The Best Bluetooth Car Kits

Table of Contents

What if we told you that you can get one of the most convenient and useful creature comforts available on new cars without having to actually buy a new car? Bluetooth technology is a godsend for drivers who love music, talking to their friends and loved ones, or even using voice-guided navigation. You can get it on every new car on the market, but if you have an older vehicle you might be missing out.

You could buy a new car, or you could go to an automotive installer and have a newer, more modern Bluetooth-enabled audio head unit installed. Both options are expensive. A Bluetooth car kit will set you back less than the price of half a tank of gas, and give you access to your phone’s features without having to touch it in any way.

The best Bluetooth car kits offer convenience and enhance safety. Some even charge your phone on the go. There are many types. Some connect to your stereo via an FM transmitter or the AUX cable, others are standalone units that mount on your sun visor or dashboard. Some even use the CD or cassette deck to bring Bluetooth tech to your more vintage ride.

Using your phone while driving is both dangerous and illegal, but these Bluetooth car kits give you legal, hands-free access to your music and telephone calls while you’re on the road. These options make voice-activated, hands-free communication simple. Remember, never use a handheld mobile device while driving, and always pay attention to your surroundings. Read on for our favourite car kits.

1. Editor’s Pick: Aigital 1.77 inch EQ screen and Bluetooth 5.0 FM Transmitter

ProsCons
  • Cool factor
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Screen might be distracting
  • Only accepts one phone at a time

Key Specs

Connection: FM
Mounting Location: DC outlet
Cable Length: N/A
Bluetooth Version: 5.0

See Price

This offering from Aigital is one of the coolest Bluetooth receivers we've seen, for a number of reasons.

The super-cool 1.77-inch touchscreen is guaranteed to entertain kids and easily amused friends alike with its colourful EQ display. It shows the song name, incoming call number, message icons, and FM channel as well as the vibrant EQ dance. The unit even monitors your car’s battery voltage.

It plugs into your car’s DC outlet and broadcasts the signal from your phone to the car audio system via FM. The unit offers three charging outlets, including one 2.4Am, one QC3.0 quick charging port. You can play a USB stick through the port as well as Bluetooth music from your phone. It will even accept inputs from a Micro USB card or an aux cable from an MP3 player like an Ipod. It is Siri-compatible for Iphone users.

The coolest part, apart from the visual presence, is the seven modes of audio EQ and the high-fidelity sound output. I also like the analogue volume dial that makes it easy to quickly and easily turn your favourite song up or turn your least-favourite caller down.

2. Best Compact: MaedHawk Upgraded Bluetooth 5.0 Receiver

ProsCons
  • Compact
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Needs to be charged

Key Specs

Connection: Aux
Mounting Location: Aux
Cable Length: N/A
Bluetooth Version: 5.0

See Price

MaedHawk’s diminutive 3.5mm auxiliary jack dongle provides compact, plug-and-play Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity for your car and home audio devices. This clever little adapter features a 180-degree rotating jack that can connect to any AUX-equipped stereo in your car or at home, transforming it to a wireless setup instantly.

The built-in microphone is powerful and clear, but you are limited by the location of your AUX jack. If your car’s input is buried inside the centre console, the microphone will be less effective.

Phone connection is via the latest Bluetooth 5.0 language, and you can connect up to two phones. The device offers up to eight hours of playback through its rechargeable battery, and you can charge while driving via a USB cable.

The MaedHawk is constructed of robust aluminium so it will take a beating, and still provide excellent sound quality. On that front, you get onboard noise-reduction software, and high-fidelity “better than CD” audio playback. If you’re using this plug-in at the cottage or campsite, you have up to 30 metres (100 ft) of wireless range.

3. Best Visor Clip: NetVIP Wireless Sun Visor Audio Receiver Adapter

ProsCons
  • Convenient mounting
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Doesn’t connect to car audio system

Key Specs

Connection: Standalone
Mounting Location: Visor
Cable Length: N/A
Bluetooth Version: 4.1

See Price

NetVIP offers a self-contained audio receiver and player that you can mount on your sun visor for great microphone placement and out-of-site convenience. This adaptor also features an innovative auto-on system that uses a motion sensor to detect your car door opening, and then turns on.

This is a great system if your car stereo doesn’t work, as it’s a full-on standalone system. It will play music, but the sound quality won’t be anywhere near as good as a dedicated car audio system. On the plus side, you can have quiet conversations through the built-in speaker or microphone, without broadcasting the call through the entire car. If you do use your car stereo, you’ll have to mute it manually before answering calls on this device.

