Not all PCs come with Bluetooth hardware installed in them and you might need to check with your manufacturer to see if yours come with one. If it doesn’t, don’t panic! Bluetooth adapters can be purchased and come in the form of USB that you can plug into your computer every time you need to use it.
Bluetooth is useful for sending files between gadgets quick without the need for an Internet connection. Others probably use them to connect with wireless mouse & keyboard, external speaker, wireless headphone, etc.
Table of Content
- Reviews for Best Bluetooth Adapter For PC in 2020
- Does my laptop/PC/notebook come with Bluetooth hardware?
- What are Bluetooth adapters capabilities?
- Bluetooth Adapter 4.0 vs 5.0: Which one is better?
- Here’s why Bluetooth adapter 4.0 is better
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
Reviews for Best Bluetooth Adapter For PC in 2020
1. Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy Micro Adapter
This USB Bluetooth works well with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10, Xbox One S Controller as well as Linux, Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora. The USB supports Bluetooth 4.0 and is able to connect mouse, speakers, keyboards, headphones and more.
Thanks to its small dongle size, you can keep the Bluetooth plugged on your laptop while on the go. It can also connect up to seven devices at once.
The Bluetooth adapter does provide the service for Windows 7, but a special driver has to be installed first. Which means Win7 users will have to consider this fact before purchasing.
It is also not compatible with Bose speakers of QC35 series and above. That said, you can always download drivers to help your Bluetooth work with your Bose speakers. It’s also not usable for car stereos, TVs and Macs. The reason for that is the lack of drivers in the hardware to read and utilize the adapter.
The company also points out that it won’t work with Monoprice 8323.
This USB Bluetooth adapter has a one-year warranty, something you might not expect for a product that cost no more than $13. Aside from that, you will receive 24/7 personal US-based email support (no lag replies from outsourced Indian support!). This support lasts a lifetime.
2. Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy USB Adapter
Kinivo BTD-400 works on Bluetooth 4.0, as the name says. This Bluetooth is also known as BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) which makes it compatible to connect to printers, keyboards, headsets, mouse, etc.
This Bluetooth adapter works with Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, 10, Linux Ubuntu, Mint and Fedora. It also works with Raspberry Pi models. It is also compatible with Mac 11 and above by downloading the appropriate driver on their site. If you want to use the adapter for anything other than Windows, you can head out to their site to check out how you can configure your Linux or Pi for the adapter to work.
The USB is also designed as a miniature dongle USB that can remain plugged on your laptop while you’re on the go. The latency is decent and it is worth noting to check out for more information if you’re on Win7.
This Bluetooth adapter has a range of 30 feet or about 10 meters far. It has the capability to connect to multiple devices at once but it won’t work with two voice output at the same time. For example, it won’t work with two headsets or one headset with one speaker connected at the same time. It also comes with a 2-year warranty.
3. Avantree DG40S USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter Dongle
The Avantree DG40S USB Bluetooth is a Windows-only exclusive Bluetooth adapter that works on providing Bluetooth 4.0 connection.
The USB Bluetooth adapter requires the correct drivers to work, but Windows 10 and 8 users don’t have to worry about this. The dongle will automatically install the driver once it’s plugged in and this equals to plug-and-play feature. Meanwhile, others like Windows 7, Vista and XP will require you to head to their site or install the drivers from an official CD from Avantree for free.
The DG40S USB Bluetooth Adapter has a miniature dongle design that makes it great for those who are constantly on the go.
As previously pointed out, the adapter is only compatible with Windows, not Linux or Mac or Nintendo. It doesn’t work with car stereo either. It’s also good for connecting to your game controllers on PS4 or XboxOne S and other BLE devices.
Like other adapters, Avantree also reminds using this to connect to Bose speakers or headsets as they might recognize the device as a BLE and refuses to pair. Do this once more time and it should be able to pair properly. Game controllers also require special drivers to work.
The adapter comes with a 2-year warranty and FAQs for your quick support.
