If you buy through affiliate links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Having an old car without a modern infotainment system and without Bluetooth integration can be really frustrating (and also unsafe) for many reasons. We will also discuss the effects these simple and affordable devices have on overall driving experience and your safety. In the early 2000s, only a few car models had a Bluetooth and it wasn’t the part of the standard equipment.
Today, we have so many cars, pickup trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles with built-in Bluetooth. RAM pickup trucks feature Uconnect® infotainment system, Chevrolet Silverado (number 2 bestseller in the US) feature MyLink infotainment system with a built-in Bluetooth, and Ford F-Series pickups (number 1 bestseller in the US) feature SYNC infotainment system which also has a Bluetooth.
Even those cheap cars like Ford Focus, Dodge Caliber, Nissan Versa, have some kind of an infotainment system with a built-in Bluetooth. The manufacturers offer different upgrades for old cars which include installation of the latest infotainment system with a built-in Bluetooth but that could be quite expensive.
Report of the National Safety Council states that almost 1.6 million crashes a year are caused by drivers using cell phones (1.4 million crashes are caused by drivers talking on their phones).
Only in 2015, distracted driving (mostly talking on the phone or texting while driving) was the factor that caused almost 3,500 fatalities in the US (9 fatalities per day) and the real numbers are probably bigger because cell phone use is not always recorded in the crash report. So, why would you put yourself and others in danger when you can buy a simple device that enables hands-free calls and allows you to keep both hands on the wheel and eyes on the road? Yes, when you have a hands-free call, both hands are on the wheel and both eyes are on the road but your mind is not completely focused on driving.
Besides your safety, you should also be aware that talking on the phone and texting are forbidden in many US states. So, in many states, handheld cell phone use is against the law and you will be facing some serious fines or even jail time if you get caught.
You can find the exact same Bluetooth car speaker under different names (Aivake, URANT, etc.).
All the control buttons are on the front side and a strong metal clip is on the back.
The speaker is supposed to be attached to the sun visor right above the driver’s head. In order to change the language, press 2 volume buttons (+ and -) simultaneously.
T821 features Bluetooth 4.1 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) and the connection is not an issue. You can activate Siri or Google Assistant by pressing answer/end button for 3s while the speaker is in standby mode.
Thanks to the built-in motion sensor, the speaker is supposed to turn on/off automatically. This feature sounds great and we love the idea but it doesn’t work flawlessly. Call clarity is, obviously, the most important feature when it comes to this kind of device and we don’t really have any major complaints. The speaker has a strong metal clip which keeps it in place when you attach it to your sun visor.
On the front side, there’s the speaker, Bluetooth/charging LED indicator, mute button, built-in microphone, and a multifunction knob/button (You can use to adjust the volume and to answer/end/reject calls). You can also make calls or even dictate text messages thanks to Siri and Google Assistant support. Your voice will sound a bit distant on the other end but it will be understandable if the environmental noise is kept to a moderate level. If there’s too much noise, it will be much harder for the person on the other end to understand you and you will have to repeat yourself and raise your voice.
Mute button and micro USB charging port are located on the right side. One of the interesting features you won’t find on cheaper speakerphones are the voice controls.
You can also use voice commands to activate Siri/Google Assistant, to pair a device, or to check the battery status. Just like those cheaper speakerphones, Jabra Tour also features the built-in motion sensor and it can automatically turn on and off when you enter/leave your vehicle.
Jabra Tour features Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). Call clarity is pretty good most of the time but your voice will occasionally sound garbled. The microphone manages to isolate up to 21dB of environmental noise which means that you can use it in a moderately noisy environment. You can stream music or podcasts to the speaker but you won’t be amazed by the sound quality.
It’s a different type of device compared to those Bluetooth car speakers we’ve talked about. Nulaxy KM18 is one of the most popular, highly-rated Bluetooth FM transmitters on the market and it’s one of the Amazon’s bestsellers. The car kit comes in a small black box along with AUX cable and user manual. Other info you can see on the display are song names, caller IDs, volume level, and Bluetooth connection status.
