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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. Paul
    September 22nd, 2006 at 06:39 | #1

    I can’t install the MSI driver. I uninstalled the Kensington software using Add/Remove programs, and rebooted.

    I plugged in the adapter and the Found New Hardware wizard came up. From the “Common Hardware Type” list I chose “Bluetooth Radios” and on the next screen chose “Have Disk” and pointed to the downloaded and extracted driver (“BTDongle.inf”). I received the following error message:

    “The specified location does not contain information about your hardware.”

    Can someone post the exact steps for installing the MSI driver?

    Also, folks should also post their frustrations at CNET.com and other high profile review sites so that the company gets the message.

  2. Joe
    September 28th, 2006 at 19:37 | #2

    Now that Kensington has had their Bluetooth USB 2.0 model out for a while now (model 33348), can anyone comment on its reliability vs the old, terrible model? I originally had the old model, and eventually just threw it away as it was too late to return it (same problems listed by everyone above). However the new 2.0 model might work better. (?)

    If people could start specifying which model they have when they post, that would be great.

  3. Moore, Richard T.
    September 29th, 2006 at 02:31 | #3

    At some point one has to decide whether it’s worth one’s time to keep struggling with this adapter. I have the Kensington 33085. I am an advanced user, and have spent hours upon hours over the past several years getting this adapter to work.

    Are there some drivers that work with this? Yes, but they may not enable all of the features one would want (such as headset functionality). It’s odd but true; some drivers work for some but not for others.

    The bottom line that if you can’t get this dongle to work for you after one or two tries, it’s not worth your time.

    I will never purchase another Kensington peripheral again, and will warn others from doing so.


  4. Greg
    October 29th, 2006 at 16:34 | #4

    FWIW, I just got the 33348. Courtesy of Howie’s kick-ass instructions above, I got it up and functioning for ActiveSync with the Treo 700w, which was really the only reason I bought it. Had a lot of trouble the first go-around for setup, but I think my error was trying to initiate the connection from the computer, rather than vice-versa. I’ve only had it running for a few hours, but so far, so good. I’ll post with other experiences as they happen…


  5. anon
    November 5th, 2006 at 23:36 | #5

    WOW., quite a lot of disatisfied customers.

    I’m baffled why as I usually have lower than average results., MY experience with this product has been SUPER.

    EACH installation on my brothers PC/Mothers Laptop/My serious PC & my toy PC have been seemless.

    Pairing with my bluetooth headsets, my cellphone(s…yes I have several) and wifeys has been seemless.

    Range is good enough for me. Tonight I went to take a DUMP streaming winamp audio 2 rooms away with my H300 Moto BT headset. Connections., are awesome., File Transfer (OBEX) is GREAT.

    STABILITY is great???? I’m utterly baffled that so many of you guys got a crappy unit.

    oh well.

    I want to know if this dongle has A2DP support??? anybody? Bueler?

  6. JuanFrugal
    November 26th, 2006 at 00:40 | #6

    Hello. I recently purchased a Bluetooth dongle and have similar problems to those mentioned in this article, and found this while searching for drivers (CD came scratched).
    My adapter is of a make different different from Kensington, so I do not know if it should work, but I downloaded the first driver package posted here (hosted on driverguide.com). The installation program seemed to recognise the dongle (as ISSC USB Bluetooth Device), but whenever I attempt to activate the “Start using Bluetooth” option, it keeps asking me for a license file. What gives?

  7. Judi
    December 28th, 2006 at 17:13 | #7

    Does anyone know what the security code is for the Kensington Bluetooth Adapter? I can’t pair my computer with my printer without it.

  8. Matt
    January 2nd, 2007 at 16:08 | #8

    FYI – Kensington model 33348 – the USB 2.0 model works great with the supplied drivers on Windows XP SP2… with one catch. When the installer asks you to insert the BlueTooth device (the 33348) – DON’T – just hit cancel and let the install finish as is. This is the opposite to what the Kensington instuctions say to do.

