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Bluetooth is a very popular technology nowadays as more and more devices rely on wireless transmissions. It makes sense that if you own a computer that lacks this feature, you will need to purchase an adapter. The market is full of these tiny Bluetooth adapters that allow any desktop computer or laptop to connect instantaneously to a multitude of Bluetooth-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets. You might also be interested in our articles about the best wireless adapter and the best voip adapter.
There are different Bluetooth adapters out there, some serve the primary purpose of streaming music to audio systems that lack wireless capabilities, but this article focuses on USB adapters that connect to PCs. You can synchronize devices with a computer wirelessly without cables getting in the way. Let’s take a look at the most important features of these handy devices that should be evaluated:
1. Class 1 vs Class 2
Bluetooth adapters come in two flavors: class 1 and class 2. The first is usually better suited for those devices that need extra long-distance connectivity while the class 2 adapters are geared more towards the consumer market. Most people don’t need extremely long-distance connections.
Whether you use Macs or Windows operating systems, it’s best to make sure that the adapter you’re considering is fully compatible with your computer. There are many instances of people who can’t figure out why their Bluetooth adapters don’t work so this is why it’s important to check the compatibility beforehand. It’s also strongly recommended to choose Bluetooth adapters with the latest 4.0 standard which ensures the best connectivity. Sometimes you need to install a driver if you use an older version of an operating system.
Class 1 Bluetooth adapters are definitely the winners when it comes to operating range but it’s worth mentioning that most people don’t really need such a long range, especially if they live in small apartments. In the end, it comes down to personal preference, but it’s recommended to take a look at the range of your desired adapter to make sure that it fits your needs.
The following list of products has been assembled after hours of research to help you choose only from models that have been carefully analyzed to be worth the money. If you value cost-effectiveness in your Bluetooth adapter purchase, check out the reviews below. You can take a more in-depth look at each adapter to see if it suits your particular needs. Budget considerations are also taken into account so you will see a good variety of adapters to ensure that more people can find what they’re looking for.
Best Bluetooth Adapter For PC
With lots of powerful features and a very competitive price, the Plugable Bluetooth adapter is one of the most appreciated choices on the market for these devices. It brings the power of Bluetooth to both Windows and Linux computers and offers Bluetooth Low Energy support for those who use Windows 8 or later editions.
This model comes with the latest Bluetooth 4.0 standard and it allows for connections to multiple wireless devices such as headphones, keyboards, mice, gamepads, and others. It works well with devices that are compatible with the Bluetooth Low Energy technology as long as your operating system is Windows 8 or higher.
If you own a Linux computer, this little adapter can provide Bluetooth functionality and it also works with the Raspberry Pi which can be convenient for those who want to craft some cool projects. Keep in mind that for Linux the compatibility is more or less limited depending on the Bluetooth profile you wish to use and it may require some additional setup.
This is a compact adapter featuring a nice operating range of 32 feet as long as there are no obstructions between the computer and the connected device. It’s important to make sure that you connect it to a USB 2.0 port because USB 3.0 might cause radio interference.
When you also take into account the great customer service offered by Plugable, it’s safe to say that this Bluetooth adapter is worth the money. It’s very small, but it works quite reliably and it’s nice knowing that even if you experience some issues, Plugable is very responsive and should help you out. An excellent choice, all things considered.
- Connects up to 32 feet away
- Windows and Linux compatibility
- Works with Raspberry Pi
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Energy efficient
- Simple install
Best Buy Bluetooth Adapter
Those who need an extra long range should take a look at this model from Avantree. Able to reach a 60 feet line of sight distance, this Bluetooth adapter could be an excellent choice for many people who have larger houses or need that extra range. There are many other powerful features including a low latency technology.
By far the most appealing feature of this unit is the long range. As long as there are no interferences you shouldn’t have any issues with reaching a distance of approximately 60 feet considering that this one is a class 1 Bluetooth device. It’s especially great for long-distance streaming of music using a compatible device. There are no drops in quality as the signal is very stable.
If you plan on using real-time apps with a Bluetooth adapter you can expect to have a difficult experience because of latency. Whether you’re streaming HD video or playing games, this adapter makes use of the powerful aptX Low Latency technology to get rid of annoying delays that ruin the fun.
