The 5 best Bluetooth car adapters on Amazon

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Best Bluetooth Car Adapters

While self-driving cars are making some serious advancements, the one in your driveway might be a bit less cutting-edge. So your car doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth; no problem. The best Bluetooth car adapters upgrade your vehicle’s wire-free capabilities for relatively cheap. At the very least, your Bluetooth adapter should be able to play music and make hands-free calls through your car’s stereo system from your smartphone — but you should also consider the means of connection and the additional features while shopping.

What criteria to consider

First, know which ports your car has. Some adapters plug into your car’s 12-volt auxiliary power outlet (also known as a DC connector or, formerly, your cigarette lighter). Others use the auxiliary (or aux) input that looks like a headphone jack, and some might even work through a car’s cassette player.

Even if your car has a few of these ports to choose from, each type of adapter has its pros and cons. For example, an adapter that plugs into the 12-volt outlet won’t need a power source, but it’ll probably require that you tune your Bluetooth to a specific radio station. Aux adapters, on the other hand, play straight through your car (no radio frequency required), but they often need regular recharging.

Not all adapters with the same plug-ins are created equal, either. Some have screens and on-device buttons so you can better control the adapter. Others have one or several USB ports, so you can charge your phone at the same time. Some even have built-in lights and sensors that help you monitor your vehicle’s battery condition.

These five Bluetooth adapters come in a wide range of types to suit most cars, and they have some pretty cool additional features, too.

Shop the best Bluetooth car adapters

In a hurry? These are the best Bluetooth car adapters.

  1. The fan-favorite Bluetooth car adapter: Nulaxy In-Car Bluetooth Adapter
  2. A compact option with 2 charging ports: Anker Roav SmartCharge Bluetooth Transmitter
  3. The option for better sound quality: Besign Bluetooth Car Kit
  4. The easiest to use: COMSOON Bluetooth 5.0 Receiver
  5. The best Bluetooth cassette adapter: Arsvita Car Audio Bluetooth Cassette Receiver

1. The fan-favorite Bluetooth car adapter

The Nulaxy Bluetooth adapter has more than 100,000 Amazon reviews and a 4.4-star overall rating, all because it’s reliable, easy to use, and comes with several awesome features. (At just a little over $15, it’s also pretty affordable.) This one plugs into your car’s 12-volt power outlet and uses a vacant radio frequency so you can make hands-free calls and listen to your music. In addition to its convenient on-device buttons, single USB charging port, and flexible gooseneck, it also has a large, easy-to-read screen that even lets you check up on your car’s battery voltage. Last but not least, it works with most cars and most smartphone models.

One reviewer wrote: “I’ve had a Bluetooth receiver in my car for years, but it was difficult to set up and I had to get an extension adapter because of the location of my car’s outlet. Taking calls didn’t work that well either. This one is SO easy to set up, the gooseneck and display makes it easy to see, and taking calls is perfect. Great sound and controls too.”

Connection type: 12V power outlet | Playback controls: Yes

Also available on: Walmart, $17

2. A compact option with 2 charging ports

Maybe a screen and a gooseneck are more than you need. In that case, opt for the Anker Roac SmartCharge Bluetooth adapter. It’s both a transmitter and receiver that plugs into your 12-volt outlet so you make calls, stream music, and charge two devices at once while you're at it. Even though it’s tiny and unobtrusive, it has built-in echo-cancellation to reduce background noise during calls — all for less than $20. (The trade-off: It’s incompatible with some car models, so check the list at the bottom of the description before you purchase.)

One reviewer wrote: “Works great in my 2003 Subaru Outback. Obviously with any FM transmitter, your mileage will vary based on how crowded the FM spectrum is in your area. Search through a few dead static stations on your radio and then tune the transmitter to that station. Pick the one with the least amount of background noise/hiss. Pair with your phone and you’re good to go. If you’re traveling around you will have to tune to another station as actual FM stations will fade in and out. Works great for what it is and the price, and the 2 USB charging ports provide ample juice.”

Connection type: 12V power outlet | Playback controls: Yes

Also available on: Walmart, $17

3. The option for better sound quality

There’s a lot going on with this one: It requires a 3.5-millimeter jack, has a multifunction button that sticks to your dash, and comes with an additional USB charger that goes into your car’s power outlet. That said, for someone who wants crystal-clear audio through their car, the BESIGN Bluetooth car kit is worth it. Why? It has a built-in noise isolator, which grounds the audio to prevent buzzing and echoing. It’s capable of receiving both calls and music, and according to reviewers, the sound quality is incredible for both.

One reviewer wrote: “My 2011 Prius is without Bluetooth connection so I wanted a Bluetooth receiver to keep me entertained while driving, but I didn’t want the one that needs to be connected with FM radio as the audio quality is really bad. This one didn’t disappoint me at all. Perfect audio, and it reconnects almost instantly every time I start the engine. Microphone works really great too especially with Siri.”

Connection type: 3.5-millimeter jack | Playback controls: Yes

4. The easiest to use

It really doesn’t get much easier than the COMSOON Bluetooth receiver, so if you have a 3.5-millimeter jack and don’t need radio stations, this one is definitely the easiest way to go. Simply plug it into your car’s auxiliary input to enjoy hands-free calls with its built-in mic and music with a 33-foot Bluetooth range. As a plus, the receiver can also pair with up to two devices simultaneously. The only downside is that since it doesn’t connect directly to a power source, you'll have to recharge it after about 16 hours of use.

One reviewer wrote: “Slick little unit does exactly what is expected. It pairs quickly, and uses BT 5’s excellent low power mode for music streaming (which has a notable impact on my phone’s battery life). The sound quality is perfect, and I haven’t had any connectivity hiccups. I love this little powerhouse!!”

Connection type: 3.5-millimeter jack | Playback controls: Yes

5. The best Bluetooth cassette adapter

If your car has a cassette player instead of an aux port, the Arsvita cassette receiver offers a solution. Slip it into the cassette drive, and between the premium chip and the Bluetooth 5.0 tab that hangs out, you’ll be able to make calls and listen to music through your car’s stereo using your phone. It supports most smartphone models and its rechargeable battery lasts for up to eight hours.

One reviewer wrote: “Got an older car and didn’t want to invest in replacing everything, so I found this and figured for $20 it was worth a try. Super easy to use. Sound quality is amazing. Pairs easily. Solely got it for music but having the ability to take calls over Bluetooth is a sweet added bonus. Highly recommend for those wanting a cheap alternative in an older vehicle without sacrificing sound quality.”

Connection type: Cassette player | Playback controls: No

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