bluetooth car radio: test & recommendations (01/22)

The Bluetooth car radio is the all-rounder among car radios. As with a classic car radio, it offers you the possibility of listening to the radio. In addition, you can connect one or more devices to the car radio through Bluetooth. Bluetooth car radios have many different features and additional functions, so you can also make phone calls or use a navigation system with a Bluetooth car radio.

In our Bluetooth car radio test 2022 we have collected for you the most important information about Bluetooth car radios. We have looked at various car radios and explained the most important criteria for the purchase to you. With this article we want to give you the opportunity to choose the best radio for you.

The most important in a nutshell

  • In contrast to classic car radios, Bluetooth car radios offer you the possibility to link your car radio to another device, such as your cell phone.
  • When buying a Bluetooth car radio, you should pay attention to the Bluetooth profiles of the device, as well as other functions such as the radio function or the hands-free system.
  • There are a number of Bluetooth car radios that offer you various additional features. These include: USB ports, navigation programs or remote control.

Also interesting

Bluetooth car radio test: editors’ favorites

The best Bluetooth car radio for a small budget

The ieGeek car radio is not expensive, but it is still a good Bluetooth car radio. It allows you to drive safely with the hands-free function. The device also has a USB and a micro SD slot.

Clear and easy to use, this Bluetooth car radio is perfect for a pleasant drive. The ieGeek car radio fulfills all the basic functions you want with the best price-performance ratio.

The Bluetooth car radio with the best sound

94,80 EUR

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118,00 EUR

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98,00 EUR

Latest price updates: Amazon.en (30.01.22, 22:29), Other stores (30.01.22, 16:31)

The Sony DSX-A410BT MP3 car radio offers everything you would expect from a Bluetooth car radio: A powerful and clear sound, numerous connectivity options (USB, AUX, Dual Bluetooth) and a removable control panel. The hands-free system also makes it easy to make phone calls.

You’re looking for a Bluetooth car radio with good sound? This car radio offers you exactly that – and yet the other features of the device have not been neglected!

The best Bluetooth car radio with DAB+

The model KD-T702BT from JVC is just right for radio devotees, because it has DAB+. Two devices can also be paired to the radio at the same time. As a little bonus, the radio has “Spotify Control”: with Spotify Control you can control all Spotify functions from your car radio. So you can play your favorite playlist in the car, or discover songs according to genre.

We recommend this Bluetooth car radio if you love music and radio above all else: Thanks to DAB+ and Spotify Control, you will love this device.

Buying and evaluation criteria for Bluetooth car radios

When buying your Bluetooth car radio, you should of course consider the same criteria as when buying a classic car radio. In addition, you should pay special attention to other criteria.

In summary, these are:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain to you what is important in these criteria.

Bluetooth profiles

Bluetooth allows you to exchange data and information between two devices. But did you know that there are different types of Bluetooth profiles?

In this table we explain the four main profiles:

Bluetooth Profile Description
A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) This Bluetooth profile allows the transmission of sounds, be it music or voice.
HSP (Headset Profile) This profile also offers voice transmission, as well as basic phone functions. As the name says, you need the use of headsets.
HFP (Handsfree Profile) Not all Bluetooth car stereos have this profile, but it is becoming more and more common. With HFP you can not only listen to music, but also make phone calls (without headsets).
AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Profile) This profile allows you to control your Bluetooth car radio with your voice, so you can pause your music or play the next song depending on your mood.

Other profiles like PBAP (Phone Book Access Profile) and OPP (Object Push Profile) even give you the possibility to access the phone book of your cell phone or exchange important appointments.

So check the Bluetooth profile of the radio before you buy it. If you mainly want to play music from your cell phone, then A2DP or HSP will be sufficient. Do you want to make phone calls? Then HFP or AVRCP are the best choice. And if you want to achieve even more with your car radio, then PBAP and OPP are ideal profiles.

Radio function

Take when buying also the radio function of your device into account. Of course, all car radios allow you to listen to the radio, but some only via FM waves.

Bluetooth car radios with DAB or DAB+ allow you to receive more, because DAB stands for “Digital Audio Broadcasting”. Simply put, with a DAB or DAB+ car radio you can also cover digital stations.

DAB+ is simply an enhanced function of DAB: it gives you better sound quality and additional information such as weather data.

Handsfree

For your choice, consider if you prefer to buy your Bluetooth car radio with or without a hands-free kit. For you, we’ve listed the pros and cons of hands-free calling:

  • Unhindered phone calls: Both hands always stay on the steering wheel
  • No cable connection of the cell phone to the car radio necessary
  • Expensive (headsets would be a cheaper option)
  • Poor acoustics, because the microphone is not close to your mouth.

Basically, we would still recommend you to get a Bluetooth car stereo with handsfree kit. So you’ll never be distracted.

Additional functions

Some Bluetooth car stereos offer other features that could also influence your buying decision. Here we have listed the most important of them for you:

  • Read or reply to text messages through voice recognition
  • Connect multiple devices at the same time
  • Remote control (as an object or through apps)
  • Access to navigation programs
  • Additional USB or HDMI ports

Now you can decide on the best Bluetooth car radio with these four buying criteria.

Just think about what you need it for, and what features are most important to you.

