaming. The Avantree Long Range supports aptX Low Latency so that you can get an audio delay of about 40ms. Different from other adapters, it features an external sound card. It’s designed to work without installing drives and can connect to a variety of headphones, speakers, and other audio devices.

PROS

  • Low latency audio
  • External sound cloud allows for secure device transfer

CONS

  • Only compatible with Bluetooth audio
  • FastStream headphones required for simultaneous talk

3. H.Guard Bluetooth Adapter: Best Bluetooth Adapters for Windows

 

 

This Bluetooth 4.0 dongle is compatible with a wide range of Windows versions. For Windows 8 and newer, you don’t need to install additional drivers. Unlike other dongles, this adapter can be used to connect to audio devices, keyboards, mobile devices, mice, and many other Bluetooth enabled devices. The best part is that you can connect multiple devices without requiring additional dongles. It features a long wireless range of 165 feet which can help with transferring files or housewide audio.

PROS

  • Universal Windows compatibility
  • FCC and CE security features
  • Low power use

CONS

  • Not compatible with Apple products

4. Plugable USB Bluetooth Adapter

 

 

This low energy Bluetooth adapter from Plugable features a low profile design that makes it good for laptop travel. In addition to compatibility with Windows, you can also use this Bluetooth adapter with Linux and Raspberry Pi systems. It can be connected to up to seven devices such as keyboards and speakers from up to 32 feet away. The Bluetooth adapter works best in USB 2.0 slots, but can also be used with 3.0 as well.

PROS

  • Windows 10 low energy compatible
  • Windows 10 Plug and Play
  • Works with Raspberry Pi/Linux

CONS

  • Not compatible with Apple/Mac products
  • Radio interference when using USB 3.0

5. Avantree Bluetooth USB Dongle Adapter

 

 

 

Another Bluetooth USB adapter from Avantree, this dongle is compatible with a wide range of Windows OS from XP to Win 10. It can be used with Bluetooth audio systems, watches, printers, keyboards, and mice for short range solutions. It features an LED indicator so that you can tell at a glance if it’s connected to a device. The Avantree Bluetooth dongle is backward compatible with previous Bluetooth generations and can be used with compatible low energy devices.

6. Zexmte Bluetooth USB Adapter

 

This lesser-known Bluetooth adapter can be a good option if you primarily use Windows OS. It has a moderate range that should be sufficient for using the adapter for mice, keyboards, and headsets. If you’re using a new OS such as Windows 8/10, you can start using the adapter without installing any drivers. Its small form factor can be helpful when using the adapter in a laptop since it leaves other ports open.

PROS

  • Bluetooth Low Energy technology (4.0)
  • Backward compatible with Bluetooth 3.0/2.1/2.0/1.1

CONS

  • Drivers required for Windows 7 and older
  • Short range not optimal for house audio systems

7. Cable Matters USB Bluetooth Adapter

 

With a range of 30 feet, this Bluetooth dongle can be a good option for use with a laptop or Raspberry Pi. It can connect up to seven devices to the device including game controllers, keyboards, mice, smartphones, speakers, and headsets. Its low-profile design is less than an inch long and can be left in the laptop without getting in the way. This adapter functions as a dual-mode Bluetooth dongle that supports both Bluetooth 4.0 and legacy Bluetooth devices.

PROS

  • Enables older devices to add Bluetooth capabilities
  • Lage number of paired devices supported

CONS

  • Not compatible with car audio or TVs
  • Some devices may need separate software

8. Highever Bluetooth Adapter

 

 

This Highever Bluetooth adapter gives you a solution that is compatible with a wide range of Windows OS. For increased data transfer rates, the adapter features enhanced data rate support to allow for faster file and audio transmission. If used with a headset or speakers, this can provide a stable stereo sound quality. A CSR intelligent chip also assists with sound quality to decrease lag. Especially important for laptops; the adapter is designed for low power use.

