Written By Lisa Conant
Published Aug. 10, 2021

When you are on a road trip or even on your daily commute to work, there is nothing like the feeling of blasting out some of your favorite tunes as you drive. But if you have an older or less technologically advanced vehicle and are sick of being limited to the same old radio stations, a Bluetooth FM transmitter could be the ideal solution for you. Essentially, one of these devices allows you to broadcast a signal direct from your smartphone or similar device to your stereo system without the need for an auxiliary cable.

More and more drivers are looking into investing in FM transmitters – mainly due to the simple fact that they want to have the freedom to listen to their own music, audiobooks, and podcasts whenever they are driving. Ultimately, it is a cost-effective solution which is suitable for a wide range of different cars.

As you would expect for a device of this popularity, there are all sorts of different options available to you. To help simplify the task of choosing the right one for you, here is our list of the top 10 best Bluetooth FM transmitters currently on the market.

The Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters

Celebrated by customers and tech reviewers alike, this Bluetooth DM transmitter from Nulaxy is compatible with most of the major smartphones on the market. And when you are playing your music, you can expect a superior sound quality thanks to its advanced noise reduction system.

The LCD display can be used to answer your phone calls with the touch of a button, play music easily, and monitor the quality of your car battery with the voltmeter. You can also see essential information like phone numbers and song names, and can also charge your device easily and quickly with the 5V port. On top of all this, a range of different colors is available, allowing you to select the one which best fits the look and style of your car.

Key Features
  • Compatible with most devices including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Sony
  • LCD display with essential information
  • Voltmeter function to control the quality of your car batter
  • Three different connection option (Bluetooth, TF Card, Aux Cable)
Specification
  • Brand Nulaxy
  • Model KM18
  • Weight 0.8 oz

With its 1.7-inch display, you can see all sorts of important information including the song name, incoming phone number, and even your car’s battery levels. And thanks to its 270-degree gooseneck, optimal viewing comfort is assured. The device features both a magnetic car mount and plate, which can grip your smartphone while you are driving.

The Bluetooth V4.2 lasts longer and consumes less energy than previous models, as well as offering a more stable connection between the device and receiver. As for the sound quality, it is clear and without interference.

Key Features
  • Easy operation with HD LED Display and large button
  • Dual USB ports to charge two devices at once
  • Compatible with all smartphone and tablet devices
  • Bluetooth v4.2 and EDR technology
Specification
  • Brand Sumind
  • Model BT70B
  • Weight 8 oz

If you’re looking for a solid bang for your buck, the Odomy Bluetooth 5.0 FM Transmitter is just right for you. This ultra compact transmitter directly reads the audio files from your smartphone’s BlueTooth, TF card, or U disk. Support a charge on your mobile device while still streaming music or taking and making hands-free calls. While this is a very compact design, the screen and buttons are just big enough to be seen and used easily.

This universal design plugs directly into your car’s cigarette lighter, so it’s compatible with almost any vehicle you can think of. It also features a clever noise cancellation function that is designed to maximize clarity on your calls. One thing to note: based on the size of the unit and its weight distribution, you may notice that it tends to fall out of your 12-volt outlet on occasion.

Key Features
  • Hands-free calling function for safer driving
  • Noise cancellation function for improved sound quality
  • LED screen show FM frequency and car voltage
  • Supports mobile device charging
Specification
  • Brand Odomy
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 0.2 pounds

As well as transferring calls and MP3 music directly to your stereo, this Wireless Bluetooth FM transmitter adapter allows you to charge USB devices with the in-built car charger. Compatible with a wide range of different smartphone devices, the device will switch to hands-free mode automatically whenever there is a call coming in.

Anti-interference performance and noise suppression (CVC) are included, and you can even listen to music while charging your devices. Whenever the power is on, it will automatically connect with your device that has been paired.

Key Features
  • Dual USB charger with one 3.1A USB for larger tablets and a 1.0A for smaller ones
  • Compatible with wide range of devices
  • Anti-interference performance and noise suppression (CVC)
  • Built-in microphone
Specification
  • Brand LIHAN
  • Model LHFM1039
  • Weight 1.6 oz

When you are playing your music, podcasts or audiobooks using this device, you can be assured of the high-fidelity sound via FM radio signal being preserved. If you want to charge any of your devices while you are in the car, you can do so with the built-in USB port.

The display is clear and easy-to-read, while the tactile and responsive buttons mean that altering the settings is straightforward. And since it is made of sturdy ABS, this pocket-sized transmitter has been built to stand the test of time.

