Tired of tripping over the wires that have taken over your home? Do you always have to stand up every time you want to connect one device to your laptop and you have to disconnect the wires before you can attach others?
It can be a painstaking experience that you would rather not go through but luckily, there is a solution that can save you from all this trouble. Stand up, pack up your miles of wires and replace that with a small Bluetooth dongle or adapter. It is the epitome of convenience and it will free up your floor space. You don’t have to worry about being buried in wires any more.
We always advice that even when buying something as small as this, you need to do your due diligence or else you will get home and the disappointments will start flowing in. With our help, all the due diligence is you need to do is read through and pick a Bluetooth adapter that you feel will work best for you. We have done all the heavy lifting for you.
- 1 Best Bluetooth Dongles 2018
- 1.1 Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter
- 1.2 Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low energy Micro Adapter
- 1.3 Bluetooth USB Adapter CSR 4.0 USB Dongle Bluetooth Receiver
- 1.4 Bluetooth USA Adapter Rocketek Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy USB
- 1.5 TaoTronics Wireless Portable Bluetooth Transmitter
- 1.6 Techkey USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter for PC
- 1.7 Avantree Long Range Bluetooth USB Adapters
- 1.8 SoundBot SB340 Universal Plug and Play Bluetooth 4.0 USB
- 2 How does a Bluetooth Dongle work?
- 3 Best Bluetooth Dongle Buying Guide
- 4 Conclusion
Best Bluetooth Dongles 2018
Now that you know what a Bluetooth dongle is, how it works and the amount of trouble it will be saving you from, we will list some of the best options that we have come across after our testing and trying of different products. The features for some of the products can make your head spin if you are not a techy but we will try to keep it as simple as possible.
Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter
This is one of the most popular Bluetooth adapters that you will come across in the market. It has earned every single one of its stripes by offering a wide range of features that guarantee quality results and experience.
One of the most appealing features is that it is compatible with older Windows OS like XP and Vista. Users with older laptops finally have something that can give them a much needed upgrade. Other Operating Systems that are supported by the device include Windows 10, 8 and 7.
The device can support multiple devices which include wireless stereo music, Google hangouts, data transfer, wireless PC gaming controllers and mice. The options with this adapter are limitless.
The dongle comes with a plug and play feature and for computers that have the older Operating Systems, it has a free driver that will help with the installation process. For Windows 7, XP and Vista, you will need to install the driver from the CD or download it from Avantree support. With the 2 year warranty that you get, you can rest assured that you are investing in a reliable feature filled product.
- Bluetooth 4.0
- Unique and convenient design
- Perfect for use on multiple devices
- Comes with a 2 year warranty
- Plug and play feature for Windows 8 and above.
- Does not support Mac and Linux PCs
Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low energy Micro Adapter
This little gem supports a variety of operating systems which include Windows 10, 8, 8.1, 7 and Linux PCs. The low energy features allows you to save battery and the 4.0 technology allows for safe and faster connections.
The device is able to connect to speakers, headphones, mice, keyboards and earphones as long as they have Bluetooth functionality. The adapter is quite small and safe to leave on the laptop even during travel. With its plug and play feature, you don’t have to worry about the installation process as the device will handle that on its own. You may need to download some specific drivers when using the device with certain audio devices.
- Bluetooth 4.0 functionality
- Compatible with multiple versions of windows as well as Linux OS
- It is very small and can be used even during travel
- Plug and play installation feature
- The device does not support Mac OS
Bluetooth USB Adapter CSR 4.0 USB Dongle Bluetooth Receiver
It comes with a plug and play feature that is compatible with the new operating systems and it also has a CD which is loaded with the driver. Don’t worry about the CD because it comes with the adapter. The adapter works on various operating systems which include Windows 8 and 10 without the need to install any other drivers.
It is a low energy device that will let your enjoy the fun longer and it is able to support a variety of devices which include smartphones, speakers, headsets and mice.it is also backward compatible so you can use devices that have earlier Bluetooth versions like V3.0 all the way to V1.1. Size is not an issue because the device is really small and you will never really need to remove it from the computer even when you are travelling.
- Plug and play feature
- Bluetooth 4.0
- It is backward compatible
- Small and highly portable
- Does not support Mac OS or Linux
Bluetooth USA Adapter Rocketek Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy USB
Initially, we thought we would only have a quick look at this because of the intuitive design but it ended up having features that were impossible for us to overlook.
It comes with state of the art Bluetooth 4.0 and is compatible with 32 and 64 bit computers that are running on Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP. As you can see, it also keeps in mind that you might still be stuck with your old laptop and supports the older operating systems as well.