PROS

  • Encryption and authentication features
  • Fast data transfer rates
  • Wideband audio support

CONS

  • A low range of use

9. Sabrent BT-UB40 Bluetooth Adapter

 

 

Different from many of the other Bluetooth adapters, the Sabrent adapter provides low energy technology to both Windows 8 and 10. Once enabled, you can connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth to provide an internet connection to your PC. It provides compatibility to older Windows versions along with Linux systems. A blue LED provides status information that can be used when pairing a device with your computer.

PROS

  • Low-profile design for portability
  • Provides internet access to PC
  • Wireless file transfer between devices

CONS

  • Linux support requires driver installation

10. Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth Adapter

 

The last adapter on the list comes from Kinivo. The BTD-400 combines a lot of the features found on other adapters to create an adapter compatible with a wide range of devices and platforms. While not compatible with Apple devices, it can be used with 32 bit and 64 bit Windows OS ranging from XP to Windows 10. Its low energy use can be a great option for use with laptops and Raspberry Pi devices where battery life is important. The BTD-400 has a range of 30 feet and is designed to connected devices quickly.

PROS

  • Small and portable design
  • Plug and play with newer Windows versions

CONS

  • Lack of Apple compatibility

Buyer’s Guide: 16 Common Bluetooth Adapter Questions

Understanding the different features of Bluetooth adapters can help to make the selection process easier. Here are some common Bluetooth adapter questions.

1. What is Bluetooth Low Energy?

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a feature of Bluetooth 4.0. It’s designed for low power usage and can be used in Machine to Machine applications, and in BLE adapters used in laptops as well. Most newer smartphones will utilize Bluetooth 5.0.

2. What is Bluetooth 4.0?

Bluetooth 4.0 is the fourth generation of the Bluetooth standard. There are two main updates to this class including 4.1 and 4.2. 4.1 allows devices to worth in cooperation with 4G LTE while 4.2 was designed for IoT devices. This type is the most commonly used in devices.

3. What is Bluetooth technology?

Bluetooth is a wireless radio technology that transfers data over short distances. Bluetooth is designed for lower power usage and offers slower transfer rates when compared to WiFi while using the same 2.4GHz operating frequency.

4. How does Plug and Play work?

Plug and Play refers to Bluetooth adapters that can be used out of the box. PnP devices have the drivers preinstalled by the operating system without requiring additional files to be downloaded. Some older operating systems may require additional drivers installed for the device to operate.

5. What types of Bluetooth types are there?

There are three main types of Bluetooth chips. They are listed as Class 1, 2, and 3. Class 2 is the most common for Bluetooth adapters and have an average range of 33 feet and low power use. Class 3 provides a much shorter range, and Class 1 is used in industrial environments.

6. Can you use more than one Bluetooth adapter?

Computers can only use a single Bluetooth adapter. If multiple adapters are used, it can prevent the computer from utilizing Bluetooth without disabling one of the adapters. Many Bluetooth adapters can connect and pair multiple devices.

7. How do you pair a device to Bluetooth?

To pair a device to your computer, you will need to attach the Bluetooth dongle and turn on the signal. Once this is done, the device you want to connect will need to be put into pairing mode. Flashing LEDs will often accompany this before they appear on the list of pairable devices on the computer. At this time you may be asked to enter the PIN for the device.

8. What security features are available with Bluetooth?

Bluetooth devices use a PIN to pair and identify connected devices. Other security features include data encryption and frequency hopping to secure the data.

9. What frequency does Bluetooth operate at?

Bluetooth devices operate at the 2.4GHz frequency. Many other devices run on this same frequency such as cordless phones and garage door openers. Bluetooth avoids interfering with these signals by using frequency hopping.

10. What is Frequency Hopping?

Frequency hopping is used by Bluetooth devices to transmit data packets between two paired devices. The transmitter will switch frequencies several thousand times per second to keep the data secure, and only paired devices will be in sync with each other.

11. What is the range of Bluetooth adapters?

Most Bluetooth adapters will have a range of approximately 30 feet. Some high-powered adapters can have ranges of several hundred feet, but require a clear path to avoid interference.

