Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

With devices like phones and tablets eschewing wired connections for Bluetooth alternatives, connecting modern devices to older equipment can be difficult. Bluetooth audio receivers add wireless connectivity to any stereo or audio device, and these are some of the best.

What to Look For in a Bluetooth Audio Receiver in 2023

A Bluetooth audio receiver might sound like a fancy gadget, but they’re relatively simple at a base level. They simply receive Bluetooth signals from your phone or other device and output it in a wired format that you can plug into your favorite headphones, speakers, or stereo system.

The most important factor to consider when buying a Bluetooth audio receiver is the connectivity, both Bluetooth and wired. For example, on the wireless side, a more basic receiver might only offer the standard SBC Bluetooth codec, while more advanced models might offer the aptX codec as well. You also need to consider that older models may not support more recent Bluetooth versions, which means they’ll lack features in comparison.

The wired connectivity is just as critical. For example, using a receiver that only has a pair of RCA analog audio outputs won’t do much good if you’re trying to plug in headphones. Most receivers come with at least a pair of RCA audio outputs and often a 3.5mm auxiliary jack or headphone output. Pricier models may also add digital audio outputs.

You also need to consider where you will use the receiver most frequently. A small 3.5mm dongle may work fine in the car for a few hours, but you’re out of luck if the battery runs out. A dedicated Bluetooth car kit is better than something more general if you’re mainly listening in the car.

Finally, there’s the question of budget. While we’ve made multiple picks that are quite affordable, spending more on a receiver with higher-grade components can make for a noticeable difference in audio quality. You’ll need to balance performance and price when choosing which receiver to buy.

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Audioengine B1 on speaker



Bluetooth 5.0 and 24-bit aptX-HD support

No 3.5mm headphone output

Great sound for Bluetooth audio

Analog and digital outputs

All the cables you need are included

If you love the convenience of Bluetooth but still want to get the highest quality sound possible, you won’t find what you’re looking for in budget models. The Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver with 5.0 aptX HD offers easy connectivity and great sound, with only a few minor compromises.

The B1 receiver features Bluetooth 5.0 with an extended range of up to 100 feet. In addition to the usual SBC and AAC codecs, the B1 also features aptX, which is a step up in quality. Even better, aptX-HD bumps the bitrate up to 24-bit, making for much better sound.

Sound quality depends more on the speakers or headphones you’re listening on, but the built-in AKM4396 USB DAC chip delivers high-quality audio to your hardware. In physically connecting the B1 to your speakers, the receiver features a pair of RCA analog outputs and an optical digital audio output on the back. The USB port is for power only.

The Audioengine B1 has everything you need to set it up, including an RCA audio cable, a power adapter with a detachable cable, and a microfiber carrying pouch.

Audioengine B1

Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver

Best Bluetooth Audio Receiver Overall

The Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Receiver is meant for the listener who likes how easy Bluetooth is, but is still looking for serious sound quality. With both digital and analog outputs, the B1 is compatible with nearly any audio gear you can think of.

Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter



Simple, easy-to-use design

Barebones design may not be for everyone

RCA and 3.5mm audio outputs

Tiny size may be a problem in some cases

Tiny and easily portable

Most people don’t need much for a Bluetooth audio receiver—just something that lets them beam audio simply and easily. It doesn’t get much simpler or easier than the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter, which is also quite affordable.

One thing you might not immediately recognize from pictures of the Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter is how tiny it is. At just under two inches wide and less than an inch thick, you won’t find this receiver getting in the way very often.

Using the receiver is also effortless, as it only has a single button, a pair of outputs, and a power connector. Plug your speakers into the RCA outputs or plug headphones into the 3.5mm headphone jack, hold down the button to initiate pairing, and you’re all set.

The Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter has been around for years, and it certainly isn’t the most advanced receiver, but it’s still a cheap, easy, and simple option.

Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Logitech 980-000910 Bluetooth Audio Adapter

Best Budget Bluetooth Audio Receiver

$20 $35 Save $15

The Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter is a portable, easy way to add Bluetooth to your existing audio system, speakers, or headphones. It’s tiny and barebones, but that simplicity is part of the appeal.

Fosi Audio BT20A in front of speakers
Fosi Audio



Great sound quality

Small design is easily yanked around by cables

Simple, intuitive controls

One wired input

300 watts per channel in a small size

Swappable op-amps are a novel feature

While most of the Bluetooth receivers we’re looking at are meant to add Bluetooth to an existing stereo or speaker system, what if you’re looking for something more all-in-one? The Fosi Audio BT20A Pro features Bluetooth connectivity and an analog audio input with up to 300 watts per power channel.

