The 10 Best Bluetooth Transmitters
We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. There's no need to discard that perfectly good old stereo system just because it doesn't offer today's connectivity options. These reliable Bluetooth transmitters and receivers can breathe modern technological life into older devices, turning most 3.5 mm and RCA connections into miniature wireless hubs. They are also great for use with MP3 players that don't come with built-in Bluetooth. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best bluetooth transmitter on Amazon.
What Is Bluetooth?
You may be surprised to learn that Bluetooth signals actually traverse a pretty familiar band of radio frequencies, the same ones used by cordless phones and Wi-Fi systems.
You might not even be able to walk upstairs in a large home and still use it.
Bluetooth is a form of wireless transmission that is commonly used to allow communication between electronic devices. It is a popular form of transmission for headphones, computers, and cell phones that eliminates the need for numerous cords and wires.
You may be surprised to learn that Bluetooth signals actually traverse a pretty familiar band of radio frequencies, the same ones used by cordless phones and Wi-Fi systems. While that normally might result in a lot of interference, the engineers behind Bluetooth tech employ a rapid frequency hopping mechanism that allows data to stream continuously, even as the signal hops around from one neighboring frequency to the next, all but eliminating the possibility of significant interference.
A Bluetooth transmitter bridges the gap between devices when one is not Bluetooth-enabled, and allows them to connect to one another with ease. It generally pairs to appropriate devices within seconds, quickly converting older technologies with Bluetooth connectivity.
The right Bluetooth transmitter will work well in your home and allow you to enjoy your media (namely your music and other audio files) your way. These devices are generally short range, however. This means you can't walk to your neighbor's house and still use it. You might not even be able to walk upstairs in a large home and still use it. The range on most common Bluetooth transmitters is 30 feet, so it's best to set everything up in or around the room in which you plan to use it.
Which Bluetooth Transmitter Is Right For You?
Now that you have a sense of what Bluetooth is and how it works, you might be wondering how to choose from among a sea of available transmitters on the market. The fastest way to narrow down that extensive field is to ask yourself where you intend to use your transmitter, and with what device or devices. For example, if you've got an old MP3 player you want to take out on runs with you, but you prefer the freedom of wireless Bluetooth headphones, you might need to plug in a transmitter to complete the package. For that kind of application, you don't need to worry much about how a given transmitter will perform at the outskirts of its range — it'll rarely be more than a few feet from your head. You would want to look for something as small as possible, however, and maybe invest in a running belt while you're at it, just to make your life easier.
Now that you have a sense of what Bluetooth is and how it works, you might be wondering how to choose from among a sea of available transmitters on the market.
Most people investing in these kinds of transmitters are using them with older televisions that don't have Bluetooth capabilities, as TVs are one of the few pieces of tech today that still hold up for a long while, and there are plenty of consumers still clinging to their 1080 HD units from nearly a decade ago. For consumers in this market, it's important to know whether you ever intend to use your transmitter elsewhere, as well. If not, you can invest in a model that lets you plug it into the wall for consistent use with a Bluetooth speaker system or a pair of headphones. If you do plan on using it in various locations in addition to your entertainment center, look for a rechargeable model that won't be tethered to the wall.
If you fancy yourself an audiophile, and you want to get the most pristine performance out of your Bluetooth transmitter as possible, look for a unit with an optical connection. These cords, though more fragile than traditional 3.5mm connections, can carry full surround sound mixes from your TV to a Bluetooth-enabled stereo receiver, where the mix can easily be split up and sent to the appropriate speakers. This type of transmitter also often has the 3.5mm jack, as well, making it a good choice for setups that require multiple connections.
Fortunately, this is a category in which products are fairly inexpensive compared to the devices you're using them to connect, so you should feel free to grab one and see how it works for you. If you wind up with more than one in the process, you'll have that much more connectivity at your fingertips.
A Brief History Of The Bluetooth Transmitter
Bluetooth technology was invented by a group of scientists who worked for Ericsson Mobile in 1989. Dr. Nils Rydbeck gave the green light for the development, and Johan Ullman is credited for the invention along with several other scientists: Tord Wingren, Jaap Haartsen, and Sven Mattisson.
In 1997, Intel signed on with the inventing scientists to market this technology, and it launched as public technology is May of 1998.
The word "Bluetooth" is derived from a 10th-century king known as Harald "Blatand" Gormsson. He was responsible for uniting many Danish tribes and introducing Christianity to the region, and he was given the nickname "Bluetooth".
There are many theories as to why Harald was called "Bluetooth." Some say it was because he dressed in all blue. Others speculate that he may have had a bad tooth that appeared to be blue. Still others believe that the nickname is a derivative of words that translate to "dark chieftain."
Regardless, it was this unity he facilitated that inspired the creators of Bluetooth technology to use his name. The goal of Bluetooth is to unite many pieces of technology to be used seamlessly together without being hindered by cords.
In 1997, Intel signed on with the inventing scientists to market this technology, and it launched as public technology is May of 1998. It was slow to catch on, but once people learned the differences between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, it became a desirable feature that is now installed on nearly every newly produced electronic device.
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