Trond 2-in-1 Bluetooth transmitterSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

Best Bluetooth Headphone Adapter iMore 2020

The best Bluetooth headphone adapaters don't just help you with getting your favorite pair of Bluetooth headphones to work with your Nintendo Switch — they have many other uses. Sometimes, you don't have a good Bluetooth speaker around to play your music, but if you have a regular speaker with a headphone jack, then a high-quality Bluetooth headphone adapter would really help you out. For our money, the TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver is the best Bluetooth headphone adapter you can get. It comes with a detachable 3.5mm cable, supports the latest version of Bluetooth, and is a multipurpose adapter so it can both receive and transmit audio.

Best Overall: TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver

Taotronics Bluetooth Reciever And Tramistter Lifestyle RenderSource: Taotronics

If you've spent a substantial amount of money on high-end headphones, this TaoTronics receiver is the route you want to take if you use headphones on the go. While it's still far from the sound quality provided from a wire, Bluetooth is simply way more convenient for work commutes and long flights, so its use will go far.

One of the most important aspects of choosing any kind of audio device is seeing if the proper audio codecs are available on your device. For iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch users, it's SBC and AAC on the device side — and SBC, AAC, and aptX for Macs. It gets more complex with Android. With Android Oreo, Google has added support for AAC and LDAC, in addition to SBC, aptX, aptX-HD, and aptX-LL. Fortunately, this TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 adapter offers the standard SBC, aptX, and aptX-HD codecs.

It doesn't support AAC, but that isn't a huge problem. Both SBC and AAC are lossy codecs that run anywhere between 256 and 320Kbps, which is perfectly fine for streaming Apple Music, Spotify or most web-based content.

Ultimately, the reason you'd want to use a Bluetooth audio adapter is if you have a pricey set of wired headphones that you want to convert to Bluetooth. Whether you want to use it full-time or just for certain scenarios is totally up to you, but if you want the transmitter that'll work in almost any scenario, go for this option.

Pros:

  • Supports Bluetooth 5.0
  • Supports SBC, aptX, and aptX-HD for high-quality audio
  • Detachable 3.5mm cable
  • Can transmit and receive audio

Cons:

  • Micro-USB for charging
  • Missing AAC, aptX-LL and LDAC Bluetooth codecs

Best Overall

TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver

Comes with detachable cable.

The TaoTronics Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter and Receiver does it all with Bluetooth 5.0 — you can't ask for more.

Best Value: FiiO μBTR HiFi Bluetooth Wireless Receiver

Fiio Bluetooht Reciever Lifestyle PhotoSource: Fiio

FiiO is a more reputable brand when it comes to audio equipment and audio amplifiers and DAC (digital-to-analog converters). The FiiO μBTR offers USB-C for charging and supports all the major Bluetooth audio codecs including SBC, AAC, and aptX.

It also includes a clip that lets you clip the adapter on your shirt or pants for easy stow away while on the go. The biggest downside for the FiiO μBTR is that it's still supporting Bluetooth 4.1 instead of 5.0.

We put the TaoTronics adapter in front of this one from FiiO because it lacks Bluetooth 5.0 and the TaoTronics adapter is a better value since it acts as both a transmitter and receiver. However, the value the FiiO μBTR HiFi Bluetooth Wireless Receiver provides for its low cost makes it one of the best bluetooth headphone adpaters on the market.

Pros:

  • Independant volume contorl
  • Supports SBC, aptX, aptX-HD, and ACC
  • Built-in microphone

Cons:

  • Only supports Bluetooth 4.1
  • Can only recieve signal

Best Value

FiiO μBTR HiFi Bluetooth Wireless Receiver

Supports all the major Bluetooth audio codecs.

It supports the basics when it comes to Bluetooth audio codecs, the most important thing when looking for an adapter.

Best Budget Option: Mpow BH044 Bluetooth Reciever

Mpow Bluetooth Receiver RenderSource: Mpow

The Mpow BH044 Bluetooth Reciever isn't the fanciest kid on the block, as it only supports the SBC audio standard. But, it does have access to high-quality codecs like other receivers and it's a really effective way of getting the job done.

Have a regular wired speaker you want to play music through? Just pop the Mpow BH044 Bluetooth Reciever into the AUX jack and you'll be streaming music from your phone in no time. It may not be the highest-quality audio you've ever hear, but it will be clear and sound good engouh for most people. Perfect for keeping the tunes going at your next get-together with friends.

Pros:

  • 10-hour battery life
  • Built-in microphone for calls
  • Built-in play/pause button

Cons:

  • Only supports SBC audio standard
  • Only Blutooth 4.1

Best Budget Option

Mpow BH044 Bluetooth Reciever

Basic, but effective for most people

While it only supports the universal SBC audio standard, that's good enough for most users.

Bottom line

Bluetooth audio adapters can be confusing and picking one can be a tough choice. Bluetooth and Bluetooth audio, specifically, is fairly confusing even though it looks like it should just work. When it comes to Bluetooth audio adapters, one of the most important things to look for is which codecs does your device support? Which ones are supported by the adapter? In order for the adapter to use a codec, both the adapter and the device need to have support for the codec. You may want also to check the impedance rating of your headphone, as higher-end audio gear (typically open-back headphones) that requires additional amplification over the wire is not recommended for use here.

However, most devices should use the proper codecs, so the best Bluetooth heaphone adpater will make your life a lot easier — and help you listen to your favorite tunes more often.

The TaoTronics Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver is the best option on the market. It supports the SBC, aptX, and aptX-HD audio codecs. Plus, it has a detachable cable and a long battery life. Since it's a transmitter and reciever, this choice helps you out in more situations than other adopaters with only a single function.

Whether you're looking to use a pair of wired headphones with your iPhone, or you want to play music through an analog speaker, the TaoTronics Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver will get you on your way to rocking out more often.

Credits — The team that worked on this guide

Peter Cao is an audio enthusiast. Constantly testing and reviewing headphones, it's rare to see him with the same headphone twice.

Luke Filipowicz is an iMore staff writer who also frequents the gym and writes a ton about headphones, speakers, and all other things audio-related.

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