just one more geek in a sea of austin techies

December 29, 2020

MPOW BH079A driver for Win10 #BluetoothGeek

If you need to add Bluetooth to a Windows 10 PC it's harder to find a cheaper or easier solution than this well-reviewed $7 USB dongle from MPOW.  There are, however, questions about the safety of trusting included hardware driver CDs or even downloading drivers direct from lesser-known manufacturers.  Even the most honest of vendors is not guaranteed to have clean, virus-free driver installation software.  
If you purchase a device that is not automatically recognized by Windows then you face the quandary of trusting unknown third-party driver installation software or changing to a different hardware solution.

Such was the case with my own MPOW BH079A USB adapter purchase.  The adapter boasts a large number of great reviews and is compatible with many versions of Windows back to XP. Windows 10 did not, however, automatically detect and set up the device and I have a healthy distrust of driver CDs from lesser-known manufacturers.  To be fair, no MPOW reviewers cited any cases of malware but I still prefer to avoid software from lesser-known sources when possible.

Fortunately the adapter is basically just MPOW's casing wrapped around the trusty Broadcom BCM20702 Bluetooth single-chip solution which has been around for a decade.  Any official Broadcom BCM20702 Windows 10 driver should be all that is needed (e.g., the driver doesn't have to be from MPOW).

Although my MPOW USB dongle is being used on a home-built PC, I went with a Hewlett Packard (HP)-supplied Broadcom BCM20702 Win10 driver (circa 2017):

Install the driver then insert the USB dongle and it should be activated automatically -- no need to turn it on in Windows settings.  If you already had the USB adapter plugged in when installing the driver you may need to remove and then reinsert the adapter.



  1. I just went through all kinds of heck with the MPOW H12 Bluetooth headset. It switches between a headphones device and a headset device, the latter of which kicks in whenever a program uses the microphone.

    #1: The quality drops to garbage as soon as it switches to headset

    #2: The headset will kinda brute force access to the microphone. I was playing a game with the voice chat disabled and the MPOW device would immediately start using the microphone and I could not shut it off except by exiting the app.

    Disabling bluetooth telephony fixes these issues.

    I don't know if it is just garbage drivers that inadvertently break your sound device manager, or if it is actual malware. I started googling "MPOW malware" and that's how I found your post.

    I'm not tech savvy enough to delve further, but thought I would share. It certainly wouldn't surprise me if these cheapo manufacturers were listening to you and data mining you like phone apps used to try and do.

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience with an MPOW Bluetooth headset. I can't tell from your comments if you also used MPOW-supplied Windows drivers or if you just let Windows automatically do its own thing.

      If you tried using MPOW-supplied drivers:
      Although not proof-positive of subpar (or perhaps even purposefully nefarious) Windows drivers, your experience certainly reinforces the idea of making a "best practice" of sticking to trusted sources for all software including hardware drivers.

      Did your sets come bundled with an MPOW USB Bluetooth adapter? If so, have you tried removing the MPOW drivers and instead use the HP drivers I linked in this post?

      Please continue to share any future experiences or findings!

      To be fair to MPOW: My inexpensive MPOW BH079A Bluetooth USB adapter (transmitter/receiver) using HP-supplied drivers has been working without issue for my need of connecting a Blackmagic video editing controller. My only complaint so far has been a rather short radio range (easily less than 10 feet) but it is possible that the Blackmagic controller itself is at least partly to blame for the short range.

      At this point I have not used my MPOW Bluetooth adapter in conjunction with any Bluetooth headphones and can't comment on the adapter's sound quality when using the HP drivers. Considering AllUMemes' poor experience with sound quality, it is possible that the adapter hardware itself (rather than MPOW drivers) negatively impacts sound quality but I doubt that is the case since the MPOW USB adapter appears to be just the Broadcom BCM20702 chip wrapped in a USB dongle. That said, for best Bluetooth sound quality use a Bluetooth adapter and headset each supporting the same codecs (aptX, AAC, LDAC, MP3, SBC, or the very new LC3). If your BT adapter can pass through encoded audio as-is to your BT headset without having to reencode audio to a different codec then the audio quality will remain unaffected by the use of Bluetooth.