    Once the install is done, then insert the 33348 into a USB port – and everything works fine. It seems the installer does not complete a total install when the USB adapter is inserted in the middle of the install process (when the installer asks for it that is)

  9. wobly
    January 20th, 2007 at 22:38 | #9

    When trying to follow the instructions above to get my Blackberry 8100 Pearl connected via bluetooth to my laptop, nothing worked…that is, nothing worked until I copied the Microsoft files from my wife’s computer to my latop. I had installed the Widcomm drivers that came with my Kensington 33348 bluetooth dongle and could not get the computer to use the MS BT drivers no matter how hard I tried. The method I used to fix the issue was to copy all of the bt*.* files from the \windows\inf and \windows\system32 from my wife’s computer and copy them into the appropriate folders on my laptop. I also had to modify the bth.inf file in the \windows\inf folder. Below is the modification to the bth.inf file;

    Kensington Bluetooth EDR Dongle= BthUsb, USB\Vid_047d&Pid_105e&Rev_0000
    Kensington Bluetooth EDR Dongle 2nd line= BthUsb, USB\Vid_047d&Pid_105e

    I made it look like the other lines.

    I had to reinstall the Blackberry Desktop Software, but it fully sync’ed and I was able to use my Blackberry as a modem through the Bluetooth connection.

    Hopefully, by posting this, someone else can benefit from my efforts. :)

  10. February 25th, 2007 at 19:54 | #10

    i am looking for the drivers for this USB blue tooth device, i had purchase it and now i can not find the CD that came with it, i was hoping that the company would have the drivers listed, but i can not find them, if any one has them please email me at jack@jackearl.com thanks, or 1 800 559 1959 my name is jack

  11. sam
    March 14th, 2007 at 22:35 | #11

    Well, after reading, searching and more reading i download the msi software and stack.
    when i start my bluetooth places i get script errors.
    uninstalled and installed the broadcomm and still getting script errors… anyone else?

  12. March 22nd, 2007 at 10:44 | #12

    I gave it my best – 3 days of pure hell trying to get the Kensington USB Bluetooth 2.0 adapter to work with reliability on a clean, fresh Windows XP install (SP2). I could get my Treo 700wx to sync (eventually), but as soon as the connection was halted by me, it would not reconnect, no matter what I tried. I discovered removing the Kens. device and reinserting would usually work, but only after having to pair the devices again, choosing services, etc. Not my idea of a good setup, and certainly not what Bluetooth is all about. Decided after reading this website, and perusing over the issues others have had, and further web research, I would nix the Kensington and try the recommended Belkin. A few more $$, but after getting it home, going through the software installation and connecting on the first go, I made the right decision. It worked so well, I decided to get another (from eBay) for my laptop. The Belkin supposedly has VISTA drivers now (see their website)… so we’ll see how well that install goes (laptop has VISTA).

    Others have had great success with the Kensington. I didn’t, and can only recommend going with the Belkin if you’re trying to ActiveSync with your Treo 700.


  13. gpperrone
    April 6th, 2007 at 00:41 | #13

    the default pairing security code is normally 0000. If you are asked for a code on one side of the connection enter any numeric code. Normally the other device will then prompt you for the code and you enter the same code at that prompt. The devices should authenticate and pair if the codes match.

  14. Dave
    April 16th, 2007 at 18:12 | #14

    The device is fine, the software is buggy in windows. I use the device with my FC5 Linux distro and it works as expected. The driver/software crashes my Windows XP computer :(

  15. Steve Perry
    May 22nd, 2007 at 09:59 | #15

    I have been using one for about a year. The earlier drivers were pretty puny but the latest driver (at least that I have) Widcomm seems to be good enough. It recognizes my head phone, my Treo, and my laptop easily enough. You have to acknowledge that a device is asking permission to connect, and viola, there it is. I have had NONE of the problems others have had. Had it running initially on a Dell Optiplex 280, XP sp2, now on a Optiplex 745 XP sp2.

  16. Josh
    May 29th, 2007 at 13:44 | #16

    Yup… POS for sure. Here I was for 3 hours on my day off trying to connect with my Motorola S9 and no success at all. Kensington sucks!

  17. John
    July 15th, 2007 at 14:46 | #17

    I purchased mine and could never use it, I am finally throwing it out right now. BUT I WILL NOT BUY ANYTHING ELSE FROM KENSIGNTON. That’s the price they will pay for their lack of support, I don’t care if owners changed. NO KENSIGNTON FOR ME.