The kit is available in 6 colors including black, coffee, gold, blue, and mint green. Below the display, there are two tuning buttons (CH+ and CH-) for searching for free FM frequencies, two track buttons (previous/next song), and a multifunction volume knob/button (you can press it to answer/end/reject calls or turn it left or right to adjust the volume).
On the right side, there are AUX port and micro SD card slot. On the other hand, you will hear the person you are talking with loud and clear (especially in AUX mode).
You will hear a lot of static and you will have to search for an open FM frequency quite often. The kit doesn’t feature support for Siri and Google Assistant. Since it’s kind of bulky, it can get in your way when trying to reach the shifter (it all depends on the position of the cigarette lighter in your car). Along with the adapter, you will get a short AUX cable, metal AUX adapter (male to male), USB to micro USB charging cable, and user manual.
The volume/track controls and a built-in mic are on the right side and micro USB charging port is on the bottom. In order to turn it on you have to use the on/off switch and if it’s in standby mode you can simply press the play/pause button and it will reconnect to the last paired device. There’s a small 180mAh battery inside the adapter but it delivers surprisingly long playtime.
The sound is pretty clear and there is practically no hissing or any static noise.
You will be able to hear the person you are talking with loud and clear but your voice will be distant and muffled. TT-BR05 comes in a simple cardboard box along with AUX cable, metal AUX adapter (male to male), USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and a 12-month warranty. The multifunction button (power on/power off/play/pause/answer/end/reject calls) and a built-in microphone are on the front side. The volume/track buttons are on the right side, 3.5mm output is on the left, and micro USB charging port is on the bottom.
The person you are talking with won’t hear you loud and clear and you will have to raise your voice.
It looks a little bit different than the previous two AUX-IN car kits on the list but it offers similar performance. You will get a dongle with a built-in microphone and controls, car charger with 3 USB charging ports (2.1A, 2.0A, and 1.0A), magnetic mounting disc, shirt clip, and user manual. This device is not as compact as MPOW or TatTronics Bluetooth receivers but it’s still very simple and minimalistic.
The main part is the circular control pad with 3 buttons and a built-in microphone. In the middle of the control pad, there are an LED Bluetooth indicator and a built-in microphone.
We haven’t experienced compatibility issues regarding the Bluetooth connection – SB360 can pair with Apple and Android devices. If that doesn’t work, you can buy a device called ground loop noise isolator. If your car doesn’t cut off the power supply to the cigarette lighter socket when you turn it off, this device could drain out your battery. Ground loop noise isolator improved the call clarity significantly but the voice of the person on the other end was still very quiet.
Criacr FM transmitter comes in a simple white box along with user manual and 1-year warranty. This transmitter looks like a simple car charger with a few additional buttons and ports.
It’s one of the simplest car kits on the list and it’s completely unobtrusive because of its compact size. You will see one multifunction knob/button (volume/play/pause/answer/end/reject call), two tuning/track buttons, small LCD display which shows only FM frequency, and two USB ports (you can use both for charging but one of them can also be used for music playback). You have to find some free FM frequency on your car radio (static noise), set the same frequency on your FM transmitter (you will have to press and hold the multifunction button until the numbers on the LCD display start flashing), and then press shortly the multifunction button to lock the frequency. If there is the smallest amount of interference you will hear a quiet static noise.
There is no on/off switch which is not a big issue if your car cuts off out the power supply to the cigarette lighter socket when it’s turned off. The call clarity is not the greatest and your voice will sound distant and really quiet on the other end.
VicTsing T11 Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Car Kit Adapter
In fact, there’s a version of VicTsing FM transmitter that looks exactly the same so it’s safe to assume that they are all made by the same manufacturer and sold under different names.
VicTsing T11 comes in a simple cardboard box along with AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty. On the right side, there are micro SD card slot and AUX port.
The kit doesn’t feature support for Siri and Google Assistant. Along with the control pad, you will get two adhesive discs to attach the BTC450 to your dashboard, an extension AUX cable (female to male), and user manual.
You are supposed to stick it near the steering wheel so you can easily control the playback and answer calls. The device doesn’t have the battery and has to be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket all the time. The number of different types of car kits and Bluetooth speakers/speakerphones is huge and your choice depends mostly on your needs and your budget. Some of those Bluetooth speakerphones with independent built-in speakers and microphones might be the best option for you (they are usually attached to the sun visor).
