Best Bluetooth Audio Receiver for Home Stereo Setups: 2020 Buyer’s Guide
If your home audio system lacks Bluetooth capability, then investing in the best Bluetooth audio receiver is a must. This type of audio receiver is versatile, easy to use, and offers the latest in audio tech. These devices offer excellent usability, audio quality, range, and connectivity. If you’re just not ready to give up on your old home audio system, this type of device can add wireless streaming to your speakers or existing home stereo setup, providing better audio quality for a price that’s affordable.
I’ve put together this in-depth buyer’s guide to go over what features to look for in your next Bluetooth audio receiver, how they work, and exactly how they can take your home audio system to a whole new level.
Bluetooth Audio Receiver Comparison Chart
1Mii B06Pro Long Range Bluetooth Receiver
This long-range dual antenna Bluetooth audio receiver has a range of 197 feet for line of sight and up to 50 to 70 feet for indoor use, with no obstacles. Keep in mind, the device’s operation range can be impacted by antennas on a stereo receiver or Wi-Fi routers. This model features a 5.0 Bluetooth chip for a high-fidelity audio signal that’s perfect for home stereo systems or music streaming to speakers. The 3D audio can be turned on and off by simply pressing the 3D button located on the receiver. To skip tracks, users can press and hold the volume button for two seconds. Setting up this receiver is easy. To do, plug the cords into home stereo systems, speaker system, or computer speakers then pair the receiver with other Bluetooth audio devices such as a tablet or smartphone. This model also works with voice commands if paired with an Echo using the Alexa app.
- Compatible with Alexa
- Easy to set up
- Long line of sight range
- Simple controls
- May require users to constantly pair devices with each use
This receiver features basic controls, which makes it more user-friendly. It also offers an impressive indoor range and line of sight range, so users can enjoy wireless music streaming anywhere in the home. The ability to pair it with an Echo and use voice commands via Alexa gives buyers another reason to purchase this receiver and update their current speaker and home stereo systems.
Besign BE-RCA Long Range Bluetooth Receiver
Besgin offers the best wireless solution for your wire stereo system and speakers. This Bluetooth receiver can instantly turn an outdated stereo system into a Bluetooth capable system, allowing users to wirelessly stream music all over their home. The model’s long-range wireless functionality has a line of sight rating for up to one hundred feet, which is about average. Of course, obstacles in the home, such as tall furniture and walls can have a negative impact on the system’s range. The device’s low latency technology provides top of the line audio quality. It’s powered by a micro-USB with automatic reconnection. To use and connect with other devices, simply hold down the power button for a period of three seconds. This will allow the receiver to pair automatically with Bluetooth compatible devices.
- Easy to use
- Automatic pairing
- Long range capability
- Low price
- Obstacles in the home can impact Bluetooth range
- Single antenna design
This model features a single antenna design, automatic pairing, and simple controls that will allow you to easily pair new devices, adjust volume, and more. This is a model that’s designed to instantly modernize your outdated home stereo and speaker system, and one that’s priced affordably, easy to use, and offers excellent audio quality.
AUKEY Bluetooth 5 Receiver
This model allows users to wirelessly stream audio from any Bluetooth enabled device from existing car or home stereo systems. The receiver comes with built-in rechargeable batteries that support up to eighteen hours of playback time, with one thousand hours of standby time. The dual device link allows users to connect up to two Bluetooth capable devices at the same time. This receiver comes with a two-year warranty, a forty-five-day money-back guarantee, a micro-USB cable, RCA audio cable, 3.5 MM audio cable, and the Bluetooth receiver. The system’s biggest drawback is its lower than average range of just thirty-three feet, for line of sight use.
Of course, this won’t be an issue if you’re planning on using the receiver indoors only.
- Built-in rechargeable batteries
- Two-year warranty
- Designed for home or car use
- Forty-five-day money-back guarantee
- Short range
This receiver is designed for both car and home use and can instantly update your audio system, allowing you to stream your favorite tunes wirelessly. The built-in mic and dual connection allow users to answer the phone and enjoy music at the same time, while the battery-powered design adds to the receiver’s portability, so it can be used for long car trips, vacations, and more.
