- Top Bluetooth Range Extenders Comparison Chart
- Range Extender Reviews – (Recommended Picks)
- 1. Avantree Oasis Long-Range Bluetooth Extender Review
- 2. TaoTronics 5.0 Bluetooth Range Extender Review
- 3. Miccus Long-Range v 4.2 Bluetooth Extender Review
- 4. 1Mii B03 Long-Range Bluetooth Extender Review
- 5. BTmagic Bluetooth 5.0 Range Extender Review
- How We Tested and Selected the Best Bluetooth Range Extenders
- Who Uses Bluetooth Range Extenders?
- What to Consider When Choosing a Bluetooth Range Extender
- Types of Bluetooth Range Extenders
- How Far Can You Extend Bluetooth?
- Is a Bluetooth Range Extender a Receiver or a Transmitter?
- Does Bluetooth Raise Health Concerns?
- Can Bluetooth Be Hacked?
- The Benefits of Bluetooth
- Final Thoughts
Bluetooth technology is everywhere and makes it simple to use wireless headphones and speakers, stream content from devices, connect to printers and other peripherals.
A potential issue with Bluetooth is that its maximum range can be rather limiting.
Want to extend that range? A Bluetooth range extender is likely the perfect solution.
Of course, there are many options on the market and not enough Bluetooth range extender reviews. So, our team decided to help by rigorously testing most of the prominent products on the market.
After putting these devices through their paces, we’ve determined the best Bluetooth range extender available as well as four solid alternatives that we present here in our top five for 2019.
Top Bluetooth Range Extenders Comparison Chart
In mobile view, you can horizontally scroll towards right if some columns are not visible on your screen.
Range Extender Reviews – (Recommended Picks)
The Avantree Oasis is our best Bluetooth range extender!
It offers three modes: transmitter, pass-through and receiver.
In the transmitter mode, you can stream audio from a TV to Bluetooth-enabled headsets. In the receiver mode, you can stream music from a smartphone or MP3 player to non-Bluetooth speakers. Pass-through can be used to make a connection between a television and a soundbar.
With a single unit, this device provides a maximum range of 295 feet, which is solid. You can squeeze out an additional 33 feet, but that requires two Oasis devices in open sight of each other. It is a strong option if you need the extra distance, but it will also increase your cost to about $100.
The Oasis by Avantree is more than just a Bluetooth range extender. The manufacturer markets it as an all-in-one audio streaming hub, and we feel that is a pretty fair assessment.
The device supports the aptX low latency codec, which is arguably the best Bluetooth codec on the market for audio-visual purposes. It eliminates audio-visual lag, and if you pair it with headphones that also support aptX, then it does eliminate all the lag.
The product supports voice guidance. It also has a wide range of outputs, including Optical, RCA and AUX, that let you connect it to practically any home entertainment component.
The Oasis is also very simple to configure. Most users will have it up and running in minutes.
Our biggest issue with the product is that it just feels cheap. We’d certainly be willing to pay a bit more for a sturdier chassis, but if you’ll just use in the home, it arguably isn’t that big of a deal.
- Easy to use
- Up to 295 or 328 feet
- All-in-one audio streaming hub
- Excellent connectivity options
- Pricey to achieve max range
- Construction feels a bit cheap
It was important for us to consider various usage scenarios for our Bluetooth range extender reviews. The TaoTronics model certainly isn’t as robust as the Avantree, but it is ideal for the user who wants a compact extender that can run on a battery and continue to be used while it’s charged.
Our team tested a number of range extenders that support batteries, but many of them could not be used while charging, and that was a real hassle over prolonged testing. If your battery dies halfway through a movie, there is not much you can do about it but wait a bit.
So, the TaoTronics is a clear winner in this segment. The battery can last up to 20 hours, and we never got substantially less than that in standby. Additionally, it charges fast, and of course, when the battery dies, you can just plug it into the wall and it will continue operating as it charges.
There are some issues with this extender. It only extends range up to 33 feet, so this isn’t the device for you if you want to enjoy your headphones in your backyard. But it’s fine for a home theater setup where it’s just necessary to support headphones or speakers situated across the room.