Key Features
  • Clear, high-fidelity sound
  • Easy-to-read display and tactile buttons
  • Built-in USB port to charge your devices
  • Made of durable ABS material
Specification
  • Brand JETech
  • Model 0790-FM-BK
  • Weight 3.2 oz

For those looking for a fun pop of color and a super easy to see display, check out the Allcaca Bluetooth FM Transmitter. This little device features a funky 7-color LED light accent surrounding the perimeter of the device, making it super easy to see in the dark without being too distracting. Like most other Bluetooth transmitters on the market, this one is constructed from durable ABS plastic and plugs easily into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter. It utilizes an efficient Quick Charge 3.0 technology to get your mobile device powered up as quickly as possible.

The Advance Audio Distribution Profile ensures clear and hassle-free wireless calling. It’s compatible with Google Assistant and Siri. You can also play your MP3/WMA/WAV files directly from your smartphone’s playlist. We really like that the control knob for this unit is easier to use than some other push button set-ups on other devices.

Key Features
  • Fun LED lighted Bluetooth transmitter
  • Compatible with Siri and Google Assistant
  • Two USB ports, including one QC 3.0
  • Easy to use control knob
Specification
  • Brand Allcaca
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A

Promising a solid and stable connection to your smartphone, you can keep the tunes going with this FM transmitter. One of the most innovative features of this device is the Roav charger app which can guide you back to your car’s location if you forget where you parked. No more roaming up and down the car park!

A second USB port provides charging facilities, while you can also make reliable calls directly through your car’s stereo system. 12-month warranty is included, and you can get in touch with the dedicated customer service team if you start experiencing any issues.

Key Features
  • Roav charger app to easily track down your car’s location
  • USB input and AUX output
  • Fast-charging facility
  • Bluetooth 4.2 for strong and stable connection
Specification
  • Brand ROAV
  • Model AK-R5111012
  • Weight 2.88 oz

The Monster Bluetooth FM Transmitter is a very versatile option if you want to stream music from your smartphone, laptop, or tablet to your car stereo. We like that it is equipped with two 3.4 amp USB charging ports that allow you to quickly charge multiple devices while listening to your favorite music, podcasts, and audiobooks. It’s also compatible with Google Virtual Assistant and Siri, so you get a truly hands-free experience.

Unlike many others on the market, this little device also features an added Bass Boost option for improved audio performance. Even better, the Monster transmitter can read and transmit audio from USB and microSD devices, making it one of the more widely applicable choices on our list. Of course, you also get hands-free Bluetooth calling features included. The built-in microphone is equipped with echo reduction for improved sound quality during conversations. One drawback is that during calls, you may have to increase your volume to be able to hear the other party.

Key Features
  • Dual 3.4-amp USB charging ports
  • Supports Google Virtual Assistant and Siri
  • Built-in microphone is equipped with echo reduction
  • Built-in microphone for clear calls
Specification
  • Brand Monster Digital
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A

The updated version of the Cooligg Bluetooth FM Transmitter features a QC3.0 charging port as well as a USB-C charging port and a USB outlet. This unit is also compatible with Bixby, Google Assistant, and Siri that allows you to activate hands-free calling, switch songs, play or stop music, change the channel, and more. You can play music from your smartphone, tablet, or U disk.

We also like the fun 9-light accents on this modern looking transmitter. Choose from red, blue, green, yellow, purple, pink, white, rainbow, or breathing rainbow to customize your look. It’s got an easy-to-use knob control that allows you to change channels or calling features. The built-in microphone on this unit is a little less sensitive than on some competing models, so you may notice that calls can sound distant or “tinny” on occasion.

Key Features
  • Features three USB ports
  • 9 light color mode accents
  • Easy-to-use knob control
  • Displays car battery voltage
Specification
  • Brand Cooligg
  • Model CAR2001
  • Weight N/A

Another great budget-friendly option when it comes to a reliable Bluetooth FM transmitter is the Jelly Comb Bluetooth Car Charger FM Transmitter. This intuitively designed model is ultra compact and won’t get in the way like a lot of other bulkier options can. It offers a wide range of device compatibility, including iPhone, Samsun, LG, HTC, tablets, iPads, and more. Hands-free calling is enhanced by the well-performing microphone that features enhanced noise suppression, so that you can have a clear conversation while driving.

