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Best Bluetooth Adapter for PC Reviewed with Buyer’s Guide

Bluetooth is an essential wireless connectivity option for almost all electronic devices in modern times, but even so you won’t find it as commonly as you should. A Bluetooth adapter can go a long way in solving that problem, especially with PCs that often do not come with Bluetooth on board.

A Bluetooth adapter allows you to connect a plethora of devices wirelessly, and with newer Bluetooth versions emerging you may need if your computer has an outdated version.

Best Bluetooth Adapter for PC

You don’t need to spend a ton to add Bluetooth compatibility to your computer. Bluetooth adapters are ubiquitously available and will only cost you a $6-12 dollars depending on the brand and its offering.

Unfortunately, there are hundreds of Bluetooth dongles available for purchase, which can lead to choice-paralysis for the buyer. We’ve handpicked the 6 best Bluetooth adapters for PCs out there for your convenience and reviewed them.

Our Top Pick

Our Top Pick

Avantree Bluetooth USB Dongle

Simple and Effective

The Avantree Bluetooth USB Dongle is a Bluetooth adapter with a micro adapter design that is further refined to be ergonomic and less intrusive. This dongle has fast installation and good speeds, and comes with an 2-year warranty.

Great performance and a small design make the Avantree USB Bluetooth adapter our favorite of the lot for Windows PCs.

Best for Audio Streaming

Best for Audio Streaming

Avantree Leaf Long Range

Incredible Speed and Range

The Avantree Leaf is the best Bluetooth adapter for connecting audio devices. You can’t connect other peripheral Bluetooth devices to this dongle, but it works exceptionally well with all operating systems as well as consoles for high-quality streaming. It comes with an extended range of 20 meters (60 feet) as well.

If you’re looking for a Bluetooth adapter for your wireless headphones or Bluetooth speakers, there isn’t any adapter that can compete with the Avantree Leaf.

Avantree Bluetooth USB Dongle

Avantree

The Avantree Bluetooth dongle is one of the most popular Bluetooth adapters on Amazon with thousands of reviews. This is because of the device’s power-efficient and high-speed technology that comes in simple micro adapter design.

The design of this tiny dongle is curved to give in an even smaller footprint that most square-shaped micro adapters. As a result, you won’t be poked by it if you ever run your hand across the ports of your desktop computer or laptop.

Installation takes just a second, and the driver comes on an included CD that can configure the adapter in just a few minutes. The driver however is completely optional. The device comes in two models, both performing the same way, but the more expensive model has compatibility with older Windows operating systems.

Avantree’s Bluetooth dongle comes with a standard range of 10 meters or 33 feet. It offers 2 years warranty which is a year more than what most companies provide.

Pros

  • Good speed
  • 24-month warranty
  • Easy installation
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Lacks compatibility with other operating systems

Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter

plugable

Plugable’s USB Bluetooth adapter is designed to be simple in use and have a minimal footprint. It takes use of the modern ultra-small micro adapter design so you forget it’s even there once you’ve plugged it in.

What makes Plugable’s Bluetooth adapter stand out is its compatibility with various operating systems. This Bluetooth dongle has plug-and-play capability with Windows 10, Linux, and Raspberry Pi. However, it does not work with Mac.

You can connect a multitude of different devices with this adapter such as keyboards, mice, headsets, webcams, controllers, and more. The wireless range offered by it is approximately 10 meters or 33 feet, which is the standard in the industry.

Plugable USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter comes with a 12 month warranty period. Plugable is known for providing great customer service, so you know you’re in safe hands.

Pros

  • Good compatibility
  • Energy efficient operation
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Speed could be faster

Kinivo BTD-400 Bluetooth USB Adapter

Kinivo

Kinivo BTD-400 offers low energy Bluetooth 4.0 with its dongle that works across Windows 10 and all other Windows platforms alongside Raspberry Pi and Linux. It is capable of supporting 32 bit as well as 64 bit operating systems, including the Mac 2011 OS.

With over 6,000 reviews and an Amazon’s Choice tag, this is one of the most popular Bluetooth adapters out there. It can easily be connected with almost all Bluetooth devices such as headphones, headsets, printers, controllers, mobile phones, and more.

The design is similar to the Plugable Bluetooth USB dongle, though the ridge is more defined for easier insertion and removal. It also supports BLE Technology and all Bluetooth connections up to 4.0 Class 2. It offers 24 months warranty which is more than what you’ll get with most Bluetooth dongles and comes with the standard 10 meters or 33 feet range.

Pros

  • Great compatibility
  • 24-month warranty
  • Compact design

Cons

  • Long installation

ASUS USB Adapter with Bluetooth

The ASUS Bluetooth PC adapter is dedicated to Windows 10. ASUS is a giant in computer hardware technology, so its not surprise their Bluetooth adapter makes it in our top 6 list. With backward compatibility like most Bluetooth dongles, this adapter by ASUS supports Bluetooth 2.0/2.1/3.0/4.0.

The adapter is dedicated for use with Windows 10, but it can also be used on older Windows device. It does not however come with Linux, Mac, or Raspberry Pi compatibility.

Like other Bluetooth adapters, the ASUS variant can connect with a variety of devices such as keyboards, headphones, controllers, printers, and more. It features the standard operational range of 10 meters or 33 feet. The product comes with a 2 year warranty and has an easy plug and play setup.

