10 Best Car Bluetooth Speakers & Kits In 2018

Having an old car without a modern infotainment system and without Bluetooth integration can be really frustrating (and also unsafe) for many reasons. In our article on 10 best car Bluetooth speakers and kits, we will be discussing the importance, advantages, and disadvantages of car Bluetooth speakers and kits. We will also discuss the effects these simple and affordable devices have on overall driving experience and your safety. It’s really incredible how useful these devices can be. Keep reading and find out more about them.

Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone

Short after the Bluetooth V1.0 was released (it was the year 1999), the first car kit was made (2001). This was actually the third device with a built-in Bluetooth, right after the first headset and the first Bluetooth-enabled phone. Short after that, the first car with a built-in Bluetooth was made. 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. Bluetooth has become a part of the standard car equipment.

All of today’s popular cars in the US are Bluetooth-enabled (at least the new models). The best-selling Toyota Camry and other Toyota cars, pickups, and vans feature Entune 3.0 infotainment system with a built-in Bluetooth. Many popular pickup trucks also feature 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. Buying a simple car Bluetooth speaker/speakerphone (in case you only need a separate speaker for hands-free calls) or a Bluetooth car kit is a much more affordable and simpler option. If that’s what you are looking for, check out our list of 10 best car Bluetooth speakers and kits.

10 Best Car Bluetooth Speakers & Kits – Comparison Table

Car Bluetooth Speakers & KitsRatingPriceReview
Aigital T8214.1Check PriceRead Review
Avantree CK114.3Check PriceRead Review
Jabra Tour3.8Check PriceRead Review
Nulaxy KM184.3Check PriceRead Review
Mpow4.6Check PriceRead Review
TaoTronics TT-BR054.3Check PriceRead Review
SoundBot SB3604.3Check PriceRead Review
Criacr T204.0Check PriceRead Review
VicTsing T114.4Check PriceRead Review
Kinivo BTC4504.3Check PriceRead Review

When you click on “Check Price” you will be redirected to Amazon.com.

Why Should You Buy a Car Bluetooth Speaker or a Bluetooth Car Kit?

The first and the most important reason for buying a Bluetooth speaker or a Bluetooth car kit is your safety. 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). That’s almost 25% of all the crashes in the US. 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. You have probably heard officials saying that distracted driving or phone use while driving is the new DUI. And we couldn’t agree more. 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?

Note: Having hands-free calls while driving is not as safe as you might think. In fact, it’s almost equally risky as talking on the handheld phone while driving. 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. We will elaborate on this subject and recommend you some reading material later.

Besides your safety, you should also be aware that talking on the phone and texting are forbidden in many US states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 16 states including California, Connecticut, DC, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, etc. banned hand-held cell phone use, while 47 US states banned texting while driving. The only states that don’t have the laws against texting are Arizona, Montana, and Missouri (texting in Missouri is banned if you are under 21). 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.

So, the smartest thing to do is to buy a simple Bluetooth car kit or a Bluetooth car speaker/speakerphone. That way you are saving your money, you are obeying the law, and the most important thing, you are saving lives.

Read our reviews of 10 Best Bluetooth speakers and kits and see if there is something you like.


1. Aigital T821 Bluetooth Car Speaker

Aigital T821

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Aigital is one of many generic Chinese brands on the market. Their products are cheap but they are functional. You can find the exact same Bluetooth car speaker under different names (Aivake, URANT, etc.). Aigital T821 looks like a cheaper version of  Jabra’s car Bluetooth speakers Jabra Tour and Jabra Drive. Jabra speakerphones maybe look better and more sophisticated but when it comes to functionality and performance, T821 is not far behind those two Jabra speakerphones.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a simple and small cardboard box along with USB car charger with 2 USB charging ports (you can charge the speaker while driving and you can use it at the same time), USB to micro USB charging cable (for the speaker), and user manual.

 Things we like

T821 Bluetooth car speaker is simple and functional. 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.

T821 is really simple to use. There are only three buttons on the front – answer/end button and two volume buttons. The Bluetooth/charging indicator is located inside the answer/end button. On the left side, there’s on/off switch and a built-in mic. On the right side, there’s a micro USB charging port.