In case you need to switch operating systems, there’s no need to pair with the adapter again. One thing that sets this model apart from the competitors is the addition of an external USB card as well as an integrated audio transmitter. This is why this one is ideal for audio listening.
Considering how easy it is to install and use as well as the great sound quality and the wireless range, this Avantree long-range Bluetooth adapter could be the solution you were looking for. Admittedly, it’s a more expensive unit but it does have the greatest stability over extended ranges so this is why it’s recommended.
- aptX Low Latency technology
- Up to 60 feet working range
- Plug and play
- Windows and Mac compatible
- USB extending cable included
Best USB Bluetooth Adapter
The Kinivo BTD-400 is a solid all-around Bluetooth adapter that offers a Class 2 range, low energy technology, and a decent build quality. It allows for connections between your computers that lack Bluetooth to compatible devices such as smartphones, printers, headphones, and many others.
As this is a plug-and-play type of device you can use it immediately after unboxing it. In some special cases like certain Linux distributions it will require the downloading of special drivers but for the most popular Windows versions, it works without a flaw. There’s no compatibility with Mac systems, but it works nicely with Raspberry Pi models.
This is a USB adapter with a 30-foot range, a distance that’s large enough to give you some wireless freedom. Thanks to its Bluetooth 4.0 Class 2 technology, it will establish connections in a speedy manner. It’s also designed to consume as less energy as possible. The design is pretty much how you’d expect for a device that accomplishes such a basic function, so it’s extremely small and portable.
One way that people use this kind of adapters is because they want to pair it with a wireless PS4 controller. This model is fully compatible to do that though you will need to follow some steps to complete the connection. Simply add the device and pair with it to enjoy gaming without cables.
If you are trying to turn your computer into a Bluetooth-enabled device, the Kinivo BTD-400 is worth checking out considering its abilities compared to the cost. It’s an excellent choice when you factor in the ease-of-use, performance, and overall reliability. Because it works as intended and it has a great price, this adapter is recommended.
- Range up to 30 feet
- Class 2
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Energy efficient
- Windows and Linux support
Another capable Bluetooth adapter from Avantree is this little unit which offers a more basic functionality but boasts excellent operating system compatibility and accepts lots of Bluetooth-enabled devices. It’s easy to use and reasonably priced, so let’s take a closer look at its abilities.
There are multiple uses for such a small adapter like this one. It enables its users to connect peripherals without cables getting in the way. Whether mice, keyboards, gaming controllers or smartphones, the possibilities are virtually endless. It’s worth mentioning that’s compatible with Bluetooth Low Energy devices.
If you have Windows 10 you can enjoy a driver-free experience but the manufacturer includes a CD in the package to deal with the setup process on older versions of Windows. This Bluetooth adapter doesn’t accept Mac or Linux operating systems.
In terms of design, there are hardly any noticeable features but Avantree equipped the adapter with a LED indicator for showing the current status of the device. It displays if the device is on, linking, or on standby. The compact adapter provides audio support thanks to the A2DP Bluetooth profile and there’s also EDR support for quick data transfer.
The signal is fairly stable and clear but if you go over 20 feet, you can expect its quality to degrade. That’s normal for this type of adapters and it shouldn’t be a problem for most people. While the older version of this Bluetooth adapter had some issues, Avantree tweaked the newer version and it seems that it works very well. With its help, you can explore a new world of wireless freedom.
- Wide device support
- No drivers required for Windows 10
- Up to 6 devices can be connected at the same time
- 33 feet range
- Only Windows compatibility
Best Bluetooth Adapter For Windows 10
One particularly reliable 4.0 Bluetooth adapter is the Asus USB-BT400 which offers many powerful features for the money. It’s backward compatible with devices that rely on older Bluetooth versions and it comes with support for reducing power consumption.
The design of this wireless adapter is fairly typical mostly characterized by its sleek form factor. You can easily forget about it once you plug it in the USB 2.0 port of your computer. It enables versatile connections with printers, headsets, keyboards, and many more. Saving energy is also a priority for this model as evidenced by the Bluetooth Low Energy technology used.