Pros

  • 24-month warranty
  • Compact design
  • Easy installation

Cons

  • Only compatible with Windows

Zexmte Bluetooth USB Adapter CSR 4.0

Zexmte

Zexmte brings a lot of the same to the table as the above devices but slaps a very reasonable price tag on its CSR 4.0 Bluetooth adapter. If you’re still using Windows XP for some strange reason, the Zexmte has you covered as it has support for all Windows version dating back to XP.

The Zexmte uses low energy Bluetooth (BLE) technology that takes little to no battery from your laptop and minimal power from your desktop computer’s PSU. It comes in the signature micro adapter design, but with better ergonomics in mind as indicated by the cutaways for your fingers.

Requiring no drivers, the Zexmte is a plug and play device for all Windows operating systems. If you do have trouble installing it though, there are drivers that comes with the device on a CD. It does not however work with Mac and Linux systems.

The device comes at a standard range of 10 meters or 33 feet, though the actual range is lower than other Bluetooth dongles when tested in the same surroundings.

The price of the Zexmte and its life-time warranty are the two most attractive factors of this Bluetooth Adapter.

Pros

  • Supports all Windows operating systems
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Compact design
  • Easy installation
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Range is smaller than advertised

Avantree Leaf Long Range

AvantreeLeaf

If you’re looking for a Bluetooth adapter for audio, there isn’t anything that can beat the Avantree Leaf. Unfortunately, this Bluetooth adapter doesn’t support input devices like controllers, printers, mice, keyboards etcetera, which makes it quite limited in its applicability.

However, those looking to buy the best Bluetooth dongle for audio won’t find a better product, especially as a Bluetooth headphone adapter.

The dongle supports just about every OS out there and is also compatible with PS4 and Xbox One S for streaming audio. It has a very easy installation that requires no drivers.

What makes this a truly unparalleled audio Bluetooth adapter though is its impressive specs and features. It features aptX Low Latency technology that greatly reduces latency between video and audio to an indiscernible amount. It also has the longest range of any Bluetooth dongle at 20 meters or 60 feet – twice as much as what others offer.

This Avantree Bluetooth adapter also uses more powerful Bluetooth 4.1 instead of regular 4.0. It also comes with a 24 month warranty.

Pros

  • Best adapter for audio streaming
  • 24-month warranty
  • Great range
  • Fast performance
  • Compatible with an array of devices

Cons

  • Can only connect with audio devices
  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide

    Compatibility of a Bluetooth adapter should be the main feature you’ll want to look at. You shouldn’t go for a Bluetooth adapter that doesn’t support all your devices. This goes for the operating system as well as the devices you will be connecting to it.

    Almost all Bluetooth dongles are compatible with Windows 10. Quite a few of these dongles are also compatible with older versions of Windows. However, you’ll get less compatibility with Linux or Mac OS.

    If you are using multiple operating systems in the same PC or across different PCs, you should look to get an adapter that has support for all of them.

    Additionally, you also want to look at what peripherals can connect with the adapter. If you’re only looking to connect your wireless Bluetooth headsets, you’ll want the Avantree Leaf because it offers lower latency with compatible audio headphones and can run across all major platforms and videogame consoles.

    If you are looking to connect basic peripherals like mice, keyboards, printers, and mobile phones, opt for a more conventional micro Bluetooth USB adapter instead.

    In the current technological era, any Bluetooth adapter that offers anything below Bluetooth 4.0 should be discarded. Obsolete versions are not only slow but lack range as well. With a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter you’ll be able to connect the latest devices.

    Moreover, Bluetooth 4.0 is backward compatible, so you don’t have to worry if you’re connecting a device with an older Bluetooth chipset. Bluetooth 4.0 also consumes less energy which is crucial for laptops.

    The transmission distance is also important in your purchase decision, though it is usually a more consistent feature than others. The distance primarily depends on the version as well as the class of the Bluetooth adapter. Class 1 adapters can transmit data all the way up to 330 feet. Class 2 dongles only work in a range of 33-60 feet.

    For the average consumer, a class 2 device is sufficient. Make sure your Bluetooth adapter is within 20 feet of the device you’re connecting it to as other factors can reduce the maximum operating range of a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter.

    Why is my Bluetooth device not working within the advertised range of the dongle?

    The advertised range of a Bluetooth device is its maximum possible range with minimal interface. Metallic devices and other signals falling within the Bluetooth 4.0 frequencies will interfere with the adapter and can significantly reduce range.

    It is advised that you use your Bluetooth device within 20 feet of the adapter if the advertised range is 33 feet.

    What is the difference between Class 1 or Class 2 Bluetooth adapters?

    Class 1 adapters are industrial grade devices that require Bluetooth connectivity at longer distances and more speed. Class 2 adapters are for average consumers. All Bluetooth adapters listed in this article are Class 2.

    What do I do when my Bluetooth device can’t be installed on my computer?

    Almost all Bluetooth adapters come with a drivers CD that can be used to manually install the dongle in case your computer doesn’t recognize the device by itself. However, make sure your device is compatible with the operating system you are using before purchase.

    What is the fastest data rate available on Bluetooth devices?

    The fastest transfer rate via Bluetooth 4.0 is 25 Mbps. However, because of the low energy function of Bluetooth adapters, very few will reach that transfer speed.

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