What Is The Best Bluetooth Audio Adapter in 2020?
Does your phone provide a constant distraction while driving? Are you unable to keep your eyes on the road because you keep glancing down at notifications and changing songs? Are you forced to drive one-handed even though you know you need two because you keep having to answer important phone calls?
If these problems are starting to affect you, then you need to look into getting yourself a Bluetooth audio adapter for your car. Not just for your safety, but for the safety of everyone else on the road, as well.
Bluetooth audio adapters are a great way to make your driving safer while still staying as connected as you possibly can be. With one of these gadgets, you can play music, change the song, answer calls, and sometimes even use voice assistants like SIRI. A Bluetooth audio adapter can open up your eyes to a whole new world of safer, more connected driving. You will thank yourself for buying one, and others will thank you for making the roads a safer place.
Having trouble deciding with Bluetooth audio adapter works best for your needs? Check out this handy guide that will fill you in on the best Bluetooth audio adapters for your needs in 2020 and beyond.
- What To Look For In A Great Bluetooth Audio Adapter
- Sound Quality
- Ease of Use
- 1. Houzetek Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car
- 2. Veneibe Bluetooth 4.1 Car Receiver
- 3. Besign Bluetooth 4.1 Car Kit
- 4. Mpow Bluetooth Receiver for Car
- 5. Sumind Wireless Radio Adapter
- 6. Kinivo Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars
- 7. Sumind FM Radio Adapter Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter
- 8. Elecwave EB02 Wireless Bluetooth In-Car FM Transmitter Radio Adapter
- 9. Aukey Bluetooth Receiver
- 10. MPOW Portability Bluetooth Receiver
- Frequently Asked Questions
- What are the Power Sources for Bluetooth Audio Adapter Kits?
- Can Bluetooth Adapters Do Anything Beside Play Music?
- How Do Bluetooth Kits Connect to Your Car?
- How to Add Bluetooth Capabilities to an Older Car
- What about Compatibility?
- What Are Some Common Connection Problems?
- How Many People Can Use a Single Bluetooth Adapter?
What To Look For In A Great Bluetooth Audio Adapter
Bluetooth audio adapters offer a lot of great benefits and exciting features, but it can be overwhelming sifting through all the information to find out what matter. These are the things you need to look out for when deciding which Bluetooth audio adapter works the best for you and your vehicle.
It is important for your Bluetooth audio adapter to be compatible with your car because otherwise it would be literally completely useless for you. For example, many of the adapters require an aux port to connect to the car’s audio system. Without one, it would not be able to play music. Many older cars do not have an aux port anywhere in their audio system, so buying am adapter that needs one would be basically pointless. It is also important to make sure that the adapter is compatible with your music playing device, but seeing as how just about everything that plays music these days is also Bluetooth enabled, that should not be a big issue.
If you are going to use a Bluetooth audio adapter to play music in your car, it is important to make sure that it sounds good. Most Bluetooth adapters have to deal with background noise and static caused by the connection, but some have the technology to mute or at least turn down that annoying buzz. No Bluetooth audio adapter is going to magically make your tunes sound ten times better on your same speakers, but it is important to get an adapter that does not make it actively worse.
Ease of Use
You have to know how to use an adapter if you want to get anything out of it. Some have large LED displays and multiple buttons and options. That might be perfect for you if you are particular about your settings, but if you are a bit of a Luddite than all that extra hoopla will just give you a headache. Accommodate for your own lack of technological understanding, and do not throw yourself in the deep end when you are not ready for it yet. There are plenty of easy to use Bluetooth audio adapters out there.
1. Houzetek Bluetooth FM Transmitter for Car
The Houzetek Bluetooth FM Transmitter is one of the best overall Bluetooth audio adapters for your car that you will find on the market. For a price lower than many less technologically advanced models, you get all the high quality features you are looking for. You can play music through the Bluetooth connection, via aux cord, or by inserting a microSD card full of audio files. And no matter what method you use, your music will sound great because this adapter removes background noise to clear up the sound quality.
The Houzetek also comes with a 1.4” backlit LED screen that will show you incoming calls as well as the songs you are playing via Bluetooth. You can use the buttons on the adapter to change tracks or answer calls, all without having to take your eyes off the road to look at your phone for long periods of time. The adapter also features a USB charging port, so you can keep your phone battery strong and bump some serious jams no matter how long your ride is.