You should try to find one of those with a separate microphone that’s supposed to be glued or attached to your dashboard, close to the wheel (in order to be closer to your mouth). They don’t offer equally good performance and we will discuss their advantages and disadvantages in a separate section.
There is no doubt that you will get better performance (especially better audio quality) with some AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit. That kind of transmission is more complex and more susceptible to interference which could result in poorer audio quality.
The other reason for buying FM transmitter instead of AUX-IN car kit might be a cleaner installation. FM transmitters, unlike AUX-IN car kits, don’t have cables which makes them more convenient. Still, if you don’t mind the cable and have an AUX input in your car, AUX-IN kit is a better choice. Visor-style Bluetooth speakerphones are battery powered and you have to charge them occasionally. Newer versions enable greater data transfer rates which results in better audio quality. Some microphones are good at attenuating noises around you while others are simply awful and almost unusable.
The study conducted by Dr. Graham Hole from the University of Sussex confirmed that using hands-free is not as safe as we all thought. In fact, it’s almost equally dangerous and distracting as talking on the phone while holding it in one hand.
Your hands might be on the wheel and your eyes might be on the road but your brain is the problem because you are thinking about things you are talking about and you can’t prevent that. And follow three simple rules from the NSC Infographic called HANDS FREE IS NOT RISK-FREE: In the end, we recommend reading the white paper on driving while using a hands-free phone published by the National Safety Council.
Can I Use a Portable Bluetooth Speaker In My Car? – The Gadget Buyer
Let me preface this with a small backstory: I recently bought a 2004 Pontiac Vibe after the transmission on my Honda Accord slipped. My new car, whose name is Betty (after the Golden Girl herself), had just about everything I could want – except a sound system with Bluetooth connectivity.
So, after getting behind Betty’s wheel, I started to wonder if I could use a portable Bluetooth speaker while I drive so that I would at least be able to play all the albums I had saved on my iPhone’s Apple Music app. I immediately set to work researching this query of mine, and as it turns out, a lot of other owners of older vehicles have the same questions.
You can put a Bluetooth speaker into your car for hands-free calling and playing music with high quality sound. There are a variety of portable Bluetooth speakers out there at the moment, and you can take your pick from any one of them for in-vehicle use.
This feature will automatically turn on and pair your speaker with your host device (such as your smartphone). You just need a voice command so that the Bluetooth speaker can do the work for you, making and answering calls. When someone calls you, the amount of noise they hear on their end will be more muted so that your voice comes across more clearly. There are water-resistant models out there that can handle some spilled coffee or splashes of raindrops. Portable and easy to install in a vehicle, the Jabra Freeway has superb sound quality and an excellent dual-microphone built into it. With its noise cancellation feature, your voice will be easily heard when you are on the phone.
Voice command allows you to make and receive calls, and the speaker will read off callers’ names to you. This portable speaker is small and easy to carry around, and all you have to do to install it is slide it onto your car’s sun visor.
The Motorola Roadster Pro has noise cancellation so that you can easily be heard on the other end of the line.
Unlike most other models, it has four built-in mics, so sound can be heard in any direction.
Sound quality on the Oontz Angle 3 is stellar due to its acoustic driver. First, ensure that Bluetooth is enabled on your host device and that you’ve pressed the button on the speaker to get it into pairing mode.
However, the only way you can do this is if your vehicle has a smart or Android double din stereo installed. You can add it to your vehicle a few different ways, then you can take your pick from the portable speakers out on the market.
The best Bluetooth speakers in 2022
However, the few that do prove to be worth the investment come with long battery life, a practical design that is either portable friendly or sits handsomely on your coffee table and deliver the kind of sound quality to make a musical connection on par with the best headphones. Whether you’re working to a tight budget or keen to splurge, we’ve compiled a list of the best Bluetooth speakers to suit your needs and pocket.
But if you don’t need extra perks like Alexa and Google Assistant support and built-in mics, keep an eye out for the new Sonos Roam SL (opens in new tab), which is an even cheaper $159.
