10 Best Bluetooth Receivers | April 2017

We spent 33 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Though they promised them to us way back in the '60s, we still don't have hovercars. But we do have Bluetooth receivers, like these. They will let you play tunes from just about any device at home or in the car, and breathe life back into older, but still decent, stereo equipment. Skip to the best bluetooth receiver on Amazon.
10 Best Bluetooth Receivers | April 2017
Overall Rank: 3
Best Mid-Range
★★★★
Overall Rank: 1
Best High-End
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 5
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
With the NFC-capability of the Etekcity Unify Roverbeats it's exceptionally easy to pair your likewise enabled mobile devices. It's small and portable enough to function admirably as an audio adapter in your vehicles, as well.
  • up to a 33-foot range
  • 10 hours of battery life
  • suffers from volume control issues
Brand Etekcity
Model 679113373587
Weight 9.9 ounces
Rating 3.5 / 5.0
9
The AmazonBasics BTR1 is about as simple a receiver as the market has to offer. It has an operating range of up to 30 ft., provided there is a clear sight line, and it comes with all the rudiments you'll need to get started. Its sound quality, however, is middling at best.
  • consumes a minimal amount of power
  • frustration-free packaging
  • supplied cables are of a low quality
Brand AmazonBasics
Model BTR1
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Logitech Adapter features multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, so you can connect your tablet, phone, and computer simultaneously, streaming music from any of them. It also works with any powered speakers that have a standard 3.5 mm or RCA connection.
  • reliable line-of-sight connection
  • well tuned for top-quality acoustics
  • compatibility issues with windows 7
Brand Logitech
Model 980-000910
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 3.9 / 5.0
7
The CoolStream Duo breathes life back into your old, expensive iPod dock with a secure connection into the 30 pin connector. Now, you can stream music wirelessly to older devices that would have previously required a hard connection.
  • red light indicates unit is charging
  • able to extend through walls
  • signal drops from ac to battery
Brand Coolstream
Model BTR100
Weight 0.6 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
5
With its incredibly compact design, the Mpow Hands-Free PTX-1 turns your vehicle's auxiliary jack into a blushing Bluetooth bride. Its advanced 4.1 connection relays a high-quality audio signal to get the most out of your car's speakers.
  • dual linkage options
  • charges via usb
  • weak connection through walls
Brand Mpow
Model MPBH045AB-PTX-1
Weight 2.4 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0
4
The recently updated Mpow MBT3-PTX-1 is the perfect choice for people who travel often. It's small enough to fit in your pocket, and it only requires a simple one-button touch to switch between transmitter and receiver modes.
  • power on light indicator
  • has almost no music lag
  • unit can't operate while charging
Brand Mpow
Model MBT3
Weight 1.8 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0
3
The Amphony 300 integrates an advanced Bluetooth audio receiver & a state-of-the art stereo power amplifier to promote big sound through 2 channels with 40 watts of RMS power. Plus, it automatically enters sleep mode when not in use.
  • no built-in fans or cooling needed
  • low audio distortion
  • smaller than a deck of cards
Brand Amphony
Model Model 300
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.6 / 5.0
2
You get superior performance using the HomeSpot BTADP-233. It is capable of storing up to eight paired devices for quick and easy transfers, has a transmission range of over 60 feet, and is built into a sleek, compact housing.
  • plugs into any av receiver
  • compatible with most devices
  • produces cd-quality sound
Brand HomeSpot
Model BTADP-233
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.7 / 5.0
1
The premium Audioengine B1 simplifies the streaming process. It allows for super quick pairing, and uses a high-quality audio converter for uncompromised sound. It also has a precision-tuned antenna to extend the wireless range.
  • professional aluminum housing
  • good choice for audiophiles
  • includes a power adapter
Brand Audioengine
Model B1
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

How Bluetooth Technology Works

If you're not familiar with Bluetooth technology, well then you've probably been living under a rock for the last decade. Just in case there are a few of you who have been using it without knowing what it's called, you know that nifty little setting on your phone that lets you wirelessly stream music and other data to a pair of speakers or a TV? That's Bluetooth and it's probably one of the coolest things to happen to the mainstream consumer society since well, the smartphone itself.