4. TECHKEY Bluetooth Adapter for PC USB Bluetooth Dongle 4.0
TechKey Bluetooth adapter provides Bluetooth 4.0 connection that is additionally strengthened with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) and gives it up to 3 Mbps transfer speed. Those of you who are not fairly familiar with Bluetooth transfer rate might not realize this, but they are remotely slow to date. The up in transfer rate gives this adapter another notable function. It’s also a BLE type of adapter.
TechKey’s Bluetooth adapter is designed as a miniature dongle which makes it safe to remain plugged in on your laptop even when not used.
TechKey brags that their adapter can work even at the range of 60 meters in open area, but generally suggests 10m range considering interference that may exist indoor.
The USB also automatically installs the right drivers for Windows 8 and 10 users, giving it the plug-and-play feature for selected Windows versions. But you will be required to install the right drivers for it to work on Windows 7, XP, Vista, and Raspberry Pi. Linux’s Ubuntu is able to recognize the adapter immediately.
It won’t work with car stereos, TVs, or Macs and the Monoprice 8323 headset.
It works with multiple devices of up to 7 at once, but note that you can’t use it for multiple headsets/speakers at once.
5. Avantree Leaf Long Range USB Bluetooth Audio Transmitter Adapter
If most of the mini Bluetooth adapters you’ve seen so far works with mostly Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 and manages decent file transfer, this long-range USB Bluetooth adapter is different. Avantree Leaf Long Range USB Bluetooth features the size of a normal USB dongle. And it’s going to be pretty clear soon why they set up a larger size USB.
This USB is designed for gamers; it can handle both music and mic at the same time. Thanks to the aptX Low Latency technology (as low as 40ms generally), users won’t experience any kind of delay during their gaming. It’s worth noting that this is only possible when paired with their own Avantree over-the-ear headphones that come with Fast Stream (FS) technology.
However, you can also for headphones that support FS technology even if it’s not Avantree. This will allow you to stream for music even on Talk mode.
It is also compatible with PCs, Nintendo Switch, Mac and PS4, so most gamers will be able to use this. And most gamers aren’t necessarily tech savvy – this adapter doesn’t need additional drivers to work. It’s plug-and-play with the Leaf adapter.
Assuming that your gaming area doesn’t have too many interference, this Bluetooth adapter has the range of 20m or about 60ft in the open air. It might have the range of like most adapters, which is 10m or about 30ft wide.
This Bluetooth doesn’t work on TVs, car stereo, and wired speakers and is not a BLE. That also means it won’t work to connect your wireless mouse and keyboards.
Does my laptop/PC/notebook come with Bluetooth hardware?
The first thing you need to do is figure out if you have Bluetooth on your computer or notebook. Most smartphones conveniently come with Bluetooth 4.0 or 5.0. Turning them on is also easy and you can send and receive files with just a few clicks. But computers and notebooks are different – they have to be made ready to receive the file and you can’t just ‘swipe’ down the notification bar to find the option.
Here are several ways you can try to find Bluetooth in your PC or notebook:
- Windows 10 user can easily search for the hardware in their settings by typing ‘Bluetooth’ on the search bar. It will automatically pop up for you if you do have it.
- Search for the driver from Control Panel under Hardware and Sound or Devices and Printers. Sometimes, you can also see a Bluetooth icon on your notification panel or bar. Clicking it will allow you to pair, send or receive files with your other Bluetooth gadget.
What are Bluetooth adapters capabilities?
They enable you to connect your computer to mouse, speakers, headsets, keyboards – basically everything that doesn’t need wires. You might have heard of Bluetooth speakers and headsets. Those are examples of gadgets that work with Bluetooth connection.
It also allows you to send and receive files from your smartphones or other gadgets wirelessly, but at a slower speed (if you compare this to Wi-Fi). On a computer, you have to enable your hardware and put it at the receiving end before sending files to your computer.
