Last updated on May 20th, 2021 at 09:44 pm
In this article: We'll review 11 of our best pick FM Transmitter, Aux-in, Visor Style and OEM integrated Bluetooth adapters and kits to bring streaming music, handsfree calls and more to your car. We'll provide quick reviews, opinion, photos and price comparisons to help you save money on the Bluetooth device you choose.
- Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters
- Best Aux-In Bluetooth Adapters
- Best Visor Style Bluetooth Devices
- Best Bluetooth Kits for Factory Radios
Bluetooth technology revolutionized the automobile environment by creating an easy to use system of wirelessly connecting devices to your car stereo. Bluetooth has become so popular, most new cars today have built-in Bluetooth available. Adding Bluetooth to a vehicle that doesn’t have it is fairly easy and you will have several options available regardless of what you drive.
Sometimes, it’s easier and better to simply replace your factory head unit with one that has built-in Bluetooth. You can buy single-DIN and double-DIN car stereos to install in your vehicle that will give you wireless communication. This is a good option if your factory stereo doesn’t work, is poor quality, or has terrible audio performance.
For many other drivers, swapping out the head unit is an expense that simply isn’t worth doing. In many cases, factory head units are odd shapes and sizes or include controls for heating and air conditioning or other features that an aftermarket stereo won’t easily replicate. For these folks, there are several different types of Bluetooth transmitters you can use to add wireless connectivity for hands-free calling and wireless music streaming.
In this list, you will find some of the best Bluetooth transmitters on the market today. We grouped them according to their primary use or function. A Bluetooth transmitter can increase your options for listening to music when driving and can provide a true hands-free environment for making and receiving phone calls while you are driving.
Looking for accessories to add to your car? Check out these lists!
Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters
This type of Bluetooth transmitter simply plugs into your 12 volt accessory socket to provide you with Bluetooth functionality in any car. These devices work by sending a radio signal to the FM band of your car stereo. Once you pair the transmitter to your phone or other device, you simply set the transmitter and your car stereo to an unused FM band. These devices offer a compact and simple solution to almost any vehicle.
1. Best Overall FM Transmitter Pick: Anker ROAV F2
- Plugs into 12V acc socket
- Simultaneous charging for two devices via USB
- Transmits FM signal to the car stereo
- Includes ROAV app
- Car Finder feature marks your vehicle location when signal is lost
Anker ROAV F2 Quick Review
The Anker ROAV has been one of the more popular FM transmitter types on the market for many years. The F2 is the newest model and features a stable Bluetooth connection using the 4.2 protocol. The device plugs into a 12V socket and provides dual USB ports to charge your devices while you drive.
The ROAV has some neat features you don’t find on other products, including the ability to location mark your vehicle when you park. This will make it easy to find your car if you happen to forget where you parked. The ROAV app makes setup easy and gives you the ability to connect the Anker device with other compatible ROAV accessories.
This device allows wireless streaming of music from iPhone and Android systems. It includes a built-in microphone for making hands-free phone calls.
- Easy to use, install, and set up
- Low profile appearance disappears inmost car interiors
- Microphone is less than ideal
- Some users report connection issues when starting and stopping the vehicle
2. Nulaxy KM18
- 1.44” LCD screen provides up-to-the-minute information
- Large phone button provides safe connection for hands-free communication
- Compatible with Siri and Google Assistant
- Single USB charging port
- Sends signal to FM station on car stereo
- Aux-in feature as well
|Buy on Amazon.com $26.99|
Nulaxy KM18 Quick Review
The Nulaxy FM transmitter provides you with an excellent and highly functional solution to getting Bluetooth streaming in your older vehicle. The device plugs into a 12 volt accessory socket and provides you with a 1.4” LCD screen for easy monitoring. A large button on the device enables fast hands-free phone connections.
This is an excellent option for adding Bluetooth, particularly for vehicles that have a 12V socket on the center console. The unit rides on a gooseneck that allows you to twist and flex the screen for optimal viewing. A single USB port lets you charge a device while you drive.
