The 6 Best Bluetooth Audio Receivers of 2021

It's a whole new world of audio at home and on the road

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The Rundown
The Audioengine B1 music receiver comes with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, aptX, and AAC codecs for high quality audio
One feature that sets this receiver apart is Near Field Communication (NFC).
If you have an older car, or one of the few that doesn't have a Bluetooth connection, the Aukey Bluetooth receiver is a great solution for you.
One of the most versatile receivers on this list has to be the Anker SoundSync A3341.
The Logitech Bluetooth adapter has a range of up to 50 feet according to our testing, which beats out most others by around 30% or so.
The device also has built-in music controls for play/pause, volume control, and track skipping. It makes the receiver that much more convenient.

The best Bluetooth audio receivers add a new dimension to your audio experience. Put simply, it brings Bluetooth to an otherwise wired situation. Bluetooth audio receivers can bring a Bluetooth connection to your car, to your home stereo, and even to your pair of wired headphones. With so much media consumption happening on our phones today, and with the disappearance of headphone jacks from those same devices, a good Bluetooth audio receiver can make it possible to stream to devices you could not previously.

It's a small investment and it can open up a world of possibilities. Some things to look for in a good Bluetooth receiver include audio quality, range, and outputs. Bluetooth 5.0 gives you two of those with great range and very good audio codecs. You also want to make sure that whatever receiver you get outputs properly to your car or stereo or whatever device you want to connect to. So keeping that in mind, read on for our top picks!

Best Overall: Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Reciever
What We Like
  • High quality sound

  • Long range

  • Lots of output options

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

If you have a good audio system you'll want a high-quality receiver for it.  The Audioengine B1 music receiver comes with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, aptX, and AAC codecs for high-quality audio. You'll get CD-quality audio through these codecs with minimal loss of signal. Bluetooth 5.0 also offers up to 100 feet of range, meaning you can carry your phone with you while it plays over your home stereo. The receiver gives you 24-bit playback and low latency. The result is clear audio with no lag. 

The receiver offers both optical audio and RCA outputs, so it can connect to basically any stereo system. Jason, our reviewer notes, "It also includes an impressive AKM AK4398A digital-to-analog convertor right on board. This means that when the unit receives the digital Bluetooth audio, it has a full 24-bit engine to send that music on to your speakers...you’re getting an impressively low signal to noise ratio...there are 57 ohms of impedance, 10Hz–20kHz of frequency handling, less than -86dB of crosstalk, and an impressive sub-30-ms latency."

Input: Bluetooth | Output: Optical, RCA | Range: 100ft | Audio Codecs: aptX HD, aptX, AAC, SBC

"Short of playing super high-definition lossless audio files right to a pair of very transparent studio monitors, you really won’t notice any difference between Bluetooth transmission on the B1 and plugging directly into speakers." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver

Lifewire / Jason Schneider 

Best Budget: Etekcity Roverbeats Unify Bluetooth Receiver Wireless Bluetooth 4.0

Etekcity Roverbeats Bluetooth receiver will allow you to connect to your stereo.
What We Like
  • Great price

  • Very small

  • Includes NFC

What We Don't Like
  • Sound quality isn't great

  • Flimsy build

If you're on a budget, we really like the Etekcity Roverbeats receiver which our reviewer Jason calls "unapologetically simplistic." From the flimsy build to the included codecs, this is a Bluetooth receiver that will not give you frills but will give you a good value. It's a nice starter receiver, to find out if you really need one before you make a bigger investment. The receiver is quite versatile. It can be used with your stereo system, your car, or even your wired earbuds.

One feature that sets this receiver apart is Near Field Communication (NFC). This allows you to just tap your NFC-enabled phone to the receiver and it's paired instantly. It makes pairing much easier than on a normal receiver. If you move from device to device often, you'll appreciate that. But it's tiny, and it does a passable job connecting your phone to your accessories.

Input: Bluetooth | Output: 3.5mm or RCA | Range: 33 ft. | Audio Codecs: SBC

"You aren’t getting flashy controls, a premium build, or high-quality Bluetooth codecs, but what you are getting is a really solid portable unit and the convenience of NFC, for a ridiculously low price." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Etekcity Roverbeats Unify Bluetooth Receiver

Lifewire / Jason Schneider

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

 AUKEY Bluetooth Car Kit, Wireless Receiver
What We Like
  • Controller mounts to your dash

  • Pair up to three devices at once

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of wires

  • Requires and Aux input for your car

These days, most cars come with some kind of wireless connectivity. But if you have an older car or one of the few that doesn't have a Bluetooth connection, the Aukey Bluetooth receiver is a great solution for you. This is designed to be in your car. It has a control panel that can be mounted to your dashboard that allows you to control your media, skip tracks, etc, without having to fumble with your phone.

The Bluetooth receiver plugs in with a USB Type-A plug, so it can work inside as well, but it comes with a three USB port car plug, so you can plug in two other devices at the same time. Plus, you can connect up to three devices to the Bluetooth adapter at once, which is great for multiple drivers. The only output is via 3.5mm aux cable so your car radio will need to have that ability to use this receiver.