While this model accepts various Bluetooth 4.0 devices, it can also manage connections with devices that have Bluetooth 3.0, 2.1, and 2.0. It comes with plug-and-play support for Windows 10 systems and it also supports other Windows versions such as Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows XP, all of them either 32bit or 64bit. Asus offers a good installation guide if you have problems but even novice users should find this easy to use.
Multiple pairing can be done with this Bluetooth adapter, a convenient feature if you wish to manage more devices using just one adapter. Thanks to the Advanced Audio Distribution Profile, this model is a great solution for audio streaming. The quality is quite decent too.
The Asus USB-BT400 is a convenient accessory for anyone who uses various Bluetooth products and yet lacks the capability for their laptop or desktop computer. The range is decent and the audio quality is very nice if you’re streaming music. All in all, this one deserves a spot on this list considering what it can do.
- Supports Bluetooth Low Energy
- Backward compatibility
- 30 feet line of sight range
- Windows compatibility
- 2.4~2.4835GHz frequency band
Adding Bluetooth functionality to a computer requires the right tool and this is why this Onvian adapter was created. It enables you to enter a world of cordless convenience at a minimal cost. It’s a well-made little adapter and even if it has a fairly average functionality, it’s extremely cost-effective.
The wireless range of this Bluetooth adapter is 33 feet or 10 meters. This is calculated assuming that there are no objects between the transmitter and receiver, nothing that could interfere. It’s a pretty decent distance, satisfying even for larger rooms.
This model is specifically designed to work only with Windows systems. Unless you have Windows 7 or older you will need to install driver software. If you plan on using the Bluetooth adapter with Windows 8 or Windows 10 systems, you shouldn’t have any issues and there’s no need to do extra work to start making wireless connections.
Thanks to the dual-mode Bluetooth transfer, the powerful CSR 8510 chip will offer you a better way for transferring various files. If you enjoy streaming music wirelessly, this model comes with APT-X support for excellent audio quality. As it makes use of the latest Bluetooth 4.0 version it utilizes power more efficiently so you shouldn’t experience a significant hit to your battery life if you use a laptop.
One way to use this adapter is by connecting it to a game controller. With the latest Windows 10 version, you can use the adapter with Xbox One S controllers in a plug-and-play style. You might need some extra software for the DS4 controller though.
Apart from its little blue LED light which can be a little annoying, the Onvian Bluetooth adapter works like a charm. It’s ready for action quickly after you plug it in and you can enjoy many different Bluetooth-enabled devices with it. A very cost-effective solution for equipping a computer with Bluetooth functionality.
- 33 feet maximum range
- Designed for Windows systems
- Plug and play for Windows 8+
- Low power consumption
- Bluetooth 4.0
Even if Zexmte is a less known manufacturer in the world of Bluetooth adapters, their model seems very capable. It comes with support for all the recent Windows versions and promises decent transfer rates as well as a reasonable transmission range. This small device doesn’t cost too much either so let’s take a closer look at what it can do.
With a data transfer rate of maximum 3 Mbps, this adapter should be able to meet the needs of many people with Bluetooth-enabled devices. The standard 33 feet range is reasonable for most users and the connection is stable as long as there are as little interferences as possible.
There’s an included driver CD in the package but you will only need it if you own an older Windows version such as Windows 7, Vista, and XP. There’s no support for Mac systems, but this small adapter works well with the latest Bluetooth Low Energy technology and offers the fast 4.0 Bluetooth standard.
The adapter also offers backward compatibility for those older devices that still use Bluetooth 3.0, 2.1, or 2.0. As the size is very much reduced, you can keep this in a port and simply forget about it. Convenient pairings can be done seamlessly every time you need to access some data wirelessly.
All in all, the Zexmte Bluetooth adapter is a great little tool. It does require some work to install its driver if you’re using an older operating system but once you get over the initial set-up, you are good to go. The range is quite solid for this price, so this unit deserves a spot on this list of the best Bluetooth adapters around.
- 33 feet maximum wireless range
- Plug and play for Windows 8 or later
- Supports many devices
- Low energy consumption – BLE protocol support
- Extremely small design
Sabrent is a well-known brand of various electronic gadgets including reliable Bluetooth 4.0 micro adapters for your computer. The BT-UB40 is packed with some nice features including Class 2 range, a blue LED and low energy technology.
