The 8 Best Bluetooth Audio Receivers to Buy in 2018

Change the way you listen to music, watch videos, take phone calls and more

Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0
Courtesy of Amazon.com

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Years ago, driving by someone seemingly talking to the air in the car would strike you as odd. Today, it’s just a sign they are talking via Bluetooth and while Bluetooth has become more commonplace in vehicles and homes in 2018, it’s still not a standard feature in today's electronics. Fortunately, there's a product (a receiver) that helps bring Bluetooth to the masses, but there are only a few worthwhile options. Our list will help you weed through the trenches and come out the other end with a Bluetooth receiver that is well worth your dollars.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Etekcity Wireless Bluetooth 4.0

With a range of more than 33 feet, the Etekcity wireless Bluetooth 4.0 receiver is a standout choice for homeowners looking to add a little versatility to their home audio experience. Capable of working with Bluetooth 4.0 compatible speakers, the Etekcity also provides connectivity via A/V, RCA and 3.5mm inputs. With 10 hours of battery life per charge, the .6-pound unit can be fully re-charged and ready for round two in around two hours. Measuring just 6.3 x 3.7 x 2.2 inches, the Etekcity is incredibly compact, making it ideal for just about any environment (including wireless streaming music to your vehicle's sound system).

Best Budget: Aukey Bluetooth Receiver

If you’ve been itching for hands-free calling via your home audio system, make that wish a reality with the Aukey Bluetooth receiver. Capable of connecting to any existing wired stereo system, speaker or headphone, the Aukey works with a slew of devices, including both iPhones and iPads, as well as all types of computers. And pairing is simple. Just connect the Aukey to your smartphone or tablet as you would any other Bluetooth device. Weighing 6.4 ounces and measuring 4.5 x 4.3 x 1.8 inches, the Aukey allows the user to accept an incoming call with a simple press of the function button. Once connected, you’ll find a crisp, clean sound via the built-in microphone that easily frees up both hands to go about the rest of your home or office work. 

Best for the Home: Bose Wireless Audio System Adapter

The Bose wireless audio system is a ready to rock right out of the box. Capable of connecting to just about any type of electronics, including computer speakers, stereo systems, home theaters and more, the Bose even has WiFi connectivity for a direct link to the brands SoundTouch speaker line for a boosted audio experience. Fortunately, all those device options are matched with plenty of audio options as well for Bluetooth streaming, including Spotify, Pandora and Amazon Music. Music is directly controlled from the downloadable smartphone app and, with saved presets, you can jump right to the song or album you want instantly.

Best for the Car: Aukey Bluetooth Receiver With 3 Port USB Car Charger

If your car doesn’t support Bluetooth, check out the Aukey Bluetooth receiver with three-port USB. Setup is a snap. Just plug the receiver into the car stereo via the AUX (auxiliary) port, insert the charger into the cigarette lighter or 12V input and you’re done. Pairing your device is just as easy by placing the Aukey into sync mode and going into the Bluetooth menu on your smartphone and pairing just as you would any other Bluetooth device. Once connected, roll the windows down and play some tunes or let your friends do so since the Aukey supports up to three users at once. Additionally, the Aukey powers off with the car and, once turned back on, automatically links to the last connected device. Beyond music, the Aukey also doubles as a Bluetooth speakerphone utilizing the microphone in the receiver unit and the car’s speakers for inbound conversation.

Best Range: Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Featuring a streaming music range of up to 50 feet, the Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter for streaming is a sure-fire addition to your home or office. The Logitech is full of features right off the bat, including multipoint Bluetooth connectivity, which provides for a simultaneous connection of both your smartphone and tablet (and you can choose which device is currently streaming audio). Setup is a cinch with the Logitech remembering each paired device and requiring just a single button press for a new connection. Producing sound is just as easy as the setup by enabling a connection to any PC speaker, home stereo system or any A/V receiver using an RCA or 3.5mm input. It weighs 2.9 ounces and measures .9 x 2 x 2 inches.

Best for Portability: Mpow Portability Bluetooth Receiver

Mpow Receiver

There are a lot of Bluetooth receivers out there — many which offer the same features. But when it comes to battery-powered units that you can easily toss into your pocket or backpack, the Mpow Portable Receiver is one the best (and simplest) designs we’ve found. It connects to your audio system (in the car or at home) via a standard 3.5mm auxiliary jack. It has a single multi-function button that turns it on and off, plus next song and volume buttons on the side. It has the capability to pair with multiple Bluetooth devices at the same time, and once you’ve paired them, all it takes is to turn it on and it’ll automatically recall the pair. The device weighs less than two ounces, delivers 10 hours of battery life and comes in some pretty cool colors beyond standard black including red, yellow, green and purple. 

Best Battery Life: Nulaxy BR18 2-in-1 Bluetooth Transmitter Receiver

Simply speaking, there are a few different types of receivers which respond to different needs. Some are designed to plug into an outlet and stay in the same place all the time — most likely to add functionality to an at-home record player or an old speaker system in your house. The other type of receiver is meant for on-the-go use like in your car or on the beach, and those receivers are often intentionally tiny. One drawback of travel-friendly version's small size is they usually only fit a 100–300 mAh battery — leaving you with sub-par battery life and the need to carry an external charger. Luckily, we’ve tracked down the Nulaxy BR18, a Bluetooth receiver with a whopping 1050 mAh battery — nearly half the size of a standard smartphone battery. What this means is the device offers 40 hours of transmit time, compared to the ~10 hours offered by competitors. Beyond battery life, you’ll also get all the requisite features of a receiver like 15 meters of range, multiple pairing options, and both transmit and receive functions (depending on which direction you need to go).

Best Splurge: Audioengine B1 Bluetooth

With a range of almost 100 feet, the Audioengine B1 Bluetooth music receiver is a superb choice for wirelessly playing music. With the capability of connecting to any stereo receiver, amplifier or powered speaker in your home, all you need is a simple RCA or optical cable connection. Once connected, sync your smartphone or tablet to the Audioengine and you’re ready to jam. The receiver takes its audio experience seriously with the inclusion of the AptX codec that allows for near-studio quality music production. That means deeper bass and more dynamic range, all of which make for an outstanding Bluetooth receiver choice that’s compact enough at five ounces to fit just about anywhere.