You can use this small speaker for hands-free phone calls or for streaming audio although we don’t recommend using it for streaming (later on this issue). In order to answer a call, you have to press the answer/end button once and if you want to reject the call, press and hold for 3s. To redial the last number, you have to press the answer/end button twice. So, very simple and intuitive. The speakerphone has some odd-sounding voice prompts (when the battery needs charging, when it’s charged, when there’s an incoming call, etc.). The voice prompts are available in 4 languages English, Spanish, Chinese, and French. 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. The speaker can be paired with 2 phones simultaneously. The pairing starts when you turn on the speaker and it takes only a few seconds. You can activate Siri or Google Assistant by pressing answer/end button for 3s while the speaker is in standby mode.

The battery is more than satisfying. It has the capacity of 1,000mAh and it can deliver up to 22h of talking (40 days in standby mode). Recharge takes up to 3 hours. When the speaker is charged, you will hear a voice prompt. T821 comes with a car charger so you don’t have to take it out from your car in order to charge it – you can charge it in your car. And you can use it while charging.

Auto standby and Auto on/off might be one of the biggest selling points of this speaker. The manufacturer claims that you don’t have to turn it on every time you enter your car and turn it off when leaving your car. 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. You can read about some issues in the next section.

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 voice of the person you are talking with will be loud and clear, and your voice will be the same if you are in a quite or a moderately noisy environment. When there’s too much noise around you, the mic picks up a certain amount of that noise and muffles your voice on the other end.

 Things we don’t like

T821 is simply awful when it comes to audio streaming. This kind of a small speaker was never supposed to be used for music playback. It’s good enough (not great) for podcasts but it is not good for music.

The motion sensor doesn’t work flawlessly. It won’t always turn on when you enter your car and it looks like it turns on randomly.

The charging cable is only 1.5ft long which is probably too short for most cars since the distance between the sun visor and the car charger is usually longer than 1.5ft.

Comparison Table


2. Avantree CK11 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit

Avantree CK11

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In terms of performance, CK11 is very similar to the previously mentioned T821. CK11 is more expensive, it features a weaker driver (2W compared to 3W), and the battery is not as powerful as the one inside T821 (650mAh compared to 1,000mAh). So, when it comes to price/quality ratio, T821 is a better choice.

 What’s in the box?

The speaker comes in a nice-looking box along with car charger, USB to micro USB charging cable, and user manual. The speaker has a strong metal clip which keeps it in place when you attach it to your sun visor. The clip is detachable.

CK11 is 5.1 inches wide, 2.4 inches tall, 1.2 inches deep, and it weighs 9 ounces.

 Things we like

The design is simple and minimalistic. 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). On/off switch is on the top and micro USB charging port is on the bottom. The build quality is on par with the price. Everything except for the clip is made of hard plastic. Controls are very simple and user-friendly. If you want to answer a call, you have to press the volume knob once, if you want to reject a call press and hold for 3 seconds. You can also make calls or even dictate text messages thanks to Siri and Google Assistant support.

The speaker features Bluetooth 4.1. Pairing and connection are not issues. The range is quite impressive and the connection is stable. You can pair two phones simultaneously with the speaker.

The battery is decent. The capacity is rated at 650mAh. You will get up to 22h of talking (25 days in standby mode). Recharge takes less than 3h.

Like T821, CK11 also features auto on/off feature thanks to the built-in motion sensor. It works slightly better than on T821 but it’s not perfect.

Call clarity is pretty good but the speaker is not strong/loud enough. 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.

 Things we don’t like

You can stream the music from your phone but you will not be impressed. The sound is tiny and with no bass. This speaker is suitable for podcasts but not for music.

Making calls is a bit tricky – if you ask Siri or Google Assistant to dial someone from the contact list, you could get a voice prompt telling you that the contact was not found. The same goes for dictating text messages to Siri/Google Assistant.

The built-in motion sensor works better than on T821 and it will turn on when you enter your car but it could stay on for quite some time after you leave your car especially if you are in close proximity of the car. The Bluetooth range is quite impressive and the speaker keeps communicating with the phone even if you are not in the car. This can be quite annoying since all the calls are redirected to the speaker and you can’t even hear the phone ringing. It’s probably smarter to simply turn off the speaker when leaving the car and turn it back on when entering the car.

