Skip to main content

The best Bluetooth USB adapters 2021

Included in this guide:

The best Bluetooth USB adapters 2021
(Image credit: Asus)

The best Bluetooth USB adapter will manage all your Bluetooth-enabled devices over distance while maintaining a strong connection. The difference between most adapters is minimal and mostly comes down to Bluetooth version, speed and range.

Adapters packed with Bluetooth 4.0 and above will serve you best as they have higher bandwidth and lower power consumption. That higher bandwidth is great for streaming audio to headsets or speakers, and the lower power draw means it won’t siphon away too much battery life to maintain a connection.

We’ve looked through the best Bluetooth USB adapters available to help you make the right choice on which adapter best suits your needs. So, whether you’re looking to stream music, transfer data, or enjoy some wireless gaming, Laptop has you covered.

What are the best Bluetooth USB adapters?

The best Bluetooth USB adapter is the Asus BT500. Combining Bluetooth 5 with an Enhanced Data Rate (EDR) allows the adapter to perform well across a number of tasks. In ideal conditions, Asus’ adapter can reach speeds of up to three megabytes per second (MBps) across a range of 40 meters. This makes the BT500 an ideal candidate for an at-home Bluetooth solution, for a more than fair price of $20.

Should your focus be solely on transmitting strong audio to Bluetooth-enabled speakers or headsets, choosing a specialized adapter may suit you better. The Avantree DG80 is an audio-only Bluetooth adapter that seeks to deliver better than CD audio to your Bluetooth devices with as little lag as possible.

Looking to communicate with Bluetooth devices at further distances? Adapters like the ZEXMTE Long Range can offer class 1 Bluetooth coverage of up to 100 meters. Thanks to onboard EDR and AptX technology, you won’t have to choose between speed or range —- though getting the best results requires class 1 Bluetooth peripherals to match the adapter.

(Image credit: Asus)

1. Asus BT500

Best overall Bluetooth USB adapter

Reasons to buy
+Bluetooth 5.0 + EDR+Decent speeds+Pairs with up to 7 devices+Plug & Play
Reasons to avoid
-No Mac or Linux support

The Asus BT500 is a Bluetooth 5.0 adapter that uses EDR to reach speeds of up to 3MBps, over twice that of Bluetooth 4.0. The BT500 is capable of pairing with up to seven devices at a time over a maximum range of 40 meters of open space. 

For $20, you’ll be able to use the Asus BT500 to connect to any of your Bluetooth-enabled devices, including headsets, speakers, or game peripherals (including DualSense and Xbox Wireless controllers). Finding a reputable name in the Bluetooth market is often harder than you’d think, so having the Asus brand and a two-year warranty attached to this adapter should ease any concerns about quality.

If you’re a Windows user, Asus’ BT500 is an overall safe bet for your wireless needs. It’s fast, can handle a sizable amount of devices, and has a decent enough range to ensure your day-to-day computing needs.

(Image credit: Avantree)

2. Avantree DG80

Best audio-only Bluetooth USB adapter

Reasons to buy
+Bluetooth 5.0+Works with all current-gen consoles+Supports Windows and macOS+AptX LL & FastStream support
Reasons to avoid
-Audio only

Compatible with all major consoles, along with both Windows and Mac computers, the Avantree DG80 is an audio-only Bluetooth 5.0 adapter with good coverage for headsets and speakers. Able to reach devices at up to 65 feet (20 meters) indoors and 100 feet (30m) via line of sight, the Avantree DG80 is a fantastic wireless solution for your audio needs.

To stress the point, the DG80 is an audio-only Bluetooth adapter, which means it won’t connect with anything other than headsets, soundbars, or speakers. Specialized support for AptX Low Latency and FastStream work great with compatible devices to keep your audio lag-free and beyond CD quality, making the DG80 a brilliant go-to for wireless audio in the home.