Bluetooth hardware can only have one connection at a time, so if it’s receiving files from your phone, for example, you can’t set it up to connect to your keyboard at the same time. At least this is the case for most of them.
Some people think Bluetooth is inferior to Wi-Fi in terms of latency and upload speed, but there are several reasons Bluetooth adapters remain popular. First off, it’s affordable and does not require an Internet connection to work. It’s essentially free to use as long as you have the hardware, unlike the Internet.
Secondly, good adapters have low latency, making the controls of your mouse and typing of your keyboard seamless. You can also listen to music just as how you would with wired ones.
Thirdly, it’s a world’s standard for wireless gadgets and short-ranged file transfer. It’s hard to find someone carrying a smartphone that doesn’t come with Bluetooth. There are also no other wireless methods companies generally work with to manufacture their wireless mouse or keyboard, for example. It’s the one-fits-all solution for those gadgets, which makes it affordable.
Except for the recent Huawei ban that just recently got in effect which might mean new Huawei smartphones after August 2019 will not have Bluetooth anymore!
Bluetooth Adapter 4.0 vs 5.0: Which one is better?
Bluetooth 5.0 was released since 2016 and has been used in several gadgets, such as smartphones and laptops. There are several improvements made to the 5.0 compared to 4.0, but most of them are considered incremental improvements.
Faster. Bluetooth 5.0 boasts twice the transfer speed of 4.0 which only transferred at max, 2.1 Mbps. Meanwhile, 5.0 was released proudly with a transfer speed of 5 Mbps. That said, you can rarely achieve the max transfer rate of Bluetooth anywhere with so many interferences at play, such as your Wi-fi, mobile data, other Bluetooth connections, etc.
Wider. Bluetooth 4.0 maximum range is 60ft or about 20m. Even so, in a real-world situation, you won’t ever be able to use your Bluetooth device if you’re standing 20m away from your partner. There are interferences factors at play, the same reason why speed varies depending on your device and location. The closer you are, the better is your speed and further you get, the slower is the transfer speed.
It’s also possible to connect with other Bluetooth 5.0-supported devices on this range, but it’s not possible to immediately harness the high-speed feature it comes with. Both sides must agree on operating at max speed to ensure that your Bluetooth can also connect with other BLE devices.
Uses less power to operate. The new Bluetooth 5.0 doesn’t use as much power as 4.0 versions did. Instead, they worked on increasing the clarity and accuracy of the signals, enabling the receiver to easily distinguish different waves and transfer at a more stable rate.
It is backward compatible, but not the other way around. Bluetooth 5.0 works well with previous generations of Bluetooth, such as 4.0, 4.1 and 4.2. But note that between two devices with different Bluetooth versions, the speed depends on the oldest version used between the two.
Enhances other BLE devices. Bluetooth 5.0 was also marketed as improving its coexistence with other wireless connections, the BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices. The improvements made help prevent the clash between connections over the same line of radio-frequency (RF). It solidifies the strength of each Bluetooth connection to ensure a more stable connection and improves latency speed.
There weren’t any major improvements with the 5.0, as you can see, compared to its previous 4.0. Unless you always ensure that your notebooks, smartphones, headphones, printers, etc. are always utilizing the latest Bluetooth technology, 5.0 is not something you’d want all the time.
Here’s why Bluetooth adapter 4.0 is better
- Most devices are on Bluetooth 4.0. Purchasing an adapter that provides 5.0 version won’t be beneficial to you anytime soon. There is also the fact that 5.0 only comes with incremental improvements from 4.0 – better speed, wider range, less energy. That said, you won’t be needing your Bluetooth adapter to work at 10m far for your keyboard, mouse or game controllers.
- Bluetooth 5 focuses on the range. The biggest weakness with Bluetooth was its range that can only last up to 10m far. Bluetooth 5.0 doubled that up, making it possible to transfer your files from across a big office room to your friend, for example. But if you are looking to use this for your mouse, keyboard, headphone or speaker, it’s very likely that you’d want to stay close to get the best latency for it.
