If you’re in the market for wireless tech, chances are it’ll connect to your device over Bluetooth. Every technology company has built support for the standard into their gadgets, which has lead to a huge market for accessories that work with phones, tablets, and computers. The best thing about Bluetooth accessories is that you can use them with all of your devices, so if you switch from iPhone to Android, or PC to Mac, you don’t have to worry about getting all new gear.
Unlike WiFi, Bluetooth works over short distances, which makes it the perfect technology for a pair of wireless headphones, or wireless keyboards and mice. Modern versions of Bluetooth are more power-efficient, and create a more stable connection than previous ones, so it’s worth upgrading your current tech if it’s a few years old. There are thousands of Bluetooth accessories out there, but we’ve rounded up 10 essentials below to save you time.
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1. Tile Mate
The Tile Mate is a Bluetooth tracker that can help you find your belongings if they’re lost. It has a loop, so you can attach it to a ring of keys, or a zipper on your bag. Once it’s activated, you’ll be able to see the tracker’s last-known location inside Tile’s app (available for iOS and Android). If it’s close, you can “ring” the Tile Mate, and it’ll start to chime; if the Tile Mate isn’t close, you’ll know where (approximately) you lost it, which is better than retracing your steps.
2. Shure AONIC 50
There are a ton of great Bluetooth headphones available right now, but Shure’s AONIC 50s are the best-sounding pair I’ve ever heard. The over-ear headphones have a battery life of up to 20 hours, support noise-cancelling, and use one of the newest versions of Bluetooth.
The AONIC 50s use big, 50mm drivers, which produce some of the best sound I’ve ever heard from any audio gear. Music from every genre is well-balanced, and you can easily hear every element of the song you’re listening to. If you’re a serious music fan who has put off wireless headphones because you’re afraid they’ll be worse than your wired pair, Shure’s AONIC 50s may change your mind.
3. Xbox One Controller
Microsoft’s Xbox One controller is comfortable to hold, designed for long game sessions, and can run for dozens of hours on a pair of AA batteries. Because it uses Bluetooth, you can connect this controller to a console or your computer (PC and Mac) for gaming.
4. Logitech M557 Mouse
Logitech’s M557 Bluetooth mouse is one of the few tech accessories I’ve bought more than once. It’s small, feels comfortable to hold, and never lags or stutter when I’m moving the cursor around or scrolling. The mouse runs on a pair of AA batteries, which you’ll only need to replace once or twice a year.
The reason I recommend the M557 over any other Bluetooth mouse is that you can use Logitech’s software (available on PC and Mac) to map its buttons to different actions. For example, if I click the scroll wheel in, it’ll bring up Launchpad, a setting on the Mac that shows all of my available apps on a grid. Pushing the scroll wheel left and right in my browser allows me to quickly go backward and forward through my web history.
Logitech’s M557 is a simple looking Bluetooth mouse that works very well even if you don’t use its most advanced features.
5. Braven BRV-Mini
If you need an extremely portable Bluetooth speaker, your best bet is Braven’s BRV-Mini. Although it’s less than five inches tall, the speaker puts out some seriously impressive sound in my testing. Its bass is particularly impressive. The only audio abnormality I’ve heard while listening to music is sibilance, a shrill sound present when a performer uses a word with the letter “s.”
Sibilance wasn’t present in every song I listened to, or prominent enough to get annoying, but it’s something to consider. Braven says you should expect to get around 12 hours of playtime per charge, which has been my experience.
6. Edifier R1850DB Active Bookshelf Speakers
Edifier’s R185DB are a pair of active (powered) speakers that can be used with your computer or hooked up to your TV and used as a compact home theater system. The speakers have two drivers: a four-inch woofer that handles low and midrange frequencies, and a .75-inch tweeter that handles treble frequencies. Spreading audio between two drivers leads to better balanced sound.
Edifier designed the R185DBs with a wide array of inputs (ports): you get two sets of RCA inputs, one Optical input, a coaxial input, and a subwoofer out port. But, the speakers also support Bluetooth 4.0, so you can connect your phone or tablet to them and stream music wirelessly. If you want a pair of higher-end speakers that can be used with your TV and turntable, but also supports Bluetooth, Edifier’s R185DBs are a good pick.
7. Satechi Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard
Satechi’s Aluminum Bluetooth Keyboard is a great wireless option for anyone who has multiple computers.
This is a full-sized keyboard, which means it has a number pad on the right of the alphabet keys, and a full function row on top. Those function keys allow you to easily adjust your computers brightness or volume, and quickly access certain system settings (MacOS only). Satechi’s keyboard has a rechargeable battery, and the company says it can last up to 80 hours per charge.
The main reason I’m recommending this keyboard, which I’ve had the opportunity to try for myself, is that it can be paired with up to three devices. You can switch between devices by hitting the “Bluetooth 1” “Bluetooth 2” and “Bluetooth 3” keys to the left of the number pad. This is a lot easier (and faster) than pairing and un-pairing the keyboard each time you want to use it with a different computer.
8. Bose TV Speaker
Bose’s TV speaker is a compact sound bar that’s perfect for mid-sized TVs. At 23.4 inches long, it’s far shorter than most of its competition, but that helps it stand out in a good way.
The sound bar can be connected to your TV via an HDMI, Optical Audio, or AUX cable, and doesn’t require a stereo receiver. It also supports Bluetooth, so you can stream music to it from your phone, computer, or tablet wirelessly. Bose says this sound bar has two “full-range” woofers that are angled outward to create a better stereo image. You can’t tweak the way it sounds too much, but there is a “dialogue” mode, which emphasizes speech, and a bass button on its remote that’ll boost lower frequencies.
If you want a home theater upgrade and a wireless speaker in the living room, but don’t have too much space, Bose’s TV Speaker is a good choice.
9. AUKEY Bluetooth 5 Receiver Wireless Audio Music Adapter
If you’re happy with your current audio system, but wish you could stream music to it over Bluetooth, AUEKY’s Wireless Audio Adapter will fix that problem.
The adapter will pair to your device (phone, tablet, or computer) over Bluetooth, and output any audio send to it through an audio out port (headphone jack). If the audio adapter is plugged into your stereo receiver with a Y cable, you can stream music from your device, through the receiver, to your audio system.
The only thing to keep track of is the adapter’s battery, which AUKEY says can last up to 18 hours per charge. As long as you plug it in every once in a while, you can stream wireless music through any speaker system without a costly upgrade.
10. Sony PS-LX310BT Wireless Turntable
Turntables may play analog media, but Sony’s PS-LX310BT can stream vinyl wirelessly to your headphones or speakers by pressing the “Bluetooth” button on the lower left-hand side of the deck.
This futuristic feature is one of the reasons the PS-LX310BT made the cut, but it’s not the only one. The table can play records at 33.3 and 45RPM (rotations per minute), so you can play full-length albums and singles. It has a button that raises and lowers the needle, so you don’t need to drop it yourself, and an auto-return mechanism that’ll return the tonearm back to its starting position after one side of your record is over.
The PS-LX310BT has a built-in phono preamp, so you can hook it up directly to any stereo receiver with a set of RCA (red and white) cables, and a USB out, which allows you to connect the turntable to your computer to digitize your record collection. The PS-LX310BT may not be the highest-end turntable for serious audiophiles, but its modern design and versatility make it a great choice for everybody else.
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