The Best USB Bluetooth Adapters

Table of Contents

If you love using your electronic devices wirelessly you know how important it is to maintain a strong connection; a USB Bluetooth adapter is a great way to Bluetooth enable your computing device if it wasn’t already built with the right hardware. Whether you’re looking to build a new PC and want an affordable way to Bluetooth enable your computer, or you’re just looking to upgrade your existing Bluetooth connection to 5.0, you’ll find an adapter on this list that will give you the connection that you need. Many of them are quite similar in terms of design and features, but we’ll be sure to outline some of the main differences for you.

Tech terms can be hard to understand if you’re a casual consumer, and throughout our list you might run into some that you don’t know, just know that you’re not alone in this! We’ve put together a little guide at the end of this article where you can learn all about what the different versions of Bluetooth are and what some of the benefits of the newer technology are, and we’ll also go over some key features in a USB Bluetooth adapter that can affect your experience.

1. Editor’s Pick: ASUS USB-BT500 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter

1. Editor’s Pick: ASUS USB-BT500 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter
  • Compatible with many operating systems
  • Easy to set up the drivers
  • Good range capability
  • Small and compact
  • Some users with Windows 10 had issues connecting their devices
  • Can be used by some Mac computers with extra process steps

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 2 MBps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, Linux
Dimensions: 0.71 x 1.5 x 1.75 cm
USB 4.54g

The ASUS USB-BT500 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter is one of our favourites on the market right now because it comes from a reputable brand, it has very quick response times and a wide range of compatibility, and it’s easy to install. Many users also noted that the response time on this unit was quick, which is important if you’re using it to connect controllers for online gaming because that extra speed could snag you the win. We’re also loving how small and unobtrusive this adapter is — you’ll forget it’s even there.

This is one of the only USB adapters that people have been able to use with Mac computers, although you’ll need third party tools to make it happen — should only be attempted by the pros!

2. Runner Up: Avantree DG45 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Dongle

2. Runner Up: Avantree DG45 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Dongle
  • Easy and fast to set up drivers
  • Great for Windows and audio uses
  • Simple to connect computer mice and keyboards
  • Small and compact
  • Good range
  • Only compatible with Windows
  • Not compatible with Xbox One or Nintendo controllers

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 3 MBps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows
Dimensions: 2.29 x 1.26 x 0.54 cm
Weight: 2g

If you’re just looking for a simple adapter to use with a PC computer and various accessories, like a keyboard or headphones, the Avantree DG45 Bluetooth 5.0 USB Dongle is the right choice for you.

Since it’s a Bluetooth 5.0 adapter, you’ll be able to connect multiple devices on the same connection, like dual speakers for the ultimate stereo experience. You’ll also get great range capabilities, provided that you aren’t trying to use your devices though walls or in areas with heavy electronic interference.

Where this adapter falls short is with its compatibility; while it’s great if you’re specifically using Windows computers with a select few Bluetooth devices, you won’t be able to use it with Mac or Linux computers, and it isn’t compatible with some game controllers.

3. Best 4.0 Option: TP-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter for PC

3. Best 4.0 Option: TP-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter for PC
  • Long distance operating range
  • Can connect gaming controllers
  • Plug in and play for easy set up
  • Ultra small design
  • Reliable
  • Not compatible with Mac or Linux computers
  • High latency, not the best for pro gaming

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 480 Mbps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows
Dimensions: 1.88 x 1.47 x 0.69 cm
Weight: 10g

Bluetooth 4.0 is still completely viable and can come at a more affordable price than the others; if you’ve decided 4.0 is for you, consider the TP-Link USB Bluetooth Adapter. This adapter still has many great qualities for being a previous generation technology, like a long-distance range capability (as long as there aren’t too many obstructions), and an easy set up process. You’ll also be able to connect many different Bluetooth enabled devices, like your mouse, keyboard, or headsets.

Although you can connect gaming controllers through this device, some users noted that there is a lot of latency with this adapter, which means that there’s a lag between you pressing the button and whatever action you want to happen in your game. If you’re a pro gamer where every second counts, another adapter like our top pick might be a better choice for you.

4. Best with Wi-Fi: EDUP 600Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 USB Wi-Fi Adapter

4. Best with Wi-Fi: EDUP 600Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 USB Wi-Fi Adapter
  • Gives you both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection capabilities
  • Adjustable antenna
  • Easy to install and set up drivers
  • Good performance for the price
  • Quick speeds
  • Doesn’t work with Linux or mobile devices

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 600 Mbps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows, Mac
Dimensions: 13.6 x 12.2 x 1.7 cm
Weight: 50g

The EDUP 600Mbps Bluetooth 4.2 USB Wi-Fi Adapter is a 2-in-1 gem; you’ll get both a reliable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, which is great for anyone building a PC on a budget and doesn’t want to spend money on both.

