A PC without Bluetooth connection is not a problem anymore. There is no need to spend a fortune on a new laptop as you can just choose one of the best Bluetooth adapters and save your hard-earned money.
If Bluetooth receiver is a panacea for audio systems then Bluetooth adapter is the best choice for any laptop or desktop computer without Bluetooth connection. It’s a tiny thing, which sometimes may look like a USB Wi-Fi adapter, and which enables various connections. Nowadays Bluetooth adapter is a kind of a must for the owners of multiple wireless devices.
How to Choose The Best Bluetooth Adapter
When selecting Bluetooth adapter remember to check all crucial features any good product must have. Here’s the list of characteristics you should consider before choosing the best of the lot.
Obviously, the best Bluetooth adapter should support your PC and all devices you are going to connect it with. Almost all Bluetooth dongles are compatible with Windows OS but Linux or Mac OS can become a stumbling block. The best thing is to buy a highly compatible adapter which will serve you even if you decide to purchase a new PC with the other operating system.
Some operating systems support Plug-n-Play option (e.g. Windows 8/10). It means that you don’t need drivers to install a Bluetooth adapter. If such an option is not available then you can get drivers on the official website or on the CD attached to the product.
Another important thing to take into account is a Bluetooth version. Don’t buy Bluetooth adapter with Bluetooth version lower than 4.0 as its quality will definitely disappoint you. Bluetooth v4.0 and higher provides more range, so you can connect devices which are farther away from each other.
In addition to this, such version consumes less energy and that’s the crucial point for laptops. Note that if your dongle has Bluetooth v4.0, it is also backward compatible. It means that you can connect it to any other device with older Bluetooth versions.
Class 1 or 2
Choosing your best Bluetooth adapter, don’t forget to pay attention at its class. Class 1 adapters are suitable for industrial devices which need Bluetooth connectivity at long distances. As to class 2 adapters, they would be the best choice for consumer devices that aren’t aimed at long distances.
As you can already guess this feature depends on the pre-cited characteristics. Bluetooth adapters of class 1 can have a transmission distance of up to 330 feet. Class 2 dongles usually offer an operation range of only 33-60 feet. Still, always consider the quality of the connection. Sometimes devices with the same range may have different performance.
9 Best Bluetooth Adapters
Last update on 2023-03-28 // The links above are affiliate // Images from Amazon
Another Cheap, yet Solid Bluetooth Adapter
Avantree DG45 is a newly developed BT5.0 adapter, with a 10-meter range and pretty solid performance. This adapter supports 3Mbps data transfer speeds and is capable of working with up to seven devices simultaneously. Moreover, it supports SBC audio codec and features both A2DP and AVRCP Bluetooth profiles.
Avantree DG45 is a compact device, with a low-profile design, and more importantly, with ease of use. Unfortunately, this adapter is compatible only with Windows 10, and it requires driver installation. Therefore, if you are an owner of a Mac or a Linux-based system, a different adapter is your only choice.
All in all, Avantree DG45 is a solid-performing, affordable BT5.0 adapter, with good connectivity and an easy way to connect keyboard, mouse, headphones, and other accessories, as it should be the case with one of the best Bluetooth adapters out there.
- Easy to use
- It only works with Windows 10
- It requires a driver
ASUS USB Adapter
The Best Bluetooth adapter for Windows 10
ASUS USB Adapter is designed with USB 2.0 interface and Bluetooth Low Energy Technology. It supports Bluetooth 2.0/2.1/3.0/4.0. As well as Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 this adapter is compatible with Windows OS (XP/7/8/10).
Besides, this network adapter has 3 Mbps data transfer rate and is quite easy to install. The only thing here to remember is that its operation range, which reaches up to 33 feet, can be reduced if your laptop or PC USB port is surrounded by metal construction.
- compatible with Windows/Xbox One S/latest smartphones
- good driver support
- automatic installation on Windows 10/8
- Bluetooth 4.0 connection
- limited operation range
- no Linux, Mac, TV or Car stereo support
EVEO USB Bluetooth Adapter
A Highly Affordable and Easy-to-Use Bluetooth Adapter
If you ever needed a cheap, but functional Bluetooth adapter that will widen your computer’s usability and versatility and allow you to use it along with your brand new Bluetooth headset, EVEO USB Bluetooth Adapter is the thing for you. Have in mind that this isn’t some fancy, feature-rich product with blazing-fast performance, but a regular device intended for normal use.
