Last updated on September 15th, 2020 at 09:47 pm
When it comes to making a phone call behind the wheel, a Bluetooth kit for your car is essential. In states such as California, it's even illegal to use your cellphone while driving and can result in a fine of $160+.
If you'd like to install Bluetooth in your car, but don’t want to spend the excess money on a head unit, and deal with the hassle of installation you can either:
- Use your existing car stereo's aux-in port if you have one (headphone input jack on your car's stereo). This is great for both making phone calls and playing music from your mobile phone or device, however can lead to echo issues while making phone calls.
- If you don’t have an aux-in port and your priority is making Bluetooth phone calls more than playing music via Bluetooth, a clip-on speakerphone is your best choice.
- If quality music is more important than making phone calls, you can choose an FM transmitter – a Bluetooth connection that uses a set FM station to transmit your audio (music or phone calls). These are more geared towards listening to music.
- If you'd like the best of both worlds, and don't mind the installation, you can choose from a list of our Best Car Stereos with Bluetooth in order to be able to make both phone calls and create a seamless connection with your phone for streaming music.
This review is focused on finding the best universal Bluetooth units that allow you to make phone calls safely from your car so that you can keep your eyes on the road at all times, preventing accidents and tickets! They're universal, easy to install and work in almost any car with an AUX input (see description for those that require an AUX).
Best Universal Bluetooth Car Kit List
- Bluetooth 4.1-enabled for the best experience
- Hands-free calling and music streaming
- Auto-on & Auto-Connect
- Siri and Voice Control-compatible
- Plugs into 3.5mm AUX jack
- Ground Loop Noise Isolator included
Mpow MBR2 Connect Quick Review
The Mpow MBR2 Bluetooth car kit takes top honors on our list of car Bluetooth because of the ease of use and simply connectivity it offers, along with the long-term reliability that has made this kit one of the most popular on the market.
The MBR2 is fully compatible with Android and Apple OS and takes advantage of Siri and voice control to allow easy, truly hands-free calling through your vehicles existing stereo. Reviewers noted the ease of connectivity and the reliable, auto-connect feature. The built-in ground loop noise isolator prevents echo and reverb, while ensuring crystal-clear calls.
The Mpow MBR2 is among the most reliable, easiest to use, and offers the best connectivity options on the market. Dual point USB connections enable two seperate devices to connect at once. Mpow released a new version in September 2019, however the MBR2 is still the go-to standard until more users have used the newer version and bugs are corrected.
- Bluetooth car kit v4.1 with EDR technology
- Auto-On and Auto-Connect
- Ground Loop Noise Isolator included
- Stream music and make hands-free calls
- Vent-mount, Velcro-mount, Magnetic-mount options available
Besign BK03 Quick Review
The Besign BK0-series of Bluetooth car kits are among the most versatile kits on the market. Besign added EDR technology to the already successful BK0-series of Bluetooth kits. EDR technology allows for lower power consumption and greater connectivity. In fact, this kit will work with virtually any car or truck that has an AUX input.
The dual plug power supply allows for two phones to be connected at once and provides 2.1a charging. An included ground loop noise isolator ensures clear calls and crisp music playback without echo or distortion.
Besign offers this kit in two versions, 01 & 03. While the control box is not identical, both versions feature the same options. The only difference is the mounting options. The BK03 kit includes a velcro-type sticker mount and an air vent clip, while the BK01 includes a handy magnetic mount.
Amazon Echo Quick Review
If you love using Amazon’s Alexa around the home, bringing Alexa with you in your car is the next logical step. The Amazon Echo Auto is the best way to connect wirelessly to your other smart home devices from your car. The Echo Auto is a simple to use kit for users who want more than just hands-free calling and music selection.
Echo auto is compatible with most music streaming apps through the Amazon Alexa app. Plus, users can check the weather, find a restaurant, or get a heads-up about traffic conditions with the Echo Auto kit.
Amazon’s Alexa continues to grow in versatility and practicality. Every day, new features are added, and Amazon customer service is among the best in the marketplace. Checkout our full writeup and use of the Echo Auto
Roav VIVA Quick Review
The Roav Viva Bluetooth kit has been on the market for a while now and has built a loyal following. There are currently two versions on the market, the Roav Viva and Viva Pro. The Pro version has the same features as the older Viva, but provides FM transmission capabilities to greatly expand connectivity to drivers of cars without AUX jacks on their factory stereo.
Very few car kits are as easy to connect as the Roav Viva-series. On top of that, the Viva has proven to be durable, reliable, and easy to operate. Both the Viva and the Viva Pro allow wireless music streaming from most apps (not Spotify, though). Both versions are compatible with iOS and Android OS.
These kits provide easy connectivity to Amazon’s Alexa for a great price. If you already use smart devices at home through Amazon’s Alexa, you will love the seamless transition the Roav Viva and Viva Pro offer.
The design of the Roav Viva and Viva Pro is somewhat different than most. The transmitter is part of the 12v accessory plug assembly, so users of vehicles with recessed sockets might not be able to use this device.
Motorola Sonic Rider Quick Review
The Motorola Sonic Rider is the newest dedicated speakerphone for in-car use. This Bluetooth-enabled speakerphone does not allow for music streaming, but instead focuses all its energy on ensuring clear, crisp hands-free phone calls.
The built-in 2w speaker allows users to hear and be heard, even on the freeway. Because the unit is battery-powered, there are no cords to route, no plugs to plug in, and no hassles. Simply clip the Motorola Sonic Rider to the visor, connect your Bluetooth-enabled smartphone to the device, and you are ready for trouble-free phone calls on the road.
The rechargeable battery provides up to 45 hours of talk time and will retain a charge for five months when not in use. Noise cancelling technology and feedback reduction provide for one of the clearest phone call devices on the market. Because the Sonic Rider does not use any type of physical connection to a vehicle, it works in any car, truck, boat, or whatever else you have. This is a great solution to drivers of vintage and classic cars that do not have AUX plugs, accessory sockets, or modern stereos.