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.
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