In other words, EVEO USB Bluetooth Adapter provides 10 meters range, works in a 2.402 GHz – 2.480 GHz frequency band, and supports 3 Mbps data transfer speeds. Moreover, it is easy to use and comes with a three-year warranty that makes it a pretty good deal.
To make a long story short, if the best Bluetooth adapter in the budget area is your main goal, you may be sure that EVEO USB Bluetooth Adapter will fulfill your every need.
- Plug-and-play functionality
- Easy to use
- Three-year warranty
- Problems with signal consistency
Plugable USB Bluetooth Adapter
The Best Bluetooth Adapter for Linux
Unlike all pre-cited Bluetooth adapters, this product supports not only Windows but also Linux OS. As to the latter, it requires additional software and setup and doesn’t support all Bluetooth profiles. Besides, this dongle is compatible with Raspberry Pi.
Plugable USB Bluetooth Adapter is suitable for a wide range of devices. As this adapter supports Bluetooth 4.0 it is compatible with Bluetooth Smart (BLE) devices, for example, iBeacons or Fitbit fitness trackers. Still, this option is unavailable in case you have Windows 7 or lower. This Bluetooth adapter is also energy efficient.
- compact design
- supports Windows/Linux OS and Raspberry Pi
- Bluetooth 4.0 connection
- 32 feet of transmission distance
- energy efficient
- no Mac, TV or Car stereo support
- speed could be faster
Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth USB Adapter
Very Compatible Bluetooth Adapter
Another highly compatible Bluetooth adapter is Kinivo BTD-400. It supports 32 bit as well as 64 bit Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, Fedora), Raspberry Pi and even Mac 2011 OS. By the by, there is plug and play option available for Windows 10/8.1/8.
Kinivo BTD-400 can be easily connected almost with all Bluetooth devices such as headphones, headsets, mobile phones, printers, etc. It supports BLE Technology and all Bluetooth connections up to v4.0 Class 2.
- compact design
- supports Windows/Linux/Mac OS/Raspberry Pi
- Bluetooth 4.0 connection
- 32 feet of transmission distance
- no TV or Car stereo support
- long installation
An Affordable BT5.0 Adapter
If you are seeking an affordable, yet decent BT5.0 adapter that offers pretty good performance, TP-Link UB500 is the device for you.
This is a lightweight adapter (two grams), with a USB2.0 interface and ease of use. However, this adapter can work only with Windows and it requires the driver installation, yet it does it automatically, offering a trouble-free installation process.
In short, it is exactly what the best Bluetooth adapter should be: simple, straightforward, and affordable.
- A Solid performance
- Compatible only with Windows
- It requires a driver to work
QGOO Bluetooth Adapter
A Cheap and Efficient Bluetooth Device
If you are into cheap, but efficient devices with good overall value, QGOO Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter is made for you. This tiny, ultra-small form factor device offers everything that a regular user might need, and much more.
It offers good Windows compatibility (it works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10), it is backwards compatible with Bluetooth V3.0/2.1/2.0/1.1 and it supports numerous device types, such as PCs, projectors, PS4 and Xbox One S controllers and a lot more. Moreover, its working range is up to 10m, while data transfer rate goes up to decent 3Mbps.
Unfortunately, this device doesn’t work with Linux or Mac, Xbox One or Nintendo Switch; nevertheless, it is affordable, practical and altogether delivers a solid efficiency that won’t stun you, but will certainly not disappoint you.
- Decent performance
- Compatibility issues
Techkey USB Mini Bluetooth 5.0
A Tiny, but Powerful Mini Bluetooth Adapter
Techkey USB Mini Bluetooth 5.0 is basically the first-ever Bluetooth 5.0 adapter that is delivering reliable and fast performance, with very little interference.
However, although its data transfer speed of 3Mbps, as well as the range of 10 meters, are very respectable, fact is that they aren’t anything revolutionary and that they are in the range with Bluetooth 4.0 devices. What, on the other hand, does make a difference, compared to the previous Bluetooth generation, are the interference levels that are drastically reduced in the case of BT 5.0 devices, allowing for perfect signal transmission.
