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Kensington Bluetooth USB Adapter Reviews

November 2nd, 2004 Tony Leave a comment Go to comments

I bought my first Bluetooth USB adapter from Best Buy last night so that I could sync up Outlook with my new Audiovox SMT5600.

I got the Kensington Bluetooth USB Adapter only because it was all they had in the store.

This device stinks. The driver is not signed which means XP doesn’t play nice with it. Also the software is extremely slow and seems to be consuming a lot of CPU. The worst part though is that the signal strength is horrible when the phone is sitting on my desk at just 6 feet away.

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  1. Jim Perkins
    August 13th, 2005 at 08:35 | #1

    After 38 years of computer life, I have never been pissed enough about a product to post a review until now. Yesterday (12 August 2005) I had the misfurtune of purchasing a Kensington USB Bluetooth adaptor. After opening the package, I discovered that the drivers were not in the WinXP cache and had they had no Microsoft signature. It took me 7 tries that resulted in hangups before the application even loaded. There were also WinXP SP2 issues identified. There is no support offered on the Kinsington www site, at all. The software is 3rd party, published in 2003 and not supported by the company, as they have merged with another that offers no support either The dogma stated that the unit is USB 2.2; it was not found until I put it in a USB 1.1 port. I have finally got my PDA to sync via Bluetooth but I can get no additional application to configure. I will be de-installing this little monster, returning it to the vendor for a refund and willpoint myself in the direction of a unit that has is properly supported by its manufacturer. DO NOT EVEN CONSISDER THIS PRODUCT!!!

  2. Andres Becerra
    October 27th, 2005 at 23:11 | #2

    Wow… here I go looking for drivers for this thing cause I can’t find the CD in all the packed up boxes we have… and I run into these 2 posts. I’ve been looking for the drivers and found nothing!!!

  3. Anonymous
    November 16th, 2005 at 14:17 | #3

    yup. Same thing here. What a piece of sh#%!
    Do NOT buy the Kensington bluetooth adapter unless you just love to waste away your life on fruitless tasks.

    P.S.– The 800 is also useless and frustrating.

  4. Jackie
    December 23rd, 2005 at 11:56 | #4

    I just bought this Kensinton Bluetooth USB adapter yesterday evening and attempted to install it for hours, figuring I’d missed something because I was tired. This morning, I found this site after I called their 800 number and found they were closed for a “company holiday”, then Googled for drivers. This piece of junk is going back to the store this morning.

  5. Nick SACTO
    December 26th, 2005 at 03:16 | #5

    this things sucks my ass so hard!! no drivers if you loose the cd. fuck this piece.

  6. December 27th, 2005 at 01:30 | #6

    After two days of struggling with this device, I came across your site. Unfortunately, I still owned one of these devices, and because it was a christmas present, returning it wasn’t an option. I’ve actually been able to successfully make it work. I’ve blogged about it. Basically, remove the Kensington drivers and install the MSI driver only (not the bluetooth stack). Use Microsoft’s stack. It’s been working for several hours very successfully now.

  7. Paul
    January 5th, 2006 at 09:47 | #7

    Ian – thank god you blogged about it cuz i followed your directions and links and only installed the device driver not the MSI WMI bluetooth drivers and it works like a charm. Used it this morning driving to work and it was great talking to my GPS. Thanks. Paul

  8. robert
    January 10th, 2006 at 02:07 | #8

    hey i got the kensington bluetooth usb adapter model #33085 and saw that you guys needed drivers well i just got this and have the driver cd. if you want i can send anyone an iso of it so they can burn.
    just email me at bob92553@yahoo.com and have the subject bluetooth adapter

  9. mani
    January 23rd, 2006 at 17:53 | #9

    did u try installing the new drivers and did it work ? just let me know before i take the li’l sucker off the package..