This range extender is both a transmitter and receiver but does not have a pass-through mode. It does support aptX, but the implementation is not as good as with the Oasis.
Our team did notice some lag on occasions. We liked the Oasis better for home but recommend the TaoTronics for those times when you need something compact, portable and rechargeable.
- Transmitter and receiver
- Battery lasts up to 20 hours
- Can be used for charging
- Short range
- Lag at times
It functions as a transmitter and a receiver and also in pass-through mode.
The extender does support ranges up to 300 feet, but note that this is only with a clear line of sight. Indoors, where you are dealing with walls and doors, the maximum range is closer to 160 feet.
It does have an external antenna, which we liked. It certainly made a difference in environments where there were physical obstructions but not necessarily with other kinds of interference.
The Miccus is a strong option for both television and video games. It’s a low latency extender that supports the AptX codec and implements it well. It also supports up to two connections at a time, which means that a couple can enjoy a movie together with just a single extender.
You can even set the volume level independently for each device!
This range extender is also among the most user-friendly we tested. It is arguably the best on our list in terms of being plug and play. It also has an auto-reconnect feature, which is particularly nice if you tend to use the same Bluetooth headphones or speakers with the range extender each time.
The reason the Avantree Oasis beat out the Miccus extender in our ranking is signal attenuation.
In other words, signal strength can drop during use enough to affect your movie-watching experience. The Oasis rarely had this problem. The Miccus was much more prone to attenuation in environments where there was great potential for interference, so your experience will vary based on environment.
- Easy to use
- Up to 300 feet
- External antenna
- Supports up to two connections
- Signal strength
It offers dual external antennas and supports a range up to 230 with clear line of sight. Indoors, the range is closer to 110 feet and can be as low as 80, so be mindful of that.
The AptX codec is fully supported. The result in our testing was crystal-clear sound and no lip sync issues at all. It also supports up to two devices, so one extender and two headphones.
One negative concern about the dual stream support is that you cannot set the volume independently for each channel. The Miccus reviewed earlier can, and this is a hassle, for instance, if one person has more trouble hearing and the other person is more sensitive to loud sounds.
This is among the only two extenders on our list to support NFC. Users who connect their smartphones to their extenders will enjoy this option for the ease of pairing both devices.
The 1Mii B03 is very easy to set up, and most users will have it out of the box and running in few minutes. Our team also likes that it has a memory to remember settings in case of a power failure.
Most extenders we reviewed offered 30- to 90-day warranties. 1Mii, on the other hand, offers 24-month no-hassle replacement, which is a nice touch.
The unit has excellent connectivity options and even comes with most of the cables you might need, which again is a nice touch. Our biggest gripe is that if you use the optical connection, Dolby/DTS is no longer supported, so keep that in mind if your system supports those audio standards.
- Up to 230 feet
- Easy setup
- AptX and NFC support
- Dual stream
- Excellent 24-month warranty
- No Dolby/DTS in optical mode
- No independent volume levels
The BTmagic extender works as a transmitter and receiver as well as in bypass mode. It also supports NFC, which is convenient in receiver mode where you’ll likely be pairing a phone or similar device.
Dual antennas help to maximize range and empower signal strength. The maximum range with an open line of sight is 265 feet, and it’s closer to 100 feet indoors. Overall, our team was very impressed with performance in environments with physical obstructions and wireless communication interference.
Users will enjoy both AptX HD and AptX Low Latency support. This is a good option for movies and video games, but sound quality overall is not as good as some of the other options on this list.
Something else worth noting is that this unit has an integrated battery and supports use while charging like the TaoTronics model. Standby time is 15 hours in TX mode and 20 hours in RX mode.
Pairing with various devices is not as simple with other extenders. This unit will sometimes pair with another discovered device, which can be inconvenient. Additionally, many units shipped with bad firmware, and while this situation can be corrected by you, that is not a hassle many consumers want.
On the plus side, like the 1Mii B03, BTmagic offers a 2-year warranty.
