Music enthusiasts and audiophiles often have to make compromises when buying new equipment for themselves. Besides cost, the most common dilemma is deciding between convenience and overall performance. You could get a huge sound system, but then there’s the issue of space. Perhaps the biggest issue is deciding between a convenient Bluetooth speaker or a high-end system.
Well, why not both? While most aficionados will hate the thought of it, you can add a Bluetooth receiver to your stereo system for added convenience. You can make your home stereo into a Bluetooth system by this method and control it from your phone. This is helpful if you’re feeling lazy, or want to save yourself the hassle after a long day’s work.
However, if you want maximum performance, these things can cost a considerable amount. So if you’re looking for the best Bluetooth audio receivers worth your money, we’ve got you covered. After extensive research and testing, here are 5 of our favorites.
For our top pick, we wanted to include a receiver that could form a reliable Bluetooth connection and have great audio performance. Along with that, good value for money is also very important. Thankfully, the Denon Professional DN-200BR excels in all of that and more. The “Professional” part of the name is definitely justified here.
The most striking thing about this Bluetooth receiver is its build quality. It is constructed out of metal and feels incredibly solid. There is some heft to it as well, which means it won’t break apart any time soon. Denon has engineered this in a manner so that it can be installed near or on your system. It has built-in eyelets for mounting screws.
At the front, we have a status indicator, a level adjustment, a proprietary port for the Bluetooth module, and a 5V 2A DC input for power. At the back, we have two unbalanced quarter-inch outputs and two balanced XLR outputs. This is great if you want to use high-end gear with it. If you want to use it with a traditional 3.5mm jack, you’ll need an adapter.
As you would expect from Denon, the sonic performance is absolutely exceptional. Unless you are using a very high-quality Dac/Amp combo, you most likely won’t notice a major dip in audio. Of course, there is a bit of loss in audio, but it is barely noticeable. It is priced just a bit higher than what most people would be comfortable with, but it is worth it.
Next up, we have a Bluetooth receiver that is from a very recognizable company. Audioengine has been long known for making great high-quality equipment. The Audioengine B1 Bluetooth Music Receiver is no different. It looks very similar to their 24-bit D1 DAC and sounds exceptionally good.
As I just mentioned, this Bluetooth Receiver looks very similar to the popular D1 DAC. They have implemented a minimal aluminum design here, with a very small footprint. The Bluetooth antenna extends upward from the back. The back panel houses the outputs and connectivity.
It has an RCA stereo output, a 24-bit optical output, and a micro-USB port for power. Pairing this receiver with a phone is incredibly easy, and takes a matter of seconds. If your phone supports the aptX codec you’ll benefit from even better performance along with Bluetooth 5.0. Since it is so portable, it even comes with a carrying pouch.
This receiver really does bring modern convenience to an older sound system. It performs exceptionally well, and it is a bit ridiculous just how near-perfect reproduction it has. It has a 100ft of extended Bluetooth range, and if you don’t have routers in the way, it can form an even better connection. You also get Audioengine’s excellent customer service.
The major downside is the price. You can actually find a good pair of powered Bluetooth speakers for a bit more money.
If you are on a budget and just need to get that old audio system to work with your phone, this is an excellent option. The Etekcity Unify Roverbeats is a simplistic Bluetooth receiver. It’s not going to replace your high-end audio equipment, but for general purpose, it’s actually quite the bargain.
The design is nothing much to write home about, but it does happen to be super compact. It just so happens to be one of the smallest Bluetooth receivers out there. This could be a major plus if you are short on space. The build quality is mostly glossy plastic, but you wouldn’t expect much at this price.
It is also very lightweight, weighing at about 28g. You could carry this around with you if you wanted to use it in a car. It is fairly simple to get it up and running. A seamless connection once entered in pairing mode keeps things nice and simple. It uses Bluetooth 4.0, so you get about 33ft of range.
There is only one 3.5mm output, while a micro-USB port is used for charging. The battery holds up for about 10 hours. Sound quality gets the job done if you just want to do casual listening. It depends on how good your speakers are, but there is a considerable amount of lossy compression. However, it’s perfect for the car or if you want to bring back those old speakers to life.
Moving on, we have an extremely small and compact Bluetooth receiver. Seriously, you could put this thing in your pocket and barely notice it. This Logitech Bluetooth Audio Adapter definitely looks and feels the part, and it sounds great too. However, it’s not without its quirks.
The small size makes it incredibly easy to hide in your entertainment setup. You could even add double-sided tape on it and hide it underneath a table. It draws power from a power adapter that can be plugged into the back of the device. It has a 3.5mm auxiliary output, along with RCA. Logitech even includes a 3.5mm to RCA cable for added flexibility.
The giant Bluetooth button on the top is what activates the pairing process. From there on, you simply pair the device with your phone, and you’re good to go in a matter of seconds. It has a range of about 50ft. Sound quality is actually quite good, considering the small size. There is a little bit of lossy compression, but nothing to make it unenjoyable.
The real issue, however, is the connection. It does form a strong connection but tends to jump around a lot. If you pair two devices with this receiver, it will often switch to the one with the stronger signal, even while playing audio. You could say it’s inconsistent. Apart from that, it makes a very loud noise when connected, which is frustrating in the middle of the night.
As more smartphones keep on removing the headphone jack, using the aux cable in your car isn’t exactly easy anymore. If you happen to have a car stereo system without Bluetooth, you absolutely need an adapter to play your favorite songs while on the go. The Mpow Bluetooth Receiver is the best option for that.
It is a bit pricey for such a small adapter, but considering the overall quality, it’s not a bad deal. It is quite compact, so you can plug it into your car’s stereo system and forget about it. There is a prominent power button at the front and volume buttons at the side.
There is also a button at the top to switch between devices. It even has a microphone built-in to take calls, although the quality is pretty bad. It automatically reconnects to the last paired device, so you never have to mess around with it. Sound quality is acceptable for the size and it’s actually quite decent if you want to use the car stereo.
The only downside is the price and battery life. Battery life is good enough with about 10 hours of use, but if you want to use it in the car, you’ll need a car charger with you. You’ll need to frequently unplug it to charge otherwise.