Bluetooth 5.0 or greater USB adapters, "Apple Air Pods Pro" -style BT wireless headsets, and more?


Supreme [H]ardness
Jun 9, 2003
Hello everyone. I'm currently in the market for a couple of items and I thoughtsome may be able to weigh in.

First, I need a Bluetooth USB adapter/dongle. I plan to use it for a wide variety of tasks from connecting to game controllers ( Backup for Steam Controller or XBox Elite Series 2, necessity for use of Switch Pro Controller or Joycons, as well as WiiMotePlus and other devices) to wireless bluetooth headsets of one kind or another. Now I know most controllers and other devices thus far aren't going tobe using the newest standards, sticking to BT 2.1 - 4.x . However, I read that the latest and best bluetooth headsets are using later standards are all using 5.0 or newer! Thus, I was looking to pick up an adapter that could support 5.0 (or up to 5.2 which I think is the newest but few seem to be specifically labeled as supporting 5.1 or 5.2). Unfortunately, this seems to be rather difficult.

On Amazon there are quite a few that claim to be 5.0 supporting, but some things appear to be a bit suspect. I've not been able to confirm it, but I've been told that all legit 5.0 or greater BT dongles are also paired with WiFi ; there are no stand alone 5.0 types? If this is true, a LOT of them are inaccurate on Amazon et al. Also, as I prefer Linux it would be nice to know what chipsets legit 5.0 dongles are using and if they're Linux friendly. So many of the cheaper ones (should USB 2.0 connection speed be a red flag for 5.0?) either don't state this or outright claim that game consoles, Mac, Linux etc... are not supported. If its so hard to find a 5.0 dongle that really is up to the standard with a decent chipset, I have to wonder how there are so many of these supposed 5.0 using headsets out there; they must only be using on phones or Apple devices that support 5.0 natively? Can anyone suggest a legit, Linux friendly BT 5.0 or greater USB adapter?

Next, I've been out of the loop on headsets. I'm not a huge fan of big over the ear headphones as they can be uncomfortable. However, I have need of a headset for VOIP and the like. At current I have a Plantronics Voyager Edge (though no BT dongle to hook it up), but that's a single ear kinda setup. It seems the big thing now are high end wireless stereo sets like the Apple Air Pods, Samsung GalaxyBuds+, OnePlus Buds, or that kit from Sony - they seem to be truly wireless finally, often have their own "charging case", and all seem to support Bluetooth 5.0. Much is made of the audio quality on these, but I hope their microphone/outgoing quality is also suitable? Ideally, it would be nice to have one that works well with an Android phone (preferably without requiring its own app full time) including with voice assistants, as well as being able to connect to PC with the proper aforementioned dongle for VOIP chat; it would also be nice if you could opt to only wear and use one of them if you wished. Any suggestions?

Last edited: