The Best Bluetooth Car Adapter – Buying Guide

The Best Bluetooth Car Adapter – Buying Guide

INTRODUCTION:

From HIFI sound security systems to simply taking calls, Bluetooth adapters can increase the potential of your system that doesn’t have wireless connectivity. If you have a vintage car with a high-quality sound system that doesn’t have wireless connectivity, a Bluetooth adapter can certainly help a lot.

We have picked and chosen a wide range of adapters coming from some of the most reputed brands after careful testing. A good adapter has high-quality sound streaming and clear sound quality during calls. Furthermore, it should be easy to use and should have a great controlling scheme. Some of the high-quality models have voice command support as well which eliminates the need to go for the adapter itself to operate it. This makes them easy to use as well as safer during driving.

While choosing these products we have made sure to consider all the above factors. So without further Ado let us get going.

How we picked and tested

First, we tried to find as many devices as possible that were rated highly by real-time reviews. There are a couple of places that we looked for reviews like CNET and PC mag. But the reviews on those review sites were years old and we needed fresh reviews to shape our opinion. So we poured in some Amazon reviews as well which brought us to new facts. Some of those we presumed because they were so obvious and some of them were tested.

There were a few things we kept in mind while comparing these. Whether these are noise canceling, whether they have a dual microphone for high-quality call quality, what is the quality of Bluetooth or FM connectivity, and how easy were they to use considering the common experience of users. Keeping in mind all those things, we choose the candidates for this list. For finalizing the products for this list we subject them to tests and established the following criteria for them to pass for this list:

Audio quality:

When you purchase a Bluetooth adapter, this is probably the most important factor to consider. If an adapter is loaded with features that may work well but has no sound quality, then there is no point in using it and listening to bad quality music. It is all about the experience so we give this factor the utmost consideration in choosing the products and don’t compromise on it.

Unless you have a crystal clear sound for calls and high-quality music, an adapter is good as a brick. But we focused more on the call quality as these devices are specifically designed to take calls primarily. Secondly, you can use them to play music as well. If you want a true Bluetooth experience, you need both high-quality calls and high-quality music. The products that didn’t have either of those were discarded.

 Ease of use:

You are most likely to use these adapters while driving and putting them inside your car is of no use if you have difficulty in using them. While driving you must focus on the wheels. If a device diverts your attention, it is not safe for you to use during driving. Therefore, we looked for those products that have easy to press and identifiable buttons so that you don’t have to look every time on the adapter when you want to change the music or attend to a call. For that purpose, we tried our best to choose products with voice command support.

 Power source:

Most of the adapters work with the 12v accessory port. But we also kept in mind to choose that transmitter that has at least one USB port for charging so that while you are using the adapter you can also charge it.

 Brand Reputation:

There are over a million sellers on amazon selling more or less the same thing with the same features. There is no associated brand name with many of them or at least no known brand associated with the products. Amazon offers hundreds of those products. So we only chose the products that have a good reputation based on recent customer reviews.

Elimination based on reviews:

Anything that had many bad reviews, we didn’t consider that product for this list. Anything we found to be suspicious or had low reviews, we discarded from this list.

Testing voice quality:

During our actual testing phase, we performed several voice quality tests before writing this guide. To gauge out the voice quality, we tried leaving voicemails to other phones to test how it sounds. We tried first with windows closed and then with windows open to see how good their noise cancellation works. Then we distributed the copies to different people in our team to test out the quality and give their feedback. Based on that feedback only we formed the aggregate and rated the products based on this factor. You will see that some products on this list may not have a lot of features but are still ranked on the top. That is solely because of the reason that our primary control factor was the voice quality above anything else. We followed the same procedure to test out music streaming quality.

Our Top picks for the best car Bluetooth adapter

10. Nulaxy KM24 Bluetooth Car Adapter

Nulaxy KM24 Bluetooth Car Adapter

Nulaxy is known for its innovative ways of bringing new technologies to the consumer market. It is one of the early brands that took a step in manufacturing Bluetooth devices for cars. When it comes to Bluetooth hands-free kits, you can’t get better than this. This is a plug and play unit and works conveniently by just plugging it into the power hose.

This is probably the best Bluetooth car adapter. Some of the best features it has are the ability to talk on the phone and play your music simultaneously while you are driving. When you receive a call, it automatically turns down the volume of the music which is great. This also makes it much safer for you to drive while you are listening to music. Syncing it with your phone is easy and it takes seconds to connect it to your phone. This gives you a good hands-free experience.

As far as compatibility is concerned, we didn’t find any devices yet which were unable to connect to this Bluetooth adapter. There must be very few devices that cannot connect to this Bluetooth kit. As of yet, it connects easily with all the popular devices. It also has a bright and large display that has high visibility even in broad daylight. Therefore, it is suitable for both daytime and nighttime use.

The device also comes with a handy switch to turn it off so that it doesn’t eat away your car’s battery when it is not running. As far as the sound is concerned, it is crystal clear. It also has two USB ports so you can use one for transferring data and one as a charging port.

Pros

  • Compatible with almost all Bluetooth devices
  • Crystal clear sound
  • Large display
  • Dual USB ports for charging and data transfer
  • Handy switch
  • Multiple modes to play the music

Cons

  • Only supports up to 32 GB of storage
  • Does not come with a lot of display options

Sound quality: We compared the sound quality of this one with other devices and this one far exceeded our expectations in terms of sound quality. It is crystal clear when it plays music and calls are amazing on this thing.

9. Roav VIVA by Anker

Roav VIVA by Anker

This is quite a unique Bluetooth-enabled hands-free device. Anker has always given us surprises and this product is no different. So first things first; this thing has got support for Alexa which gives you a seamless hands-free experience. In fact, this device is laden with other unique technologies that divorce themselves from tradition.

For example, it has a voice-activated navigation system which makes it function like a GPS trigger as well. You can enjoy some amazing quality music with this one while you are driving. Taking calls is easy and the sound quality is also very clear. It syncs with the Alexa service offline to make sure that you have a completely private experience of calling.

The best thing we like about this device was its dual microphone which outperforms several other products on this list. If the mic quality is concerned then this is at the top. It only lagged a bit owing to its price though. The mic ensures that the sound quality is crystal clear. It also has two USB ports for fast charging which makes sure that your device stays charged all the time for you and others to enjoy music during your journey.

Pros

  • Supports Alexa voice control technology by Amazon
  • Voice-activated GPS navigation
  • Dual microphones for high-quality calls
  • ‘Tap to mute’ function
  • Two USB ports for FAST charging

Cons

  • It may not be compatible with all vehicles
  • No option to transfer data through USB ports

Dual Microphones: The best thing we like about this device was its dual microphone which outperforms several other products on this list. If the mic quality is concerned then this is at the top. It only lagged a bit owing to its price though. The mic ensures that the sound quality is crystal clear.

8. Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit

Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit

It is not good to drive while listening to music. But if you can’t get over that compulsion then you need to keep your focus on the road because safety is above all. Fortunately for you, this model has all it takes to be one of the safest hands-free out there.

With its awesome wireless connectivity, you can easily take your calls and change music without lifting your hands from the wheels. The Bluetooth has a high transfer speed so you don’t experience any jitters.

It connects to all devices easily. Whether it is android or IOS, this device has no problem in connecting to any of them. The built-in microphone is capable of catching even the slightest of sound. Even though it is far from your mouth, it still amazingly cancels background noise while still keeping your voice crystal clear.

Pros

  • Auto Connects makes it easy to connect
  • High-Quality Microphone ensures a crisp and clear voice and cancels ambient sounds
  • Connects to all devices in seconds
  • Best for safety
  • Private phone synchronization

Cons

  • No option for multiple pairing
  • Does not have many connectivity options

Strong connectivity with auto-connect: The auto-connect feature ensures that once your device is paired with the phone, it connects to it in seconds the moment you have started your car. With an amazing microphone and strong Bluetooth connectivity, this is one of the best quality Bluetooth devices you can get for your car.

7. Besign BK01 Bluetooth Car adapter

Besign BK01 Bluetooth Car adapter

The Besign is a perfect device for you if you want to add some versatility to your music and are tired of listening to the radio again and again If you want to enjoy the same music in your car as you would enjoy on your tablet, then Besign has got a solution for you.

This device is a high-quality Bluetooth car adapter that is specially designed for music. This adapter has multimedia controls so you can easily change the tracks with the adapter itself. It can be docked at the docking station that comes with the device. After docking, you can easily operate it.

The controls are something we really liked. They are simple, yet effective. It only has a three-button control system and those three buttons can execute all the necessary commands. You can easily pause, play, forward, just by using only these three buttons.

As far as for connectivity, we had a splendid time while we were testing it with various devices. In a nutshell, it didn’t disappoint us. It was immediately recognized by our devices and was very easy to pair with. Once you are paired, the next time you connect, it connects instantly when you start your car.

It also comes with a noise reduction microphone. Although it is not a full-on noise-canceling microphone it does the job well. We didn’t notice any noticeable ambient sounds during the calls except for when there was heavy traffic.

Pros

  • Passive noise cancellation microphone
  • Connects with more than one devices at the same time
  • Controls are very easy to press
  • High-quality sound

Cons

  • The docking station is of low quality
  • The docking station doesn’t stick well with the car because of its poor adhesive quality.

Multiple connectivity: The best thing about this adapter is its ability to connect to multiple devices. So let us say you want it to connect it to your phone for calls and to your friend’s phone for music, you can do it simultaneously which is a welcoming feature.

6.  Nulaxy Wireless FM Transmitter

Nulaxy Wireless FM Transmitter

A Bluetooth car kit should come with high-quality sound quality, good streaming capacity, and should have great controls preferably LCD controls. Thankfully this device has got all of those. A good adapter such as this will not only allow you to make high-quality calls but also allows you to listen to music while taking calls and driving.

It instantly gets recognized and connects to tablets and other handheld devices very easily. This Bluetooth kit comes with a large display that allows you to see and control the device easily without having to put much effort. It also shows a large caller ID on your screen to see who is calling. Just ask Google assistant to attend or reject the call and you will be good to go.

This device has two USB ports which can be simultaneously used to charge the device and transfer and stream data as well. Just connect it to the power line to one port and your phone or tablet to the other. This model also supports generic devices like mp3 players.

With all this, comes a great sound quality for calls, music, and even the FM. The device has a high-quality FM transmitter that gives you lossless playback. The good thing is that unlike other adapters, this device doesn’t directly connect to the AUX for FM. Instead, it produces a high-quality signal that your stereo can catch.

Pros

  • High-quality sound
  • Great built-in FM radio transmitter
  • Lossless playback
  • Support for generic legacy devices

Cons

  • No auto shutdown function

FM transmitter: Quite strangely, this adapter has its own FM transmitter. So in case your car radio is broken and you want to hear something important, you can use this feature to stream the radio.

5.  SoundBot SB360

SoundBot SB360

If the above products don’t suit your need and you need something different that is small yet versatile and packed with features at the same time then take a look at this. The Soundbot is a hands-free adapter that uses Bluetooth connectivity to provide you with music playback and attend to calls. This will make your driving experience while listening to music convenient and safe.

The good thing about using Bluetooth devices like this is that you stay aware of your surroundings and your journey is safer as compared to hands-free in your ear. The installation is simple and all you need to do is dock it. The docking station comes with the package and I must say that we liked the quality of it.

We liked the noise-canceling microphone that does its job well and brings you clearer sound.

Pros

  • High-quality FM transmitter
  • No need to connect USB for FM
  • Connects automatically
  • Clear sound

Cons

  • No noise isolation

Wearable mount: The best thing we liked about this adapter is its wearable mount which you can wear and bring the adapter closer to yourself or anyone else so that the voice can stay crystal clear.

4.  TaoTronics Bluetooth enabled Car Kit

TaoTronics Bluetooth enabled Car Kit

If you love your car speakers and want to extend their potential then TaoTronics is something you need to consider. Go wireless with this awesome Bluetooth adapter. You don’t need to buy a new headset just to listen to music while driving. Just plug these in and your work is done.

This adapter won a place on this list because of its affordability. It is dirt cheap and comes packed with a lot of features. This easily gets plugged into your car’s jack or audio unit and you can sync it to multiple devices at once which is great.

The call quality is average but the noise cancellation is amazing. Even though it is not active noise cancellation, it does its job pretty well. This results in clearer communication and makes up for the average call quality.

Testing this on different devices yielded positive results as there was not a single device that didn’t recognize it. The connection is instant and you don’t have to wait for it to connect. It is compatible with generic devices but it will work the same with your iPod as well. With iPhone, it is fully compatible with SIRI and its voice commands as well as Google assistant.

For charging it takes only two hours and you can have a backup of almost 15 hours.

Pros

  • Compatible with a wide range of Bluetooth devices including legacy devices
  • Two microphones for better sound quality during calls
  • Clearer sound quality made possible with CVC noise-canceling technology
  • One-click to activate Google assistant and SIRI
  • Can be synced with up to two devices

Cons

  • No display screen
  • Does not come with a powering cord

Fast charge: The best thing about this product is that it charges extremely fast. For charging it takes only two hours and you can have a backup of almost 15 hours.