While there are many affordable options out there, this one gives you a few rare features. Noise cancellation technology enhances call clarity and helps to limit road noise. HiFi sound quality ensures that you will hear music and phone calls at the highest quality possible. This newly upgraded design also uses the Bluetooth 5.0 protocol for the most reliable streaming experience possible.
- Looks cool and futuristic
- Easy to find phone connection button is a huge plus
- Bluetooth 5.0, Assistant-ready, and HiFi sound quality are big pluses
- Not ideal for some vehicles due to shape of unit and location of 12 V accessory socket
- Sometimes switches to Chinese language preference on its own
ZEEPORTE FM50 Quick Review
This is one of the most functional compact designs around and offers a few interesting features that are uncommon on FM transmitter Bluetooth devices. So functional, we even installed one in our own vehicle and reviewed it! The ZEEPORTE device features three USB charging ports, including one that uses the latest USB-C format for ultra-fast charging and reliable connection.
A dedicated phone connection button provides lightning-quick connection to phone calls for true hands-free driving. It uses the latest Bluetooth 5.0 protocol for reliable connections. It even features five built-in EQ modes to tailor your payback to the style of music you listen to.
ZEEPORTE added a little fun to this device, too. It features a five-way user changeable lighting ring that has several modes to add a little color to your drive. Light-up USB ports make connections in the dark easy and safe.
- USB-C port is vital for users of newer devices
- Light-up ring is cool
- Some users report defects causing ACC fuses to blow
- Somewhat large size may not fit in all vehicles
Best Aux-In Bluetooth Adapters
Though falling out of favor these days, many older vehicles use a 3.5mm headphone jack to allow connecting of phones and devices for various purposes. While you can typically connect your phone directly using a cable, it isn’t the most elegant solution. If you want to use the Aux-In port without the spider web of charging cables, these FM transmitters will get the job done for you in a pinch. If your vehicle doesn’t have an Aux-in port, you can always add one, though it is a bit of work. An advantage of using the Aux-in over an FM transmitter is the audio quality will be improved and there is less noticeable lag, particularly when making or receiving phone calls.
1. Best Overall Aux-In Bluetooth Adapter Pick: Kinivo BTC450
Kinivo BTC450 Quick Review
Here is an elegant solution to gaining Bluetooth connections in your car. The Kinivo transmitter plugs into the Aux-In port on your stereo and provides over-the-air music and hands-free calling without the obtrusiveness of many designs.
Installation is a snap. Simply use the included adhesive pad to attach the disc-shaped device to a convenient place on your dash. One cable will connect to the Aux-in port, while the other routes to the 12V accessory plug. To answer, all you do is press the center of the disc. It really couldn’t be simpler.
The accessory plug that powers the device also allows you to charge your device using a dedicated USB port. Out-of-the-box, this is an easy-to-use product. With a little time and patience, you can adjust settings in your device to even enable advanced features like access to Google Now to use as an assistant.
- Doesn’t clutter up the interior of your car with weird looking devices
- Easy to use, simple to pair, and reliable
- Doesn’t light up, so it can be difficult to use easily in the dark
- Won’t provide hands-free calling or answering unless you are streaming music
2. Mpow BH298A
- No cables- Plugs directly to a 3.5mm jack on your stereo
- Wirelessly streams music and phone calls
- Bluetooth 5.0 protocol
- 10-12 hour battery
- Also works for TVs, gaming systems, and headphones
MPow BH298 Quick Review
When you are looking for a simple solution to adding Bluetooth to your older car or truck, the MPow FM transmitter is an ideal opportunity you shouldn’t pass up. This is a sleek and simple way to add connectivity. No cables, no nonsense, just plug-and-play in the most convenient form possible.
This FM transmitter is fairly simple. It plugs straight into your 3.5 mm jack and connects wirelessly to your phone, tablet, or other Bluetooth-capable device. You get the fastest, easiest connections because of the Bluetooth 5.0 protocol and it works with pretty much any car, truck, or van on the market.
