Smart devices are a part of our everyday lives and I’m sure you’ll agree that a Bluetooth receiver is a must have item for safe hands-free driving. If your car doesn’t come with a Bluetooth enabled stereo, you’re probably looking for an after-market Bluetooth receiver kit.
With so many products out there and prices ranging from less than $10 up to around $80, the next question you’ll be asking next is:
How do I choose the best Bluetooth receiver for my car?
The good news is that you don’t have to worry – we’ve done the hard work for you. We’ve looked at hundreds of Bluetooth car adapters and followed up on what people have to say about their user experiences. To save you time and hassle, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 Bluetooth receivers for your car.
The top 5 car Bluetooth receivers for 2017.
We know that not everyone is looking for the same thing. Taking this into account, we’ve tried to look for something for everyone. You might be more concerned about price, perhaps quality or quite simply the best value for money.
Best Bluetooth receiver for your car – Comparison Table
We’ve looked at all these factors and you can be sure that if a product has made it onto our list, it must be worth buying.
|Product||Bluetooth version||USB charging port||APT-X Technology|
|iClever Himbox HB01||4.0||2||Yes|
|Kinivo BTC 450||2.1||1||Yes|
|LeFun Bluetooth Receiver||3.0||2||No|
|Amoner Bluetooth Receiver||4.1||0||No|
The table above shows the best Bluetooth receivers for 2018 and some key features for each one. To give you more information, we’ve compiled a detailed review of each product mentioned. So let’s move on and take a look at why we’ve selected these Bluetooth receivers to make it onto our top 5 list for 2018.
iClever Himbox HB01 Bluetooth 4.0 Hands-Free Car Kit – Best of the Best.
When it comes to the iClever Himbox HB 01 that old saying rings true – you get what you pay for. It’s the most expensive Bluetooth kit in this buying guide, but it’s less expensive than some other high-end Bluetooth adaptors. The price is justified when you consider the build quality and features, making it our top choice.
First off it makes use of apt-X technology (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AptX) which is a superior sound enhancement and noise reduction system, giving you CD audio quality. The Himbox sound quality is quite exquisite with zero delay or echo.
The all-round quality is of the highest standard and it comes with a full range of features including Google now and Siri, giving talk to assist capabilities.
It’s compact and incredibly pleasing on the eye. The round button shaped receiver has a magnetic base, which means you can attach it to any metallic surface in your car without using double-sided tape. The receiver has touch controls to skip track or play previous track, play and pause. Controls for phone functions include answer or reject call and private call option.
You can charge up to two devices from the handy USB ports and it can also handle input from two smart devices at the same time.
Setting up and operating
Setting up the iClever Himbox HB01 couldn’t be easier. Plug the power adaptor into your car’s 12V outlet socket and plug the 3.5mm jack point into the stereo aux input, switch it on and you’re ready to start using it with any Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.
To find your device simply press and hold the pairing button, wait a few seconds and your phone will be ready to connect. Every time the Himbox is powered up it will automatically connect to your phone.
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t want to compromise quality for price, this will be your first choice. While it’s more expensive than the other Bluetooth receivers we’ve looked at, you can get a lot less and pay more for it.
The excellent quality and great sound capabilities of this product at a price that is very reasonable for a high-end Bluetooth receiver, makes the iClever Himbox HB 01 the number one Bluetooth receiver for cars in 2017.
- Top quality design and build
- Can use two devices simultaneously
- Superior sound quality
- Not the most affordable
Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit – Affordable Quality
The Kinivo BTC 450 is very similar to the iClever Himbox HB01 in many aspects. The most obvious difference is that it’s a fair deal cheaper, so for those who are prepared to forego some of the extra features to save a little – this is the one for you.
Like the Himbox it also utilizes apt-X technology for great sound quality. While it doesn’t look quite as slick as the Himbox it is very similar in appearance and not at all unsightly. It also doesn’t have a magnetic mounting but does come with a Velcro pads.
Another downside to the Kinivo BTC 450 is that it only has one USB charging port and is only able to accommodate one smart device at a time.