UE Megaboom 3 The best Bluetooth speaker overall Specifications Size and weight: 8.9 x 3.4 x 3.4 inches, 2 pounds Battery life (rated): 20 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Big bass and full vocals + Good battery life + Can pair with older Megaboom and Boom models for stereo sound Reasons to avoid – Big and heavy for a portable – No speakerphone
Thanks to its excellent sound quality, long battery life and travel-ready ruggedness, the UE Megaboom 3 is the best Bluetooth speaker you can buy right now. This big, bold portable speaker pumps out rich 360-degree sound complete with detailed highs and satisfying low-end, and maxes out at 100 decibels of noise.
The Megaboom 3 is on the bigger side compared to other portable speakers, and unlike many of its competitors, it doesn’t have Alexa or Google Assistant support, or any other smart features. Anker Soundcore 3 Best value small speaker for big sound Specifications Size and weight: 6.75 x 2.25 x 2.25-inch; 13 ounces Battery life (rated): 24 hours Water resistant : Yes (IPX67) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at soundcore (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Big sound from small design + Good battery life + Useful Soundcore app and EQ modes Reasons to avoid – Sound hardens up at higher volumes – Rubberized case marks easily For just over $50, this tiny powerhouse delivers loud, well-balanced sound within an IPX7-rated design that can survive water, dust, while the robust rubberised outer case takes care of protection from every day knocks. Sonos Roam The best Bluetooth speaker with Wi-Fi smarts Specifications Size and weight: 6.6 x 2.4 x 2.4 inches, 15 ounces Battery life (rated): 10 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: Yes (Alexa and Google Assistant) Today’s Best Deals View at Crutchfield (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Lightweight + Extensive connectivity + Auto TruePlay sound tuning Reasons to avoid – No Bluetooth multipoint – Middling battery life It’s much more portable and more affordable than the Move, though, and its Auto TruePlay feature automatically adjusts the sound to suit its surroundings, whether you’re listening in a noisy, urban park or a quaint, airy campground. Tribit StormBox Blast Big boombox-style bass and bling at a great price Specifications Size and weight: 14.4 x 4.1 x 3.1 inches; 11.6 pounds Battery life (rated): 30 hours Water resistant: Yes (IPX7) Voice control: No Today’s Best Deals Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Visit Site (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Expansive sound + Booming bass + Battery lasts all day Reasons to avoid – Treble can sound harsh at high volumes – No EQ customization
UE Wonderboom 2 The best portable Bluetooth speaker below $100 Specifications Size and weight: 4 x 3.7 x 3.7 inches, 0.9 pounds Battery life (rated): 13 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Full bass for a small speaker + Waterproof and dustproof Reasons to avoid – No app – No visual battery life indicator This tiny speaker delivers huge sound within a small 4-inch cylinder, complete with throbbing bass, balanced midtones and crisp vocals.
It can survive being dunked in 3 feet of water for up to 30 minutes and is dust-resistant, making it perfect for your next trip to the pool, beach or park. JBL Go 3 The best Bluetooth speaker for cheap weatherproofing Specifications Size and weight: 3.4 x 2.7 x 1.6 inches, 7.4 ounces Battery life (rated): 5 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Walmart (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Dell (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Good waterproofing at price + Light and compact design + Most affordable model on test Reasons to avoid – Sound is mediocre and can’t fill larger spaces
JBL Charge 5 The best Bluetooth speaker with full waterproofing Specifications Size and weight: 8.7 x 3.8 x 3.7 inches, 1.8 pounds Battery life (rated): 20 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Crutchfield (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Decent sound, particularly with vocals + Impressive bass performance + Good battery life with useful top-up facility for other devices Reasons to avoid – Basic control app UE Hyperboom The best Bluetooth speaker for parties Specifications Size and weight: 14.3 x 7.5 x 7.5 inches, 13 pounds Battery life (rated): 24 hours Water resistant: Yes (IPX4) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Powerful sound + Goes loud + Good battery life Reasons to avoid – Most expensive model on test – Bulky size and heavy to carry Pair that with seamless Bluetooth connectivity and plenty of volume, and you have the ultimate speaker for filling a large outdoor space with great sound. LG XBoom Go PL7 The best Bluetooth speaker for sheer style Specifications Size and weight: 9.7 x 3.9 x 3.9 inches, 3.2 pounds Battery life (rated): 24 hours Water resistant: Yes (IPX5 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals Visit Site (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Balanced sound with defined bass + Good battery life + LED lights add to the fun Reasons to avoid – No integrated voice assistant – Few sound adjustments available