Other benefits of Techkey USB Mini Bluetooth 5.0 are low energy consumption and more importantly, the ability to be used simultaneously with up to seven different devices. Moreover, this device is backward compatible – therefore, it can be used with previous BT iterations, but unfortunately, it can be installed only on Windows 7, 8, 8.1 and 10, while other Operating Systems, such as Mac and Linux, are out of the question.
Overall, Techkey USB Mini Bluetooth 5.0 is a high-quality BT adapter that will satisfy even the most demanding users and it is definitely an excellent choice if you are looking for the best Bluetooth adapter, with uncompromising performance.
- It can work along with seven different devices at the same time
- Easy to use
- Fast performance
- It can’t work with Mac and Linux
- Windows 10 demands for driver installation
EDUP Mini USB Bluetooth 5.0 Adapter
A Small, But Efficient Bluetooth 5.0 Adapter
EDUP Mini USB Bluetooth 5.0 Adapter is a compact, well-made Bluetooth 5.0 adapter that brings solid performance and equally importantly, very good value for the money. This is an affordable device, with the support for 3Mbps data transfer speeds and a working range of 10 meters.
Similar to the other BT5.0 adapters, this one also requires the driver and is compatible only with Windows. However, it offers solid performance and is generally simple to use, as it should be the case with one of the best Bluetooth adapters available.
Therefore, if you are after one of the best BT adapters out there, EDUP Mini USB Bluetooth 5.0 Adapter is a good choice.
- Decent performing
- It works only with Windows
- It requires driver installation
Bluetooth adapter is a great solution for old versions of laptops or PCs. It will easily connect your smartphone or headphones to the computer and let you enjoy gaming or movie to the full.
any type-c bluetooth adapters? would prefer not to use a type-c to usb to connect a bluetooth adapter. Need one for my xp-pen tablet
Unfortunately we weren’t able to find one =(
Thanks for the recommendation of the two devices for Linux (Plugable and Kinivo). However, both of them are based on a Broadcom chip that requires the manual installation of proprietary firmware to work (hopefully) properly.
For the sake of completeness, you should also list “Penguin USB Bluetooth 4.0 Micro Adapter (TPE-USBBLUV4)”, which does not require any proprietary firmware.
For Mac uers, I can recommend the Avantree DG40S. I use with with my iMac (El Capitan) and it even communicates with my Apple Magic Mouse 2, which is very selective with Bluetooth adapters.
I also read that the Kinivo BTD-400 works well with Macs.
Kinivio doesn’t work very well at all. My Mighty Mouse is sporadic. Bought this for connecting Garmin cycling sensors to my 2010 Mac Pro desktop and it just won’t function properly.
Please note that Avantree long range bluetooth USB adapter is only for audio and not for data transfer. I bought one and only noticed after I used it. My fault for not paying attention to the long product name.
look into a standard Ubuntu install ( or any main derivative)
and use Lutris, Steam or crossover(maybe?)
Ive been looking to set up a lutris interface and it seems very awesome so far, (think steam without some creapy company looking to make cash)
Ubuntu are best supported in the linux world and all the ways to play weird games that support linux will support ubuntu first
Why no Bluetooth 5.0 adapters in your list?
Because there are none worth mentioning at this point.
What should I do then? I want to enable bluetooth 5.0 on my pc so that i can use my bluetooth 5.0 earphones? Is there any options or am I fucked.
You’re all good=) Bluetooth is backward compatible so your headphones should work with any of these adapters (but you won’t experience BT 5.0 benefits). But you can also try Bluetooth 5.0 receivers/transmitters (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W5DDZQN/, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TLVJWQ5/) but they won’t work for BT keyboard or mouse.
your in luck, avantree makes 5.0 dongles specifically for latency free headphone listening…
this is the older 4.1 version..
but these are the current 5.0 versions..
the DG60 is specifically the one you are looking for and it has a super long range of 160feet..
and there’s the DG80, the 5.0 version of the DG40 shown above.
and yes, I know this post is a few years old, it’s still good info to anyone looking for it.. like I was..
note: these are audio bluetooth adapters only.. they won’t work with other devices like mice, keyboards, and game controllers like an all around BT adapter would… but that’s what you give up for the super low latency and sound quality.