You can seamlessly switch between calls and music with the click of a button. Choose from MP3, wma, wav, or flac files to play music and other audio files. This unit does have two charging ports. One is a standard 5-volt, 2.4-amp charging port. The other, unfortunately, is only a 5-volt, 1.0-amp port, which is less powerful than the ports on most other options on our list. Also, double check that your FM radio is compatible with this unit, as some are known not to go as low on the FM dial as this unit requires.

Key Features
  • Clear talking with built-in microphone and CVC technology
  • Dual port USB to charge devices
  • Compact and small design
  • Can play multiple file formats
Specification
  • Brand Jelly Comb
  • Model ICH-30
  • Weight N/A

Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters Buying Guide

What to Consider When Buying a Bluetooth FM Transmitter

From reading through our product selection, you will have noticed that there are several common features which unite these devices and some which are unique. So, here are just some of the main points which you may want to consider when choosing the right one for you.

  • Audio Experience

The overall audio experience that the device offers is worth looking at in more detail. While the sound quality depends on your car speakers, you could look into more detail at how much interference previous users have experienced. This is where reading some of the reviews readily available online can prove to be highly useful. Sometimes, it can end up being a matter of making minor adjustments to the frequency until you find the setting which is best for you.

  • Compatibility

The issue of compatibility comes in two parts: your car and your smartphone. Since you are considering investing in one of these devices, you are likely to have an older car which doesn’t already have Bluetooth compatibility, but you should double check the guidelines to ensure that your vehicle is supported. Generally, as long as the car has a cigarette lighter and a radio, it should support one of these devices. As well as checking your car’s compatibility, you should also check that your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player or whatever else you want to hook up is connectable as well.

  • Ease of Use

Since this is a device which you will use while driving, you will want it to be as easy to use as possible so that it doesn’t distract you. Some of these FM transmitters come with additional buttons, added remotes etc, so you need to be comfortable using all of these. Different modes of connectivity are also an option, so you need to work out exactly how you plan on hooking up your device as well. It is worth having this information before deciding to make an investment.

Installing a wireless FM transmitter should be a straightforward task. You simply need to plug the device into the power source (the cigarette lighter), turn on your phone’s Bluetooth to find the connection, choose the audio frequency, and select the music that you would like to play.

It is also worth checking out the screen and buttons in more detail. Some will offer more buttons to adjust the mode, volume, skip song etc whereas others will have fewer buttons which only provide the option to answer calls. Some will come with an off switch, while others will require you to unplug it to power down. Again, this is something which is worth knowing so that you don’t end up draining your car battery without realizing. You should also check out what information you can get displayed directly through the screen including song name, caller ID, car battery levels etc.

  • Extra Features

Playing music and making hands-free calls are the main features of devices like these, but you should also consider the extra features which may encourage you to go for one above the rest. Some come with built-in voltmeters to allow you to check up on your car’s battery levels, while others have additional USB ports for charging facilities. Some come with location settings to allow you to track down your vehicle using an app, while others have more control when it comes to skipping songs, changing music-playing mode etc. Ultimately, your own personal preferences will come into play here.

Benefits of Using a Bluetooth FM Transmitter

Obviously, whenever you are investing in any upgrade for your car you will want to answer questions about its major benefits, and the same is certainly true of a Bluetooth FM transmitter. So, here are some of the main advantages which you can expect to enjoy by buying an FM transmitter for your car.

  • Easily Play Audio in Your Car

While many modern cars are now being fitted with Bluetooth capabilities, older vehicles (and more basic models) don’t have the same advantages. A Bluetooth FM transmitter is a simple and wireless solution to the problem which only requires you to plug in the device to your car’s cigarette lighter and pair it with your smartphone or other devices. Suddenly, you have access to all the music and audio files that it can provide. Ultimately, this makes your morning commute or long drive a much more enjoyable experience, and one in which you have a higher degree of control when it comes to your audio entertainment.

  • Hands-Free Calls

Nowadays, people always like to stay connected. But using your phone in your car can be dangerous, and accident rates due to distracted driving have spiraled over the past few years. The built-in microphone function of these devices means that you can answer calls and speak to people while still concentrating on your driving. Many of these devices also come with the function of automatically cutting your music and allowing you the option to take or reject a call at the touch of a button. You have connectivity in your car without needing to pull over to answer a call or risk having an accident by fiddling with your phone in the car.

