Bluetooth has, over the past few years, become increasingly important in technology and is now found in nearly every new device entering the electronics market. With each new mobile phone, television, games console, and even fridges and washing machines, Bluetooth has seeped into every corner of technology. But what do you do if a device you are using doesn’t have Bluetooth built-in? Well for most gadgets, you’re stuck and have no option but to find a replacement. If the device you are talking about is a PC or laptop, however, you’re in luck because with the right add-on equipment Bluetooth is just an easy Plug and Play away.
What exactly is Bluetooth?
Bluetooth is a way of transferring data between devices wirelessly over a short distance.
Bluetooth uses a special radio frequency to create a short-range network when your ‘pair’ devices together. The nature of the ‘pairing’ and the encryption used makes Bluetooth incredibly secure and allows for multiple devices to be connected at one time.
Bluetooth is most convenient when transferring data between small devices, or from a small device to a larger device, for example: between mobile phones, PC to keyboard/mouse, and a console to a game controller.
Computers and Bluetooth
Most modern computers and laptops have Bluetooth technology built-in. If you are reading this from a PC right now, then the odds are the mouse and keyboard you are navigating this website with are connected to your computer via Bluetooth if they are wireless.
If your computer lacks Bluetooth, then this can be added easily using a good quality adapter. These adapters generally come in the form of a USB dongle that can be plugged directly into a free USB port. Most PCs running recent versions of Windows will automatically pick up the adapter and install the necessary software automatically.
But with so many USB Bluetooth adapters on the market right now, how do you know which one to buy? What are the Best Bluetooth adapters for PC?
To help you out, we’ve compiled this handy guide as well as a list of the Best Bluetooth adapters available for PC right now. Enjoy.
What to look for in a Bluetooth Adapter?
When selecting a Bluetooth adapter some features are crucial. Here is our list of what to look out for:
Make sure it is compatible with your PC
This may sound obvious, but there’s nothing worse than buying a PC peripheral only to get it home and realize it won’t work on your PC. It may be tempting to think that all you need is a free USB port. The problem is USB has evolved over the years and now comes in many different versions. While later USB formats are generally backward compatible, older ones will not work if a device of a newer version is plugged in. In short, if you buy a USB 3.0 only Bluetooth dongle it won’t work if plugged into a USB 2.0 or USB 1.0 slot. Check compatibility before purchasing.
Another thing to check is the version of the Operating System the device will work with. Both Windows and Mac OS have evolved over time and some newer devices will not work with older versions and vice versa. Again, check compatibility before purchasing.
Check the Bluetooth version
Just like USB technology and operating systems, Bluetooth has also evolved over the years to become faster and more secure. The latest version sits at 5.0, but anything above 4.0 should give you a good quality, stable, and secure connection. Devices below 4.0 tend to have slower speeds, higher power consumption, and less range.
The best thing about Bluetooth is newer versions are fully backwards compatible allowing devices of all ages to transfer data, not just the most recent ones.
Quality and distance of transmission
PC Bluetooth dongle generally comes in two varieties, Class 1 and Class 2. Class 1 devices are for industrial use and as such are generally more robust, offer stronger signals, and have a much further range (up to 330 feet). Class 2 devices are geared to home use and offer less robust designs, weaker signals, and a much shorter range (33 to 60 feet on average). Which device you buy will depend on what you want to use it for. If the adapter will be used primarily on a home PC, then a class 2 device will more than serve your needs. If you want to use it in a factory, you may want to consider a class 1 device, but be aware such a device will set you back a fair bit more cash.
But what are the best Bluetooth connector for PC available now?
With so many Bluetooth devices out there, it can be difficult to figure out which ones are the best. To make your decision easier, we’ve compiled a handy list of the 7 best Bluetooth adapters for PC on the market right now. Here they are:
We have listed the 7 Best Bluetooth Connector for PC to Buy in the following table.
7 Best Bluetooth Adapters for PC in 2021
|1. Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter|
|2. ASUS USB Bluetooth Adapter|
|3. Highever Bluetooth Adapter|
|4. ZEXMTE Bluetooth USB Adapter|
|5. Plugable USB Bluetooth Adapter|
|6. KINIVO Btd-400 Bluetooth USB Adapter|
|7. TP-LINK UB400|
The Avantree USB Bluetooth 4.0 adapter is one of the cheaper adapters on the market, but don’t mistake the lack of price for a lack of quality. The range and signal strength, powered by Bluetooth 4.0 technology, are both great and the device is plug and play so needs little setup. On the downside the adapter doesn’t support the aptX audio compression technology for streaming and is only compatible with Windows PCs, so Linux and Mac owners need to look elsewhere.
The ASUS USB Adapter is a great choice for Windows PCs. It uses the slightly older USB 2.0 interface which gives it a decent data transfer rate of up to 3 Mbps and comes with Bluetooth Low Energy Technology. It is made to the Bluetooth 4.0 specification and is backward compatible with previous Bluetooth versions. The range is good at up to 33 feet and suffers little drop-off as you move away from your PC. On the downside, the device is only compatible with Windows-based PCs.
This Class 2, Bluetooth 4.0 device offers good signal strength and range with a compact design. The design is a little plasticky, but it certainly gets the job done with transfer rates of up to 3 Mbps. As with our two previous recommendations, it offers Bluetooth Low Energy Technology meaning it won’t drain your laptop’s battery life. Set up is easy on Windows PCs with Plug and Play.
The ZEXMTE Bluetooth adapter offers a lot for its money. The inbuilt Bluetooth 4.0 technology gives great range at 33 feet and good data transfer speeds of up to 3 Mbps, all in a compact and durable design. The device is compatible with Windows 8 and 10 and is Plug and Play reducing the need to install fiddly drivers. It also supports Bluetooth Low Energy for low power consumption.
The Plugable USB Bluetooth adapter offers 4.0 speeds and range and is compact and low profile in design. Being backward compatible with previous Bluetooth specifications, it offers wide compatibility with an array of devices. It includes Bluetooth Smart technology allowing easy connection to things like Fitbit health trackers. Like our other recommendations, the Plugable USB Bluetooth dongle is compatible with PCs running on Windows OS, but unlike them, it also offers Linux support. While Linux installations can be a bit of a faff (no Plug and Play) it is nice to see a device that offers a wider range of PC support.
While the Plugable adapter above offers Linux support, the Kinovo BTD-400 goes one better and offers Windows, Linux, and Mac OS installations. In Windows, the device is Plug and Play as expected, but device drivers will need to be downloaded and installed on any other OS. The device uses class 2, Bluetooth 4.0 technology that offers a great range (33 feet) and good transfer rates of up to 3 Mbps.
TP-Link UB400 is a Bluetooth 4.0 adapter offering great range and decent performance, with up to 3 Mbps data transfer speeds. It can connect with a range of devices and offers backward compatibility with all previous Bluetooth version devices. On the downside, the adapter can only be used with Windows PCs (no Linux or Mac this time) but it is compatible with older versions of Windows all the way back to XP. One of the best things about this Bluetooth adapter is that it comes with a 2-year warranty giving you peace of mind.
Picking the best USB Bluetooth adapters for PC is a difficult task, but with the help of our handy guide should be a little easier. All the products above are fantastic options and give excellent value for money. Buy one today. You won’t be disappointed.