  18. Frank
    July 24th, 2007 at 13:18 | #18

    S9 exactly…. k33085
    win xp sp2
    paired successfully with-> krzr k1m(OBEX, DUN), e815(DUN), v710(audio gateway, dun)(all verizon), bluespoon ax2 hfp hs, bluespoon spider a2dp hfp hs, samsung wep150 hfp hs, moto 850 hfp hs, palm tx, Dell axim x51v wm5 a12 english widcom hack .50 (replaced over ms bt stack) BUT
    CANNOT GET a2dp to work with Sony s9… only shows hfp
    YET s9 pairs successfully and f()s w Dell Axim widcomm stack…….. WTF!?!?
    on xp with kensington driver – notice that terrible reception across all paired devices even when

  19. Janell
    July 24th, 2007 at 21:51 | #19

    Hey I bought a kensington 33348 Works great with XP! I had no problems with it there at all, but I recently upgraded to vista and can’t seem to get it to work at all. if anyone can help please email me at styx.rulz@yahoo.com

  20. Manny
    August 18th, 2007 at 08:19 | #20

    I bought a kensington 33348
    Works OK with XP! , but I recently upgraded to vista and was impossible get it to work .
    If someone know a solution please send me e-mail

  21. Bunyan
    September 10th, 2007 at 19:49 | #21

    What an absolute piece of crap! I’ve had this thing for 3 months and couldn’t get it to do squat with XP. Bought a new laptop with Vista. Now, it lights up in the USB port but Vista can’t recognize it. I’m taking a hammer to it and mailing it back to Kensington.

  22. Jim
    September 13th, 2007 at 14:14 | #22

    I got this thing two days ago and have been frustrated with it ever since. I wish I’d read the posts here. Same story — trying to use it with Vista on a laptop. Had it mostly working last night for awhile, if I held my mouth just right and waved a dead chicken over my computer. Now it is not working at all. It lights up in the port, shows up on the device manager, but won’t pair with my headset at all. I think it was a big fluke that it ever worked at all. Yes this is definitely a piece of shit. Can anyone tell me of a USB BT dongle that they have used with Vista that DOES WORK (without doing handstands or strange contortions)?

  23. Rory
    September 19th, 2007 at 02:47 | #23

    It’s definitely a handful, but with a full moon & the correct alignment of the planets you can get this little thing to work pretty well. I use it with my XP pro desktop, XP home desktop & my vista premium notebook with a variety of accessories, but there are definitely bugs. For example it knocked out the wifi on my vista pc on the first install, the A2DP is funny with all systems. I think I ended up using a different driver with vista, so i’m gonna try to locate it again & post the link

  24. Howie
    September 23rd, 2007 at 12:42 | #24
  25. Unreal
    October 10th, 2007 at 10:47 | #25

    Rory PLEASE post the link you used to get yours to work. us other Vista users are having a tremendous time getting use out of this product

  26. November 1st, 2007 at 16:18 | #26

    i need drivers for windows vista to instal bluetooth 33348

  27. Noah
    November 5th, 2007 at 20:43 | #27

    I also have a Kensington BT Dongle and it sucks. Nothing but trouble. I also have one of their “locks” except it sucks too and is so hard to use that I’ll probably never use it, the key gets stuck in it etc. Kensington 0 for 2

  28. john
    November 12th, 2007 at 21:02 | #28

    i have used the kensington bt dongle for years now, and it has never given me a problem. why are you guys having so much trouble?
    and the support is great from kensington!
    I use both pc’s and mac’s and am well versed in all aspects of computer technology…
    so, what happened?
    why can’t so many of you use this correctly?

  29. JTB
    November 27th, 2007 at 15:42 | #29

    The Kensington 33348 BT dongle SUCKS. Specifically – I CANNOT get it to work with my Plantronics Pulsar 590a bluetooth headset when plugged into a usb port on my Toshiba laptop running Windows XP home sp2 and I have tried EVERYTHING. I’ve been on the phone to Kensington’s support twice today (several other times too but I gave up); and it’s not hard to get someone on the phone who speaks good english – but the first guy I spoke to who left me dloading the latest s/w (Kensington’s website doesn’t tell you that you have to manually rip out the old s/w before updating and the updater will just tell you that you already have the latest s/w installed which is bullshit) who I made promise that he’d recorded everything we’d done in his database so I wouldn’t have to start all over again if I had to call back – DIDN’T. So when I called back, there was no record of the half an hour we’d spent. This time I demanded a supervisor who wasn’t any better technically than the first tech and had to promise to call me back while he went to research the situation.

    I can get a connection to happen w/my laptop in a number of ways/profiles such as the “hands-free unit” one, but when I make the “Stereo Audio” connection, I get a seconds worth of sound and then nothing, or it may cut in and out sporadically. If I choose the “Bluetooth Hands-Free Audio” option under Sounds and Audio Device Properties from the control panel, I can get sound from iTunes, but it’s shitty and monaural. This is where I left it with the support supervisor.