It has a capacity to support up to 7 devices at the same time. These can range anywhere from mobile phones, printers, headphones, headsets, stereos and so on. It has a wireless range of up to 30 feet and feature low energy technology and it is compatible with earlier Bluetooth equipment.
- Bluetooth 4.0 with backward connecting feature
- Supports Windows and Linux PCs
- Can connect up to 7 devices at the same time
- Low energy technology
- It supports earlier Windows operating systems like windows 7, Vista and XP.
- Does not support Mac OS
- Does not work with the car stereo
The beauty with Bluetooth dongles is that they are not only limited to your computer. Say you would like to listen to your playlist on the phone on your car stereo. How would that workout? The Mpow Bluetooth receiver is built to solve such problems.
The device connects automatically to your car’s stereo so you can enjoy your music while you drive and even hands-free functionality on your phone. It has a staggering range of 33ft or about 10 meters and can connect up to two devices at the same time. Even though it might not be the perfect choice for use on your computer, it is ideal for home and car audio systems
To make sure you are able to enjoy the features and your music, it comes with a long lasting inbuilt battery that has a playtime of up to 10 hours and takes only 1.5 hours to charge. With this little beauty, your entertainment on the go is well taken care of.
- Bluetooth V4.1
- Connects to the car stereo or home audio system
- Long lasting 10 hour built in battery
- Connects up to 2 devices at a go
- Cannot connect to your laptop
TaoTronics Wireless Portable Bluetooth Transmitter
Let us stick with the car stereo inspired Bluetooth dongles for a little while. God knows how important they will be on those long road trips. You will thank us later for this. This particular one comes with some added surprises. It allows you to add Bluetooth functionality not only to your car stereo but also your TV and PC and any other audio devices that you might have that don’t have Bluetooth functionality. That opens up your world of entertainment to limitless options.
The device comes with fast setup features so you are able to enjoy its features almost immediately and the intuitive installation will also help your audio devices to communicate with other devices like Bluetooth headphones and speakers. It has range of 33ft so you will be well catered for and comes with a battery that is able to withstand up to 8 hours of playtime and up to 140hours of standby.
For such a small device, the sound quality offered is surprising and the broad compatibility is offers convenience at its best.
- Can be used on a wide variety of devices
- Long lasting inbuilt battery
- Quick setup and intuitive installation
- Compared to the other models, this one is a little bulky
Techkey USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter for PC
Back to the trendy PC Bluetooth enablers and the Techkey is one to love. First, we have to mention that the design looks very unique. You might not like it but, the team here likes things that stand out. That said, other than the design, the size is also noteworthy since it allows you to take it with you wherever you go.
It works on multiple windows platforms like Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7, XP and Vista. For windows 8 and above, the device is plug and play so you don’t have to worry about CDs and other installation problems. For earlier models, you will need to get the licensed software. Once installed, you will be able to connect various devices which include smart phones, printers, keyboard, mouse, Bluetooth speakers and headphones as well as other BLE Bluetooth devices. The 2 year warranty is a morale booster to potential buyers which guarantees that you get a functional and quality Bluetooth dongles.
- Bluetooth V4.0
- Unique and highly portable design
- Compatible with windows XP upwards
- 2 years warranty
- The file transfer rate is quite slow
This class 2 low energy Bluetooth adapter is great for a number of reasons. Usually we will mention the warranty at the end but let’s take a break and start with that this time around. The Kinivo Bluetooth dongle comes with a 2 year warranty which is only the icing on the cake on the features that it has to offer.
It comes with the Bluetooth V4.0 and is fully compatible with older Bluetooth equipment so you don’t need to worry about incompatibility. It works with a variety of devices which include mobile phones, printers, headsets, stereo headphones among others.
It is compatible with the Linux platform and Windows from XP to Windows 10. With this little gadget, you have all the Bluetooth power you need to make your life easier and bring your devices with your wherever you go.
- Multiple connections at the same time
- Bluetooth 4.0 with backward connection compatibility
- Compatible with Windows and Linux
- Does not support Mac OS
Avantree Long Range Bluetooth USB Adapters
You may have noticed that none of the Bluetooth adapters covered so far support Mac OS and you might start feeling weary and loosing hope of getting a device to cater to your needs as well. Before you throw in the towel, we found a great Bluetooth dongle that not only supports Mac OS but has plenty of other great features.
These features include a remarkably long range of up to 60ft which is the longest that we have so far in the list as well as PC independence. You don’t have to worry about reconnecting every time you switch computers. It is a state of the art piece of equipment that comes with the highly advanced 4.1 Bluetooth technology, Class 1 audio transmitter and it has an external USB sound card. All these features are squeezed into one highly portable Bluetooth dongle that also comes with ha 2 year warranty and allows you to switch between call and music mode.