Comparison Table


3. Jabra Tour Bluetooth In-Car Speakerphone – Black

Jabra Tour

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We have already mentioned the Jabra Tour. It’s very similar to T821 but it’s more expensive. Is it worth the money? We are not quite sure. Jabra Tour does look more sophisticated than T821 and has those fancy voice commands but it’s probably not that better. It is affordable but it’s still slightly overpriced.

 What’s in the box?

Jabra Tour comes in a better-looking packaging than T821. Along with the speaker, you will get a car charger (you can charge the speaker while driving and you can use it while charging), USB to micro USB charging cable, user manual, and 1-year limited warranty.

 Things we like

Jabra Tour looks better and more stylish than most of the car Bluetooth speakers of this kind. It has the same basic shape as T821 and many other car Bluetooth speakers/speakerphones but it still looks more sophisticated. It’s made of plastic and the clip used for attaching the speaker to the sun visor is made of metal and it’s really sturdy. Once you clip it to the visor, the speaker stays in place throughout the whole ride. Controls are simple, intuitive, and user-friendly. Most of the control buttons are on the front side. You will see 4 buttons on the front – answer/end, 2 volume buttons, and the voice command button. Above the answer/end button, there’s an LED Bluetooth/battery indicator. Mute button and micro USB charging port are located on the right side. The microphone and the on/off button are on the left side.

One of the interesting features you won’t find on cheaper speakerphones are the voice controls. For example, you can answer the call by saying ‘’answer’’, or reject the call by saying ‘’reject’’. You can also use voice commands to activate Siri/Google Assistant, to pair a device, or to check the battery status. You can read all about the voice commands in the user manual (page 11).

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. Auto power on works as advertised but there are some issues with the auto power off feature (read about it in the next section).

Jabra Tour features Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR (Enhanced Data Rate). This is not the best possible choice but we don’t really have some serious complaints regarding the connection. Pairing is simple and the connection is stable. The speaker can remember up to 8 devices and it can be connected to 2 devices simultaneously.

The battery offers more than satisfying performance. You will get up to 20h of talk time, (45 days on standby). The recharge takes 2.5 to 3 hours.

Call clarity is pretty good most of the time but your voice will occasionally sound garbled. It’s like there’s some kind of interference from time to time and we don’t really know how to eliminate it. 90% of the time, your voice on the other end will be loud and clear. The microphone manages to isolate up to 21dB of environmental noise which means that you can use it in a moderately noisy environment. It’s much harder to use the speaker when there is too much noise or when your window is open.

 Things we don’t like

You can stream music or podcasts to the speaker but you won’t be amazed by the sound quality. There’s practically no bass, and the sound is quite distorted at high volumes.

The speaker will turn on automatically when you enter your vehicle but it won’t turn off when you leave the vehicle. Auto power off feature doesn’t really work. It’s probably smarter to turn the speaker off manually when leaving the vehicle.

Comparison Table


4. Nulaxy KM18 Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter

Nulaxy KM18

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This is the first Bluetooth car kit on this list. It’s a different type of device compared to those Bluetooth car speakers we’ve talked about. Bluetooth car kits don’t have built-in batteries and have to be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter socket. 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. On top of all that, it’s really cheap. Bluetooth FM transmitters receive the Bluetooth signal from your phone, convert that signal, and send it to your car’s FM receiver as an FM radio signal. That way, your car becomes Bluetooth-enabled. Read our in-depth review and see what you can do with this device.

 What’s in the box?

The car kit comes in a small black box along with AUX cable and user manual.

 Things we like

Design of the Nulaxy KM18 is quite interesting. It’s slightly bulkier than other Bluetooth car kits since it has an LCD display. The control panel with the 1.44-inch LCD display is connected to the car charger via adjustable gooseneck (the car charger and the kit are undetachable). When you plug it in, you will immediately get the info on your car battery status (voltage). 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.

The control buttons are simple and easy to use. More than a half of the control panel is occupied by the LCD display. 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. If you have an AUX input in your car, you can connect KM18 to your car stereo and get cleaner sound (AUX connection delivers better performance than the FM transmission). You can also insert your micro SD card into the micro SD card slot and play the music from it. The car charger that comes with the kit, features one USB charging port (5V, 2.1A) so you can charge your phone while streaming audio. You cannot use this port to play the music from a USB flash drive.

