A Bluetooth FM transmitter will let you stream music wirelessly from your phone through your car’s FM stereo. You could use it to listen to MP3 files, podcasts, internet radio or streaming services like Spotify.
You can also use a Bluetooth FM transmitter to take hands-free calls or use Google Maps as a sat nav.
Most Bluetooth FM transmitters plug into your car’s cigarette lighter.
You tune both your car radio and the FM transmitter to an unused FM frequency (see this article for advice on which frequency to use). The Bluetooth FM transmitter essentially acts like a mini radio station that just broadcasts from the device to your car’s stereo.
Getting a Bluetooth FM transmitter is a cheap and easy alternative to replacing your old car stereo if it doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Here’s a roundup of 5 of the best Bluetooth FM transmitters available in the UK in 2018. All of the products reviewed here offer both hands-free calls and wireless audio streaming.
Best Bluetooth FM Transmitters for the Car (UK 2018)
1. VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter (model number H-VT-0805) can be used for streaming music from your phone or an MP3 player or taking hands-free calls using Bluetooth.
This transmitter offers an easy and cheap way to upgrade an old car stereo that doesn’t have Bluetooth. You could also use it for listening to online radio via your phone.
- Plays music files in WAV, MP3 and WMA format from a USB drive or MP3 player
- CVC noise cancellation for hands-free calls
- Adjustable neck for changing the viewing angle
- Auto-connects with the last paired phone
- Dual 5V/2.1A USB charging port for quickly charging your phone
- TF card reader
- USB charging port
Dimensions: 12 x 6.5 x 5.7 cm
- Very easy to use
- Bright and clear LCD display
- Hardly any radio interference
- Good value for money
- A loud voice says “waiting for pairing” and “paired” when you connect it
- Not completely hands-free (you have to turn the radio down while taking a call)
The VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter is an impressive product that is very easy to use and generally sounds clear with no interference. It’s reasonably priced and highly rated by users.
2. CHGeek Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The CHGeek CH05 Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter and tunes to a frequency between 87.5 MHz and 108.0 MHz. It has some useful features such as two USB charging points, one of which you can also use to play MP3 files from a USB drive.
- Single button is used for main features
- 2 USB charging points
- Can play MP3s from a USB stick
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calling
Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 3.7 cm
- Single button makes it safer to use while driving
- Plays music from USB sticks
- Good value for money
- Sometimes has interference, though this depends on the frequency you use
The CHGeek CH05 Wireless Bluetooth FM Transmitter has a simple and convenient design with just one button, making it easy to use while driving. It’s also attractively priced and offers great value for money.
3. Nulaxy KM19 Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The Nulaxy KM19 Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter plugs into your car’s cigarette lighter socket and offers lots of useful features including two USB ports, and SD and TF card readers. You can also connect devices to the transmitter using an aux cable.
- 2 USB ports for playing MP3s and charging devices
- Can play MP3s and WMA files from an SD card
- TF card reader (up to 32 GB)
- Aux input
- Hands-free calls
Dimensions: 11.8 x 6.8 x 5.6 cm
- Small and unobtrusive
- Easy to set up and use
- Bluetooth works well
- Can pick up interference from phones
- Button for skipping tracks is small
Most people find that the Nulaxy KM19 is easy to use and works very well. It offers quite a lot of functionality for the price, and is an easy way to add Bluetooth to your car stereo.
4. TeckNet Bluetooth FM Transmitter
The TeckNet Bluetooth FM Transmitter (model number 78924), is a popular transmitter with Bluetooth 4.0 technology and two USB ports. It’s easy to control while you’re driving simply by rotating and pressing the device. This transmitter plugs into your cigarette lighter and uses an empty frequency on your FM radio. You can read our full review of this Bluetooth FM transmitter here.
- Comes with a warranty card, manual and 3.5 mm aux cable
- FM frequency from 87.5 to 108.0MHz
- Two USB sockets: one for charging a phone or other device, and one for connecting an MP3 player or flash drive.
Dimensions: 9.5 x 7.5 x 3.3 cm
- Connects quickly and automatically to an iPhone
- No interference or background noise
- 2-year warranty available from Tecknet
- Works well for hands-free calls
- Prevents other FM channels at a higher frequency from working when it’s plugged in (this isn’t a problem if you set the frequency to 108).
- Can only be switched off by unplugging it
The TeckNet Bluetooth FM Transmitter is small and easy to use. Like the VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter reviewed above, it’s one of the most affordable and popular FM transmitters in the UK.
5. Sumind FM Bluetooth Transmitter
The Sumind FM Bluetooth Transmitter is a very cool-looking product that lets you stream audio via Bluetooth, take hands-free calls and play MP3s from a Micro SD or TF card. It attaches to your car’s cigarette lighter and has a bendy ‘hose’ which lets you change its position.
- 2 USB ports for charging devices
- Aux in
- Can play audio files from Micro SD and TF cards
- Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
Dimensions: 21.4 x 7.8 x 5.7 cm
- Easy to set up and use
- Usually little or no interference
- Stylish design
- Clear sound quality
- More expensive than some similar products
- Quite large
The Sumind FM Bluetooth Transmitter is relatively expensive, but it has a very stylish design and offers plenty of useful features.
Bluetooth FM Transmitter FAQs
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about Bluetooth FM transmitters.
What is an FM Bluetooth transmitter?
An FM Bluetooth transmitter is a small device that plugs into your car stereo’s cigarette lighter socket. It can receive Bluetooth signals from your phone and then broadcast them to your car’s stereo using an FM frequency. You tune both the transmitter and your car radio to the same blank FM frequency (87.5 usually works well).
FM Bluetooth transmitters offer a cheap and easy way to get Bluetooth in your car. They are useful if you have an older car that didn’t come with Bluetooth by default.
How well do Bluetooth FM transmitters work?
Bluetooth FM transmitters usually work well if you tune them to a clear frequency. However, they can pick up interference at times. Another common issue is that if the transmitter has a built-in microphone for hands-free calls it can be too quiet, meaning that the person you are speaking to might find it hard to hear you.
Which FM frequency should I use?
87.5 is usually the best frequency to use in the UK, though 108 can work well too. We have an article about this here.
Do Bluetooth FM transmitters play stereo or mono audio?
If the original audio source is in stereo and your car has stereo speakers, the transmitter should play stereo audio.
Will a Bluetooth FM transmitter work in an older car?
Yes, provided the car has a cigarette lighter and a radio.
Which devices will a Bluetooth FM transmitter work with? (iPhone, Samsung, tablet, laptop etc.)
A Bluetooth FM transmitter will work with any other device that has Bluetooth and can play audio. This includes almost all modern smartphones, tablets and laptops.
If we had to recommend just one of these Bluetooth FM transmitters it would be the VicTsing Bluetooth FM Transmitter. It’s one of the most popular FM transmitters in the UK thanks to its reasonable price, good list of features and impressive performance.