The 6 Best Bluetooth Audio Receivers of 2021

No built in Bluetooth? No problem!

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

The best Bluetooth audio receivers add new capability to your audio experience. Many music services are going with subscription-based models on your phone. But your phone probably doesn't have a headphone jack to plug into your car or your home stereo, both of which probably sound better than your phone's speaker. So a good Bluetooth audio receiver can turn that music subscription into an unlimited catalog of music for your premium home stereo. 

Overall, a Bluetooth receiver is a fairly small investment that opens a world of possibilities. Some things to look for in a Bluetooth audio receiver include audio codecs, range, and output types. Bluetooth 5.0 is a great find since it brings with it an impressive range and very good audio codecs. You also want to make sure that whatever receiver you get will output correctly to your car or stereo, depending on where you want to use it. So with all that in mind, read on to find out top picks!

The Rundown
The Audioengine B1 music receiver comes with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, aptX, and AAC codecs for high quality audio.
If you just want to dip your toes into the Bluetooth pool, this is a great starter unit.
This is a solid pickup for an older car that doesn't already have Bluetooth connectivity.
Anker SoundSync A3341 features aptX HD and low-latency sound which produces higher quality audio and lower latency sound.
We tested the Logitech Bluetooth adapter and found it had a range of about 50 feet which is 30% or more than most receivers.
The device also has built-in music controls for play/pause, volume control, and track skipping. It makes the receiver that much more convenient.

Best Overall: Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Reciever
What We Like
  • Sound is high quality

  • Great range

  • Lots of output options

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

If you're an audiophile that loves great sound and has a killer stereo system to back it up, you're not going to want a substandard Bluetooth receiver for that. The Audioengine B1 music receiver comes with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX HD, aptX, and AAC codecs for high-quality audio. These codecs will give you CD-quality audio with minimal loss. Bluetooth 5.0 also gives you up to 100 feet of range, so you can keep your phone on you while it plays through your home stereo. Plus, you'll get 24-bit playback and low latency which is a fancy way of saying you get clear audio with no lag. 

The Audioengine B1 has both optical audio and RCA outputs which will work with 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: Besign BE-RCA Long Range Bluetooth Audio Adapter

What we like
  • Great price

  • Very small

  • Bluetooth 5.0

What we don't like
  • Included cables are short

  • Prone to interference

If you're on a budget, we really like the Besign BE-RCE long-range Bluetooth audio adapter. Right of the bat, you get Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX technology. You get CD-quality sound from up to 100 feet away. The receiver is powered by micro USB and requires pressing the power button to turn it on. Some reviewers mentioned that they'd hoped to connect a smart plug that they could power on to power on the Bluetooth receiver. That won't work with this unit. It's a minor point, but still important depending on your use case.

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

 AUKEY Bluetooth Car Kit, Wireless Receiver
What We Like
  • Dash-mounted controller

  • Pair up to three devices

What We Don't Like
  • Lots of wires

  • Aux input required

These days, most cars come with some kind of connectivity, but they may not be wireless. If you have an older car that came out before Bluetooth was common, the Aukey Bluetooth receiver is a great choice to upgrade your ride. It's designed to be in your car. There's a controller that mounts to your dashboard that allows you to skip tracks, play, and pause without having to fumble with your phone. 

The Bluetooth receiver is powered by a USB-A plug, so it can work inside as well, but it comes with a three-port USB plug for your car, leaving little doubt about what it was designed for. You can connect up to three devices at a time for it works for families as well. The only output is a 3.5mm aux cable, so be sure your car radio has that before ordering. If so, this is a solid pickup for an older car that doesn't already have Bluetooth connectivity.

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

  • Transmit or receive

  • Comes with lot of cables

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

Sometimes you don't want just a Bluetooth receiver; you may also want to transmit audio. Some use cases include plugging the output of your TV into the transmitter and sending it to Bluetooth headphones, or connecting it to your stereo and playing music from your phone. A switch on the side of the device determines what you're going to do with the audio. It couldn't be more simple.

The receiver even comes with an aux cable, RCA cable, and optical cable which should cover most of your devices. The receiver is battery-powered and lasts around 20 hours on a single charge. Optionally, you can plug it in in a single location if it's going to be there for a while. The Anker SoundSync A3341 features aptX HD and low-latency sound which produces higher quality audio and lower latency sound. That keeps the audio in sync with the video when you're transmitting to Bluetooth headphones.

Input: Bluetooth | Output: 3.5mm, RCA, optical | Range: 33 Ft | Audio Codecs: SBC, aptX HD

Best Range: Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter Receiver

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

  • Solid connection

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Missing premium codecs

  • Cheap design

  • No digital output

One of the best ranges you'll find in a Bluetooth receiver is the Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter. We tested the Logitech Bluetooth adapter and found it had a range of about 50 feet which is 30% or more than most receivers. Our reviewer Jason says this is "everything you need in a receiver and virtually nothing else." Jason is referring to the cheap design and lack of high-quality Bluetooth codecs. All you'll get here is SBC which does a respectable job, without a lot of the other bells and whistles you might find in other receivers. 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. 

The main downside you'll find here is the lack of digital outputs. You get RCA outputs only. Add that to the SBC codec that's on board, and you're going to get basic functionality and versatility. RCA and SBC are the most common output and codec respectively, so Logitech checks a lot of boxes. The extra range is definitely a bonus and makes this a good 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

  • Built in music controls

  • Low latency

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

The Taotronics Bluetooth 5.0 transmitter/receiver pulls double duty, just like the Anker receiver above. You'll get really low latency which is great for syncing up audio and video, but that only works when the device is transmitting, unfortunately. What that means is, if you use the transmitter to send from a TV to headphones, you'll get low latency, but if you use the device to receive audio for your stereo along with a video on your phone, you'll likely find them out of sync. But you'll get 20 hours of audio on a single charge which is on the high end of average for the industry.

The receiver has built-in controls for play/pause, volume control, and track skipping which makes the receiver more convenient to use. You can connect your devices with an RCA or 3.5mm connection, which means this can connect to just about anything. But if you're looking for a dual-purpose transmitter and receiver with strong battery life, this is a great little 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? Otherwise, our nod has to go to the Logitech Bluetooth audio adapter. It has really good range, a great price, and it works with just about everything.

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.

Adam Doud has been writing in the technology space for almost a decade. When he's not hosting the Benefit of the Doud podcast, he's playing with the latest phones, tablets, and laptops. When not working, he's a cyclist, geocacher, and spends as much time outside as he can.

FAQ
  • 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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