KM18 features Bluetooth 3.0 which is not the best choice when it comes to Bluetooth module but it still delivers a satisfying performance. The pairing process is simple and takes 5 seconds. KM18 goes to pairing mode the moment you plug it in. The connection is stable and we don’t really have any complaints regarding the Bluetooth. There are some issues with the FM transmission and we will address these issues in the next section.

Call clarity is decent but not perfect. Your voice will be understandable but kind of distant. On the other hand, you will hear the person you are talking with loud and clear (especially in AUX mode).

Sound quality is great in AUX mode. When using FM transmission (in case you don’t have an AUX input in your car), the sound quality depends on the amount of FM interference. It sounds better when you are outside the big cities, but when you enter a big city, it can be really frustrating. You will hear a lot of static and you will have to search for an open FM frequency quite often. To conclude, the sound quality is more consistent when using the AUX cable.

 Things we don’t like

KM18 can be paired with one phone at a time.

The kit doesn’t feature support for Siri and Google Assistant. You can’t activate the voice assistant by long-pressing the volume/multifunction button.

There is no on/off button. The only way to turn it off is to unplug it and if you don’t, it could drain out your car battery.  

The caller ID will be displayed on the LCD screen but there will be no voice notifications which means that you will have to look at the display to see who’s calling.

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).

Comparison Table


5. Mpow Bluetooth Adapter

Mpow

 

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If you are looking for something simpler and more compact than Nulaxy KM18, you should definitely check out this Mpow Bluetooth adapter. It can be used in cars but you can also use it if you want to make your old wired speakers wireless. It’s a simple and very useful device and it’s another affordable Bluetooth car kit under $20.

 What’s in the box?

It comes in a simple box with the MPOW logo on it. 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 car charger is not included.

 Things we like

The device is simple, minimalistic, and compact. Controls are simple and intuitive. On the front side, there is the multifunction button (play/pause/answer/end/reject calls). The on/off button is on the top, the aux out port is on the left side. 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. The kit will automatically turn off when there’s no activity (no streaming) for 10 minutes.

There’s a small 180mAh battery inside the adapter but it delivers surprisingly long playtime. You can stream audio for 15 hours per one charge (120 hours on standby). The recharge takes 45 minutes. You can also use it while charging.

The adapter features Bluetooth 4.1. Pairing is simple and starts when you turn it on. The connection is stable and the range is more than satisfying for in-car use. We haven’t experienced signal loss or cutting out during our testing. You can also pair two phones simultaneously with the adapter.

This little device is a great choice for streaming audio. The sound is pretty clear and there is practically no hissing or any static noise.

 Things we don’t like

The adapter will automatically turn off if you don’t stream music for more than 10 minutes or if the device is out of range but it won’t automatically turn on and connect with your phone when you enter your car. You will have to press the play/pause button to wake it up.

The car charger is not included in the package

This adapter is not a great choice for hands-free phone calls. You will be able to hear the person you are talking with loud and clear but your voice will be distant and muffled. The microphone also picks up all kinds of noises.

Comparison Table


6. TaoTronics TT-BR05 Bluetooth Receiver/Car Kit

TaoTronics TT-BR05

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TT-BR05 is very similar to the previous device on our list but it’s even cheaper. If you don’t want to spend more than $15, TaoTronics TT-BR05 could be the right choice.

 What’s in the box?

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.

 Things we like

TT-BR05 is a simple rectangular device. It’s very small and compact and it’s available in two colors – black and dark gray.

Controls are very simple. 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. There’s an LED Bluetooth/charging indicator around the multifunction button on the front side.

TT-BR05 features Bluetooth 4.2 with more than 30ft range which is more than enough for in-car use. The pairing is simple and it starts automatically when you turn on the receiver. You can pair two phones simultaneously with it.

The battery delivers up to 10 hours of streaming per one charge (200 hours on standby) and recharge takes up to 1 hour. You can use it while charging.

Sound quality is quite impressive. It’s not choppy or quiet. If you are going to use it mostly for audio streaming, this device is a great choice.

 Things we don’t like

Call clarity is not the best. The microphone picks up a lot of environmental noise and it is also too far from your mouth. The person you are talking with won’t hear you loud and clear and you will have to raise your voice.

One multifunction button is used for too many things and that could be confusing. There’s a chance that you will go to pairing mode when trying to turn off the device.  

The car charger is not included.

There’s no auto power on feature.