12. What types of devices use Bluetooth?

Many new devices such as laptops and smartphones have Bluetooth chips installed standard. Some other devices that use them include keyboards, mice, audio devices, game controllers, and even vehicle audio systems.

13. What Bluetooth versions are available?

There are currently five versions of Bluetooth available and is designated by a number 1-5. While Bluetooth 5 is the latest version available, the most commonly used in adapters is Bluetooth 4. The various versions have different data rates and features.

14. What data can Bluetooth transfer?

The Bluetooth bandwidth can transmit voice, data, video, and photos. The data rate will determine the amount of delay in transmission between the two devices.

15. What are Bluetooth drivers?

Drivers are a piece of software installed on your computer to make the Bluetooth adapter function. Some older OS version will require drivers to be installed and will often come on a CD or have a link provided.

16. Are different brands of Bluetooth products compatible?

Bluetooth is designed to be a standard RF technology. By default, Bluetooth devices from different companies are supposed to communicate with each other. Most newer versions of Bluetooth offer backward compatibility so that newer adapters can be used with older devices. In some cases, drivers will need to be installed to make older devices work.

Pros and Cons of Bluetooth Adapters

No product is perfect because there is always something that makes it not that perfect. Here are some of the pros and cons of using Bluetooth technology.

Advantages:

  • Wireless all the way: the biggest advantage of Bluetooth technology is that it decreases the number of long cords that you may have to use with your devices. Making you cord-free and your devices out and about without the bunch of wires sticking out of them. With the increase in the use of devices by us today, the need for a clutter-free technology is becoming more popular. This also increases the mobility of devices, where there is no worry about carrying the extra leads.
  • No need for a clear line of sight: like infrared technology the devices connected need to be facing each other, but that’s not the case here. Bluetooth devices need to be in close proximity but they need not be facing each other and nothing in between them would disrupt the signal even if the devices are in separate rooms.
  • Range: these Bluetooth adapters can offer range up to 100 meters, but that depends on your use whether you want more range or less. As there are different classes of Bluetooth adapters that offer a variety of ranges. And so making you the decision maker of which class to use.
  • Low charge plus low battery use: low is the way to go with Bluetooth technology. Using Bluetooth takes very little power; this makes it an ideal tool to use for electronic devices. Using Bluetooth adapter with laptops will be great due to the low-power consumption option. The other best thing about Bluetooth is that it is free of charge. How awesome does one feel when you receive a benefit and that too without having to spend any penny from your pocket. There would be no extra bill that you would have to add to your monthly budget like you have to do for Wi-Fi or other services. There are a few things in the world that are free and using Bluetooth is among them!
  • Simplicity: the fact that everybody can figure out how to connect two devices together through Bluetooth is one of the biggest reasons for its popularity. The simplicity and ease with which one can use Bluetooth connection are one of its biggest advantages.
  • Security on point: the data that you transfer through Bluetooth is well protected. Other Bluetooth connections need your acceptance in order to be connected to your device, which makes you in control of with whom to share your files.

Disadvantages:

  • Transferring speed: even though Bluetooth is cheap and can transfer data without any difficult but Wi-Fi direct is giving it some tough competition.
  • Everything Bluetooth: in order to connect your mouse, keypad, tablet etc. to your PC, you need to make sure these devices support a Bluetooth connection. So buying mouse or keypad that supports Bluetooth can be a little expensive. But the investment is a one-time thing and after that, you can enjoy wireless cheap connection for a long time.
  • Not very user-friendly: it is very easy to use a Bluetooth connection once it is setup and configured. But the initial configuration can be very complex for some devices. Some Bluetooth devices like printer, a keypad may ask to walk the user through an installation wizard or some may need the user to enter a command into the command prompt. But once everything is setup then that’s where the fun begins.
  • Insecurity: Bluetooth connection is safe from hackers or data theft but it may face some interference from other Bluetooth devices. If you work where there are a lot of Bluetooth users then you may find your keypad typing words on someone else’s system. This can be a problem and so in order to avoid it, you will have to increase the distance between his and your desk.