Do all the dongles support Bluetooth LE, or just the ones that specifically say so?
It’s a new “normal” so they all should. But still, check the specs. For example, Techkey dongle doesn’t add BLE to Windows 7 or earlier while it works in Win 8 or newer.
I am considering replacing my USB cord with a USB Bluetooth receiver for use in my vehicle’s USB outlet. I want to wirelessly connect Android Auto from my phone to my car through the USB outlet instead of using the cord. Are there any compatible Bluetooth USB dongles available that would do this?
No. And from what I understand, it wouldn’t work anyway https://www.lifewire.com/android-auto-wireless-4176354
Good day! I plan to use a Bluetooth 4.1 headphone on my pc, but my motherboard doesn’t have the bluetooth technology so I need an adapter. Do you know if a bluetooth 4.0 adapter would work with a 4.1 headphone?
Bluetooth is backwards compatible so yes, it will work.
Thanks for the great article.. almost just ordered a usb2bluetooth dongle, how hard can it be? 🙂
I wanna use it for music from my stationary computer – for good quality music 2 headphones, BUT also to reach my TV via the Google Dongle Chromecast G3.
1) You write that all of them are not suited for TV (hope that means they can’t be a TV dongle (as the Chromecast)) but okay to sent from the PC – to the Chromecast
But what would you recommend here ? smooth good stream quality important
Unfortunately, we don’t have experience with Chromecast g3 so it’s difficult for us to advise on that. All dongles in our list use BT 4.0 so the stream quality should be pretty much the same. You may try Techkey as it’s relatively new.
can you reccommend a long range blue tooth adaptor that will connect with an older Yamaha amplifier with RCA inputs?
They all have 10 meters (33 feet) range, except Avantree Leaf. Avantree Leaf has 20 meters (66 feet) but it works only with audio devices (doesn’t work with keyboards, mice, etc.). Ragarding “will it connect to Yamaha amp?”, can’t say for sure.
Thank you 🙂
Hi my 14 year old son wants a Bluetooth adapted 4.0 for his computer and I need advice on which one many thanks
All adapters on the list are 4.0 so you can choose any of them.
why are you writing up BT 4.0 when 5 is head and shoulders above?
Because there are none (at least decent ones) at this point. There are BT 5 receivers and transmitters but while some of them look similar, it’s a different product.
Almost all these adapters are rated for 10m (33ft), could you please explain how the TECHKEY has phenomenal range? Have you tested them all?
Also when I look up the range of the TP-Link UB400 it says it is only 10m (I guess this is a typo)
I am looking for a bluetooth adapter or keyboard+mouse combo to reach across the house. A standard bluetooth keyboard/adapter drops out about a metre short of where I need it. Any recommendations are much appreciated
Hi. For TP-Link UB400 it was stated on the Amazon that its operating range is 65ft. But yeah, it’s hardly a case. With Techkey, it’s 33ft on paper but while some adapters may lose the connection before your reach 33ft, Techkey is reported to provide what it states on the tin.
And Techkey recently released a BT 5.0 adapter so it may be worth trying https://www.amazon.com/dp/B085LB5Y8M/. While it states that it offers a better range than 4.0 and that “Signal transmission distance reaches 20 meters”, some users report that it’s still 10-12 meters.
The article points out that class 1 Bluetooth can have much greater range than class 2 (100m vs 30m), but the reviews don’t seem to include any. The “Startech Mini USB Bluetooth 4.0 Class 1” is one such class 1 device, although to achieve the products advertised 50m range, the other device it is paired with has also to be a class 1. Marketing material from the Bluetooth Special Interest Group reckons that real-world range for class 2 devices is 5–10 metres (16–33 ft) while real-world range for Class 1 is in most cases 20–30 metres (66–98 ft). (source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth#Uses)
Happy to help 🙂
Yeah, I’m not at all impressed, no-one is making an all-in-one Bluetooth 5.0 or 5.1 USB Adapter that will work with both my mouse and my Sennheiser HD headphones, using APTX HD/LL Is that too much to ask in 2020?? If I get an audio Dongle, it does not work with my mouse, and if I was to get one that worked with my mouse, it would not have APTX HD/LL.