Most traditional stereo receivers and home theater receivers are large, bulky, and difficult to find space for. The BT20A Pro, on the other hand, measures five inches wide and one inch tall. This isn’t so small that you’ll frequently accidentally move it around, but it’s certainly not bulky.

In addition to the power switch, the front panel holds a volume knob, a bass knob, and a treble knob. While these are the only onboard controls, they get the job done. The volume knob pulls double duty as a button, letting you pair and switch between inputs.

All of this so far is relatively standard, but the BT20A Pro also features replaceable and upgradeable parts. If you’re so included, you can replace the two NE5532 op-amps that ship inside the BT20A Pro, replacing them with better-sounding versions. This isn’t something most people will do with a product selling for under $100, but it’s a nice touch for those who want it.

Fosi Audio BT20A

Best Bluetooth Stereo Receiver

It may not look like it, but the Fosi Audio BT20A is a powerful amplifier in a small package. It may be barebones, but it sounds bigger than the price tag would have you expecting.

Kinivo BTC450 mounted in a car



Runs off your car’s 12V power; no need for a battery

Cable may wear over time and isn’t replaceable

Bluetooth 5.0, including multipoint connectivity

Ground loop noise isolator keeps noise out of your music

Every other Bluetooth audio receiver we’ve chosen is meant to work in multiple environments or use cases. That said, if you’re mainly listening in your car, a full kit like the Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit is a better option.

The main reason to pick the Kinivo BTC450 kit over a standard receiver is the power situation. Most receivers use battery power, USB, or a standard AC adapter. While you can make USB power work in a car, this kit uses a power supply that plugs into your car’s 12V power outlet for full-time power.

Outside the power situation, the BTC450 also features some interesting touches considering the price. For example, you get the aptX codec and even multipoint Bluetooth. This lets you connect to multiple devices and easily switch between them, like between a phone for calls and a dedicated music player for kicking back and driving.

Finally, while the 3.5mm output of the BTC450 may not seem special, the receiver features a ground loop noise isolator, which helps prevent audio issues from using the power from a car.

Kinivo BTC450

Kinivo BTC450

Best Bluetooth Audio Receiver for Cars

$43 $50 Save $7

The Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit does exactly what it says: adds Bluetooth to your car stereo by plugging into the aux input. You can listen to music and take calls from separate devices thanks to multipoint Bluetooth.

Anker Soundsync A3352



Dongle-style design lets you leave cables at home

Limited to basic Bluetooth codecs

12 hours of battery life

Lets you take calls hands-free

What if you want to add Bluetooth to your stereo or wired speakers without dealing with any actual wires? In this case, the Anker Soundsync A3352 is a perfect option, as it has a built-in 3.5mm jack that can plug into any audio device with a 3.5mm auxiliary input.

Of all the receivers we’re looking at, the Soundsync A3352 is closest to what is essentially a dongle. This is so simple, the only other aspects to it aside from the 3.5mm connector are the micro USB charging port and the pair of buttons to control the volume.

That said, its apparent simplicity doesn’t tell the whole story. This model has Bluetooth 5.0 and features up to 12 hours of battery life, and while this doesn’t compete with a dedicated Bluetooth kit for your car, it’s more than enough for a weekend road trip.

Anker Soundsync A3352

Anker Soundsync A3352

Best Bluetooth AUX Receiver

The Anker Soundsync A3352 is one of the simplest ways to add Bluetooth to a speaker or headphones. Use the included dongle-style jack for to most convenience, or use a 3.5mm cable instead for headphones or extra flexibility.


What is Bluetooth?

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless communications standard. While it’s often used for streaming audio between devices, it’s also used for wireless keyboards, mice, and even for remotely controlling vehicle features.

What is a Bluetooth receiver?

A Bluetooth receiver is a simple way to add Bluetooth connectivity to a device that lacks it, by accepting Bluetooth signals and outputting them as analog or digital audio. You can use a Bluetooth receiver with speakers, headphones, or even a home stereo.

What is the difference between LDAC and aptX?

Both LDAC and aptX are Bluetooth audio codecs. LDAC is developed by Sony and is more recent than the original aptX codec, though it isn’t as popular. While LDAC has higher audio quality than Qualcomm’s standard aptX codec, it isn’t nearly as popular and isn’t found in as many products.

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By John P.

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