Iphone connected to car stereo without 3.5mm jack or FM transmitter


macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 1, 2010
I've got an iPhone 4S and a 2007 Volvo C30. The latter has an electrical charger (cigar-style), but no female (or male) jack in its built-in stereo. I know that transmitting iPhone audio over the radio is very unreliable. What are my options? Cheers.


macrumors 68020
Aug 10, 2006
You might be able to either get an attachment for your existing stereo that has an iPod connector or get a new stereo unit that has bluetooth connectivity, an iPod connector or generic USB / 3.5mm jack plug input. Not familiar with the Volvo stereos specifically, sorry. Have you tried searching on some Volvo owners' forums? Most car forums have an in-car entertainment section.


macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
Aftermarket iPod/iPhone or Aux interface for your factory stereo. Check with the usual suspects: DICE, Blitzsafe, USA Spec, PAC Audio, PIE, etc etc... See if there's a discussion forum for your car and see what others have been using.

Aftermarket head unit with a built-in interface as mentioned above.

I know that transmitting iPhone audio over the radio is very unreliable.
All FM modulators (doesn't matter where the audio comes from) are unreliable in cities with a lot of radio stations and they have poor audio quality.


macrumors 6502
Personally, I've used FM transmitters (a couple brands no less), 3.5mm jack, USB and Bluetooth for transmission to my car within the last 4/5 years (jeez, was it really 2007 when the iPhone came out?!).

FM isn't unreliable, or I've never had that... but the bigger issue it faced was noise... sometimes it was really annoying and present, other times it was just soft static in the background from the low signal transmission. In an older mustang, there's a removable radio antenna that made a huge difference in clarity by removing...

3.5mm is great; sometimes its a little soft, but it's really pretty good otherwise.

Bluetooth is amazing. If you go the aftermarket route, just get one with bluetooth support... I don't think you'd ever regret it.

USB.... Well, its a love hate thing. I love being able to charge my phone + get slightly clearer audio than BT in my car, but it really bugs me that my car takes over the iPhone's music interface so I have to go through its menus to get at my music (not ideal, in my opinion...).

Anyway.. there's the little insight that I've got.


macrumors 68030
Apr 15, 2010
An aftermarket gizmo like the ones sold by Pac Audio would be your best bet if available for your make/model. Go to their website and look around. I've installed a few of these for friends in different makes/models and put one into an older Chevy Suburban as well. Really good value for the money and incredible sound plus a power supply to boot.

In order of sound clarity:

1) Dock Connector
2) Aux Out/In (assuming phone transmitter/engine noise doesn't interfere)
3) Bluetooth
4) Cassette Adapter (don't laugh....still better than number 5)
5) FM Transmitter in the sticks
6) FM Transmitter in the city

Apple fanboy

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 21, 2012
Behind the Lens, UK
I use a 3.5mm jack but it bugs the hell out of me. You can't change the track unless you use the phone, and on a long journey the thing goes to sleep so you have to put your key code in to skip a track. I could disable it each time but inevitably forget. So I just listen to tracks I would rather skip or Radio 1 with Christ Moyles cause it just makes me laugh in the mornings!