The self-contained unit is battery powered and offers up to two months’ worth of stand-by time and 22 hours of talking/music playing. It charges in two to three hours via the supplied USB cable, but you’ll need to uninstall it from your visor when doing so. Otherwise, you’ll have a cable in your field of vision and potentially interfering with your steering wheel.

The key benefit of a visor clip is that it puts the microphone directly in front of you, which is where most OEM microphones are placed in newer cars. That gives the listener a crystal-clear transmission of your voice, so you don’t have to yell into the mic.

4. Best Wireless: VicTsing FM Transmitter for Car Bluetooth 5.0

ProsCons
  • Convenient mounting
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Doesn’t connect to car audio system

Key Specs

Connection: FM
Mounting Location: DC outlet
Cable Length: N/A
Bluetooth Version: 4.1

See Price

VicTsing’s FM transmitter is a genuine wireless solution that offers a full range of features in one compact, funky, and clever Bluetooth device. This 5.0 Bluetooth adaptor has two USB ports, one of which is QC3.0 quick-charging USB power outlet to charge your phone. You can also play music from a USB stick through the adaptor.

The unit itself plugs directly into your 12V DC cigarette-lighter outlet, where it sits ready to automatically sync with your phone when the ignition is turned on. It features voltage detection and the VicTsing claims it will stop drawing power when the car battery is too low, so you could connect it to your “always-on” 12V outlet and leave it there. We advocate removing it when not in use though, as it still might drain your battery.

It connects to your car stereo via FM, and for best results you should use a low frequency channel far away from commercial broadcast ranges. Somewhere in the 85-90 FM range is usually the best. The audio quality from this unit is superb, but like all compact units with built in microphones the location of your DC outlet will impact how well it picks up your voice. Users are generally impressed by the lack of interference in the signal from the VicTsing transmitter compared to other FM devices.

We also appreciate the cool blue LED ring that shows you that a phone is connected, and the one-press usability for call and music management. This device is also Siri-compatible if have an iPhone.

5. Best Value: Hudiemm0B Aux Dongle

ProsCons
  • Convenient mounting
  • Excellent audio quality
  • Doesn’t connect to car audio system

Key Specs

Connection: Aux
Mounting Location: Aux
Cable Length: N/A
Bluetooth Version: 3.0

See Price

HudieMMOB offers a Bluetooth adaptor for your car that costs less than a pumpkin spice latte from your favourite coffee shop. It’s a simple unit that uses older Bluetooth 3.0 tech to stream calls and music into your car’s auxiliary input through a rotating 3.5mm jack.

Bluetooth 3.0 is older tech, but if you have an older phone it will still pair well. The connection to your car is secure because aux inputs are hardwired.

This compact unit has an onboard lithium-ion battery that is rechargeable via USB, and you can still use the device while it’s charging. It also has a built-in mic which is okay as long as your aux jack is somewhere near the driver and not concealed inside a console.

We like this unit for its value proposition and see it as a stopgap while you wait to upgrade either your car or your stereo system. It will suffice for phone call duties in your winter beater as long as your phone is compatible with the older Bluetooth format.

Bluetooth Car Kit FAQs

Do I Need Bluetooth in my Car to Use a Bluetooth Car Kit?

No, a Bluetooth car kit brings hands-free tech to your non-Bluetooth-enabled car.

How do Bluetooth Car Kits Work?

Bluetooth car kits offer hands-free functionality by streaming your calls, music of navigation to a speaker. That speaker could be part of your car’s audio system, or part of the Bluetooth receiver itself.

There are a few ways audio makes it from your phone and into a speaker:

  • Phone >> Bluetooth receiver >> Built-in speaker
  • Phone >> Bluetooth receiver >> Aux cable >> Car stereo speaker
  • Phone >> Bluetooth receiver >> FM signal >> Car stereo speaker

Your voice is transmitted into the phone for Siri, Android, or for your telephone calls either by your telephone’s onboard mic or an inbuilt mic in the Bluetooth device itself.

What are the Alternatives to Bluetooth Car Kits?

You can add hands-free tech to your vehicle by installing an aftermarket audio head unit with Bluetooth capability. This is a more expensive route that requires you to either have the unit installed by a professional, or to install the unit yourself. Bluetooth car kits require no wiring or installation. They are plug-and-play systems that anyone can use.

Are Bluetooth Car Kits Legal?

Using your hand-held device while driving is illegal. Voice-activated systems and hands-free call answering is legal in most provinces. Always check with your local law enforcement, and always pay attention to the road while driving.

RedFlagDeals.com is reader-supported. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and other similar affiliate advertising programs. These programs are designed to provide a way for sites to earn advertising fees by linking to them. This means that RedFlagDeals.com will sometimes get a small commission if you make a purchase through our links.