The 6 Best USB Bluetooth Adapters
This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in June of 2018. Largely unheard of at the turn of the century, Bluetooth technology is now one of the most popular ways to connect a wide range of electronic devices. While it's built into most new systems, many older computers don't have this function. Fortunately, one of these USB adapters will give you exactly the transfer and control capabilities you need for work and entertainment. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
January 04, 2021:
If all you're missing is Bluetooth and you need it for general uses, the Asus BT500 is the way to go. Alternatively, the Edup AC1661 adds both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity, but not the latest versions - although it's still fast enough for most applications. The Creative BT-W3 is a worthwhile choice if all you need is high-quality audio, although if you want to spend less, the 1Mii B10 is somewhat similar. The HomeSpot Pro, on the other hand, is designed for use with the Nintendo Switch, although its dual-link functionality allows it to connect your wireless headphones to a smartphone at the same time, so you could actually have a conversation over the phone without disconnecting it from the Switch.
June 20, 2019:
Pretty much all new laptops have Bluetooth built-in. Not all new desktops do, though, nor do many older ones. There are adapters focused on connecting to control devices like keyboards and mice, and there are some dedicated to transmitting audio to headphones. The Plugable Micro is the most popular and most reliable, and it costs very little, so it's the right choice if all you're looking for is something to connect your controllers. It also works well with Sony's DualShock 4 controller, though you may need to do a little fine tuning to get that controller working perfectly with Windows.
Then there are the many options made specifically for certain sound-related activities. Avantree's Audikast is one of the few recent devices that still has a USB input; most of the USB audio hubs released today are only charged via USB. It can connect to two headphones at once and supports the AptX Low Latency codec, but not the HD version. Fiio's BTR3 is actually one of the better and more compact USB DACs available right now, thanks to its powerful chipset and versatile codec support. The Avantree Leaf works great with the Nintendo Switch and other gaming devices. And the MakerSpot is a very specific tool that adventurous robotics hobbyists may find useful.
Finally, there's an important note to make. When you plug a compact model like the Plugable into a USB port, make certain you're using one of your computers USB 2.0 ports. USB 3.0 actually runs into interference with Bluetooth and can significantly hamper the devices. If all you have is USB 3.0 ports, you'll want to grab a USB 2.0 cable (one that is specifically not rated for USB 3.0) in order to prevent this interference and have a lag-free experience.