Creative BT-W3

Creative BT-W3 – add BT 5.0 and aptX to almost anything (review)


The great thing about the Creative BT-W3 Bluetooth 5.0 (BT) add-on dongle is that it works with Nintendo Switch, PS4 or 5, PC, Mac or desktops that don’t have Bluetooth or use a much older version.

It comprises a USB-C or A transmitter/receiver (TxRx) and 3.55mm four-pole jack analogue mic with Tx. It is Qualcomm compatible and adds a push-button selection of SBS, aptX, aptX LL, and aptX HD. But wait, there is more – the dongle can act as A2DP stereo (headphones), AVRCP (supports remote control) and HFP (hand free) and works up to 30m from the device.

To be clear, plug this into Windows, macOS or Android, and you have high-res (for music) and low latency (for games) codecs at your command – as long as your headphone or speaker has aptX. As BT is a standard, no driver or power is needed. Sorry, no iPhone and W1 chip devices!


  • Plug the USB-C (or USB-C to USB-A adapter) dongle into the host device. Press the BT button to autoload any drivers
  • Press the BT pairing button on the BT-W3 and the speaker or headphone you want to pair with
  • When the pairing light stops flashing, paring is successful.
  • You can then press the pairing button to select the codec you want to use

The 3.5mm mic has a little more specialist use, but basically, you can plug it into any 4-pole (combo mic/headset) 3.5m port and add a ‘headset’ mic. It is not a high-res mic – more webcam standard.

The addition of a BT does not usually interfere with other mic sources, but you may want to turn other mics off to avoid echo. There is an HFP Mode switch as well.

Windows (and possibly all host devices)

The BT-W3 comes up as an audio device. When you pair with it, you are not pairing with the host device. That is no issue and increases the flexibility of the dongle as you can move it to different devices, and the pairing moves with it.

Use cases

  • Add extra aptX codecs to a USB-C smartphone or computer
  • Add a mic to any 3.5mm port
  • Gamers can access apt LL for headsets and controllers <40ms
  • Audiophiles can get 576kbps aptX HD
  • Attach a BT speaker, soundbar or headphone via a USB port

Creative BT-W3

Price$64.95 free shipping
Warranty12 months
CompanySingapore based Creative Labs (Est 1981) is famed for its PC soundcards and, more recently, speakers, headsets and webcams
MoreGadgetGuy Creative news and reviews here
Elevator PitchAdd BT 5.0 and Qualcomm aptX codecs to almost any device – sorry, not Apple iPhones or W1 chip devices

GadgetGuys take

Excellent, hassle-free, and solves the lack of aptX codecs in Windows – especially for gamers (LL) and musos (HD).

There are lots of BT dongles, but none have Creatives excellent support. The 3.5mm mic is a bonus – not necessarily the reason to buy.

Creative BT-W3 Bluetooth 5.0 dongle
With the Creative BT-W3, you can easily add BT and aptX codecs to almost any USB device.
Value for money
Ease of use
Plug and play to add BT 5.0 anbd Qualcomm aptX codecs
Not for iPhone or W1 chip devices