Having a Bluetooth adapter like this one can be a lifesaver if you own multiple wireless devices such as smartphones, headsets, keyboards, mice, printers, and others. Accessing files between devices can now be done wirelessly, much more conveniently compared to getting tangled in cables. This has great potential for cleaning up your workspace.
Backward compatibility is ensured for devices that run on older Bluetooth versions as this is a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter. It can add Bluetooth functionality to Windows and Linux systems, but not to Mac computers. There’s also support for Bluetooth Low Energy but it’s only available for Windows 8 or higher computers.
In the package, you can find a driver CD which could be needed for certain older versions of Windows and Linux. The whole setup process mostly depends on your particular computer and operating system. Some detect it quicker, others will require additional searching for it through the control panel.
There is good news for those who wish to pair more than one device because this unit supports more connected peripherals wirelessly. It can make your life so much easier and it encourages you to get rid of cables.
For a reasonable price, you get a very balanced Bluetooth adapter in terms of features. The fact that multiple devices work with it simultaneously is a very strong point. Taking everything into account, it can be said that Sabrent did a solid job with this adapter so this is why it’s recommended.
- Bluetooth 4.0 Class 2
- Low power consumption
- Windows and Linux compatibility
- Blue LED
- Easy to use
A great option for a Bluetooth adapter is this one from H.Guard. It supports connections with multiple devices simultaneously and it boasts a considerable wireless range. Power consumption and security features are also not left out so let’s see if this model’s worth the money.
This adapter operates using the latest Bluetooth 4.0 standard and feature EDR with rates of data transfer of maximum 3 Mbps. It doesn’t hold back when it comes to accepting older devices that use Bluetooth 3.0, 2.1, and 2.0.
In terms of operating system compatibility, there’s an obvious focus on Windows computers. It works well with Windows 10 or older versions but it might need drivers if you have Linux. A CD has been included to cover any such needs. Mac computers aren’t supported.
One great feature about this adapter is that it accepts multiple connected devices at the same time. You can have for example a mouse, headset, and a keyboard all connected using the same adapter for a truly wireless experience. The Bluetooth Low Energy technology also ensures low power consumption.
Pairing is done fast with this Bluetooth adapter and you can also be certain of the overall safety. The devices are protected by encryption so that your connections are secure against unwanted intruders. If you’re using the software from the driver you can have some extra benefits like how the computer will automatically detect a previously paired device and quickly get it connected.
While it’s not as reliable as some other models on this list, the H.GUARD Bluetooth adapter still deserves to be taken into consideration if you’re on the market for such a convenient tool. It’s easy enough to set up and it performs according to the cost. A decent buy.
- Bluetooth Low Energy support
- Windows 10 or older compatibility
- A2DP support
- Enhanced Data Rate
- No audio/video latency
The HIGHEVER Bluetooth adapter looks like it has all the needed ingredients for a cost-effective solution to enhance your computer with Bluetooth. This small silver adapter works without issues with multiple devices and offers a decent level of functionality to enable you to enjoy the wireless freedom of Bluetooth.
Converting a computer without Bluetooth into one that has it is easy with this small adapter. All it takes is to insert it into one of your free USB 2.0 ports. You should be aware that this is designed for Windows computers. It’s compatible with Windows 10 and older versions and it features some useful functions such as EDR which is great for faster data transfer speeds.
The range of this adapter is mediocre but it does a good job even if it requires as little interference from objects as possible. Thanks to the Bluetooth 4.0 version you will be able to enjoy fast transmission speeds and a more stable connection between the computer and your Bluetooth-enabled devices.
In terms of security, this model offers integrated FCC and CE settings which are designed to give you some peace of mind if you’re worried about hackers or unwanted intruders. The USB wireless dongle has been created with low-energy consumption in mind so it’s an ideal tool for using it with a laptop.
Despite some limitations, the HIGHEVER Bluetooth adapter could be a good option at this affordable price. The manufacturer also provides downloadable drivers online if you don’t have an optical unit but in most cases, this adapter works right away. Some good features are present here so it’s worth a look if you need a capable Bluetooth adapter.
- Windows 8 or later doesn’t require drivers
- Large range
- Bluetooth 4.0 with EDR
- Class II operation range
- FCC, CE certifications