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Bluetooth car radio

What is special about a car radio with Bluetooth and what advantages does it offer??

bluetooth car radio-1

For your convenience, we have listed the main advantages of a Bluetooth car radio:

  • You can connect your car radio to one or more devices at the same time.
  • You can usually listen to both radio and digital stations, or even internet podcasts.
  • If the model of your device offers it: You can make phone calls or schedule appointments.

In addition to these points, your Bluetooth car radio may also have a navigation system or a remote control. These additional functions will make your driving much easier.

First of all, you don’t need to buy additional, expensive devices for your car. Secondly, you only have to concentrate on the steering wheel: Your radio does the rest!

What is the alternative to a Bluetooth car radio??

Alternative description
Classic car radio You could fall back on a classic car radio. Most classic car stereos will not allow you to connect your cell phone. A few have USB ports. If you want to listen to music from your cell phone, you can simply connect it with a cable to your car radio – or simply listen to the radio or CDs. Classic car stereos are usually cheaper than Bluetooth car stereos.
Classic car radio with FN transmitter Maybe a classic car radio is not enough after all. Then you can pair it with an FN transmitter. The transmitter receives music signals from devices with headphone jacks within a small range (a few meters). For example, you can receive the music signals from your cell phone or navigation device and play them on your car radio.

If you want to use your car radio mainly for listening to the radio, then a classic car radio might be enough for you. But if you plan to do more than listen to the radio? Then we would recommend you to buy a bluetooth car radio – or at least a FN transmitter.

For whom are car radios with Bluetooth suitable?

Also, most car stereos allow you to make phone calls or answer short messages from your car.

You enjoy listening to music or podcast? But you want to be able to make calls in your car comfortably, or even have a navigation system in the car radio? Then Bluetooth car radios are just right for you.

What does a Bluetooth car radio cost?

The price of your car radio is mostly influenced by the brand and features of your device. For example, a Bluetooth car radio with handsfree will be more expensive than a car radio without handsfree.

bluetooth car radio-2

We want you to make your decision as easy as possible. For this reason, we have divided Bluetooth car radios into different price ranges for you in the table below:

Price Description
Under 50 Euro These Bluetooth car radios usually have few or no features at all. But they do allow you to play music from your phone.
Between 50 and 130 Euro Most Bluetooth car radios are in this price range. The devices have a good quality and usually offer you several additional features. We would recommend you to buy a device from this category.
Over 130 euros There are Bluetooth car radios that are worth up to 300 euros. Surely the quality is very good and they have all possible features. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend buying from this category unless high quality is extremely important to you and you also spend a lot of time in the car.

Hopefully we could orientate you by this table in your purchase decision. Keep in mind that you should not only look at the price, but also at your needs and therefore the features offered by the device. Do you never use a navigation system? Then you should buy the cheaper version without navi!

In the end, you may wonder if Bluetooth car stereos are more expensive than classic car stereos? Usually they are, because they have the Bluetooth function -at least one feature more.

Keep in mind that there are very expensive classic car radios as well. If you want to buy an FM transmitter in addition to your classic car radio, then it might be worth buying a Bluetooth car radio.

Where can I buy car radios with Bluetooth?

  • Amazon.en
  • Mediamarkt.en
  • Saturn.en
  • Ebay.en

If you want to buy a specific model, you can of course buy it right away on the brand’s website.

What does BT on the car radio mean?

How to connect my Bluetooth car radio with my cell phone?

  1. Activate Bluetooth on your phone: First you need to turn on the Bluetooth on your phone. Only then you can connect it to the radio.
  2. Search for an available device: Search your cell phone to see if you can find your car radio as an available Bluetooth device. You may also see your cell phone as an available device on your car stereo. If you don’t find an available device, make sure that the Bluetooth settings of your cell phone and your car radio are correct.
  3. Connect: And now we have already arrived at the last step! Tap on “connected” or “pairing” – the choice of words can change a bit depending on the device. Depending on the car radio, you may also need to enter a code on your device to successfully complete the pairing process.

And off you go: Now you can enjoy your music.

How to install a Bluetooth car radio?

Now you should basically proceed as follows:

  1. Insert mounting frame: This step is important. We don’t want someone to steal our car radio… So make sure that you bend the metal tabs of the frame well enough, and that the frame stands firmly.
  2. Plug in connections: In this step, you now want to connect your car’s connectors to the new radio. This should work without much difficulty.
  3. Slide the cable into the compartment: The third step is to carefully slide the cable into the compartment. Then you can also slide the car radio in the compartment. It is better to do it only up to the half.
    If the car radio has a control panel, you can also plug it in during this step.
  4. Testing: Before you put the complete car radio in the compartment, better perform a small test. So turn on your device. Everything works fine? You can install the car radio completely!
    If there is a problem, go back to step two and three, maybe something was connected wrongly.
  5. Attach the cover or frame: Lastly, you need to attach the cover of your radio.

And you are done with the installation!

Can I upgrade my car radio with Bluetooth?

If your car radio has such a connection, then you can acquire a Bluetooth adapter. Just like an FM transmitter, the Bluetooth adapter receives the signal from the phone. This is how the music is then transferred and played on the radio.

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