Options for connecting with car's sound system?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by dranakin, Aug 24, 2008.

  1. dranakin macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2005
    Given that I don't have an auxiliary port to my car's stereo unit, what are my options for listening to my music on my iPhone? Is an FM transmitter the only way? I took a look at this one on Amazon, but the single review reveals a major flaw.

    I've also looked at other websites specific to my car's model to see what other people do connect their external devices, but I can't seem to find a decent mod tutorial.
  2. HawaiiMacAddict macrumors 6502a

    Dec 28, 2006
    On one of my Macs of course
    Aloha dranakin,

    You can drop by a COSTCO and pick up a Belkin car kit with clear scan - it is also an FM transmitter, but it also charges the iPhone 3G while you drive. The nice thing is that it will pause your iPod while you answer a call and resume at the exact spot where you left off. My only complaint is that it doesn't block excess FM static as well as other devices for iPods. For example, I have a Belkin TuneBase FM, an FM transmitter that only works with iPods (it doesn't have the extra shielding needed for iPhones), and you'll hear almost no static.

    I believe that Griffin also has an FM transmitter out, one that specifically supports the iPhone 3G. While the Belkin device also works with the iPhone 3G, it is not specifically listed on Belkin's website as supported.

    If you have a Toyota or Lexus vehicle, I would suggest you give VAIS Technology a go. Their products are more expensive, but connect directly to the radio head unit of your vehicle while providing additional auxiliary, XM, or Sirius inputs that can be controlled via the radio controls or your steering wheel controls. I'm trying to get my wife to give the green light on that - I still have a fair amount of work ahead of me :eek:

  3. Mikey B macrumors 65816

    Mikey B

    Jan 4, 2008
    the island
    personally, i've always preferred tape deck connectors over fm transmitters in a big way. granted, most cars don't have tape decks any more, so you might not have one. but i think the sound is far far superior than any transmitter. my most recent connector is one made by monster and i'm quite happy with it. the sound is phenomenal. the only thing better would be a direct input connection and you can get pretty decent stereo's with one for dirt cheap these days.
  4. TB07-NJ macrumors 68020

    Jul 7, 2008
    Errr, what make car is it? I have a GM and there are numerous AUX adapters. I just installed one today along with a Kensington LiquidAux and it works perfectly.
  5. NewishMacGuy macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2007
    Other option is to get a new head unit. Ones that are completely compatible with iPod are pretty cheap nowadays and not very hard to install. You'd also get the benefits of much better sound quality and the ablility to control the iPod through the head unit.

    I recently had this done in an older car of mine in which it was notoriously difficult to install aftermarket equipment (because of a lousy Bose "premium" sound system) and all in it cost me about $400. Could probably be done, depending on your car, for as little as $300 or maybe even a tad less.

    If you can't do that. Definitely get the tape adapter because FM adapters are horrible. I had a fancy one (with the antenna cut of switch) installed in one of my other cars and it's really just terrible.
  6. BrownManUPS macrumors 6502a


    Jul 30, 2007
    What he said. I love my tape deck input. Big problem with an iPhone being that it gets confused so you can hear all the conversation from phone calls but not talk back.
  7. Jeremy1026 macrumors 68020


    Nov 3, 2007
    I keep my phone in my cup holder, using aux input. I talk normal on calls and the other end hears me perfectly.
  8. dranakin thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 6, 2005
    I was thinking that a new head unit is the only option (as I don't have a tape deck or aux input, and FM transmitters sound terrible), but I have a new car with a nice 6-CD changer. The only thing missing is a port, so I'm trying to find an adapter to attach directly behind the head unit.
  9. sdsvtdriver macrumors 65816

    Jul 31, 2008
    Southern California
  10. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    You'll have to google around a bit, but I was trying to do the same thing and the best solution I found was an adapter which converts the CD-Changer port at the back of the head unit into a standard audio input, meaning you could just take a standard headphone jack to jack cable and connect in your iPod. They weren't that expensive either, but obviously you would lose the use of your actual CD-Changer if you went for that option.
  11. MDePew24 macrumors regular


    Jun 23, 2008
    Ballwin, MO
    I put in an Alpine IVA-W505 with an iPhone hookup and it works really well. Plus I went with the docked navigation unit.
  12. Megalobyte macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2007
    I'll echo what other said about cassette adapters, I tried all of the FM transmitters and none worked all that well, I had seen the tape deck adapters but always felt they were very outdated, but luckily I broke down and tried one, no comparison, they sound way better and can play much louder than the FM type devices, if your car has a cassette deck, try one, you'll be a convert too.

    I have a 2005 Hyundai Santa Fe, and I believe they dropped the tape decks in 06, lucky for me. :) Of course my next car will have a direct input for MP3/Iphones.

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