Comparison Table


7. SoundBot SB360 Bluetooth 4.0 Car Kit

SoundBot SB360

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SB360 is another AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit (not an FM transmitter). It looks a little bit different than the previous two AUX-IN car kits on the list but it offers similar performance.

 What’s in the box?

SB360 comes in a simple cardboard box. 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.

 Things we like

This device is not as compact as MPOW or TatTronics Bluetooth receivers but it’s still very simple and minimalistic. The installation is very easy but there will be more cables than with the previous two car kits. The main part is the circular control pad with 3 buttons and a built-in microphone. You will get a magnetic mounting disc which you can stick to your dashboard and then attach the control pad to this disc. The control pad has two built-in cables (USB cable for charging and AUX cable). After you find the place for the device, you can mount it and then plug it into the car charger (you should use 1.0A port) and into your car’s AUX port.

Controls are simple and easy to use. There are three buttons – the multifunction button (play/pause/answer/end/reject calls), and two track buttons. In the middle of the control pad, there are an LED Bluetooth indicator and a built-in microphone.

SB360 features Bluetooth 4.0 with a 33ft range which is more than enough for in-car use. Pairing takes 5-10 seconds and the receiver will pair automatically to the last paired device. You can pair two phones simultaneously with SB360. We haven’t experienced compatibility issues regarding the Bluetooth connection – SB360 can pair with Apple and Android devices.

The sound is pretty clear but the volume is slightly lower compared to the volume when you directly connect your phone to the AUX port. Some customers complained about the static noise while streaming audio. If you are experiencing this issue, you should try to plug the kit into some other car charger. If that doesn’t work, you can buy a device called ground loop noise isolator. This device can also improve the call clarity.  

 Things we don’t like

There’s no on/off switch/button. 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. The smartest thing to do is to unplug it when you are leaving your car.

We have experienced a strong hissing noise while using the hands-free feature. Ground loop noise isolator improved the call clarity significantly but the voice of the person on the other end was still very quiet.

Comparison Table


8. Criacr T20 Bluetooth FM Transmitter, Wireless in-Car FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit

Criacr T20

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Criacr is another Bluetooth car kit with an FM transmitter but unlike the previous FM Bluetooth transmitter on the list (Nulaxy KM18) this one doesn’t have an AUX port and the only way of connecting it to your car’s stereo system is through FM radio.

 What’s in the box?

Criacr FM transmitter comes in a simple white box along with user manual and 1-year warranty.

 Things we like

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.

Most of the controls and inputs are on the top panel. 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). It’s not a complicated device and it’s really easy to use it. The only tricky thing is connecting the transmitter to your car stereo. 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. After that, you can pair your phone with the transmitter and play some music.

Instead of pairing your phone with the transmitter, you can also use one of two USB ports for playing music (from the USB flash drive). The transmitter also features a micro SD card slot and you can insert your micro SD card and play the music from it.

The transmitter features Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR. The range is approximately 20ft which means that you can use it inside your car without issues. The transmitter is compatible with all Bluetooth-enabled devices. It will automatically pair with the last paired device. We didn’t manage to connect two phones simultaneously.

Sound quality is pretty decent but there’s always the same issue with all the FM transmitters. If there is the smallest amount of interference you will hear a quiet static noise. Most of the time, you won’t even notice it unless there is no music but it can become more noticeable if there’s too much interference (when driving through large cities, for example).

 Things we don’t like

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. If that’s not the case, the device could drain out your car battery.

The call clarity is not the greatest and your voice will sound distant and really quiet on the other end. If there’s not too much noise around you, you will be able to have a conversation but if there is more noise, it will be really hard to use the hands-free feature.

Comparison Table


9. VicTsing T11 Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Car Kit Adapter

VicTsing T11

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VicTsing is very similar to the previously mentioned Nulaxy KM18. 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.

 What’s in the box?

VicTsing T11 comes in a simple cardboard box along with AUX cable, user manual, and 1-year warranty.

 Things we like

Like, Nulaxy KM18, T11 looks visually appealing, especially because of that 1.44-inch LCD display. This transmitter is slightly smaller than KM18 and it’s less obtrusive. It’s completely made of plastic.