3.  TaoTronics Car Kit

TaoTronics Car Kit

Your car stereo and your phone are limited if you don’t have wireless connectivity. You can do so much with both of them. All this adapter does is that it plugs into your car’s stereo and allows you to enjoy hands-free music and calls.

For making the call quality better, this adapter has adaptive noise cancellation technology called CVC 6.0 which greatly reduces background ambient sounds and provides a clear sound during calls. It is very flexible when it comes to connectivity. It can connect to two devices at once to increase the user experience ten folds. One device can be used to attend calls and another solely dedicated to music. But you will have to stop the music on the other device manually since it does not automatically turn the volume down during the calls.

The controls are simple yet they have outstanding functioning. They are designed to be visible at night with backlit lighting and are separated so that you can use them just by feeling them without having to look at them. This makes it more convenient if you are the one who is driving.

The battery only needs to charge for two hours and then it can give you a battery backup of 15 hours which is excellent.

Pros

  • High audio clarity during calls
  • High-quality music streaming
  • Very easy to use by easy mounting
  • Excellent controls

Cons

  • Does not have a display

Powerbank: The best thing about this adapter is its unique feature to use it as a power bank. It can charge two devices at the same time which is something we don’t see in Bluetooth adapter

2.  Optimum Bluetooth FM Transmitter

Optimum Bluetooth FM Transmitter

If you want something that is working right out of the box and connects to your car in an instant then Optimum Bluetooth transmitter is an option worth considering. It just gets plugged into the powerhouse of the car. Using it is pretty simple. Just plug it in and tune it to work with your car’s stereo and play your music through Bluetooth.

It acts as a charger as well and has two ports for it. One outputs one ampere at 5 volts for normal charging and the other one outputs 5 amps on 5 volts for faster charging. So you can charge two devices at the same time without having any power shift on either port.

But you are not getting this device for charging. You want to play music and attend calls. In our tests, we landed on the opinion that the calls were one of the clearest we have ever tested. This is primarily due to their new CVC 6.0 technology which brings excellent noise canceling to the mic. The controls are very ergonomic. They make attending calls and control the music in a matter of seconds. The buttons protrude and you can use them without even looking at them. Every button has a different feel so you don’t get confused between the reject and attend button. The same goes for the buttons for musical controls.

If you want to lose yourself in music then it is a great choice for you. If you are addicted to music and can’t drive without it then you just need to plug in your collection through a USB and the rest will be done by the adapter. Apart from that, it also can connect wirelessly through all known devices like iPhone, iPad, Samsung, and various other android smartphones and even generic devices like small mp3s.

Pros

  • Flexible connectivity
  • High-quality sound production
  • FM transmitter
  • Excellent noise reduction
  • Affordable

Cons

  • There were some issues with some devices being disconnecting without any reason
  • Charging other devices can make this adapter heat up

Fast charging along with music: This device can fast charge your phones and other devices with its 2.4 amps charging capability. Aside from listening to music, it makes sure that none of your devices ever run out of juice.

1.  Avantree 2108 CK11

Avantree 2108 CK11

To ensure a clearer call quality and high-quality music Avantree has introduced the CK11 that comes with 2W speakers that are built in to reduce the background noise and echo. Another striking feature is its stunning capability to give you a real hands-free experience by using SIRI and Google Assistant voice commands. This feature can also help in GPS navigation at the same time which is excellent in our opinion.

It will also switch between calls and music seamlessly to give you a smooth experience. When you are on the call, it automatically turns off the music to make sure that you are not disturbed during your call.  We found that the installation is pretty easy. Just plug it in and place it on the visor and it starts working. It can connect to two devices at one given instance through its dual-link technology which is great if you want to use two separate devices for two separate purposes.

The best thing about this product is its ability to keep synced with your devices all the time. It lets you turn your devices into power on mode when you open the car door and switch off when you leave your car and close your door making everything automated. These functions will consume a lot of power but you don’t need to worry as they come with huge battery life and has a standby time of up to six hundred hours.

Pros

  • Easy to pair with all Bluetooth enabled devices
  • Excellent audio quality
  • High-quality clarity of sound during calls
  • Huge battery life with a great standby time

Cons

  • Does not support any type of USB charging
  • Controls are not that great

Always on sync: This feature allows you to keep your devices synced at all times. Just open the door to connect to your device automatically and switch it off when you leave the car.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  Who Should Buy a Bluetooth Car Kit?