  10. chad
    January 27th, 2006 at 22:37 | #10

    that MSI driver is the solution. Getting rid of the crap kensington software/drivers and updating the driver for the adapter(through device manager)definitely did the trick (and then using the xpsp2 BT stack). Also..as mentioned elswhere in these forums, activesync 4.0 helps with the bluetooth sync. (download that from microsoft). Anyways, just wanted to say that Ian’s solution worked for me, and thanks Ian for posting the info! my BT mouse and phone (SMT5600) are connected beautifully and smooth.


  11. Carlos
    January 29th, 2006 at 12:45 | #11

    The MSI driver works magic, I have been working with it without problems, thanks for the tip

  12. cory
    February 7th, 2006 at 14:00 | #12

    I tried the MS driver – BTDongle.inf and XP doesn’t recognise it as having any info for the 33085, how exatly did you guys get it to work???

  13. robert
    February 18th, 2006 at 05:35 | #13

    this is where i uploaded the driver cd
    user name is drivers
    password is all

  14. James
    February 21st, 2006 at 08:36 | #14

    No problem on Apple iBook. (Panther) Plug and.. well.. done.

    Sorry Windoods, I feel ya, I’m setting up now on an XP system ( >No problem on Apple iBook. (Panther) Plug and.. well.. done.

    Sorry Windoods, I feel ya, I’m setting up now on an XP system ( >

  15. Edwin Liou
    February 21st, 2006 at 15:47 | #15

    Wow, I have never bought a crapier product then this kensington bluetooth dongle. I mean everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The installation was troublesome, I couldn’t adjust the volume for my headset from the control panel, it couldn’t detect the adapter in the usb port. It is overall, a piece of junk. If you can’t return it, you might as well just melt it down and sell it as a plastic pellet to recycling companies.

  16. brad
    March 1st, 2006 at 16:11 | #16

    I hope every one who owns of of these ****ty devices checks out Ian’s blog. I have had one of these sitting in my desk for almost a year because I hated the kensington drivers. The MSI drivers are the only way to go.

  17. sal
    March 2nd, 2006 at 11:26 | #17

    kensington drivers are here ftp://ftp.kensington.com/BT/ for anyone that needs them. same problem with XP SP2–won’t recognize device–go with the msi.

  18. CL
    March 3rd, 2006 at 14:33 | #18

    Can anyone tell me which MSI driver works for Windows 2000? I’ve downloaded two different MSI drivers so far but my computer is still unable to detect the bluetooth device.

  19. Chirag
    March 5th, 2006 at 18:05 | #19

    i also have the bluetooth adapter but no CD….they have drivers available at the following site…im downloading it rite now…hopefully it works…leme know if it works for u guyz


  20. Dustin
    March 6th, 2006 at 16:18 | #20

    I tried using the MSI driver (pointed it to the directory containing the *.INF) but it says it cannot “find the necessary” software. Can someone help me out?

  21. Jeff
    March 9th, 2006 at 22:02 | #21

    I installed the MSI drivers as per the blog, but nothing else (ie the SP2 BT stack) installed afterwards. So I have a crappy little 30385 that gets detected wonderfully, I can pair it with my headset, but there is no audio gateway or any service to use. I’ve sent the request for help into kensington, we’ll see what happens. By the sound of it – not much will happen. All I want to do is use a BT headset, and be able to change the gain. Sounds like some of you have accomplished that. My situation right now:
    - MSI drivers installed.
    - My device is detected when I insert it
    - I can paor the headset
    - there is no audio gateway, network or any other service.

    Any ideas?

  22. Robert Whittington
    March 10th, 2006 at 18:38 | #22

    Nothing from Kensington works right.

  23. Tom
    March 14th, 2006 at 16:05 | #23

    I tried installing hard the Kensington Bluetooth adapter model 33085 but I kept getting the license errors. I wish if Kensington could have included the license with the software itself.

  24. William Thomas
    March 19th, 2006 at 15:18 | #24

    I am getting the license error BS too even though I am installing from the CD thaat came with the dongle. Did you find a solution Tom?