Every Bluetooth speaker on this list delivers great sound and functionality, but only the LG XBoom Go PL7 does it while boasting awesome LED lights. The XBoom’s appropriately booming sound holds its own against the best Bluetooth speakers in this price range, delivering balanced bass and satisfying treble. Sonos Move The best Bluetooth speaker for outdoors Specifications Size and weight: 9.4 x 6.3 x 5 inches, 6.6 pounds Battery life (rated): 10 hours Water resistant: Yes (IP56 rated) Voice controls: Yes Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Crutchfield (opens in new tab) View at Best Buy (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Superb audio quality + Built-in Automatic TruePlay technology + Easy Wi-Fi-to-Bluetooth connection conversion + Great build quality Reasons to avoid – One of the most expensive models on test – No smart features in Bluetooth mode Alexa and Google Assistant support allow you to do anything from check the weather to control your smart home, and the Move’s Auto TruePlay automatically tunes the speaker’s audio output for wherever you’re listening, whether you’re having a rooftop party or rocking out in your bedroom.
V-Moda Remix The best Bluetooth speaker for bass heads Specifications Size and weight: 8.1 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches, 1.9 pounds Battery life (rated): 10 hours Water resistant: Not stated Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Newegg (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Decent sound quality + Goes loud and delivers awesome bass + Neat customization options + Daisy-chain multiple speakers Reasons to avoid – Not rated for water resistance – No multi-room solution The base model looks slick in aluminum or vegan leather, while, people with bottomless budgets and a penchant for style can opt for steel or platinum finishes (the later of which will run you well over $300,000). Most importantly, the Remix sounds great, offering plenty of bass as well as a built-in headphone amp to connect to your favorite set of cans.
The Remix’s 10-hour battery life certainly makes this speaker worthy of longer jam sessions, and its trusty microphone allows for crisp call quality whether you’re set up inside your house or out.
JBL Link 20 The best Bluetooth speaker with Google Assistant Specifications Size and weight: 8.3 x 3.7 inches, 33.5 ounces Battery life (rated): 10 hours Water resistance: Yes (IPX7 rated) Voice controls: Yes Today’s Best Deals View at Harman (opens in new tab) Check Amazon (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Well-balanced overall sound + Powered by Google Assistant + Portable and rugged Reasons to avoid – Can’t make calls – Expensive That means you can ask the speaker for standard stuff like dinner suggestions or traffic info, or have it control any of best Google Home compatible devices.
Tribit StormBox Micro The best Bluetooth speaker that’s both cheap and waterproof Specifications Size and Weight: 3.9 x 3.9 x 1.4-inch, 8 ounces Battery life (rated): 8 hours Water resistance: Yes (IP67 rated) Voice controls: No Today’s Best Deals View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Amazon (opens in new tab) View at Walmart (opens in new tab) Reasons to buy + Small and lightweight + Decent bass for a small speaker + Water resistant Reasons to avoid – No app – Limited battery life The speaker has a plastic strap that makes it easy to attach to a backpack or bike, an IP67 water-resistant rating, so it’s fully protected against dust and dirt as well as submersion in water.
While a number of wired speakers like the Amazon Echo (4th gen) provide excellent Bluetooth listening, you can’t take them far from a power socket. To determine sound quality, we listen to many tracks across multiple music genres as possible, including hip-hop, rock, jazz, classical, and electronic, while evaluating volume, clarity and fullness.
The 5 Loudest Bluetooth Speakers – Summer 2022 Reviews
This portable speaker doesn’t need to remain plugged into a power outlet since it’s battery-powered and has a built-in carrying strap to help transport it. Like most speakers its size, it struggles to reproduce the deep rumble in low-bass that’s typically felt in bass-heavy music like EDM and hip-hop.