The MPow BH298 has its own rechargeable battery, so you don’t have to deal with wires running from the unit to your 12V plug like other options. Plus, the blade-like design is convenient and easy to use. Make wireless calls, stream music, combine the two- this is a great solution when you have an Aux-In available.
- Lightweight and easy to install
- Simple to use, provides a great connection
- Long-term battery issues
- Can’t charge battery and play music simultaneously
3. Elwin T3
- Transmitter and receiver in one package
- Plugs into 3.5mm Aux-In on any device
- Allows for Bluetooth headphones at home and wireless streaming in the car
- Rechargeable battery reduces random cords
|Buy on Amazon.com|
Elwin T3 Quick Review
Sometimes you want to transmit a signal, other times you want the device to receive the signal. Most of the products here do only one thing-transmit. This little device manages to do both. So, you can use it in your car to Bluetooth music to your stereo, then take it inside and stream the content to your TV, stereo, or use it for wireless headphones while gaming.
The transmitter provides an easy, one-touch hands-free calling button so you don’t have to take your eyes off the road when driving. It uses a 3.5mm audio jack and has a built-in rechargeable battery and can connect two devices at once. The device can be used when it is charging, also.
The ability to use this device to create a Bluetooth environment with virtually any equipment makes it a great option. It is a simple and effective solution for drivers of older vehicles, those who have home entertainment devices that don’t have Bluetooth and is perfect for gaming systems and wireless headphones.
- The ability to switch from receiving to transmitting is very useful
- Easy to pair with almost any device
- Large answer/ reject button for convenient hands-free phone calls
- Instructions for clearing and establishing connections are not very clear
- Not compatible with all TV sets or soundbars
Best Visor Style Bluetooth Devices
Many drivers are totally happy with their car stereo, but lament that it lacks hands-free calling. Visor-style Bluetooth devices are not meant to stream music. Instead, these devices provide you with better hands-free calling than most stereos or other devices that focus on streaming music.
- Visor-mount hands-free calling device
- Three on-board speakers and dual microphones for crystal clear calls
- Voice control provides hands-free operation
- Virtual surround sound technology and noise reduction
- FM transmitter for audio playback
Jabra Freeway Quick Review
The Jabra Freeway is one of the best hands-free solutions on the market. It’s also significantly more expensive than any other option on this list. What you get for that extra expense is a crystal-clear calling environment that is both easy to use and highly reliable.
Jabra gives you three high-fidelity speakers built into the low-profile design and dual microphones. Phone calls are crystal clear, even in trucks with knobby tires and loud exhaust. Similarly, people you talk with can hear you very well without a lot of distortion. With the device mounted on the visor of your car, answering or declining calls is simply a matter of tapping the button. You won’t ever have to look away from the road again.
The Jabra freeway can transmit music to your stereo using an FM transmitter or it can play music directly through its onboard speakers. It won’t blow your doors off, but it is a great way to play music in your office. The Jabra Freeway can connect two devices simultaneously and has a built-in rechargeable battery.
- Excellent call quality
- Simple to use interface makes pairing with devices simple
- Long battery life with short recharge time
- Pricey option for adding hands-free calling
- FM transmitter isn’t as good as some other options
2. Besign BK06
- Dual speakers and single microphone
- Provides easy hands-free connection for making and receiving phone calls
- Auto On/Off
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Bluetooth 5.0 protocol
- Compatible with voice assistant for Android and iPhone
Besign BK06 Quick Review
The Besign visor hands-free device is a great, low-cost option that outperforms many higher priced units. Dual speakers provide good call quality even in loud vehicles. The unit is also quite small, so it doesn’t look like you have a massive box hanging from your visor. The Besign BK06 is compatible with popular AI Assistant technology and can provide voice navigation commands.
The auto on/off feature is one of the neat functions many devices in this price range fail to include. It lets you leave the device powered on when you come and go, turning on and off automatically when the car door closes. This simple convenience doesn’t seem like a big deal until you use a hands-free device that requires manually connecting each and every time you get in the car.
The Besign does not provide FM transmission, so don’t count on this device if you want to stream music. It allows you to connect up to two devices simultaneously and has a built-in battery with an advertised operation of 20 hours.