The antenna on this model is adjustable, which means you’ll be able to direct it towards your router and increase the reliability of the signal. It’s also an easy process to install the drivers for this unit, so you likely won’t need to fuss around with your PC trying to get the adapter to work properly.

If you’re a Mac user, keep in mind that only the Wi-Fi functionality will work with your operating system — the Bluetooth functionality will not, which is a huge bummer!

5. Best Budget Pick: Techkey Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter Dongle for PC

5. Best Budget Pick: Techkey Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter Dongle for PC
  • Plug in and play, very little set up required
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • Great value for the price
  • Decent range capability
  • Keyhole for increased portability
  • Not compatible with Mac or Linux

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 3MBps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows
Dimensions: 3 x 1.5 x 0.5 cm
Weight: 32g

Although Bluetooth adapters aren’t very costly in general, it never hurts to get the cheapest one possible if you’re on a budget; with the Techkey Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter Dongle you’ll get many of the same benefits as the other models without a larger price tag.

This one doesn’t have as large of a range capability as some of the other options here, but it’s still definitely passable; you’ll be able to maintain your wireless connection for up to 10 meters if there’s no interference. A neat feature that you’ll get with this model is it’s keyhole design; if you need to travel around with your adapter, you can easily attach it to something so it won’t get lost in the process.

6. Also Consider: Mpow Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter

6. Also Consider: Mpow Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter
  • Easy set up and installation
  • Affordable and convenient
  • Reliable
  • Works well with headphones
  • Built in indicator light
  • Not compatible with Macs or TVs
  • Some Linux users had trouble using the adapter

Key Specs

Connector Type: USB
Data Transfer Rate: 3 MBps
Compatible Operating Systems: Windows
Dimensions: 13.69 x 8.51 x 1.4 cm
Weight: 41g

The Mpow Bluetooth 5.0 USB Adapter is one of the most popular adapters on the market right now, and only didn’t secure a higher spot in our ranking because it isn’t as highly compatible as other options. You’ll get many of the same benefits as other Bluetooth 5.0 adapters with this one, and it is also capable of bidirectional transmission, so that you can send files and videos over Bluetooth once you connect your smartphone to your computer through the adapter. It works very well with Windows computers, and many users were able to use their Linux computers with it too, but it might take some work to make it happen.

We’re loving the indicator light that’s built into the adapter, which is a nice touch that will visually show you the connection status of your devices — it’ll flash while pairing your device, and it’ll stay lit once the connection is established.

What are the Different Types of Bluetooth Technology?

Electronic devices are constantly evolving and upgrading, and Bluetooth is no exception; the most up to date version of Bluetooth is called 5.0, while the previous one is 4.2. You can still find both on the market right now, but there are some key differences between the two technologies that can affect your experience, especially if you love using Bluetooth for your audio devices.

Bluetooth 5.0 was designed to use less power, so if your device is 5.0 enabled, so you’ll be able to use the device for longer periods without charging because it uses less power. This technology also improved upon the speed and range of your connection; it has double the theoretical data transfer rate than Bluetooth 4.0, and has four times the theoretical range. 5.0 also has increased bandwidth — enough of an increase to allow broadcasting to two different devices at the same time, which is great for audio users because you can connect to multiple speakers.

Here’s another thing to keep in mind: Bluetooth 5.0 is backwards compatible, so if you have a device that uses 4.0, you’ll still be able to connect it to a new USB Bluetooth 5.0 adapter, but there’s a catch — you’re limited to the previous technology of Bluetooth, and you won’t get any of the benefits of the upgraded technology. To reap all these benefits that we’ve listed, both of your connected devices need to be 5.0 enabled.

How to Make Your Choice

USB Bluetooth adapters are a kind of tech where it isn’t that difficult to make a choice; all the options available will make your computer Bluetooth enabled by plugging it into a USB slot, so that you can connect your other electronic devices wirelessly. There are just a couple main factors that can help influence your decision:

Range: If you like to keep your connection strong far away from your computer, make sure you read the range capability that’s listed in the product description so that you can know how far you’ll be able to go. As previously noted, Bluetooth 5.0 adapters will generally give you better a further range capability. Another thing to note is that the range listed in the product description is more like a theoretical maximum; there are various factors that can influence how far your connection will stay strong for, like electronic interference and walls.

Compatible Operating Systems: Most of the adapters on the market are primarily developed for PC use since they’re so common and you can build them yourself, unlike Apple computers, so make sure you’re purchasing an adapter that is compatible with your operating system if you need one for your Mac or Linux computer.

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