Bluetooth kits are suitable for every person who drives frequently. If you have a HiFi sound system that doesn’t have Bluetooth connectivity then Bluetooth adapters are worth buying as they can increase the potential of your already existing sound system without having to replace it. They are a supplement to your sound system. These kits are useful for use as a hands-free alternative for your system. They allow you to receive and make calls and listen to music wirelessly. You can connect them to various devices like headphones, phones, earphones, and even your home systems if they are in range.

2.  How Do Bluetooth Car Kits Operate?

They might be advanced gadgets but they work in a pretty straightforward way. To understand how these kits work, first, you have to understand that there are many types of Bluetooth adapters and each of them works differently based on its functionality.

Transmitters

These are the kind of adapters that usually don’t have the traditional audio jack. Instead of directly connecting to the jack they use an FM radio signal to connect to the already existing system of your car’s stereo system. To make them work, you have to tune both the adapter and your system to the same frequency. These kits also connect to various other devices like phones, iPods, tablets, and legacy devices like mp3s. These adapters relay each signal to the radio of your car through your phone. For connecting these to your car, the car’s cigarette lighter is used.

Jack operated  adapters

As evident from the name, these adapters connect directly to the 3.5 mm jack and do all the work.  It connects to your phone through Bluetooth and streams the data. They also come with a docking station that has controls to comfortably use the device. They are powered by connecting them to your car’s lighter port.

Battery-powered transmitters

Other models connect to the stereo or your phone in the same way but they do not need to be plugged in all the time as they have a rechargeable battery that can run continuously for hours. They can also be used by plugging them into the lighter port as well. They can be charged via a USB cable if you have one inside your car or you can use an adapter that plugs into the lighter port to charge your devices.

3.  What Type Of Phones Does Bluetooth Car Adapters Support?

Well, it really depends on the model. Most of the newer models are known to be compatible with almost all the newer phones with Bluetooth connectivity and are also backward compatible with previous versions of Bluetooth. If you have bought a new model then you need not worry as it will support all the Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

4.  How to Connect Bluetooth Car Kit to a stereo?

There are different ways to connect your adapter to a stereo and it depends on what kind of connectivity your adapter has. Some of the models will connect directly to the 3.5 mm jack while others use AUX cables to connect one end to the adapter and the other to the audio jack. Some of the high-end models don’t even need a physical connection and they connect to your car’s stereo system through transmitting radio signals that can be tuned to the same frequency to connect the device to the system. However, this method can cause interference if you have similar frequencies in your area.

5.  How to Connect Bluetooth Car Kit to your phone?

Although all the devices connect to the phones in the same way there may be small differences. Just remember to checklist some things. Turn on your Bluetooth and always set it to visible.  Set auto search always on. Search for your phone using your car kit. The moment the pairing is finished your device is ready to be used.

6.  Can A Bluetooth Car Kit Harm The Car’s Battery?

There is a high likelihood that something like this can happen provided that you have turned off your car. Some cars automatically turn off all the peripherals including the lighter port that uses a battery. If your car doesn’t do those automatically, just remember to turn off the lighter port every time you switch off your car.

7.  Why do people hear An Echo When I Use The Car Kit?

There is no proper solution to this problem. If you are experiencing eco issues during your calls, then it might be a problem with your car kit and it is time to upgrade. Newer models use ambient noise and echo cancellation technologies to minimize this effect.

8.  How do you play music through Bluetooth in your car?

There are different ways to play music through Bluetooth in your car. If you have a stereo system that supports Bluetooth by default then you are in luck and you won’t need to buy additional hardware. Just connect your phone or any music playing device that supports Bluetooth to your car wirelessly and start playing music. If however, that is not the case then you can always purchase a Bluetooth transmitter that will act as a bridge between your phone and your car’s stereo system. Note that the way you set up your devices may vary depending on the model of your car, the adapter, and your phone

Conclusion

This detailed guide aims for you to be able to pick the best Bluetooth car adapter for your car. We have provided a wide range of products in this list for you to be able to choose according to your preference and budget. Not all car adapters work the same and neither all of them work the same with every car system as well.

So before you plan on purchasing the best car Bluetooth adapter for your system, do consider if the adapter is versatile enough to have a lot of modern features or not. For example, does it have ambient noise reduction? Is it compatible with other car systems as well? Does it auto-sync and connects fast to the car’s stereo? Does it have good noise cancellation? Does it have a dual microphone for high call quality? If you ask these questions before making a purchase, we can guarantee that you are not going to be disappointed with your purchase. So what are you waiting for? Go grab your Bluetooth car adapter now!

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