The pros definitely outweigh the cons. Bluetooth is a great invention and is bringing a new meaning to the word ease.

Factors to consider before buying a Bluetooth Adapter/FAQ’s

There are a few things you need to consider before rushing off to buy the best Bluetooth adapter. These considerations include distance range, compatibility, pairing, and class. (All of them discuss below in detail)

No need to get all confused because these are just fancy words for something very simple.

Support:

we all have a bunch of selective devices that we use more. So before buying Bluetooth adapter, you must careful to see whether this adapter supports the devices that you may be using it. These devices can be from different categories like printers, keyboards, tablets, speakers, headsets etc. So choose the adapter which will be worth bragging about.

Compatibility:

you can be a user of Mac, Windows, Vista or any other system. But what you need to be careful about is if the Bluetooth Adapter you are buying is compatible with the system that you are using or not. It shouldn’t be the case if you spend your hard-earned money on an adapter and then you come home to find that it’s not compatible with the PC or laptop that you are using. This is especially for Mac users because not all Bluetooth adapters work well with this system. So be vigilant and don’t give yourself an unpleasant surprise after purchasing your new adapter.

Make sure your Bluetooth adapter is using 4.0 technology:

Another important factor that you must keep a look out for is that your Bluetooth adapter should be supporting the new 4.0 Bluetooth technology. This technology can now offer more range meaning can connect to devices at a distance. Plus it also consumes less energy than before, which is great for laptops because they are usually running on charged battery. 4.0 technology is backward compatible and can connect to devices which are still using older Bluetooth technologies like the 3.0, 2.1, 2.0 versions. So as you guys can see that buying the adapter with the latest technology will be of a great benefit to you.

Class 1 vs. Class 2

Reviewing the differences between class 1 and class 2 Bluetooth adapters would not only help you to figure out which one to buy but also increase your know-how about Bluetooth technology. Bluetooth adapters make your computer system capable of supporting Bluetooth devices without built-in Bluetooth hardware. And so you need to see which adapter would suit you best.

Class 1 adapters are better for industrial devices that require long-distance connectivity and class 2 are better suited to consumer devices that don’t need connections to be over very long distances. Some of the distances between class 1 and class 2 adapters are listed below.

Distance:

Bluetooth network is known as personal area network (PAN) also called a piconet. Devices connect to this piconet in order to exchange data and communicate with other devices, for example, your PC connects to your printer through Bluetooth adapter. If this adapter belongs to class 1 then the piconet established will extend further than a class 2 adapter. Class 1 adapters allow connection to be made over 100m or 330 feet where class 2 piconet is not over 10 m. Considering just the range you will say class 1 is the winner, but that’s not the case because in the daily routine you don’t need that much range.

Antenna:

Both the Bluetooth adapters come with antennas so that a stronger connection could be established between the devices. But the difference is that as class 1 provides with a longer range so it needs a larger antenna and in some cases, it also comes with an external antenna. On the other hand, class 2 has a built-in antenna that’s hidden behind the casing, as it does not require any outward antenna.

POWER CONSUMPTION

The other greater difference between the two adapters is power consumption. Since class 1 adapters need to send signals over longer distances it consumes larger amounts of power compared to class 2 Bluetooth adapters. If class 1 adapters are connected to a PC which derives energy from other outlets then this would result in greater energy bills. But if the system is battery operated like laptops then recharging would be more frequent.

APPLICATIONS

As stated above class 1 adapters are better for industrial purposes, for example, it can be connected to an Ethernet port to make internet access wireless for all. Also, this adapter can replace a hardwired serial cable with a Bluetooth link. On the contrary, the class 2 adapters are best to connect tablets or PCs to a pair of Bluetooth headsets or for similar short-range connections.

Above we have given a complete understanding of the difference between different types of Bluetooth adapters. So that now it will become easy for you to choose an adapter and go wireless yourself.

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