- Compatible with most smartphones
- LCD display screen
- Removes background noise for clearer sound quality
- USB charging port
- Hands free calling
- Low price
2. Veneibe Bluetooth 4.1 Car Receiver
The Veneibe Bluetooth 4.1 Car Receiver is a great inexpensive option for those who want a solid Bluetooth adapter but are still very budget conscious. This affordable adapter works with almost all Bluetooth compatible devices, no matter the brand.
It reduces background noise so that your music comes out in crystal clear quality. Plus, this adapters three button operating system is a breeze for anyone to use. And it can connect to some voice assistants like SIRI and Andrews so you can use your phone to its fullest extent without ever taking your hands off the steering wheel.
The Veneibe does require an adapter that has a USB port and a car audio system that has a compatible aux cord, but if your vehicle has the necessary requirements then this is a great affordable option.
- Low price
- Reduces background buzzing noise for better sound quality
- Works with almost all Bluetooth compatible devices
- Connects to SIRI and other voice assistants for even more hands-off functionality
- Needs USB and aux ports to work properly
- Some connectivity issues
3. Besign Bluetooth 4.1 Car Kit
The Besign Bluetooth 4.1 Car Kit is an efficient option for those who wants all the ease and utility of hands free calling. This adapter uses less power than its competitors, but that efficiency does not take away from its usefulness at all. It can connect to two Bluetooth devices at once, so you and one of your buddies can both play music from your phone and answer your calls without using your hands. It also has the ability to work with voice assistants like SIRI, so you never have to take your hands off of ten and two.
The Besign does have some issues with background noise and static creeping its way into your sound quality, but it comes with a noise isolator you can attach and use to dull that annoying buzzing. This adapter also needs to be used in a car that has an aux port in their audio system, but as long as you have the right hookups this is a versatile and efficient Bluetooth adapter that will give you all the hands free capabilities you want.
- Efficient, uses barely any power
- Comes with noise isolator to combat buzzing background noise
- Can connect to two phones at once
- Works with voice assistants like SIRI
- Sometimes distracting background noise
- Needs car with aux port
4. Mpow Bluetooth Receiver for Car
The Mpow Bluetooth Receiver Car Adapter is a great option for those who are somewhat technologically challenged. Some Bluetooth adapters come chocked full of features and options that you know you will never use, and that just provides more confusion when it is just not necessary. The Mpow’s easy to use three button operating system is so simple anyone can figure out how to change songs or answer calls.
The Mpow also comes with an extra USB charging port and an optional noise isolator to dull the background noise the adapter sometimes causes. This adapter requires a car with an aux port in order to be utilized, but if you have the right car this adapter is an excellent choice who want hands free ease without a bunch of confusing, high tech extras.
- USB charging port
- Easy to use
- Comes with noise isolator to combat background noise
- Needs car with aux port
- Background noise issues
5. Sumind Wireless Radio Adapter
The Sumind Wireless Bluetooth Adapter is an easy to understand choice that still offers lots of exciting features. It has a big, 1.7” LED screen and extra-large buttons, so you can easily read it even at a distance. Now you do not have to strain your eyes and focus on something besides the road, because you will be able to easily read and use the Sumind. It also is able to prevent most background noise, has two USB charging ports, and is able to easily maintain hands free calling.
If you have limited real estate available in your car, you may not want to consider the Sumind because it is the biggest and bulkiest option on this list. It also has some durability issues due to its size and does not always connect easily. But if you are looking for a base adapter that you can count on being able to read no matter how distracting the road is, the Sumind is a great option.
- Big LED display screen
- Prevents most background noise
- Two USB charging ports
- Hands free calling
- Big and somewhat bulky
- Not the most durable
- Some users report connectivity issues
6. Kinivo Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit for Cars
The Kinivo BTC480 Bluetooth adapter is an excellent model for those who are not concerned with price, but instead just want to get the best option money can buy. If you are one of these free spenders, the Kinivo will entice you with its hands-free calling capabilities, clear sound quality, extra USB adapter, and ability to connect to multiple Bluetooth devices.
The Kinivo is not prohibitively expensive, but the difference between it and some of these other Bluetooth adapters is quite significant. It also requires a car with an aux port to play. If you do not mind shelling out a few more bucks, the Kinivo is a great choice for a Bluetooth audio adapter.
- USB charging port
- Hands free calling
- Connect to multiple Bluetooth devices
- Good sound quality
- Expensive compared to others
- Requires car with aux port
7. Sumind FM Radio Adapter Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The Sumind FM Radio Bluetooth Adapter is another very easy to use option. Its one-button operating system is so simple that anyone can use it to answer calls and play music hands free. This adapter also comes with two USB charging ports and a magnetic car mount for your phone or other Bluetooth device.