For the rest it’s a high-quality device that also has music controls for play, pause, skip track, previous track and call functions to answer, reject or end call.
Setting up and using
Setting up the Kinivo is exactly the same as the Himbox. Plug in the 12V power socket, connect the 3.5mm jack to the stereo aux port and you will be ready to connect to any smartphone. The Kinivo should automatically detect your Bluetooth smart device when switched on – if it doesn’t simply press and hold the reset button until it does.
Once set up, it will automatically detect your smartphone every time it is switched on.
If you don’t see the point in spending too much for a good quality Bluetooth receiver for your car then this one will make a lot of sense. It may not offer you the ability to use two phones or charge more than one device at a time, but you will get high-quality sound and excellent ease of use.
- Great quality at a reasonable price
- Apt-X sound technology
- Many of the same features as more expensive options
- Can only be used by one smart device at a time
- Only has one USB charging port
Maceton WM4U Aluminum Wireless Bluetooth 4.1 Receiver with Amplifier – The Best for Versatility
While the Maceton WM4U has more limited controls than the other devices we’ve looked at, it comes with one distinct advantage. It has a built in amplifier and its own battery. So when you’re not using it in the car, the Maceton can be plugged into your headphones or any speaker with a 35mm jack port.
So the big plus factor with this device lies in its versatility. You can use it as a Bluetooth receiver for streaming music and handling phone calls in the car and then take it out and use it in your home, at the office or when you’re out jogging.
The Texas Instruments amplifier with bass boost means that this Bluetooth receiver will give top quality sound whether using it in the car or with your headphones. Virtually everyone who’ve used it has commented on the great sound quality.
A lot of people might like the fact that it has its own battery, so you won’t have wires to deal with. The downside to this is that you are limited to the life of the battery (about 8 hours). It takes one and a half hours to recharge the battery, however, you can use it whilst charging the battery.
All the functions are limited to one button for on/off, play/pause or to answer or end a call. There’s no option to skip track or rewind nor is there an option to reject a call – you’ll have to do this on your smart phone. It does have a built in microphone for hands-free calling.
Setting up and using
Like any battery-powered device, you’ll have to fully charge the battery before you use it. It must be the easiest device to operate as it only has one button, so you can’t really go wrong. Switch it on to pair it with any smart device and press the same button to start playing your music. Press again to stop play or answer a call and press again to end the call.
Once the Maceton is paired to a device it will automatically detect that device whenever it’s switched on.
This is a great choice for people who love to play their music on the go. It may not have all the user functions of all the other car Bluetooth receivers that we’ve looked at, but makes up for that in versatility.
It’s compact so you can unplug it, put in your pocket and take it with you wherever you go.
- Hi-fi sound quality
- Versatility – it can be used to play music anywhere
- Completely wireless
- No USB charging port
- Usage time limited to battery life
LeFun Bluetooth FM Transmitter – No Need for an Aux Input
Later model cars generally come with a stereo that has an aux input using a 35mm jack plug. However many older cars don’t have this, in which case you’ll want a Bluetooth receiver with an FM transmitter.
These are less popular than Bluetooth transmitters that plug into a jack point because they are bulkier and require a little more effort to set up. However, we had to include this one as there have been several inquiries from people who don’t have an aux input on their car’s stereo.
So if you’re one of those people looking for a Bluetooth transmitter and receiver, this one’s for you. It has some wonderful features, the most striking of which is the larger than usual LED screen (1.44”) which displays the number of incoming calls, the title of the song playing and warns you when the car’s battery is running low.
It has all the regular features that you’d want like play and pause, track skip, previous track and call answer or reject call. One of the dual USB ports supports plugin devices and it can also use a micro SD card. It has a 35mm jack input, so you can use virtually any MP3 device with it.
It has a very stylish design, albeit much larger than the others we’ve looked at. The good news is that it can also be used with stereos that have a 35mm jack aux input, so it’s a one size fits all device.
The LeFun has built in voice control in English and Chinese.
