How to Add Bluetooth Connectivity to Your Receiver
Many older audio/video receivers lack built-in Bluetooth connectivity. This prevents you from wirelessly streaming music from your phone or tablet to your home theater system. Fortunately, it’s easy to make those receivers Bluetooth compatible using simple add-on adapters.
In this guide, we’ll cover methods for adding Bluetooth to a receiver using wireless transmitters and receivers. With these handy devices, you can enjoy wireless audio streaming even with an older receiver.
Wireless Bluetooth Transmitters
The easiest way to add Bluetooth to a receiver is using a wireless Bluetooth transmitter. These connect to your receiver’s audio input, then pair with your mobile device to stream audio over a Bluetooth link. Popular options include:
- Mpow Bluetooth 5.0 Transmitter – Connects via optical/RCA/3.5mm
- 1Mii B06Plus Long Range Transmitter – Connects via 3.5mm/RCA
- TaoTronics TT-BA16 Transmitter – Connects via RCA/3.5mm
These transmitters provide both Bluetooth transmitter and receiver functionality in one device. To use, simply:
- Connect transmitter to your receiver’s RCA or 3.5mm input
- Pair your smartphone/tablet with the transmitter via Bluetooth
- Stream audio from your device which is passed to the receiver
The transmitter captures the audio then relays it to the receiver wirelessly. This allows wireless streaming from any source with Bluetooth connectivity.
Wireless Bluetooth Receivers
Alternatively, you can use a standalone Bluetooth receiver paired with a separate transmitter. For the receiver, connect options include:
- Avantree Audikast – RCA/optical/3.5mm inputs
- TaoTronics TT-BA10 – RCA/3.5mm inputs
- JSAUX Upgrade Edition – RCA/optical inputs
Then connect a transmitter like the Avantree Oasis Plus to your audio source via 3.5mm or RCA. Pair the two units and you have wireless audio. Benefits include:
- Transmitter can be kept near the audio source
- Flexible receiver placement near your gear
- Often extended range over combined transmitter/receiver
Using separate transmitter and receiver devices provides more flexibility in placement options.
Connecting the Transmitter or Receiver
When integrating your Bluetooth adapter, there are a few connection options to consider:
- Digital optical – Provides pure digital audio signal to receiver
- RCA – Easy interconnect for analog stereo sound
- 3.5mm – Convenient for MP3 player style sources
- USB – Some transmitters/receivers use USB for power
Optical is great if your receiver has a spare optical input available. RCA or 3.5mm analog provides more universal analog compatibility.
Transmission Range and Stability
An important consideration is the wireless range between your Bluetooth adapter and audio source. Look for these range enhancing features:
- Class 1 Bluetooth radios – Extend range up to 800+ ft compared to 30 ft base range
- External antenna – Improves reception compared to smaller internal antenna
- Latest Bluetooth 5.0 – Better wireless performance than older versions
- Clear line of sight – Avoid physical obstructions between devices
Position your transmitter/receiver optimally to maintain a strong connection. Some offer wired modes as a backup if the Bluetooth connection is poor.
Audio Codec Support
Some Bluetooth adapters also allow you to stream high resolution music from devices like smartphones and tablets. Seek adapters that support advanced audio codecs like:
- aptX and aptX HD – Enhanced fidelity beyond basic SBC codec
- AAC – Higher quality audio used by Apple devices
- LDAC – Hi-res streaming used on Android devices
This allows you to take full advantage of high bitrate music files for superior sound quality over Bluetooth.
Top end Bluetooth transmitters and receivers support multi-point pairing. This allows connecting to two audio sources simultaneously. For example:
- Pair smartphone for music streaming
- Pair tablet for movies and videos
- Adapter mixes audio from both sources
Multi-point simplifies switching between multiple paired devices without reconnecting each time.
Some Bluetooth adapters feature pass-through charging via USB port. This lets you charge your smartphone/tablet from the same adapter used for wireless streaming. Pass-through charging means:
- Single wire to adapter charges and streams audio
- No need for separate power cable to your device
- Convenience of charging while listening
The ability to charge your device from the same adapter provides additional convenience and eliminates cable clutter.
Adding Bluetooth to Audio Systems
The same Bluetooth transmitters and receivers can also add wireless streaming to bookshelf speakers, sound bars, boomboxes, and other audio gear using 3.5mm or RCA inputs. Just connect transmitter to audio source, receiver to speakers, pair wirelessly, and stream audio anywhere in the house.
Enjoy Wireless Audio Freedom
Adding Bluetooth connectivity can bring older audio gear into the modern streaming era. Look for adapters offering extended range, multi-point pairing, enhanced audio codecs, and other premium features for the best experience. With the right wireless solution, you can easily infuse Bluetooth into almost any home theater receiver, stereo system, or speaker setup.