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How to Get Bluetooth Audio in Your Old Car

It's simple. You just need to buy a Bluetooth receiver. They're relatively cheap and easy to use.

tech roundup
Twelve South

Problem: You want to listen to music and answer calls from your phone while you’re driving, but your old car doesn’t have Bluetooth. Also, you don’t have an AUX or USB cord to link the two. What do you do?

Answer: Get a Bluetooth receiver. It’s inexpensive and, because you can change tracks via a remote, it will probably encourage you to keep your eyes on the road. Before buying, however, you need to know which kind of receiver will work best in your car.

What to Look For

Car compatibility: The most important thing is that you need to make sure the Bluetooth receiver will work with your car. Most cars will have a 3.5mm AUX input. If your car doesn’t have a USB port, some Bluetooth receivers will require you to purchase an inexpensive USB charger (like this one) that plugs into the car’s 12-volt DC outlet (a.k.a. the cigarette lighter).

Charging ports: Many of today's Bluetooth receivers come equipped with one or more extra USB ports. This is ideal for people who want to stream music and charge their smartphone (or other devices) while they drive. These extra ports typically increase the cost of the receiver, however.

Size and extra features: Finally, you want to make sure the Bluetooth receiver works best for you. They come in all different shapes and sizes — and you might not want a bulky Bluetooth receiver to take up vital dashboard space. Also, some options come with various features, like a built-in radio transmitter or a built-in voice assistant (like Alexa or Google Assistant), that you may or may not want.

Why You Should Trust Us

We've been writing about and reviewing audio products — including speakers, headphones, earbuds and other audio components that run the gamut from consumer to hi-fi — for near-on a decade. We also work with major brands and talk to experts within the audio industry. The below selections of Bluetooth receivers are a combination of products that we've had hands-on experience with as well as products that are made by brands that trusted within the audio space.

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Twelve South AirFly Pro
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Anker Soundsync
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Nulaxy Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter
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Arsvita Car Audio Bluetooth Cassette Receiver
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