7 Best Bluetooth Audio Adapters for Cars in 2017

Bluetooth actually has nothing to do with teeth. It’s a wireless technology standard for exchanging data over short distances using short-wavelength UHF radio waves.

So, what’s the story behind the name? The original standard was developed by telecom vendor Ericsson in 1994 as a wireless alternative to rs-232 data cables. It didn’t receive the name “Bluetooth” until 1997 when Jim Karthik, who developed a communication system between mobile phones and computers, proposed it while reading The Long Ships, by Frans Gunnar Bengtsson—a historical novel about Vikings and the Scandinavian King Harald Bluetooth. Legend has it that he united the Danish tribes of that period into a single unified nation, much like what the introduction of the Bluetooth standard did for communication protocols.

What does Bluetooth do?

Simply put, it facilitates communication between two to eight devices where there is one master device and up to seven slave devices. While it was only intended to replace serial cables, it can do so much more. You can wirelessly control and communicate between a mobile phone or tablet and a hands-free headset, car audio system, speaker system, or intercoms. You can network with a PC to transfer files or control printers and computer peripherals, barcode scanners or traffic control devices, and even replace infrared scanning in some cases. And that list is not exhausted by any means.

How does Bluetooth work?

There are two main components. At the physical level, it works like any other radio-frequency standard with antennas that can broadcast and receive signals in the appropriate bands. But at the protocol level, things are a little bit different. To achieve a robust enough connection for communication and  use, even in environments with massive interference, Bluetooth communicates with very short transmission bursts and then quickly does micro hops around to the various frequencies within its range. It allows more than one device to transmit on the same frequency at the same time. But constant transmission of data means higher power consumption, and for years, most Bluetooth devices suffered from short battery life that pained users and made the standard not practical for many applications.

Bluetooth smart arrives

A few years ago, Bluetooth 4.0—or Bluetooth Smart—arrived on the scene. It’s basically the power-efficient version of Bluetooth that has enabled amazing stuff like devices with one to two years of battery life on a single button cell. However, one issue with Bluetooth smart accessories is that they can only be used with Bluetooth Smart-ready primary devices—smartphones, notebooks, and tablets. This is a qualification given to phones that are by definition compatible with Bluetooth Smart accessories, meaning that there is no backward compatibility between phones with older versions of Bluetooth and devices that are equipped with Bluetooth Smart.

Bluetooth Smart-ready primary devices, on the other hand, are backward compatible with accessories that run older versions of Bluetooth.

One other cool Bluetooth 4.0 fact is that range is no longer locked down, so while manufacturers can opt to optimize for more traditional 10 meter or 30-metre ranges, it’s possible for devices to work at 60 meters or beyond.

To sum it up, Bluetooth is a low-speed, interference-resistant communication protocol that allows devices to transfer data across multiple platforms at short range with excellent efficiency.

Using Bluetooth in your vehicle

The main advantage of having access to Bluetooth in your car is that you can pair your radio system with your cell phone to be able to hear the caller’s voice thru the radio speakers, see caller info on the display, and stream audio or music from the phone.

Most importantly, it lets you focus on driving without taking your eyes off the road.

There are three ways to use a Bluetooth device in your car:

  • Universal Bluetooth kits which can work in almost any vehicle
  • Model-specific adapters that connect to the car’s factory radio
  • Installing a new radio that has Bluetooth capability

Of course, using a universal adapter will always be the easiest way to do this.

This is a review of the best Bluetooth audio adapters for cars. Check them out and pick your favorite.

Top 7 Best Bluetooth Audio Adapters for Cars in 2017

RankProductOur RatingPrice
1Mpow Bluetooth Receiver4.7 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
2Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver Audio Adapter4.5 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
3 FM Transmitter, Otium Bluetooth Wireless Radio Adapter4.3 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
4TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit4.2 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
5Bluetooth Receiver, Otium Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Stereo Adapter4.0 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
6Enegg Wireless Bluetooth Car Stereo Audio Adapter/Receiver3.8 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE
7Amoner Bluetooth 4 .1 Receiver3.5 StarsCLICK FOR BEST PRICE

1. Mpow Bluetooth Receiver

Mpow Bluetooth Receiver

This is a little gadget that offers great functionality. Included with the receiver you get an audio cable, an audio adapter, and a USB charging adapter. This lets you use it with many devices, be it a car audio system, a home radio, or even your headphones.

Going on a long trip? No problem. The battery on this receiver will last up to 10 hours. It is Bluetooth 4.0-compatible, so you get clear sound transmission with less music lag.   It weighs 1.28 ounces and measures 4.5” x 2.4” x 2”, so be careful where you leave it because it can be hard to find.

Using the receiver is as easy as following three steps:

  • Connect it to your audio system via the 3.5 m audio cable or adapter
  • Pair it to your phone
  • That’s it! Enjoy your music. Couldn’t be easier

The device can also be used to answer phone calls. Accept a call by pressing the multifunction button and then swipe the “answer call” icon on your phone. Press the multifunction button again to end the call.

Pros

  • 45-day money back & 18-month worry-free guarantee
  • Plug any headphones into it and make them Bluetooth compatible
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Slight loss of audio fidelity.Music will be a little quieter and will lose some bass.