It allows us to exchange data over short distances and to build small personal area networks by utilizing short wavelength UHF radio waves from 2.4 to 2,485 GHz. It can be broadcast from fixed or mobile devices and allows you to connect with other devices, even if you don't currently have access to a wireless internet source.

Bluetooth is a packet-based protocol, which means it divides data into suitably sized blocks for faster transmission. This makes it extremely efficient and able to transmit a large amount of data nearly instantaneously. Each packet is transferred via one of 79 channels that have been designated for Bluetooth. Each of the standard Bluetooth channels has a 1 MHz bandwidth, while the new Bluetooth low energy technology uses 2 MHz spacing over 40 channels. When it makes a connection, it continuously hops between the different channels to ensure it has the most stable and the fastest connection possible.

The technology is designed with a master-slave structure and each master has the ability to control up to seven slaves, or devices. All of the connected slaves share the master's clock and the packet exchange timing is based on this shared clock, which ticks at 312.5 µs intervals. It takes two ticks to make up what is known as a slot and all data is sent or received in a slot. The data transfer is timed so that the master sends out information on even slots and receives in odd slots. The slave does the opposite and sends out information on odd slots and receives on even slots to prevent any jumbled communications.

History Of Bluetooth Technology

Bluetooth made its first appearance in the 1940's when World War II was in full swing. The initial development was mostly undertaken by Hedy Lamaar and George Antheil, and it was intended to be a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes. Because of its unique frequency hopping technology, it was able to workaround the Axis's jamming systems. Unfortunately it was never really implemented and dropped by the wayside until the Navy began to use it in the 1960's. While this wasn't exactly the type of Bluetooth we are using in our phones today, it was the beginnings.

Decades later in 1989, work on the technology began again in earnest. It was initiated by the CTO of Swedish communications and technology company Ericcson and Dr. Johan Ullman. By 1994, the company had it working, but not quite up to its full potential. They realized that to produce the best technology possible, they would need development help from other major players in the industry, many of which were already working on a similar technology of their own. They invited Nokia, Toshiba, and Intel to set up a joint development project. Intel took them up on their invitation and by 1998 the technology was ready for launch.

Initially they touted the technology as being able to transfer up to 721 kpbs, which didn't have the intended wow factor as many people in the industry rebuffed them, saying that WiFi could offer a lot more. As it turns out, Bluetooth did in fact have a future as today it reaches impressive speeds upwards of 20Mbps.

Originally the technology was called MC Link, but later renamed as Bluetooth in an homage to the tenth-century Scandinavian king, Harald "Blåtand" Gormsson, also known as Harald Bluetooth. He united the dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom and, since Bluetooth unites communication protocols into a single universal standard and was created by a Scandinavian company, it seemed a fitting term. The well-known Bluetooth logo is actually the merging of two Younger Futhark runes with Harald's initials.

Picking The Right Bluetooth Receiver

When it comes time to pick the right Bluetooth receiver for your needs, one of the most important factors to take into consideration is the transmission range between your receiver and your transmitting device. Some receivers have a considerably wider range than others, so some may be more suitable for commercial use or in larger homes where you have more distance to cover. Others might work perfectly for your needs in a smaller home and might also be a better fit for your budget.

The next thing to keep in mind is compatibility with your devices. While this usually isn't a problem nowadays as most Bluetooth technologies are backwards compatible, meaning they work with older versions of Bluetooth, it should still be double checked. There is nothing worse than buying a Bluetooth receiver and finding out it won't work with your transmitting device.

If you intend to have multiple devices connected to a Bluetooth receiver at the same time, you should consider how many devices can be linked to your receiver before it drops a connection. Some may only allow connection to one device at a time, while others may allow for two or even three simultaneous connections.



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Last updated on April 23 2017 by Daniel Imperiale

Daniel is a writer, actor, and director living in Los Angeles, CA. He spent a large portion of his 20s roaming the country in search of new experiences, taking on odd jobs in the strangest places, studying at incredible schools, and making art with empathy and curiosity.