- Easy to use device for adding hands-free tech to any vehicle
- Dual speakers are plenty loud enough for phone calls in noisy vehicles, even work trucks
- Convenient On/Off feature eliminates connection frustration
- Microphone isn’t the best
- Some users had difficulty configuring phones for voice recognition, auto On/Off, and navigation
Motorola Sonic Rider Quick Review
Motorola provides a simple, compact, and easy-to-use solution to getting hands-free calling in your older car. The visor-mount device features a single speaker and microphone for clear calls and voice commands. It has a low-profile design that blends in easily in most vehicles.
Call quality is very good, as expected from a reputable brand like Motorola. It connects easily to your phone and enables you to make and receive phone calls safely and without breaking any laws. While it can play music from your device, it really is intended to provide phone interface, not audio playback quality.
Large buttons make it easy to adjust volume, connect devices, and any other task you might want to do while driving. The built-in rechargeable battery provides 40+ hours of operation between charges. It can even connect two phones simultaneously while you drive.
- Small size is ideal for many vehicles where an obtrusive device is inconvenient
- Simple pairing with any device
- Inexpensive option for adding hands-free calling
- Single microphone picks up road noise in louder vehicles
- Single speaker doesn’t provide clear sound at high speeds
Best Bluetooth Kits for Factory Radios
It’s pretty common to find used vehicles on the market that do not include hands-free calling despite the technology having been available when new. If your car or truck has non-functional buttons for hands-free calling, you can add these devices to enable use. These are vehicle-specific solutions, so they won’t work for everyone.
1. Crux BT-Series Adapters
- Installs to a factory stereo for compatible vehicles
- Provides hands-free calling and wireless streaming to vehicles that do not have factory controllers, but had the feature as an option when new.
- Provides a seamless installation without cables, cords, and battery issues
Crux BT- Series Adapter Quick Review
Crux provides one of the most reliable Bluetooth devices for vehicles that are equipped with hands-free buttons, but not a controller. Installation of these devices is more complex than other solutions, but once you have it hooked up, your vehicle looks factory without weird things sticking out of the dash or hanging from the visor.
Crux provides controllers for a wide range of vehicles. The device simply plugs into the unused ports on the stereo and involves making connections to the steering wheel controls. This is a seamless way to add Bluetooth streaming to your factory radio. You’ll even get an Aux-In port which can be very useful for providing even more streaming options.
- Works perfectly with compatible vehicles
- Excellent way to gain factory tech without expensive modifications to the vehicle
- Provides access to controls that are otherwise useless
- Requires significant installation
- Won’t compensate for terrible factory speakers
2. USA Spec BT-45 Adapters
- Gain hands-free calling and music streaming in vehicles without a factory controller
- Seamless operation with correct installation
- Adds USB and Aux-In ports for vehicles that don’t include them
USA Spec BT-45 Adapter Quick Review
USA Spec provides a Bluetooth solution for vehicles that lack factory-installed connectivity. These hands-free devices are vehicle-specific, so they won’t work for everyone, but many of the most popular cars and trucks around have options available. You get an Aux-In and USB port, too.
These devices are great for upgrading your factory car stereo that doesn’t have a controller. It lets you stream wirelessly, make and receive phone calls, and is compatible with iPhone and Android voice assistants. Installation is a bit more complex than stand-alone devices, but you won’t have wires hanging around the dash.
- Ideal solution for vehicles without optional Bluetooth
- Factory-looking installation
- Works flawlessly with Android and iPhone voice assistants
- Somewhat expensive in comparison with replacing the head unit
- Requires significant installation to use factory controls
Adding Bluetooth to any vehicle is simpler today than ever before, and the newest protocol gives users reliable, simple, and effective options for hands-free calling and music streaming. Any of the devices on this list will suit your needs, it’s really how you want to gain the options that matter most. No matter which device you choose, you’ll avoid getting a ticket that costs far more than any of these devices, avoid getting into accidents, and make it fast and simple for you and your passengers to enjoy the audio content, navigation, and hands-free convenience your vehicle lacks.