  25. Drew Decker
    April 5th, 2006 at 18:56 | #25

    I bought the Kensington 33348 model. It comes with the xp software for it, is fast, and connects up to 7 devices. It works great with my Razr phone and my iPAQ PDA. Good buy, I recommend it.

  26. BillyBob
    April 11th, 2006 at 17:59 | #26

    I found this ftp by calling india yayaya


    if you cant login this will get you there!!!



  27. Joe Blow
    April 13th, 2006 at 03:27 | #27

    I just bought one of these a few hours ago (33085) driver installation was a little buggy (error dialogs re: needing files from windows CD that I ignored.) But other than that it worked with my new Motorola RAZR phone that I also just got.
    Already wirelessly transfered an MP3 to my phone.
    Rather painless. I’m using the latest version of Windows Media Center. Not sure why everyone else is having so much trouble. I paid $59.99 CAD at best buy. Sounds like a rip off though. I think I’ll return it and look for a better reviewed product to replace it with. Suggestions?

  28. Tom L
    April 24th, 2006 at 12:50 | #28

    I’ve have the Kensington USB 2.0 (model 33348)for a couple months. The CD has the WIDCOMM drivers exactly as given at the FTP site above.

    All worked well, but I don’t use the dongle that often.

    Today I tried it after a month of inactivity, and it no longer works. Uninstalling and re-installing the drivers didn’t help from the original CDROM, and some guy in India with Kensington is sending me a new dongle, but I don’t think it is the hardware (I could at least get it to light up with the MSI stack).

    My theory is that some Microsoft auto-update over the last couple months killed the Kensington driver and Kensignton doesn’t know what’s going on.

    Tom L.

  29. Scott
    April 27th, 2006 at 06:50 | #29

    Try using this link to disable microsoft BT drivers, and allow you to use WIDCOMM stack.


  30. April 29th, 2006 at 13:54 | #30

    download the drivers at my site:


    I wasted too much time looking for the drivers to install on my laptop.

  31. sammy
    May 19th, 2006 at 18:46 | #31

    i won’t buy kensington again because of this. you can’t download the driver from their site. what kind of support is that? you can’t even find the device on their list and they don’t list canada as an option under countries. if the driver works from your site mythbuster then thank you very much. i’m going to go there now.

  32. Neil, Vancouver
    May 20th, 2006 at 14:53 | #32


    I’m in Canada, the Kensington site doesn’t even recognise it as a country.

    I’m taking this back…no amount ot playing and tweaking can get it to work. I simply cannot believe stores stock this!

  33. mike
    May 21st, 2006 at 20:57 | #33

    Mine worked until my computer crashed now i can not get it to reload.

  34. billh7071
    May 22nd, 2006 at 00:10 | #34

    I have to add to this list of unhappy users. Where are the drivers on the Kensignton site? I found the FTP site from another posting but the driver locked up the PC. Not impressed. Time to head for the garbage can. Dont waste your money or time on this hardware. The software isnt there.

  35. jeepguy_1980
    May 26th, 2006 at 01:23 | #35

    Canada is a country?

  36. adidaska
    June 4th, 2006 at 09:24 | #36

    I’ve had this kensington bluetooth adapter for quite a while now… Actually a couple years for my v600 and now my e815… I’ve never had a problem until now as I plugged it into my XP box rather than my Macs… I’ve used it on a powermac, iMac G5 and a couple different powerbooks with never a problem and never even loaded any drivers… plugged it in and accessed by phone and synced them… Hopefully some of these posts with help as I only need to hack my e815.. Kensington seems to be a company that designs for mac and then ports to windows as an afterthought… most companies do the reverse..

  37. Pat
    June 12th, 2006 at 22:12 | #37

    June 12.. tried getting drivers for my 33348 BT. The FTP link STILL doesn’t work!!!

  38. danielle
    June 14th, 2006 at 03:20 | #38

    i have tried everything…i FINALLY have bluetooth places/devices again but i try to do anything with it and the damn thing isn’t found. i think its totally fried….what a waste of money. piece of cr@p.