    All I can say is that I’ve spent far, far too much time on this ridiculous POS. My headset BTW is an absolute dream unit which I use with my Treo 650, PocketTunes and Softick’s A2DP profile driver. F*uck Kensington.

    I’ve heard about MIS drivers but I can’t seem to access them anywhere out there. Any help if this might be a viable solution would be appreciated!

  30. arnoldo de la torre
    December 7th, 2007 at 16:42 | #30

    hello, hello tell me I need drivers for windows vista to instal bluetooth 33348.if anyone can help please email me at ronni79_2000@hotmail.com o ronni79_2000@yahoo.com

  31. trinitous
    January 17th, 2008 at 17:36 | #31

    I have FINALLY gotten a somewhat helpful response from Kensington tech support regarding the Kensington K33348 Bluetooth dongle. Here is a quote from them:

    Dear Robert:

    Thank you for contacting Kensington Technical Support.

    I understand the concern. I apologize for any inconvenience. We support Win Vista with 32 bit operating system. I regret to inform that the model # 33348 and other Bluetooth adapters in Kensington are not compatible on Win Vista 64 bit operating system.

    If you need further assistance, please feel free to reply to this message.


    Mohammed Abdul Sami
    Kensington Technical Support

    Apparently Kensington bluetooth adapters are not 64 bit compatible. This explains why I was able to get it to work with my friends laptop, but not my own PC (that were both running vista)

    I am agitated that there website does not specify anywhere (that I found) that it is only compatible with 32 bit platforms, but at least I finally got an answer from them.

  32. UserNotFound
    January 20th, 2008 at 17:02 | #32

    Windows Vista Ultimate 32bit

    Kensington 33348

    Plug in the device, cancel any driver installation.

    Go to device manager, and click on properties for the “Unknown device > Bluetooth EDR dongle”. Click the details tab, and choose hardware ID for the option. The shorter entry should end with PID_105E. If this differs, it may still work, so write it down.

    Open C:\windows\inf\bth.inf with notepad
    (make a backup of this file first)
    scroll down to below ;— Device section – Start —
    find “Blutonium BCM2035″, it should be the 6th entry.

    Replace the PID_xxxx with PID_105E, or whatever your hardware ID specified.

    Save the file.

    In device manager, right click the EDR dongle device, and choose update driver.

    Choose the option to search for the driver yourself and dsiplay a list of all known drivers. Choose bluetooth radios, then Broadcaom and Blutonium BCM2035 for the device. It should install 3 or 4 devices, and you’re set to go.

  33. Disgruntled
    January 29th, 2008 at 23:08 | #33




    Blah.. Stupid people rule the world. The rest of us just have to live in it.

  34. Mike
    January 29th, 2008 at 23:58 | #34

    The above instructions for Vista 32-bit do not work.
    All that happens is that Vista recognizes it as a BT Radio.

    The sound profile are are denoted as not working.

    It’s absolutely DUMB, DUMB, DUMB that Vista does not suppport Stereo A2DP…this is like the basic thing is should do.

    It really should not be this hard.

  35. Mike
    January 30th, 2008 at 00:31 | #35



    Had to uninstall completely. Then just plug in.
    Let Vista do it’s stuff.

    Then run WIDCOMM update.

    Then delete the BT headset device (if there) in BT places.

    Pair it again, but this time, choose “no passkey” (even though your manual says “0000″)

    Then within BT places, try to connect to headset (which is still in pairing mode.

    You get prompted that the device wants to connect. Enter “0000″.

    Viola! It works. In Control Panel, Sounds, “Stereo BT” should be the default.

    Works like the shiznit!

  36. Mike
    January 31st, 2008 at 10:15 | #36

    Grr…after working great for a day, after a suspend, the “Bluetooth Stereo” disappears from the Control Panel sounds.

    Will not connect (to Stereo headset) in BT places.
    (Mono Handsfree works fine.)

    Man, this is really a pain. It’s not the Kensignton dongle (I think), but rather Vista and the WIDCOMM stack.


  37. Mike
    January 31st, 2008 at 23:20 | #37

    Okay..so I uninstalled and tried the Toshiba Stack.

    No go…it puked the install bigtime; had to due registry surgery to fully remove.

    Installed the I/O Gear Widcomm stack; 6.x; not the latest, but that’s okay.

    Seems to work…for now…except what is really odd is that the headset shows “disconnected” in BT places, even though it is working (Control Panel, Sounds).

    Back in stereo heaven…yes!

  38. tanya palmer
    February 2nd, 2008 at 12:44 | #38

    this thing is a piece of shite!

  39. Joey
    February 6th, 2008 at 17:47 | #39

    I have the kensington 33348 and i couldnt find exaclty where to find the driver on the msi website i was wonderin if any body could give me a hand??? Or does anybody know of any software that is currently working?? If anybody could help please e-mail me at semper_fideles911@yahoo.com

  40. Nickster
    February 7th, 2008 at 14:13 | #40

    I have never had any problems with BT Dongle K33348. Here s what I used for drivers in Vista 32-bit http://update.broadcom.com/downloads/btwinitialupdate.exe

  41. Wayne
    February 24th, 2008 at 11:41 | #41

    You morons did not install the right drivers. This device works fine.

  42. TonyL
    February 26th, 2008 at 20:31 | #42

    I’m using it with my motorola s9 headphone right now. we’ll see if it will still work down the road. This is for Vista32bit user, but I think its same for other os: use the software from the broadcom.com link, plug in the adapter, click on ask me later when the message pop up, start the software(I think you have to be online to do it), and use 0000 when put in the passkey.

  43. Randy
    March 17th, 2008 at 18:25 | #43

    I have had this dongle for a couple of years and used it on 98 and xp sp2 on a couple of different machines and it has always worked finr.
    It is a little troublesum to install correctly.
    If you have the cd, plug in your dongle and insert the cd and run. Windows will install the wrong drivers but once the installation is complete, and it is best to just let it run till all software is installed, then you should restart, go to device manager and just do and update for the driver. When it asks tell it no to search and automatic or what ever till you get to the “have disc” option. click that and get to where it asks for a location, click browse and go to the cd drive and click down till you see the driver that should be btwusb.sys and click that then run or install or what ever. This will install the proper driver and still have all the software and programs that came with the dongle.
    Good luck.

  44. Alex
    March 28th, 2008 at 14:34 | #44

    Anyone successfully try this on ubuntu linux (7.10) i’ll check the forums.. I’m trying it on my home computer (has XP SP2) and its not going too well… i accidentally broke the CD when trying to open the case. woops. i tried for a little while on my laptop, but i decided it wasnt going to work on linux and tried it on XP…. wrong idea. also, the link to the MSI drivers just brings me to the MSI home page asking for the country, i searched around but couldnt find anything. if someone could post details on how to get the MSI stack, i’d be great.

  45. Alex
    March 28th, 2008 at 15:03 | #45

    PROBLEM SOLVED! Apparently Kensington came up with a new and improved driver… here’s the link for it. it works (for now..) http://update.broadcom.com/downloads/btwinitialupdate.exe

  46. April 28th, 2008 at 21:53 | #46

    If anyone has a Kensington k33348 that they do not want, PSE do not throw it in the trash. Send it my way! I would buy one but I am a poor man. I would appreciate it!!
    (Rob) contact me at: biglizard50@hotmail.com

  47. Paul
    August 15th, 2008 at 15:13 | #47

    I was stupid emough to buy a kensington 2.0 USB bluetooth dongle. After a year my dongle operates now (Vista); however not for the purpose I intended; synchronization between my pc and my pda. Active sync simply does not work. e-mails and calls to kensington helpdesk are simply ignored.

  48. Josh
    September 11th, 2008 at 13:53 | #48

    OK say i have the kensington thing, and im trying to transfer stuff from my computer to my cell phone, douse anyone have anything that would help me do this? i really need help
    email me if soo

  49. joan
    November 29th, 2008 at 15:18 | #49

    Its flashing, but that is all! It worked , but not anymore! Its blue, so I believe its alive! I have spent hours trying to figure out the problem!
    My laptop(Mac)is not communicating with my printer! What is going on!

  50. Cory
    December 29th, 2008 at 17:43 | #50

    My environment: HP laptop dv6000, Vista (64), Kensington bt dongle 2.0, and just installed Anycom-bluetooth-usb200-250-500-windows-v5-5-0-3900 application.

    The anycom software worked like magic and I’m syncing with wmdc and my treo 700w with no problems. Notes for the setup: install anycom, look in your device settings for what serial port was setup for bluetooth, in wmdc select that same port for syncing. From your phone/pda select add bluetooth devices and find your computer and you should see activesync as a service; select it and finish the setup via the prompts. Go into activesync on your phone and initiate a sync. It worked on the first try and anycom has the drivers for both vista 32 and vista 64 for kensington.

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