You can pick up the Avantree DG80 online for around $30, and if you’re looking for a Bluetooth adapter to manage your audio needs, this adapter is well worth checking out. However, if you have more than audio in mind, it might be best to look for something else from our selection.

(Image credit: TP-Link)

Best Windows Bluetooth 4.0 LE USB adapter

Reasons to buy
+Good range+A2DP support+Plug & Play+Enhanced Data Rate
Reasons to avoid
-Windows only

This Windows-only Bluetooth 4.0 LE adapter has a decent 65-foot (20m) range. It also has EDR and A2DP support for faster data rates of up to 3Mbps as well as stable stereo audio delivery. With Plug & Play support for Windows 8/8.1/10, you can get started in no time, pairing with up to seven devices, including game controllers, headsets, phones and speakers.

You can pick up the TP-Link UB400 online for as little as $14, which isn’t a bad price for a branded Bluetooth adapter. There’s enough range available to never feel too shackled to your computer, and the UB400 is fast enough to compete with more expensive Bluetooth 5.0 adapters.

So, if you own a Windows computer and want a reliable Bluetooth adapter to manage your wireless peripherals, the TP-Link is a good option for a great price. 

(Image credit: Kinivo)

4. Kinivo BTD-400

Best multi-OS Bluetooth 4.0 LE USB adapter

Reasons to buy
+Great OS support+Plug & Play for later Windows and macOS+Pairs with up to 7 devices
Reasons to avoid
-No console support

The Kinivo BTD-400 supports a wide number of platforms including Windows (Vista and later), macOS (10.3.9 or later), Linux (Ubuntu, Mint, and Fedora), and any Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. Using Bluetooth 4.0 LE, the BTD-400 has a range of 33 feet (10m) and can reach speeds of 1MBps. 

While you’ll find the BTD-400’s operating support fairly extensive, when it comes to consoles, things aren’t so impressive. Unlike other adapters in our selection, the Kinivo won’t work as a Bluetooth adapter to manage your wireless headset for PlayStation, Xbox, or Switch. You can, however, use any Bluetooth-enabled console controller with the BTD-400 if it is connected to a PC or laptop.

The Kinivo BTD-400 is found online for $14, which is a great price if you’re looking for an adapter that supports this number of operating systems. If console support is no issue for you, and you want a low-cost, reliable Bluetooth 4.0 LE adapter for your Mac, Linux, or Raspberry Pi, the Kinivo is well worth looking into.

(Image credit: ZEXMTE)

5. ZEXMTE Long Range USB Bluetooth 5.0 adapter

Best long-range Bluetooth USB adapter

Reasons to buy
+Bluetooth 5 + EDR+Huge 100m range+AptX LL support+Anti-interference
Reasons to avoid
-Windows only-Not Plug & Play-Top range requires class 1 devices

The strongest selling point of the ZEXMTE Long Range USB Bluetooth 5.0 adapter is its incredible range. As a Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 adapter, you can expect coverage of up to 328 feet (100m) at speeds of up to 3Mbps. ZEXMTE’s adapter employs an anti-interference ability that ignores the 2.4GHz frequency, avoiding any issues involving wireless traffic to ensure a stable connection. Thanks to its AptX Low Latency and EDR support, streaming audio to your devices should remain lag-free, even at distance.

It’s $20 to pick up the ZEXMTE adapter online, and that’s a fair price to pay for a long-range solution for your Bluetooth needs. However, before you add this item to your cart, it’s worth noting that to make the most of the sizable coverage the ZEXMTE adapter offers, you’ll also need Class 1 Bluetooth devices that are designed to be used across a similar distance. 

If you already own a lot of the devices you’re expecting to pair, it may be worth checking which Bluetooth class they belong to first. Most Bluetooth devices are class 2, which means they have a considerably lower range, and will struggle to take advantage of the ZEXMTE’s 100m coverage. For the best results, you will need to pair this adapter with other class 1 Bluetooth devices, which potentially means you’d need to upgrade a number of your gadgets.