The LCD display shows your car battery status (when you plug it in), song name, volume level, caller ID, and the Bluetooth connection status. All the controls are on the top panel, below the display. There are 5 buttons – tuning button, mode button, two track buttons, and a multifunction knob/button (you can use it to adjust the volume or to play/pause/answer/end/reject/redial). There are two USB ports on the left side (one for playing music, the other for charging). On the right side, there are micro SD card slot and AUX port. You can use this device in FM mode or in AUX mode. The performance is better in AUX mode.

T11 features Bluetooth 3.0 with EDR. The range is 20ft and it’s good enough for in-car use. The connection is stable within the advertised range and there were no issues regarding the Bluetooth connection. The device works with iPhones and Android phones and it will automatically pair with the last paired device.

Both sound quality and call clarity are better in AUX mode. In FM mode, the sound quality is pretty decent most of the time but you will occasionally experience some radio interference and that’s inevitable with FM transmitters.

 Things we don’t like

T11 can be paired with one phone at a time.  

The kit doesn’t feature support for Siri and Google Assistant.

There is no on/off button. The only way to turn it off is to unplug it and if you don’t, it could drain out your battery.

The caller ID will be displayed on the LCD screen but there will be no voice notifications which means that you will have to look at the display to see who’s calling.

You are not supposed to charge two devices simultaneously even though there are two USB charging ports on the car charger.

Comparison Table


10. Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Hands-Free Car Kit

Kinivo BTC450

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Kinivo BTC450 reminded us of previously mentioned SoundBot SB360. They are very similar in terms of design and performance but Kinivo BTC450 is more expensive than SB360. In fact, it’s more expensive than most of the car kits on our list. BTC450 is the AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit (not an FM transmitter) and if your car doesn’t have an AUX input, you cannot use it.  

 What’s in the box?

BTC450 comes in a plastic packaging. The control pad (they call it control center) is attached to the car charger and to the AUX cable. 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.

 Things we like

The design is simple but attractive. There are maybe too many cables, which is inconvenient but you will have to deal with that if you like this device. You are supposed to stick it near the steering wheel so you can easily control the playback and answer calls. There are three buttons on the control pad – two track buttons on the top and a large multifunction button in the middle (you can use this button to play/pause/answer/end/reject/redial). You can also use this button to activate Siri (press it for three seconds).

The device doesn’t have the battery and has to be plugged into the cigarette lighter socket all the time. The car charger that comes with the car kit has one USB charging port (5V, 1.0A) and you can use it to charge your phone while streaming music. There’s no fast charging port.

BTC450 features Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR. This is the oldest Bluetooth version that is still in use but it works as advertised and we haven’t experienced any issues regarding the Bluetooth connection. The range is approx. 30ft. The device will automatically pair with the last paired device and it can be connected to one phone at a time.

Sound quality is pretty good and the sound is quite clear but it lacks some volume.

 Things we don’t like

There’s no on/off switch. 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 car battery. The smartest thing to do is to unplug it when leaving your car.

Receiving hands-free calls was not a great experience. You can hear the person on the other end but it will be really quiet. On the other hand, the person you are talking to will hear you loud and clear.

Comparison Table


Things to Consider When Buying Car Bluetooth Speakers and Kits

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.

Are You Going to Use It for Hands-free Calls, For Streaming Audio from Your Phone, or Both?

If you need something for hands-free calls and not for streaming music, you don’t have to buy a Bluetooth car kit that is supposed to be connected to your car audio system. 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). Some of the models you can find or our list are Avantree CK11 and Aigital speakerphones.  Any Bluetooth car kit can also be used for hands-free calls but not all of them are equally good when it comes to call quality. 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).

If you need something for streaming audio, you should be looking for a Bluetooth car kit and not a Bluetooth speakerphone. All the car kits can be divided into two groups – Bluetooth FM transmitters and AUX-IN Bluetooth car kits. They don’t offer equally good performance and we will discuss their advantages and disadvantages in a separate section.

How Much Should You Pay?

We have already said that car Bluetooth speakers and kits are quite affordable. Even the priciest ones are under $50 and most of those on our list are under $30. Even though the price difference between different models is not huge, there’s a great difference in performance. You might want to avoid those under $10 since most of them don’t offer a satisfying connection and audio quality. We have found a few really cheap devices and they are kind of good but if you want a good overall performance (good call quality + good audio quality and easy integration with your car audio system), you should be looking for slightly more expensive models ($20+).