Input: Bluetooth | Output: 3.5mm | Range: 33ft. | Audio Codecs: SBC

Best Versatility: Anker SoundSync A3341

The Anker Soundsync Bluetooth Receiver allows you to connect your phone to your stereo.
What We Like
  • Great audio

  • Acts as receiver and transmitter

What We Don't Like
  • Battery powered, needs recharging

One of the most versatile receivers on this list has to be the Anker SoundSync A3341. It can act as a Bluetooth receiver or transmitter, pulling double duty regardless of which way the audio is going. For example, you can connect it to your stereo and play music from your phone. Or, you can connect it to your TV and transmit audio to your Bluetooth headphones. All you need to do is flip the switch on the side from transmitting to receiving and you're set.

The device comes with an aux cable, RCA cable, and optical cable which covers most of your use cases. The device is battery powered and it will last around 20 hours on a charge, or you can just plug it in with a MicroUSB cable if it's going to be staying in one location. The receiver features aptX HD and low-latency sound, which leads to higher quality audio and a better use case for headphones staying in sync with the video.

Best Range: Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter Receiver

The Logitech Bluetooth Adapter allows you to connect your phone to your stereo.
What We Like
  • Great price

  • Solid, stable connection

  • Durable build quality

What We Don't Like
  • No premium Bluetooth codecs

  • Cheap design

  • No digital output

If you like to wander around the house while you listen, Logitech has a great receiver for you. The Logitech Bluetooth adapter has a range of up to 50 feet according to our testing, which beats out most others by around 30% or so. Our reviewer Jason says this is "everything you need in a receiver and virtually nothing else." He was referring to the cheap design and lack of additional features, like higher-end codecs.  Quite simply, this receiver does a solid, reliable job without a lot of the flash other units might give you. But for the price, you're getting a small, durable little receiver that can do what it needs to do, "simply and flawlessly," as our reviewer writes. 

Our main complaint is the lack of digital output. You'll get RCA outputs only. Combined with the SBC codec, that means you will not get the absolute highest quality audio. But RCA and SBC are the most compatible codec and outputs in the game, so Logitech is covering a lot of bases. That plus a little extra range makes this a desirable pickup at a great price.

Input: Bluetooth | Output: 3.5mm, RCA | Range: 50ft. | Audio Codecs: SBC

"At 1.2oz, it isn’t even nearly the heaviest unit we tested, but because most of the enclosure is built of a hard, sharp-edged, matte plastic, it felt really substantial." — Jason Schneider, Product Tester

Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Lifewire / Jason Schneider

Best Battery Life: TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter/Receiver

The TaoTronics Bluetooth receiver allows you to connect your smartphone to your stereo.
What We Like
  • 20 hour battery life

  • Music controls

  • Low latency

What We Don't Like
  • Low latency only works as a transmitter

This little receiver from Taotronics pulls double duty as a transmitter and receiver just like the Anker above. The lower latency only works as a transmitter, which is unfortunate, since there are a few use cases where we can imagine where a low-latency receive would be beneficial. The receiver uses Bluetooth 5.0 and the AptX codec for that low latency. A charge will give you about 20 hours of audio, which is very solid. 

The device also has built-in music controls for play/pause, volume control, and track skipping. It makes the receiver that much more convenient. You can connect to your devices using an RCA or AUX connection, which means this will work with just about everything. It's the kind of versatility we like to see in a device.

Input: Bluetooth | Output: 3.5mm | Range: 33ft | Audio Codecs: SBC, aptX

Final Verdict

Overall, we love the Audioengine B13. It has high-quality codecs, low latency, 24-bit playback, and a 100-foot range. What more could you ask for in a Bluetooth receiver? If you're looking for something a little cheaper, we also really like the Etekcity Roverbeats Unify Bluetooth receiver. In particular, we like the addition of NFC which makes pairing with your phone really easy.

About Our Trusted Experts

Emmeline Kaser is a tech writer and former editor for Lifewire. She specializes in consumer tech, including Bluetooth audio receivers.

Jason Schneider has been writing for tech and media companies for nearly 10 years. He is an expert in audio equipment and headphones.

FAQs

How to connect Bluetooth headphones to audio receiver?

If you want to connect Bluetooth headphones to an audio receiver, for example, your headphones to a TV, just follow our guide. You can also take a look at how to add Bluetooth on almost any TV.

How does Bluetooth audio receiver work?

A Bluetooth audio receiver is a way to provide wireless transmission through Bluetooth to wired devices that don't have it built-in. For instance, you can connect the receiver to a non-Bluetooth device with an aux or RCA cable. then transmit to another device like Bluetooth headphones. This is a good way to cut the cable in your car or entertainment center.

Can iPhone receive Bluetooth audio?

Yes, all iPhones can connect to Bluetooth devices. The newer iPhone models, in particular, lack a headphone jack, so Bluetooth is your only option. The same is true of an increasing number of Android devices, with all major flagships ditching the 3.5mm port in favor of Bluetooth-only.

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Reciever

Lifewire / Jason Schneider

What to Look For in a Bluetooth Audio Receiver

Portability

Do you intend on hooking up your new Bluetooth receiver to your car stereo, cinema system, or headphones? Ensure your solution is small enough for travel if you want to bring it with you on the go. Additionally, check the power supply as some units are designed to work only in cars, while others will use a standard AC wall adapter or batteries.

Audio Inputs

If you’re using a Bluetooth receiver in your car, you’ll most likely be fine with a single 3.5mm AUX input jack. However, if you are considering hooking up your adapter to a cinema system, you might want to search for a solution that supports RCA inputs.

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver

Lifewire / Jason Schneider 

Audio Quality

Bluetooth isn’t always about high quality. If you want the best possible sound, search for a device that supports the AptX codec for high-quality streaming from many Android phones, Macbooks, and PCs.

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