I have the CSR 4.0 on my desktop and it won’t read my headphones properly. My headphones are actually two devices in one. One device is audio headphones and the other is hands free headset which allows the mic to work. My laptop came with Bluetooth capability and reads both ways and let’s me choose which setting I wish to use. The CSR does not and only reads as hands free which is fine for phone calls but really lacks the sound I get on the plain headphones device setting. I would like to know why my laptop Bluetooth is so much better and if there is a USB adapter that is equal to my laptop or is there a pc card that I should buy to achieve the same performance. I am running Windows 10 on both laptop and desktop. Thanks for your help. Headphones are TaoTronics TT-BH22.
Sorry for the late reply. It’s difficult to tell what causes this issue but Kinivo BTD-400 uses Broadcom chipset so you can give it a try. Also, Techkey BT 5.0 adapter uses a different chipset than CSR.
Thanks for the feedback. I have another question. How would I determine what chipset my laptop uses? It’s an Acer Aspire E E5-575G-55KK the only thing that I can find out is that it is 4.1
You can search for it in Windows Device Manager or you can install CPU-Z (or similar) and check it there.
Nothing with 5.0? I’ve bought some bluetooth headphones to play online and I’ve been told that to not have audio lag I need to get a 5.0 dongle for my pc. Any advice? thx
Techkey released a BT 5.0 dongle (last product on our list).
Can Techkey BT 5.0 can connect simultaneously with available network and can share data
It can work with 7 devices at the same time.
can we connect it directly to laptop , and can transfer data or required any installation
Yes, you can. they usually work out of the box.
Did you actually test these devices on each OS, or just read the advertising on Amazon? I have been using the Zexmte on Linux for over a year without a problem. Linux provides support at the chip level, not brand and model. A quick search for Linux in Amazon reviews shows that all but Qugoo has reviews with success using Linux. Most dongles listed here had reports with Microsoft suddenly dropping support for devices – requiring drivers from manufacturers. It’s not uncommon for manufacturers to not support Linux even though they use Linux in their products or services. And for Linux distributions and community to still support the hardware.
Can you recommend a good bluetooth adapter to use for my 9 year old daughter’s hearing aids during her Google Meet classes? The school let her borrow an old Dell Latitude laptop that they converted into a Chromebook but it doesn’t have bluetooth. Thanks.
They all should work fine. TP-Link is currently on sale so its good value for the money. But if you won’t be satisfied with audio quality and need something fancy like aptx, there are Bluetooth Audio Transmitters you can try like https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083TD9VW4/ or https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01G3J1I5M/ (but they don’t work for mouse, keyboards, etc).
stupid question: does it matter what usb port I put my techkey bluetooth 5.0 dongle in? I have usb 3.2 gen 2 ports available, will that help transfer speeds?
It’s unlikely because BT 5 speed is lower than even USB 2.0 so you’ll still be limited by BT capabilities.
I notice all your tech staff are rubbish, why should I say that well I think you read other writeups & go by what they say well read mine as follows, one big question no one goes any deeper for instance I am running windows 7 32bit and I have tried one make which had bluetooth V5.0 and it does not work on my system but it states all versions of windows 7, they sent me a replacement & that didn’t work,I asked on amazon does anyone have the same problem but all I got was yes it does work on windows 7, they are telling lies because it’s in the listing & I asked again but in more detail if users of windows 7 32bit then I never received a reply.I do have a windows 10 Pro machine with 64GB memory & bluetooth V4.0 but I do not like the way microsoft designed the main windows interface which is totally stupid & quirky & should have given us more variations to choose from, that’s my view anyway. So I ask did you test your recomended bluetooth adapters on every version of windows from XP upto windows 10 pro? & did any run on all versions of windows 32bit & 64bit systems?
The only BT 5 from our list is from Techkey. If that’s what you’ve bought, if you search the Q&A section on Amazon for “32”, you’ll find the comment “An easy and perfect solution for old computers like Windows 7 (32-bit OS)”. So it worked on 32 bit Win 7 of one of the buyers. Sure, it may happen that it still doesn’t work in your particular case for some reason. If that’s what you’ve bought, for further assistance you can try to contact https://www.mytechkey.com/pages/contact-us.
Is there a Bluetooth 5.2 usb adaptor on the market I would like to future proof for Apple lossless etc but can’t find
We haven’t seen one either yet.