Updated December 30, 2020 by Christopher Thomas

The 7 Best Bluetooth Receivers For Headphones

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This wiki has been updated 7 times since it was first published in January of 2019. Bluetooth is one of today's most convenient technologies when it comes to on-the-go entertainment, but not every pair of high-fidelity headphones has this wireless functionality built in. Fortunately, the right adapter can free you from the clutches of an audio cable and make it easy to enjoy your favorite tunes wherever you are, and most also offer USB DACs for stationary use. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Qudelix 5K

2. EarStudio ES100 Mk. 2

3. Fiio uBTR

Editor's Notes

December 25, 2020:

It was a good run, but at long last, the EarStudio ES100 Mk. 2 has finally been dethroned as the king of portable Bluetooth headphone receivers. Make no mistake, the ES100 is still a good choice, but the new industry leader is the Qudelix 5K, which offers even more advanced codec support and USB DAC functionality. You'll also notice several from one prominent company. The Fiio uBTR is almost certainly the best low-cost option, and despite its price, it even has convenient NFC pairing. The Fiio BTR3K is an excellent mid-range choice, and if you really want the best, take a look at the FiiO Q5S. The Q5S, in fact, should even satisfy dedicated audiophiles thanks to its analog, optical, and coaxial inputs, for use when you don't need a wireless connection.

January 28, 2019:

Now that most flagship smartphones have ditched the 3.5-millimeter audio jack (with a rather loud chorus of, "Sorry, not sorry!"), it may be time to upgrade your on-the-go music setup with a good Bluetooth receiver. These (generally small) devices can do a surprising amount, and with the right one, any high-quality cans will sound great, without being physically tied to your phone, laptop, or music player. We really like the EarStudio, as it offers not only a highly reliable connection, but also audiophile-level output, and really doesn't cost too much, considering its overall quality. Fiio makes one of the most versatile lines, and you'll find they have many wireless receivers to choose from, in all manner of price ranges. the uBTR (or microBTR, depending on who's reading it) is one of the smallest and lightest devices, and it's also incredibly affordable, while their Q5 should satisfy the pickiest listeners. It's also important to note that, should you need even more power than the Q5 provides, its amp module can be removed, and replaced with another of the brand's excellent amplifiers. If your ears are in tip-top shape, and your collection is mostly in the Direct Stream Digital format, the IFI and Centrance are both solid bets. Of course, they're both very expensive, but if you're a true audiophile, you've probably already come to accept the exorbitance of your hobby. The TaoTronics is particularly useful if you'd like to share your audio output with a partner, and while the Ampio P1 is a bit too new for many detailed reviews to yet be had, based on their other products, it's also a good choice. And Audio Technica certainly cannot be counted out, as their Bluetooth receiver is every bit as high-quality as their vast range of studio-grade headphones.

4. Fiio BTR3K

5. Fiio BTR5

6. Shanling UP4

7. FiiO Q5S


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on December 30, 2020 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


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