VR-robot Bluetooth 5.0 Audio Transmitter Receiver
This is a two in one system complete with a receiver and transmitter. When the device is placed in the receiver mode, users can wirelessly stream audio from a Bluetooth enabled computer, tablet, phone, headphones, speakers, or wired stereo. When it’s placed in the transmitter mode, it can wirelessly stream audio from non-Bluetooth devices such as speakers, headphones, CD player, home stereo systems, or TVs. This device doesn’t require a driver, so installation is as simple as plugging it in and switching it on. The receiver runs on a built-in rechargeable 200mAh lithium battery. This model offers powerful wireless streaming capabilities and comes equipped with a 5.0 Bluetooth chip that ensures high fidelity transmission. This is a model that can instantly boost audio quality for multimedia speakers, radios, subs, ordinary speakers, Echo speakers, and more.
- 5.0 Bluetooth chip
- Transmitter and receiver
- One-year warranty
- Low range
If you’re looking for an affordable way to give your home stereo system a makeover, this model by VR-Robot is it. This receiver and transmitter in one is very versatile, compatible with any type of Bluetooth device, and will make a great addition to any type of home audio system. The device is covered by a one-year product warranty, with a sixty-day return policy and also includes lifetime accessible technical support.
Harman Kardon BTA-10 External Bluetooth Adapter
This dual antenna Bluetooth receiver allows you to stream your favorite music, wirelessly, from your home stereo system, tablet, or smartphone. It can easily be connected to your Windows, Android, or Apple devices and includes connection cables that will work with any type of digital device with an analog input, so you don’t have to purchase additional accessories. This model also comes with an LED indicator light that will blink when it searches for any compatible devices. The light will remain lit to notify users that it was able to successfully pair with the device. In terms of range, this model offers up to forty feet.
- Easy to use
- LED pairing indicator light
- Dual antenna design
- Low line of sight range
This is a receiver that’s versatile, equipped with two antennas for improved range, and a model that features a simple plug and play design that makes it more user friendly. The built-in LED light will alert you right away once a device has been paired successfully. Additionally, the receiver is compatible with most operating systems and will be a great choice for computer speakers, wired speakers, and home stereo setups.
iLuv (i111BT) Bluetooth Stereo Audio Receiver
If you’re looking for a versatile, high-tech and highly portable Bluetooth receiver, then your search is over. This two-way Bluetooth stereo audio receiver features separate volume controls, so when you’re using the receiver for two devices at once, you can control the volume for each device. The receiver’s splitting adapter features a built-in mic so users can also answer an incoming call, hands-free. This model is voice command compatible, so it can be used for Google Assistant and Siri. This battery-powered receiver can be charged using the included micro-USB cable. The receiver has a max range of thirty feet, which can be reduced further if there are any obstacles in the receiver’s line of sight.
- Voice command compatible
- Built-in mic
- Separate volume controls
- Not compatible with Alexa
This compact Bluetooth receiver is perfect for home, car, and on the go use. The dual design allows you to connect it to two devices and use them simultaneously. The shorter range may be a drawback for people who want to use the receiver outdoors, but for car and home use, the thirty feet max range is more than enough. The ability to use voice commands makes it easy to control the volume, or skip tracks using Google Assistant or Siri. Overall, this system may not be the best choice for outdoor use, but it will be a great addition to any car stereo or home stereo setup.
Bluetooth Audio Receiver Buyer’s Guide
These days, it seems like almost every new gadget released on the market is equipped with Bluetooth technology. Which is what makes Bluetooth technology so versatile. An audio receiver that’s equipped with Bluetooth can be a total gamechanger.
You don’t have to invest in an entire new system, if your audio system at home doesn’t have Bluetooth. An audio receiver is an affordable, easy to use add-on that offers a whole new level of usability, audio quality, range, and connectivity. You can now enjoy wireless streaming using your existing setup and enjoy better audio quality, at a price that’s affordable. If your computer, tablet, or smartphone has Bluetooth, but your home audio setup doesn’t, then a Bluetooth audio receiver will allow you to stream your music wirelessly in order to enjoy better sound quality.
These receivers are so appealing because they allow you to play your audio through an existing setup, without having to plug in a cable. This means that connecting and pairing your devices with your Bluetooth receiver will be a cinch. If connecting the receiver through your phone is spotty, then you can always opt for a cable. Additionally, the range of the receiver will be long enough to cover a typical living area. A wireless device will not be useful if you’re not able to roam with your device.
