We usually take our mobile devices’ Bluetooth connectivity for granted. After all, this simple technology has become an indispensable means of convenient, short-range wireless connectivity. But despite this, many desktop motherboards do not come with built-in Bluetooth capabilities.
But luckily, there is an easy way to fix that!
Almost no modern motherboard will be lacking in the USB port department, and adding a Bluetooth adapter (commonly referred to as “dongle”) can be quite cheap and as simple as plugging in a regular USB drive.
In this article, we will be bringing you a small selection of the three best Bluetooth adapters that you can get right now!
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- Very affordable
- Good value
- Driver may be difficult to install properly
- Does not work as seamlessly on older versions of Windows
About The Dongle
At the low-end of the price spectrum, we have a Bluetooth dongle made by Zexmte. This is a rather small company, so don’t worry if you haven’t already heard about it before. They mostly deal with small electronic accessories such as this particular adapter.
The dongle itself is tiny with a simple black frame that allows it to blend in with most laptop or desktop exteriors. It uses the latest backward-compatible Bluetooth 4.0, and it is probably the cheapest dongle out there that you can get and not fear it is dead on arrival.
If you want a basic Bluetooth adapter as cheap as possible, we can wholeheartedly recommend Zexmte’s product. The dongle has proven to be quite reliable, especially given its low price, although you may run into some trouble if you are using an older version of Windows.
What’s more, while the driver installation disc does arrive in the package, it lacks any sort of manual, which might mean a short Googling session if you are a casual PC user.
- Highly stable connection
- Native compatibility with Windows 10
- Clunky official drivers
About The Dongle
Next, we have a USB Bluetooth dongle from Avantree, an international company with plenty of experience in manufacturing a range of accessories, including multiple Bluetooth-based products.
Their dongle is just as small as the one sold by Zexmte, although it resembles a higher-quality product. Its exterior comes with rounded edges and with a glossy black finish that truly gives off a certain aura of dependability.
While a bit more expensive, Avantree’s Bluetooth adapter has proven to be more reliable and more comfortable to use than any of the cheaper solutions.
It is especially convenient for Windows 10 users as it supports plug-and-play compatibility with that OS. However, older versions will require you to either install the drivers from the bundled disc or the company’s site.
We recommend to let older versions of Windows download the generic driver for this dongle, as the official software provided by Avantree has proven to be somewhat unreliable, unlike the dongle itself.
- Stable signal
- Good driver support
- Plug-and-play with Windows 10 and Windows 8
- A bit more expensive than the competition
About The Dongle
Asus is the first significant and recognizable name on this list, although the branding is the only thing that differentiates their dongle from the other, cheaper dongles at first glance.
Once again, we have an incredibly small USB adapter that is unnoticeable both when plugged into the side of a laptop or a PC’s front panel. It is also marginally easier to grip and remove from a port than other dongles due to the exterior’s design.
The dongle has plug-and-play compatibility with both Windows 10 and Windows 8, and the provided Asus drivers work correctly with Windows 7. However, we haven’t had the opportunity to test it on XP.
Even if you happen to encounter some issues, you can always download the latest drivers from Asus’ website, and the dongle comes with a thorough manual.
We have found virtually no fault with this dongle, apart from the fact that it is a tad more expensive than others in its category. However, we feel that this is more than justified given how well the dongle works, as well as the instructions and support offered by Asus.
How To Pick The Best Bluetooth Adapter For You
Bluetooth adapters are hardly cutting-edge technology, and as such, you will not find many big and familiar companies making them. Rather, the bulk of the market’s supply of these products comes from obscure manufacturers, some of which are downright shady.
There is neither a wide price range nor a multitude of different technical specifications to consider when buying a Bluetooth adapter for your PC, laptop, or console.
Usually, the best course of action is to turn to the product that seems to have the best track record. This is particularly important if you’re buying cheap dongles from unknown manufacturers, as it is not unusual for such electronic products to be dead on arrival.
Other than that, there are simply not that many factors to consider, seeing as all the current dongles use the same technology – Bluetooth 4.0 and USB 2.0.
Dongles are not made with USB 3.0 simply because the older version offers more than enough throughput for efficiently communicating data transferred via Bluetooth.
The Best Bluetooth Adapter Of 2021 – Asus BT-400
Taking all of the pros and cons of the above three best Bluetooth dongles, the one made by Asus Bluetooth dongle takes a decisive victory.
It offers a stable and responsive connection, is easy to install and use, and even its design is very “grippy,” allowing for it to be removed from a port easily. On top of that, it also comes with a detailed manual, something that appears to be absent from most cheaper products.
Ultimately, we only recommend getting a dongle other than this one if you’re looking to be as thrifty as possible, and either of the other two dongles on this list will be good choices in that scenario.