- BLE-compatible. Both versions are BLE compatible, so 4.0 is actually enough to work with your printers and other gadgets, depending on the drivers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. Why won’t my Bluetooth adapter connect to my headphone?
Bose headphones and the Monoprice 8323 are notoriously known to be the enemies of Bluetooth adapters. Most of the times, you need to install special drivers that are usually made available on the manufacturer’s site or in the CD that comes with the adapter. It could also be an issue with your operating systems, such as Windows 7, Linux or Raspberry PI.
Other times, you might be trying to operate two headphones at the same time. The same issue is also found when you are connecting to a wireless headphone and a wireless speaker at the same time. The only one will work unless you are using Avantree’s Fast Stream technology that lets you speak and listen to sound/music at the same time.
Q2. Why won’t my Bluetooth adapter connect to my TV, car stereo system, or Xbox?
For your adapter to work, your device must have the drivers to operate them. Most TVs, car stereos, etc. that won’t work don’t come with the drivers that allow them to work. What this means is that you can’t turn these gadgets that were not built with Bluetooth capability in them to become Bluetooth-enabled with the adapters.
Most adapters work with Xbox One S controller that came with Win 10 Anniversary version PC installation only.
And if you are wondering whether there are adapters that will add Bluetooth connection to your speakers or TVs, yes, there are adapters meant for those purposes. But they won’t work if you simply plug in a dongle on your TV –you need an adapter that connects to the 3 or 3.5 mm jack audio output.
Q3. What is BLE and how does that impact my choice of Bluetooth adapter?
BLE was marketed as Bluetooth Smart thanks to its less-consuming energy, short, but the useful connection is done at just a few ms. The reason for this very short connection to be useful is the high transfer rate that happens during it. This ‘instant’ delivery is useful for many IoT (Internet of things) applications such as wireless printers, blood pressure monitors or public transportation apps.
Not every Bluetooth adapter of 4.0 supports BLE, so it’s worth noting to always check if the adapter supports that if you want to use it for portable printers, for example. This is a very useful feature that doesn’t consume as much battery life but gets the work done at a faster rate.
Q4. Why won’t my Bluetooth adapter connect to my headset and speaker at the same time?
Bluetooth adapters can typically connect to multiple devices at once, dividing the transfer rate equally between those devices. But there are probably times when you notice that it won’t work. That’s right, typical USB Bluetooth 4.0 adapter cannot connect to two headsets at once or to a headset and a speaker at the same time.
Q5. My Bluetooth headset sounds terrible! What can I do?
It’s not your adapter or the headset’s fault. It’s only that you haven’t used the right settings for it.
Get into your Sounds setting, under the playback tab, and choose the Stereo mode. The hands-free mode is meant for telephone quality which, as you can guess, is not a good way to listen to good music. The hands-free mode is meant for two-way communications while Stereo ensures that the sound is transmitted in high-quality condition to your headset.89
Bluetooth adapters are affordable USBs that allow you to connect your Bluetooth-equipped gadgets with your PCs, laptops, PS4s or Xbox. But Bluetooth adapters are different from one another and they are not one-stop-for-all your Bluetooth needs. Not everything can be Bluetooth enabled with your adapter.
Most adapters are also designed as miniature dongles – they are safer, this way, to remain plugged in and be carried around. Some adapters are bigger and are meant to be noticeable (we tend to lose that one small thing). They are also meant for different things and most importantly, might not work on certain gadgets. If you want to connect to your Bose speaker, headset, the Monoprice 8323, or uses operating systems other than Windows or uses Windows 7, you will probably need to install the driver.
Only Windows 8 and native Windows 10 can automatically install the right driver, which is why some adapters come with the plug-and-play feature. And if you want to make sure that you get the right adapter to get the work done, you’ve come to the right place for 5 best Bluetooth adapter for pc to choose from and how they are different from one another.