Essentially, purchasing one of these receivers will allow you to instantly upgrade the audio quality of your home system. However, these receivers offer a variety of benefits that you may people who have never heard of a Bluetooth audio receiver may not be aware of, which I’ll discuss below, before I dive into the must-have features to search for.
Bluetooth Audio Receiver Benefits
- A Bluetooth audio receiver is designed to make life easier in a variety of ways. This type of receiver will allow you to wirelessly stream music in your home using your existing audio system and speakers. You can connect a variety of devices simultaneously to ensure you have surround sound to watch your favorite movies and shows and the type of audio quality you want when you’re streaming music.
- This type of device is an essential part of a home audio system and one that allows you to convert your wired speakers into wireless ones. This option is more affordable than purchasing a new set of speakers.
- If you don’t want to buy a new surround system for your home, or a new stereo system, using a Bluetooth audio receiver is the best, and most versatile option. You can use these devices to enjoy TV in surround sound, or strategically place speakers all over the home and enjoy music in every room.
- Models that have multi-room use will allow you to set up zones and play different music within a dedicated zone.
- These systems are easier to set up and pair than ever. Most receivers are compatible with a wide range of operating systems including Windows, Apple, and Android.
- You won’t have to spend a fortune on an audio receiver with Bluetooth connectivity. Many people think that purchasing a new set of speakers is the best and easiest way to upgrade sound quality, and it can be, but if you’re on a tight budget or you already have wired speakers and don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a wireless speaker system, then purchasing a Bluetooth audio receiver is the smartest choice.
Other Important Features
These devices can take your home stereo system to the next level and they’re the best option if you’re on a tight budget and don’t want to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on an entirely new home audio system. Their versatility is one of the biggest reasons they’re the go-to option for many people who want to enjoy wirelessly streaming music around the home. Unfortunately, not all models are created equal, which is why you’ll need to do your own research to ensure the model you choose is compatible with your existing system.
Below, I’ll go over what features to look for to ensure you purchase a receiver that will be a great addition to your existing system.
When you’re shopping for a wireless receiver, make sure that the model you choose offers a range of at least one hundred feet. A lower range can mean you’ll struggle with connectivity if you’re moving with your phone or tablet around the home or in the yard.
A good Bluetooth audio receiver will sound just like a wired, direct connection. Whether a receiver comes close to this sound quality standard will depend on the make and model of receiver and its built-in digital to analog converter, in addition to its other audio circuitry, not to mention how the audio has been compressed for transmission. Bluetooth doesn’t come equipped with enough bandwidth to allow it to transmit uncompressed high-quality audio. Because of this, these types of setups utilize one of several codes in order to compress audio for transmission. The bit rate of compression can vary based on the available bandwidth for wireless. The audio receiver will decode the transmitted data for playback on a speaker setup.
Digital audio output allows the user to use a separate DAC for improved sound quality. Many receivers that are designed for home theater receivers will come equipped with their own DAC, while other systems will have a dedicated DAC in their setup. Not everyone will need or want this feature, however, it’s good to have a model that comes equipped with it and receivers with this feature will not cost much more than models without it.
Some models will come with a built-in multi-channel amp that’s used to power a large speaker setup. When it comes to an audio receiver, the ideal wattage will depend on the power requirements for the speakers you have, as well as the size of a room. You’ll come across a wide range of acceptable wattages. For minimal distortion and the clearest audio quality, go for a model that offers the higher end of this range.
On the back panel of a receiver you’ll find many different connections for audio components. Most of your devices will connect to a receiver using HDMI cables, which will carry both video and audio signals.
For a system expansion, you’ll want a model that has several HDMI inputs.
If you have a turntable, look for a model that comes with a dedicated phono input.
When you’re shopping for a Bluetooth audio receiver, look for a model that comes with a minimum of seven channels. Even if your home audio system consists of just a pair of speakers, you can always add more speakers later down the line if you want to expand your system. With the minimum of seven channels, you’ll be able to enjoy cutting-edge sound. If you want to listen to your music outdoors, you can use two of the channels to hook up a couple of stereo speakers for outdoor use and five for surround sound indoors.
An audio receiver can be used to connect all types of audio components, but you’ll also come across many models with built-in support for popular streaming services such as Tidal and Spotify.