The Sumind does have worse sound quality compared to many other Bluetooth audio adapters, and it sometimes has trouble connecting to new devices. However, if you are looking for a Bluetooth audio adapter that is easy to use and gets the job done, the Sumind could be the right adapter for you.
- Hands free calling
- Two USB charging ports
- Easy one-button operation
- Comes with magnetic car mount for your phone
- Lesser sound quality
- Some users report connectivity issues
8. Elecwave EB02 Wireless Bluetooth In-Car FM Transmitter Radio Adapter
The Elecwave EB02 Wireless Bluetooth audio adapter is a great option for those who like to be able to mess with settings to get things just how they like them. This adapter comes with adjustable EQ settings, so depending on the type of music you are playing, you can adjust the EQ to get optimum sound quality no matter what. This adapter also has a big, red LED display and three USB ports, so you can charge your phone, tablet, and mp3 player at once.
The Elecwave does lose some of its great sound quality when you crank the volume up. Also, the various settings on the adapter can be quite confusing to figure out. But if you are dedicated to the best quality of sound (or need to charge three things at once), then the Elecwave is a great option for you.
- Three USB ports
- LED display
- Adjustable EQ settings for better sound quality
- Sounds worse at higher volumes
- Confusing set up
9. Aukey Bluetooth Receiver
The Aukey Bluetooth Receiver comes with a three-port USB car charger. This device features an easy setup. All you need to do is plug it into a power source and then connect to the auxiliary input using the audio jack.
If you have passengers, they can use the Aukey Bluetooth Receiver too. Up to three people can connect to the device at the same time. It will remember the connection when you start it up again, so you only have to go through the pairing process once.
This receiver is easy to use. It automatically powers off when you turn off your car, and it pairs with the last device to which it was connected when it restarts.
Though the obvious use for this device is as a music player, it also has speakerphone capabilities. You can play audio through your speakers when you are talking on your phone.
- The Aukey Bluetooth Receiver is easy to use.
- Up to three people can connect to the device at one time.
- The Aukey automatically turns off when the car does, and it automatically pairs with your device when you turn the car on again.
- There is no option for wireless power since the Aukey Bluetooth Receiver does not have a battery.
- Your car must have a standard auxiliary jack to use this device.
10. MPOW Portability Bluetooth Receiver
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If you are seeking a small device that only requires an aux jack, your best option could be the MPOW Portability Bluetooth Receiver. This battery-powered unit is highly portable. The MPOW Portability is not for users who appreciate bells and whistles. It has an on-off button and controls for volume and for forwarding to the next song. However, you can control the audio from your device. The MPOW Portability can connect with multiple devices, and remembers them when they get paired together.
How about battery life? This device can go for about 10 hours on a single charge. You may not find it useful for long road trips, but the amount of time between charges is pretty impressive, considering that it only weighs about two ounces.
- The MPOW Portability is highly portable, weighing in at just over two ounces.
- This device can pair with multiple phones, and it remembers the pairings.
- You only have to deal with simple controls on the device.
- It works with any sound system or speaker than has a 3.5 mm audio jack.
- You only get 10 hours of use before needing to recharge the device.
- Some people say that the audio quality is lacking compared to directly plugging your device in with an aux cord.
- If you don’t play audio for 10 minutes, the receiver goes into sleep mode.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Power Sources for Bluetooth Audio Adapter Kits?
Bluetooth audio adapter kits either require an external power source or they operate on battery power. Most car-specific models use the 12-volt “cigarette lighter” power outlets that are standard in almost every vehicle. These models are generally larger. Some smaller Bluetooth adapters run on battery power. You typically charge them via a USB cord. Technically, if you have a USB outlet or an adapter in your car, you could charge the battery while the device is in operation.
Many battery-powered adapters are more flexible than those that have a 12-volt power source. You can use them in other stereo systems, such as a home stereo system. If you think that you would value this kind of flexibility, you may want to try this kind of battery-powered adapter.
Can Bluetooth Adapters Do Anything Beside Play Music?
Most buyers seek out Bluetooth adapter kits because they offer an easy way to connect a phone or other device to a car’s stereo to play music. However, as more states adopt hands-free cell phone laws for drivers, these devices can also prove useful for those who want to abide by these new rules.
