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How to Convert and Old Radio to Bluetooth 5+

With Bluetooth Adaptive released by Qualcomm this year and Bluetooth 5.0+ versions all supporting lower latencies, higher-quality audio and even local broadcasting with the in-development Auracast technology; Bluetooth is showing no signs of becoming outdated!

With that in mind, many of us are still looking to convert and make the jump to Bluetooth as it keeps getting better! If you have an old radio you want to transform there's a couple of quirks of how Bluetooth works to bear in mind. Make sure you follow these steps to connect an old radio to Bluetooth with no mistakes!

1) Check Your Radio's Ports

Before you begin, you'll need to know what you're starting from! Double-check your old radio for any Audio connections. These will most likely be AUX / 3.5mm ports or separate "stereo" ports for left and right audio channels (Like you find on a SCART or RCA connection for TV).

Establishing that you have an input or output of a certain type will be vital in deciding how you upgrade your device.

2) Decide on a Bluetooth Type

Next, you need to decide the other side of the equation. Bluetooth can connect as a Receiver or a Transmitter. Just like you have a wired input or output, Bluetooth has wireless Receivers and Transmitters.

You can get devices which do both, but they must be set to one mode at a time.

A simple guide for working out your best type:

Do you want to play modern apps like Spotify and internet radio through your old radio?

You need a Bluetooth Receiver connected to the old radio by cable, and to your phone or PC by Bluetooth.

Do you want your old radio audio played through modern hi-fi systems and headphones?

You need a Bluetooth Transmitter connected by cable to the old radio and to headphones, hifi or other audio output by Bluetooth.

These options ensure you create the Bluetooth network you want for your old tech! Either enjoy old FM radio on modern outputs or revel in modern audio sources through your original speakers!

3) Decide on a Specific Bluetooth Adaptor

Now that you know what you've got and where you want to go, you can identify the best adaptor for your old radio.

One option to listen to your old radio wirelessly is the simple August MR250 adaptor. This unit is rechargeable, only has one simple function so is perfect for older radios, and features Bluetooth 5.2. The unit has an AUX / 3.5mm input so your radio will need to be able to output to a 3.5mm cable.

Another option is a two-in-one adaptor like the MR230. This adaptor is rechargeable too, but has both transmit and receive functions. This means you can listen to music from the old radio one moment and play modern music to it the next!

Finally, a third option is the MR280. This unit has both receive and transmit modes, but also features an Optical audio port (input and output). This increases compatibility with devices at the cost of needing a power cable connected to use the MR280.

Weigh up what your old radio is for, why you want to convert it to Bluetooth and then make a decision today!

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