 

2. Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver Audio Adapter

Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Receiver Audio Adapter

This adapter can give you wireless freedom for up to 30 feet, so you can worry less about wires and control your devices with Bluetooth instead. One advantage is that it is also compatible with NFC devices, although it is possible to use it via A/V, RCA, or a 3.5mm cable.

It has a long-lasting battery; a charge can last up to 10 hours; and it recharges in less than 2 hours. A circular LED will let you know when the adapter is correctly paired to your device. If it’s blue, you’re ready to go.

It weighs 9 oz.  and measures 1.88” x 1.88” x 0.94.”

Pros

  • NFC compatibility makes pairing to a device almost instantaneous
  • Small and lightweight, easy to carry around
  • Provides clear sound

Cons

Sometimes it goes into standby mode and you need to pair it again

 

3. FM Transmitter, Otium Bluetooth Wireless Radio Adapter

FM Transmitter, Otium Bluetooth Wireless Radio Adapter

This device plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter. One great feature is that once you turn it on, the display shows you the voltage of the car’s battery. The LCD also shows the name of the song that is playing, caller ID, FM channel, and volume.

The adapter is manufactured to include CVC technology. This means that noise and wind are suppressed, so you get full duplex sound quality. It is compatible with T-Flash memory cards to play music files in WMA or MP3 format.

When the adapter is plugged into the car, you can use it as a charger. It has an output of 5V/2.1A, enough to charge many cell phones and tablets.

With a built-in mic, using it to answer calls is as easy as can be. The sound is transmitted via FM to your car’s radio.

Pros

  • Very nice design; looks great in any car
  • Great solution for older vehicles with no AUX input
  • Clear sound, powerful with lots of bass.

Cons

If you’re a smoker, you will probably miss being able to use the cigarette lighter of your car.

 

 

4. TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit

TaoTronics Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit

This kit consists of the receiver and a 3.5 audio cable. It is compatible with Bluetooth 4.0 and has a range of up to 33’. The rechargeable battery will take a couple of hours to be fully charged, and provides 7 hours of usage. The receiver’s internal circuit is designed to prevent battery overcharging so you can charge it and use it at the same time.

One advantage is that the receiver can simultaneously be paired to two devices. Only one can play music through the receiver, but if you need to switch between them you can pause one device and click play on the other.

When you receive a call, any music will be automatically paused and will resume as soon as the call is ended. If there is no Bluetooth connection for 8 minutes, the receiver will automatically power off.

Pros

  • Buttons to control volume, play or pause music and skip tracks
  • If you are an Apple device user you can activate Siri just by pushing a button
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calling

Cons

Lower battery life than similar receiver

 

 

5. Bluetooth Receiver, Otium Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Stereo Adapter

Bluetooth Receiver, Otium Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Stereo Adapter

Offering Bluetooth 4.1 compatibility, this receiver has a range of up to 30’ and a battery that lasts 8 hours. Its buttons let you power on and off the unit, control the volume and move to the next and previous songs.  A 3.5mm metal audio adapter is included to connect to your car’s radio.

To answer and end a phone call, all that is required is to push a button. You can also reject a call if you keep the button pressed.

It allows two phones to be paired. You can answer phone calls on both of them just by pressing a button to switch between them.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable, measures just 0.98” x 1.92” x 0.45”
  • 1 Bluetooth compatible. This means clearer sound transmission and a better music experience
  • The instructions manual is clear and easy to understand

Cons

  • Make sure to point the mic at you or your caller will have trouble hearing you

 

6. Enegg Wireless Bluetooth Car Stereo Audio Adapter/Receiver

Enegg Wireless Bluetooth Car Stereo Audio Adapter/Receiver

The Enegg adapter Supports Bluetooth V3.0+EDR and has a LED indicator and a built-in microphone that offers a noise-cancelling feature. The operating range is up to 20 meters and you can answer calls and redial numbers.

A 3.5mm plug lets you use it on your car stereo system easily; no cables will get in your way. Since it measures 5.3” x 3.7” x 0.8” and weighs 1.6 ounces, it is highly portable and can fit into any purse or pocket. Pairing is easy; you just plug it in, turn it on, and pair your phone by clicking a button.

Pros

  • Quick pairing, easy to use
  • Simple, small and lightweight design
  • The quality of sound is very clear and stable

Cons:

  • Most similar adapters have higher Bluetooth compatibility

 

7. Amoner Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver

Amoner Bluetooth 4 .1 Receiver

The Armoner Bluetooth receiver is a portable wireless stereo adapter which has a built-in microphone. A multifunction button, plus volume adjustment buttons, let you quickly and easily control the device. It has a small LED indicator that will alert you if the battery charge is reaching low levels.

Its compact design makes it easy to tuck away and take it on your travel. It only measures 6” x 3.5“ x 0.8”.

The kit includes a wireless audio receiver, one micro USB cable, one 3.5 mm audio cable, and one 3.5mm audio metal adapter. It is compatible with Bluetooth 4.1 and has a range of up to 30’.

The adapter can simultaneously connect to two Bluetooth devices and receive and make calls while it is charging.

Pros

  • Excellent battery, a charge will last up to 10 hours. Recharging it takes 2 hours
  • Stable connectivity and remarkable signal stability
  • Convenient buttons to answer phone calls or control music using the receiver

Cons

Built in mic is a little weak

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