- Bluetooth 5.0
- AptX HD and Low Latency
- Up to 265 feet
- Dual antennas
- Built-in battery
- Not as user-friendly as others
- Many models shipped with faulty firmware
How We Tested and Selected the Best Bluetooth Range Extenders
One of the challenges of testing any Bluetooth device is that conditions can vary greatly from one user to the next. So, what we did was establish two test sites that reflected each end of the spectrum.
The first site was a rural home with an open layout where interference was at a minimum. The second site was an office floor with many partitions that is located in a dense urban environment.
Our team tested nearly three dozen extenders in this manner. The first order of business in each location was to push the range as far as possible and see if products lived up to their marketing.
In the urban office environment, we emphasized signal strength as well. In both locations, we not only tested listening to music with wireless headphones but watching movies and sports. The distances we tested at weren’t really practical for watching TV but were interesting for the science of it.
Lastly, we focused on the user-friendliness of setup and configuration. This was important to us and often proved to be a tie-breaker between devices that otherwise compared favorably.
Who Uses Bluetooth Range Extenders?
Most consumer electronics support Bluetooth: phones, MP3 players, televisions and more.
Bluetooth is a great way to stream music, images, movies, video games and so on.
A range extender lets you stream to devices from even greater distances.
So, if use wireless headphones, for instance, to listen to a music player in your bedroom and the audio cuts out in the laundry room, then a range extender is the perfect solution!
What to Consider When Choosing a Bluetooth Range Extender
There are three areas you’ll want to focus on early in the buying process. These are your:
- Usage scenarios
- Bluetooth devices
- Signal strength
- Local environment
Budget will not be a factor for most consumers. Most range extenders cost about $50. You can spend as little as $30, and you’ll rarely pay more than $100 for an extender designed for home use.
Think about how you use Bluetooth now and why you want to extend range.
If you want to use your Bluetooth earbuds anywhere in your home or even out on the deck, then figure out what that range is. Then, choose an extender based on that distance.
If you are using Bluetooth to stream movies or video games, then you’ll need to factor the distance but also the latency. A low latency extender is usually necessary in such scenarios. There are also codecs like AptX that are designed to provide performance and quality in such scenarios.
Signal strength and your local environment often go hand in hand. Note that signal strength is not the same as range but rather an indication of how prone the extender is to interference.
If you live in an apartment building where there are many smartphones, wireless routers and other Bluetooth devices, interference is a big concern. In such scenarios, investing in a more powerful signal can help ensure that your signals get received consistently despite all of that congestion.
Your home is a consideration as well. If the signal has to pass through doors, walls and other obstructions, then that is a form of interference as well. Depending on the size and layout of your home, it may be worth investing in a stronger signal even if there aren’t many devices to compete with.
Types of Bluetooth Range Extenders
The Bluetooth range extenders available vary based on:
- Range class
- Bluetooth version
- Antenna configuration
Some range extenders have chassis made from aluminum and other strong materials. These are often designed for outdoor and active use, and they can even be:
For home use in a fixed location, there is likely no need to pay for that added durability.
Range class and latency are important considerations. We’ll go into classes more in depth in the next section, but be aware that the class will dictate how far you’ll be able to receive and send signals.
We’ll discuss latency more in its own section, but be mindful that it can be important in certain scenarios, such as watching movies and playing video games, in order to keep everything in sync.
As for Bluetooth version, the later the version the better. Bluetooth is backward-compatible, but choosing the latest version makes your purchase at least a bit more futureproof.
Some extenders only have internal antennas. Others have an external or several. Some antennas are detachable and can be upgraded. We discussed this more in the what to consider section, but know that your decision here really depends on how much interference you’re dealing with in your environment.
How Far Can You Extend Bluetooth?
Maximum Bluetooth range depends on class:
- Class 1 can transmit up to 100 meters or about 328 feet.
- Class 2 can transmit up to 10 meters or about 33 feet.
- Class 3 can transmit up to 1 meter or about 3 feet
Actual range will depend on environmental factors.
Class 1 devices are very limited and are only useful in smaller areas. Many users who want to extend their Bluetooth range throughout a home will focus on Class 3, which are the most powerful devices.
Note: You CANNOT extend the range of a Class 2 device, for instance, by adding a Class 3 extender. The range needs to be supported at both ends in order to be effective and dependable.