Many receivers will work with multi-room music platforms that will allow you to stream your favorite tunes on compatible speakers that you have set up throughout your house. You can also create different zones in the home and control the music you’re playing in each zone using your tablet or phone, or with simple voice commands.
Most models will come with a free app that will allow you to use your tablet and phone like a remote. These apps will make it easy to stream music from online sources, adjust settings, control the volume, or switch sources. These apps are the simplest way to control the multi-zone feature, so you can easily choose a room to stream music in and select the type of music.
Voice control adds an entirely new level of convenience to a home stereo setup. When you don’t have the remote handy or if you can’t find your phone, all you need is your voice. Models with voice control capability will work with voice-activated virtual assistants for easier control of your system.
Some models will support Google Home voice control or Alexa.
Using verbal commands, you can tell your system to:
- Control music playback in each room
- Unlink or link rooms in a multi-room setup
- Change the input selection
- Unmute or mute the receiver
- Go back to the previous track, skip, pause, or play a track
- Raise or lower the volume
- Turn the receiver on or off
Whether you have Google Home or Alexa, voice control is always improving. Google Assistants are getting smarter all the time, while Alexa continues to learn new skills.
Ease of Pairing
With Bluetooth receivers you’ll need to pair devices. Pairing is just the initial configuration process that’s associated with a couple of devices, such as the receiver and a PC, or a smartphone and tablet. Pairing will allow these devices to communicate with each other. Once you’ve paired two devices, they will stay paired, even if one of the devices is shut off, or if one of the devices moves out of range. You will only have to pair devices once.
Connecting devices refers to establishing an active connection via wireless. When you shut one device off, or one of the devices moves out of range, the two devices that have been paired will disconnect in order to save energy and to free each other up for connecting to other types of devices. You can easily reconnect devices when you need to. When devices disconnect it will not have an impact on the pairing between the two devices. However, if you unpair devices, then this means that they will no longer automatically try to connect to each other.
Some types of receivers will reconnect to a paired source that’s within range automatically, while other models will require a manual reconnect using the receiver’s Bluetooth menu.
The price of an audio receiver with Bluetooth capability can range from just $22 up to $300. The higher priced models will offer the most functionality and versatility and will often come equipped with voice commands and multi-room use. If you’re not looking for a feature packed model, then you can easily get by with a receiver that’s moderately priced and equipped with the basic features you need to boost sound quality at home.
Purchasing a receiver with a warranty will ensure you can try out the receiver and return it if it doesn’t perform as the manufacturer claims it can, or exchange it for a new receiver if the model you buy is defective. On average, you can expect a receiver with a warranty that ranges from ninety days up to three years. Obviously, higher priced models will be covered by a lengthier warranty compared to low-priced receivers, which will give more shoppers incentive to buy.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a Receiver Make a Difference in Sound Quality?
A receiver will allow users to manage their audio using more speakers. This type of receiver will also include more audio channel options and will work to amplify sound, while also performing single room correction on the signal. This will also help to improve sound quality.
How can I Make My Old Stereo Bluetooth Compatible?
To make your stereo compatible with Bluetooth technology, you’ll need to purchase a Bluetooth adapter. There are many options currently available on the market. To use, hook up the adapter to your system, pair it with your tablet or phone, and then any audio that comes out of the device can be floated around the home wirelessly to the installed speakers.
What’s More Important Speakers or a Receiver?
Receivers are significantly more important. Any type of receiver will work well with speakers of normal sensitivity and impedance. You can go for a low priced receiver and still enjoy better sound, unless the speakers you have are challenging to drive.
Will Upgrading Speakers Make a Difference?
Replacing the stock speakers in your home audio system is the best way to improve audio quality, aside from investing in a top of the line audio receiver.
How Long Should a Receiver Last?
A receiver can last up to thirty or forty years, depending on hardware quality. Because of the rapid advances in audio technology, the typical lifespan for a home receiver is about five years. You can easily make your home audio receiver last up to ten years while making other simple upgrades, such as a new set of speakers.
The best Bluetooth audio receiver will work with your existing home theater or stereo setup and will offer the type of functionality you’re looking for, whether you want a model that comes with voice command capabilities, multi-room use, or the ability to pair with several devices in the home. The models in my top six lineup each come loaded with some great features that will allow you to finetune your home audio setup, so you can enjoy listening to your favorite music in any and every room of your home.