The ever-present Bluetooth has been updated to the 5.0 version, meaning there’s a new slew of dongles out on the market for you to purchase. But which one should you buy? Well, don’t think about it too hard and follow our handy guide for the Best Bluetooth 5.0 Dongles in 2021.
But before you go and buy a new dongle, how about you make sure you’ve not got one that’s accidentally turned itself off in one of the many mysteries that our computers do themselves. If you’re convinced and now want a new keyboard or speaker, we’ve got you covered as well!
As we mentioned in our 4.0 dongle round-up last year, Bluetooth devices are all pretty much the same. Different manufacturers might have different methods of bringing Bluetooth to your PC, but for the most part, the underlying tech is always going to be the same. We chose these based on price, availability, and user reviews.
Best Bluetooth 5.0 Dongles and Adapters in 2021
Small and portable
Four times the range over 4.0
Costly compared to no-name brands
Small, could get lost
ASUS is an incredibly reliable brand and this doesn’t stop at their smaller peripherals. Their 5.0 Dongle is in the more traditional small, but flush with your machine shape, with total compatibility with previous Bluetooth devices, no questions asked.
This is our go-to choice for reliability, as we just generally trust ASUS to produce a decent product.
It has 2 times faster speeds for transfers while supporting up to 4 times the range and if you’re using headphones, the audio quality is always going to be top-notch.
Super long range for a portable Bluetooth device
Works with Windows 10, 8 and 7
Up to 100m range
Large antannae makes it unsuitable for laptops
No macOS and Linux support
Using Bluetooth can sometimes lead you to run into connectivity issues when you’re out of range, so don’t get left in the dust when you want to sit further away than a few meters with your favourite controller or headphones.
The ZEXMTE Bluetooth device has a total range of up to 100M, with a lack of interference with the 2.4GHz frequency band.
To be honest, this will be perfect for those with a home office during the time people are transitioning to work from home, so you don’t have to have a massive printer sat on your desk or if you want to move about to a different spot but still send documents.
WiFi 6 and Bluetooth in one device
PCIe ensures fastest speeds
Won't take up too much room in the case
Heatsink to prevent overheating
Having to fumble inside the case for Bluetooth
Chance of antannae breaking
This one is for the enthusiasts out there that are also looking to upgrade all their wireless connections for their PC should look no further than a PCIe card, especially this low-cost, highly-reviewed one from EDUP.
This is really simple to install, find a spare PCIe slot on your motherboard if possible and place it in. Once you start up your PC again, Windows should automatically recognise it and away you go!
This is perfect for those who just a one-and-done device, covering both WIFI 6 and Bluetooth 5. Both bands are supported, 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz, as well as a heat sink to keep it nice and cool.
The two antennae on the back should give you enough of a boost with range to help cover all situations as to where you are in the room or whatever other devices or things might be interfering with signals.
Small and portable
Sits flush on laptop or PC
Up to seven devices at once
Windows 7, 8 and 10 support
No Linux or macOS support
Possible short range
Techkey’s Bluetooth dongle is a very sleek, small device that’ll sit flush against almost any PC or laptop, providing you with quality connections over a 2.4GHz band.
With this dongle, you can connect up to seven devices at the same time, including printers, headphones, and more. This is also ideal for Bluetooth controllers like the PS4, PS5 DualSense and Xbox Series X controllers as the latency with 5.0 has been reduced incrementally from 4.0.
While it doesn’t work with Linux or macOS, it is entirely backward compatible with Windows’ previous versions up to 7, as well as able to be fit into that spare USB 2.0 slot you have that you’ve been avoiding. Of course, for the best results, 3.0 or higher ports are recommended.
Things To Consider
Look out for backward compatability!
Most, if not all Bluetooth 5.0 dongles will work with older devices on 2.1, 3 and 4 versions of Bluetooth. However, when purchasing you should look into whether or not they actually do or you could wind up having to deal with slower, less capable dongles.
For us, the ASUS is the best bet here for a general audience. The thing about Bluetooth is that dedicating a whole PCIe slot to it without considering the potential for upgrades down the line is going to be a huge issue if you ever decide to add more devices.
The reliability of the brand is what drives this, we just know that if there are any issues, ASUS’ customer support will have your back.
Struggling to get Bluetooth working on Windows 11 and 10? Follow our guide!