  39. Mark
    June 17th, 2006 at 08:16 | #39

    I just bought one and I cannot get it to work. All these negative comments are true. Disgraceful that BestBuy would stock such junk.

  40. maurice
    June 28th, 2006 at 12:49 | #40

    I downloaded the msi and unziped it but don’t know how to make it go where it is supposed to go from there

  41. brandon
    July 10th, 2006 at 22:07 | #41

    does anyone know some good software to actually use my bluetooth device (33348) to transfer the pictures from my phone to my PC? the kensington software said that my phone does not support their file transfer service. i have a motorola E815.

  42. fiberangel
    July 19th, 2006 at 17:57 | #42

    your phone may be locked by Verizon and does not allow file transfers. You may want to look at howardforums.com for solution.

  43. Oguz
    July 23rd, 2006 at 02:03 | #43

    I bought Kensington USB Bluetooth Adapter. While installing the CD, I got a message on the screen.It says ”please insert the CD 1”. I looked at the box to see if there is any other cd :) )) Ofcourse, There is no any other CD. I search the net, there is no softare to install it. Finally, I ended up on this site.
    Thanks to Mythbuster. The software on his/her site at least downloads fully but didn’t work on my laptop either.It’s trying so hard to crash and not recognize the device.
    I’m a patience person but enough is enough. I hope I don’t break the “CD 1″ and throw the damn device to the garbage until the store opens again this morning.It is already 2am.I’ve been with the device more than 4 hours. Don’t waste your time to figure out what to do with the Kensington product. Return it while you can.

  44. Mike
    July 31st, 2006 at 21:44 | #44

    Hey guys, I hate to be the dissenter, but I figured I’d give the Kensington software a shot for my (33085) Bluetooth Dongle before trying to hotwire it with something else. I was surprised, but it worked just fine with the original software. I’m running Windows XP Service Pack 2. Maybe they’ve updated their driver CD?
    Anyway, it’s good having these guys help out by posting/blogging about troubleshooting issues.

  45. Mark
    August 4th, 2006 at 12:21 | #45

    For the Dongle part No. 33348 this is the driver…


  46. Chris
    August 13th, 2006 at 01:45 | #46

    I went through hell with Kensington support via email. Their support personnel were Indian, and even their written English skills were poor. This made communicating effectively with them a challenge.

    During one exchange I was told to download the drivers from their FTP site at the following


    Note that if you go to the top level at:


    you will not see the “BT” directory listed at all! It’s a hidden directory. Once inside, you can see the contents of the directory and download them.

    Hope this helps someone else unlucky enough to have purchased a Kensington USB Bluetooth dongle.

  47. Howie
    August 28th, 2006 at 21:00 | #47
  48. Johno
    August 31st, 2006 at 19:25 | #48

    Answer to all your worries , buy a TARGUS Bluetooth Adaptor With EDR.

  49. ab
    September 9th, 2006 at 00:39 | #49
  50. Paul
    September 22nd, 2006 at 05:07 | #50

    I wish I searched Google before buying this but it was an impulse purchase at Best Buy with a gift card and now I’m in another country, so returning it is not an option. I haven’t been this frustrated since I bought a Lexmark printer five years ago which had software not certified by Microsoft.

    I can not get my Palm Tungsten to sync via bluetooth because I can’t create a serial and comm port. Every time I try Windows launches the Find New Hardware Wizard, which fails. I have version of the software on the CD, so downloading it from the above-listed sites probably isn’t going to help. I’ll try Ian’s suggestion of installing the MSI driver only.

    For anyone looking into this device, look elsewhere. Anyone who just bought it, return it for a better-supported device.

    Oh, btw, even if I get this thing to work with my Palm Hotsync, it does not support Internet connection sharing with a wireless connection. That seems to be a major limitation for a LAPTOP adaptor. Even in my home my laptop uses wireless. So I have to physically plug it in to share the wireless connection with my Palm? Is this the case with ALL bluetooth adaptors?

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