Bluetooth FM Transmitters VS AUX-IN Bluetooth Car Kits

As you already know, all Bluetooth car kits can be divided into two groups – Bluetooth FM transmitters and AUX-IN car kits. So, which one is better? There is no doubt that you will get better performance (especially better audio quality) with some AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit. But, there is one problem. In order to use the AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit, your car audio system must have an AUX input. If you don’t have an AUX input in your car, you can’t use the AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit. If that’s the case, the only option is some FM transmitter. Bluetooth FM transmitters receive the Bluetooth signal from your phone or some other Bluetooth-enabled device, convert it to FM signal, and send it to your car’s FM radio. 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. Witt AUX-IN kits, you will always have that AUX cable dangling around. Still, if you don’t mind the cable and have an AUX input in your car, AUX-IN kit is a better choice.

Important Features – Bluetooth Version, Call Quality and Noise Isolation, Sound Quality

First of all, let’s talk about the way these devices work. Visor-style Bluetooth speakerphones are battery powered and you have to charge them occasionally. They are not plugged into the car charger all the time. Other Bluetooth car kits are plugged in all the time.

Bluetooth version is also important. Newer versions enable greater data transfer rates which results in better audio quality. So, if you have to choose between a device with a Bluetooth 4.1 and Bluetooth 3.0, go for Bluetooth 4.1.

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Call quality or clarity is another thing you should be paying attention to. Some microphones are good at attenuating noises around you while others are simply awful and almost unusable.

Sound quality is also important and it’s affected by many things. We have already mentioned the Bluetooth version and you know the difference in sound quality between Bluetooth FM transmitters and Bluetooth AUX-IN car kits. If you want the best sound quality, you should be looking for AUX-IN Bluetooth car kit.

Is using hands-free while driving safe?

This might sound surprising but making/receiving hands-free calls while driving is almost equally risky as making/answering calls in the old-fashioned way. 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.

Brain activity when driving and when driving and talking on the phone

Brain activity when driving and when driving and talking on the phone (source – National Safety Council)

So, in a way, multitasking is a myth. It’s not like we are absolutely unable to talk on the phone and drive at the same time but we are definitely better drivers when the phone is turned off. This is a scientifically proven fact. If you can’t afford to turn off your phone while driving, the safest thing to do is to pull off the road, answer the call, and keep driving when you are done talking.

And follow three simple rules from the NSC Infographic called HANDS FREE IS NOT RISK-FREE:

Eyes on the road

Hands on the wheel

Mind on driving

In the end, we recommend reading the white paper on driving while using a hands-free phone published by the National Safety Council. The paper is called Understanding the Distracted Brain. It might help you understand why driving while using hands-free is risky behavior.


Transparency Disclosure – AudioReputation.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. To put it simply, we have an affiliate relationship with Amazon. In our reviews, you will find links that will redirect you to one of the Amazon’s websites (usually amazon.com). These links are called ‘’affiliate links’’ and they help us fund our work. So, basically, when you click on some link and buy the speaker/headphones/soundbar/home theater system or any other piece of audio equipment, we get a small percentage/commission. You don’t have to pay extra if you click on our links – there are no additional costs.

When we recommend some piece of audio equipment, it’s not because we are under an obligation to do so. It’s because our evaluation and research have shown that certain product deserves to be recommended.

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Hello, my name is James Longman.

I’m a writer and editor at AudioReputation. I disassembled my first portable AM/FM radio when I was only 8. At the age of 11, I burned the circuit board on my old boombox cassette player. I’m not going to explain how but it was reckless and stupid.

Since then, I have become much more careful around radios, boomboxes, and other audio devices (at least, I like to think so) but I have never lost the passion for audio equipment. Throughout 20 years of my professional career, I’ve been working for various audio equipment manufacturers and even started building speakers on my own in my little workshop.

I love the work we do here at AudioReputation. Testing, comparing, and evaluating all kinds of audio devices (speakers, soundbars, headphones, home theater systems, etc.) is something I truly enjoy. I try to be unbiased and give you my honest opinion on every piece of equipment I test. Still, you should take my reviews with a pinch of salt and always be just a little bit skeptical. The fact that I liked some speaker or soundbar doesn’t mean that you are going to love it. If you have the opportunity, you should test it/hear it before buying it.

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