Some Bluetooth adapters are specifically for hands-free phone use. They have additional receivers that you attach to your sun visor to serve as the microphone for hands-free calls. You need to be aware of the available features for such devices. Some Bluetooth adapter systems with such microphones are only for phone use and do not allow you to play music and audio via the stereo system. You need to be aware of what you are getting before you make a purchase. However, some people with Bluetooth connectivity in their car’s stereo system may still wish to get a new Bluetooth system to handle hands-free calling.
With most Bluetooth adapters, you can play incoming audio from phone calls through your speakers. Some have noise-reduction microphones so that you can use them for phone calls as well. Some of the better Bluetooth kits allow complete hands-free operation, including voice controls.
How Do Bluetooth Kits Connect to Your Car?
Bluetooth adapter kits can connect to your car in a variety of ways. The simplest devices have an auxiliary cord that connects to your car’s aux outlet. Most of these are the 3.5 mm variety so that they will fit most standard aux outlets. While some of these also connect to a power source, others have batteries, and you need to charge them before you use them and remember to plug them in at regular intervals to avoid
Some models have USB cords. These can serve several purposes. First, they can connect to a car’s stereo system if the vehicle has a USB outlet. Second, they can serve as a power source. Third, you can use them to connect to an adapter, such as a 12-volt “cigarette lighter” adapter that connects to the car’s battery. Many non-battery-powered Bluetooth adapter devices come with such a component, while others permanently connect to a 12-volt input. Some even use this connection as a stand for the device.
There is one other option for people who do not have an auxiliary or USB outlet. Some adapters connect with the car’s stereo with an FM transmitter and play the audio from Bluetooth-connected devices on an FM frequency. While this option sometimes leads to static and tuning difficulties, newer Bluetooth FM transmitter devices earn more-favorable reviews than their FM predecessors.
How to Add Bluetooth Capabilities to an Older Car
Bluetooth connectivity is standard on most newer cars. You can connect your phone or Bluetooth-enabled device directly to your car stereo without having to make any additional modifications or use adapters.
You can add Bluetooth connectivity to an older car with a Bluetooth audio adapter. These can work on virtually any vehicle that has a working sound system and stereo. Though many Bluetooth adapters require an auxiliary or USB outlet, some do not require any particular form of connection. Instead, they transmit the audio from Bluetooth connected devices via an FM frequency.
You can enjoy Bluetooth connectivity in any car with these adapters.
What about Compatibility?
One of the most significant advantages of Bluetooth audio adapters is that they are compatible with virtually any Bluetooth-capable device. There are some exceptions to this rule. For example, some Bluetooth Smart adapters will not work with older phones that do not have Bluetooth Smart capabilities (and vice versa).
However, in general, most newer forms of Bluetooth can connect with devices running older versions of Bluetooth.
What Are Some Common Connection Problems?
One of the most common problems is easy to solve. You need to ensure that your phone’s Bluetooth connection is on. On some phones, Bluetooth is off by default (for security reasons, so that no one can use it to gain access to your phone), so you need to turn the Bluetooth on in your settings to ensure that it works.
Another common issue is a Wi-Fi connection. This type of connectivity can interfere with the signal from the Bluetooth adapter. This issue can be especially troublesome if you have a Wi-Fi hotspot in your car.
You can switch the hotspot off, or, if you have multiple Wi-Fi signals, wait until you are in a Wi-Fi-free spot before you try to connect your device.
Sometimes, phones and devices can be a bit quirky. You should make sure that you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for pairing your device with the adapter.
How Many People Can Use a Single Bluetooth Adapter?
One of the traits of Bluetooth audio adapter kits is their ability to connect to multiple phones and remember the connections. Not all of these adapters can pair with various devices.
Why is this an important point? You probably only have one phone, but you may have a tablet or other device that you could want to connect. Also, what if multiple people drive your car? You would have to unpair and re-pair your device each time if your adapter could only work with one device at once.
Luckily, most adapters can pair with several devices at once and will remember these devices when they are in range again. Each driver can automatically have a Bluetooth connection when they get in the car.
The best Bluetooth audio adapter is a question with no easy answer. Some offer excellent hands free call capabilities, while others are primarily focused on the best quality sound. Some need all kinds of adapters to work, while others can plug right in and work immediately. Some have big, easy to read LED screens, while others take up as little space as possible with just a few small buttons.
Whatever kind of Bluetooth audio adapter you are looking for, the right one can make your driving easier and significantly safer. So consult this helpful guide and figure out exactly which Bluetooth audio adapter will be the most helpful in your life.