Be mindful that you will always be limited by the range of your least powerful device.
Determine what that is, and then, base your other decisions on that.
What about Bluetooth 5? Bluetooth 5 uses a low-energy protocol known as Bluetooth LE. (source)
It allows for a range of 400 and even 800 meters. Bluetooth 5 is fully backward-compatible, but as of this writing, it was still not widely available and therefore not a practical option in most scenarios.
But I read that Bluetooth repeaters can extend range even farther? While this is true in theory, it generally isn’t practical in a home. You likely won’t find many consumer-grade products in this vein.
Is a Bluetooth Range Extender a Receiver or a Transmitter?
Most Bluetooth range extenders on the market are both a transmitter and a receiver.
In fact, these devices generally have to be both in order to extend range in an effective manner. Most consumer-grade range extenders actually advertise that they are both in their product names.
A range extender generally has to be able to listen and transmit. Otherwise, it would be useful to one segment of consumers but not the other.
Does Latency Matter?
Latency indicates a delay in the wireless signal.
All Bluetooth range extenders as well as other Bluetooth devices will have some degree of latency.
Latency time is also referred to as sound delay. We have also come across some online guides that refer to it as literacy, but this is a misnomer and only included here for those who are confused by it.
In most cases, latency does not matter. You can safely ignore it.
So, when does it matter? When you have two or more channels that must be synchronized.
Let’s use a couple of examples.
You’re listening to music with Bluetooth headphones. Your range extender introduces 50 milliseconds of latency, which means the music takes a little longer to get to you. But that doesn’t affect the experience.
If you were using those same headphones to watch a movie, then you may have a problem! The 50ms delay is significant and can actually cause the sound to be out of sync with the picture.
So, choose low latency if there is no additional cost involved. If there is additional cost, then it is only worthwhile to you if you’ll use Bluetooth to watch television or in similar scenarios.
Does Bluetooth Raise Health Concerns?
Bluetooth range extenders use radio frequency energy. RF energy is a form of electromagnetic radiation, and some scientists are concerned that such radiation can negatively affect our health. (source)
However, the RF signals from Bluetooth devices, Wi-Fi routers, cell phones and so forth are nonionizing. That means that the radiation cannot break down DNA the way sunlight or X-rays can.
Even if there is a potential health risk, it is unlikely you’d be exposed enough for it to matter. This is particularly true with a range extender that is not being worn on your person.
Can Bluetooth Be Hacked?
Yes. Bluetooth is a wireless communication protocol and can be compromised.
Note that any would-be hacker has to be in range.
This makes it very unlikely that Bluetooth devices used in your home would be hacked. It would have to be done by a close neighbor or someone parked outside your house or apartment.
Bluejacking, bluesnarfing and bluebugging are much more common in crowded public areas, such as train stations and shopping malls. (source)
To be secure, turn off Bluetooth whenever you are not actually using it. In addition, if you have accounts accessible via Bluetooth devices, use unique passwords for each and enable two-factor authorization.
The Benefits of Bluetooth
So, why use Bluetooth rather than some other wireless technology?
- Simple to set up
- Not hardware-intensive
Secure? I thought Bluetooth could be hacked?
It can be, but it is actually very secure in general. A hacker would have to be in range of your device to compromise it. Additionally, if you Bluetooth device is not in discover mode, it will be hard to find.
The biggest reason Bluetooth is so widely used is that it’s easy to use. You don’t have to be a tech wizard to get two Bluetooth devices talking to each other, and there are rarely any pairing hassles.
Bluetooth is also fully backward-compatible. So, while the newer versions may offer certain performance advantages, you don’t have to worry about your older devices no longer working.
Choosing the best Bluetooth range extender for you may not be simple.
There are many products on the market, and there doesn’t seem to be enough professional Bluetooth range extender reviews that cover these products on an individual basis.
Our team can attest that the products in our top five will serve you well.
If you have to look elsewhere, we recommend focusing on established brands. There are many generic range extenders on the market, but performance and reliability can be really hit or miss with these.
Based on your needs, pay particular attention to maximum range, signal strength, latency and Bluetooth version.