Setting up and using
Because it uses an FM transmitter, you’ll need to spend a little more time setting up the LeFun. The initial procedure is the same – plug it into the 12V power socket and switch it on. It will recognize your Bluetooth device and pair with it. Once it has paired with a device, it will recognize that device every time it’s switched on.
Before you can use the Lefun you’ll have to select an FM frequency between 87.5 and 108 Mhz. You can choose any frequency in this range as long as it doesn’t correspond with radio stations in your area. After setting the frequency on the transmitter, you program the same frequency on your car’s stereo and use this channel to listen to music or phone calls using your smart device.
If you drive a classic car with only an FM receiver and don’t want to spoil the look of your dashboard by installing a new stereo or simply don’t have an aux input on your car stereo, you’ll want this Bluetooth receiver and FM transmitter.
It’s not the cheapest of the bunch but offers extremely good value for money and comes highly recommended. Despite the fact that it doesn’t have the apt-X technology, the sound quality is surprisingly good.
- Can be used with stereos that don’t have an aux input
- Can take a variety of inputs
- Large screen to display information
- Doesn’t support apt-X
Amoner Bluetooth Receiver – Best Priced
For those of you who don’t want to spend too much but still want a quality Bluetooth receiver for your car, the Amoner is this year’s budget beater.
While it’s not the cheapest on the market, it’s way down there with some of the really cheap options. Often when buying items that are a lot cheaper than most, you’ll be worried about buying complete rubbish. That’s not the case here.
It’s not packed with too many features, but has everything you need like play, pause button and call answer – it can even redial the last number used at the touch of a button.
Sound quality is good, but if you want top quality sound, you should consider spending quite a bit more.
It has its own battery but unfortunately, this battery only lasts about 4 hours between charging. The plus side to the Amoner is that it can handle two smart devices simultaneously, a feature that many more expensive devices don’t have.
Setting up and using
Before you start using the Amoner, you’ll have to fully charge the battery. Once charged, switch it on and hold down the play button for a few seconds to pair with your Bluetooth device. Once it has paired with a device the Amoner will automatically connect with that device whenever it is switched on.
Buying electronic equipment on a budget can be risky. However, the Amoner has been met with high acclaim. It’s a good basic Bluetooth receiver for the car with a fair range of user functions.
It’s the best priced Bluetooth receiver on this list and for that, it’s going to be popular with many who are looking for good quality at a very affordable price.
- Excellent price
- Easy to use one-touch control
- Good build quality
- Short battery life
Best Bluetooth Receiver For Your Car - Buyer's Guide
Here are some pointers that might make your decision a little easier.
This is often the first thing we look at and that’s understandable, we never want to spend more than we have to. However, buying something that is not quite suitable for your needs purely because it’s affordable can be a complete waste of money. All of the Bluetooth receivers we’ve listed offer the best value for the features they offer. So you should look at what is important to you when it comes to using the product every day.
If you’re serious about your music and require high-quality sound, make sure you choose a Bluetooth receiver that uses apt-X technology. This really makes a difference when streaming sound via Bluetooth.
Voice activation and compatibility with voice systems like Google Now can make a big difference if you spend a lot of time in the car and need to make many calls or make use of online services whilst driving.
Take a good look at what functions each model offers and determine if they are important to you.
As with any purchase quality of design and build is crucial. You don’t want to throw good money after bad rubbish. Buy a product from a brand that you trust or get good advice from a trustworthy source. The point of reviewing the products listed above is aimed at helping choose a quality item that suits your needs.
Having gone through the list of the top Bluetooth car receivers for 2017, you’ll see that we’ve looked at different options for different users. In the end, you’ll be the one choosing the right product for you.
The top 5 list above gives you a good indication of what the strong points are for each of the Bluetooth receivers mentioned, as well as where they fall short. Before you make your decision, make sure you’re spending your money on a product that’s going to best serve your needs.
Having the correct information and making an informed choice will make the difference between investing in the right Bluetooth receiver for your car, rather than simply wasting your money. Following these basic guidelines will help you make the right decision.