- Long range up to 60ft
- 2 year warranty
- Supports Mac, PC, PS4 Nintendo Linux
- No lip sync delay
- It is more expensive than the other options
SoundBot SB340 Universal Plug and Play Bluetooth 4.0 USB
The soundbot is perfect for people that are stuck with vintage Windows 2000 and 2003. It comes with a gold plated connector with backward compatibility which ensures maximum support for different devices.
It features the new class 2 smart ready specification with low energy technology and a 10 meter coverage distance. The dongle is compatible with various devices among them being phones, keyboards, speakers and mice as well as stereo headsets. It also features an EDR function with both 2Mbps and 3Mbps modes supported.
You won’t have to worry about the weight or the size since the adapter is quite small but, it does not keep the device from delivering quality results.
- Supports windows 2000 and 2003
- Plug and play features
- Backward compatibility connection
- Does not support Linux or Mac OS
That closes out our list of the best Bluetooth dongles that money can buy. We have tried to make sure that everyone is well taken care of and we even took the time to make sure that we also find something for Mac users who bear the brunt of wires.
How does a Bluetooth Dongle work?
To get you started, let’s first have a quick look on how Bluetooth dongles work. It might not sound important but, it is always nice to have the information at hand.
Most computers come with a Bluetooth adapter and with these ones you don’t need to have a Bluetooth adapter. However, for those that don’t have that feature, you have no option but to get the Bluetooth dongle to help you connect the computer to the different devices via Bluetooth.
The adapter works by using the plug-and-play feature that is found on windows and Mac operating systems. You can remove and re-insert the dongle at any time. Once the device is inserted, the software driver in the dongle is read and interpreted by the OS and installed. Once the software has been installed on the computer, the Bluetooth signal is sent to other nearby devices and you can now connect them to the computer.
It is important to note that the device has to be inserted on the computer for you to be able to use the Bluetooth feature.
Best Bluetooth Dongle Buying Guide
Even with this reviews, we appreciate that you might be looking for something a little different that might not have been covered. Whether that or, you just want to know what you should be looking for when choosing a good Bluetooth adapter, it is important to make sure that you get everything right. The last thing you want is to throw your wires in the trash and then go back and fetch them a week later. To make sure you don’t suffer such a catastrophe, here are some quick pointers that should ring in your mind while you’re buying a Bluetooth adapter.
- Support – you have a bunch of devices that you would like to connect to your laptop or to each other and before you settle on the Bluetooth adapter, the first thing you want to check is to make sure that all these devices are supported. Failure to which, you would have to buy another adapter that supports those that are not supported and if that fails, you have no option but to retract to the wires.
- Compatibility – the Bluetooth dongle you are buying should be compatible with the operating system you are using on your computer. If you are buying the ones that go into your car’s stereo, you might not have to worry much about compatibility but for computers, you have to make sure that the software is supported or else the adapter will not work.
- Technology – in this case, all you have to do is make sure that the adapter is using 4.0 technology and has backward connection ability. The 4.0 technology consumes less power and also has a wider range and it is the more recent technology. With a device that has these features, you will be able to connect to virtually any other device.
- Distance – you have to consider the distance. In the reviews, we covered a gadget that has a distance of 60ft and most had 20ft. The more distance you can get the better. However, for the car Bluetooth devices, distance might not be much of a concern but still, it is better to have more than less.
- Power consumption – even though these adapters don’t consume much power, if the little it uses can be reduced further, why not. This is especially for the ones that come with inbuilt batteries. One of the ways you can mitigate the amount of power used is by making sure you pick the right product. If you need a dongle that sends the signal over a long distance, then Class 1 Bluetooth devices will do the trick. If the distance is not that significant then you can settle for Class 2 which also uses less power.
- Warranty – it is always nice to have a product that has a warranty. In case it is not what was advertised, you always have the chance of getting a replacement or your money back. Despite being quite small, some dongles came with very encouraging warranties and that is something that you should always look forward to.
- Price – last but not least, there is the price question. With price, you don’t want to get the cheapest product in the market. Instead, you want a product that gives you the most value for your money.
Stand up, pickup all those messy wires through them in the garbage back and say hello to the new wireless connection thanks to Bluetooth dongles. The bring many features into the home and loads of convenience but only if you can get the right one.
With the research, reviews and buying guide that we have offered, that should be more of a walk in the park now. Just make sure that you match your device to your needs and you are good to go.