  • High-Tech Features

Our growing reliance on smartphones has meant that keeping them charged has become a constant issue. Most of these devices come with one or two charging ports which means that you aren’t in danger of letting your smartphone go flat, which is particularly important if you are relying on it for GPS. As we have already mentioned, many come complete with a voltmeter for you to check your car’s battery – information which you won’t get from older vehicle models.

  • Simple and Affordable Car Upgrade

While many car upgrades are expensive and/or challenging to install, here is one which you can add to your vehicle in a matter of seconds that can significantly improve your driving experience. As well as being affordable, these devices are small and stylish, meaning that they will look perfectly natural inside your car. Many come with different design choices, allowing you to select the one which looks best inside your car.

FM Transmitter Hack; Eliminate Static 

There is nothing more annoying than that static sound when you are trying to enjoy your favorite music. First of all, you want to start by choosing a high-quality product. Look for one with manual tuning to remove interference from local radio stations. Also, you should check for you connection options beyond aux cables. Some offer USB connections, SD card slots, and other options which can improve quality. For example, if it doesn’t seem to work well when you connect a cable, you could instead try the Bluetooth connection instead. When you plug the FM transmitter into your car, tune it and your head unit to the same frequency.

Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters FAQ:

Q:  How do FM transmitters work?

An FM transmitter is a device which allows drivers to play portable audio sources through a radio with an FM band – most commonly a car stereo. Since there is no physical connection to the radio, there are no cords required and there is also no need to upgrade the audio system in your car. Essentially, this device works by a converter taking the audio output from a pre-existing source and converting it into analog audio. After this, FM modulation will convert the signal again, allowing drivers to tune their car radio to the specific frequency that matches with the transmitter and listen to music as if being broadcast through a regular FM radio. With Bluetooth connectivity, you can pair it with your smartphone to then play the music from your phone directly to your car’s stereo or answer any incoming calls. Most of these devices come equipped with in-line controllers and display screens, as well as allowing the installation of apps to improve overall audio quality.

Q:  Do Bluetooth FM transmitters play stereo or mono audio?

As long as the original audio source in your car is in stereo and your car is equipped with stereo speakers, your Bluetooth FM transmitter should stick exclusively to stereo audio. So, the quality of sound which you can expect to receive in your vehicle depends very much on the current quality of your car audio.

Q:  Will a Bluetooth FM transmitter work in an older car?

Bluetooth FM transmitters are designed to work with a wide range of vehicles as long as they are equipped with a cigarette lighter and a radio. If you have an older car without Bluetooth capabilities, these devices can prove to be especially useful as they give you a lot more freedom when it comes choosing audio. And if your car has a hotspot or you have a lot of 4G capacity, you can even connect to a music streaming service where the options are seemingly unlimited.

Q:  Which devices will a Bluetooth FM transmitter work with?

Bluetooth FM transmitters are designed to work with all sorts of modern devices including smartphones, tablets, laptops etc. The majority are built to be universally compatible with iPhone, Samsung, Pixel etc. However, you should always double check before investing in an FM transmitter that your specific device is supported. There is nothing worse than getting a new piece on tech, only to find that your specific device proves not to be supported.

Q:  What does RDS function do in FM transmitters?

An RDS function is automatically built into many of these FM transmitters. Essentially, this means that it will transfer useful information to the screen of your device including song title, artist’s name, caller ID etc. Many also come with an in-built voltmeter so that you can also check up on your car’s current battery levels. Since the screens are relatively small, they only have room to display a limited amount of information, but you don’t want too much as this could end up distracting you from your driving.

Our Top Pick

Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter Car Kit W 1.44 Inch Display

Our best FM transmitter top pick is this stylish and affordable device from Nulaxy. Known amongst customers for its high-quality and superior technology, it supports all sorts of different devices which you can play your music through including Apple, Samsung, Xiaomi, Oppo, Sony. Bluetooth, TF Card, and Aux Cable are your three options when it comes to connecting your device. Choose the one which is most suitable for your needs. With an advanced noise reduction system, clear audio is assured.

At the heart of the device is a big LCD display, which can display a host of information regarding your phone calls, music, and car battery voltage. When you find that you are getting a call, you can easily answer it with just the click of a button. This hands-free option can help you to enjoy a much safer driving experience. And if any of your devices need charging while you are in the car, you can do this safely and efficiently with the 5V port. Finally, you have several color options to pick from, allowing you to choose the one which best suits the interior of your car.

Sources:

  1. FM transmitter, Wikipedia

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