Permanent car mount?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by buggsy2, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. buggsy2 macrumors member

    buggsy2

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #1
    iPhone 4. I have two cars in the family (2000 Toyota Camry and 2008 Honda CRV). I'm considering a permanent car mount for the iPhone since we plan on keeping the cars a few more years, and I like the idea of hiding the cables.

    If I were to do the easier install-yourself way, I'd go with ProClip, I like their quality. Is there an equivalent good quality solution for a permanent mount? Should I consider removing the factory radio/music console in each car, and replace with an aftermarket system which has an iPhone mount in it?
     
  2. PecanEater macrumors 6502

    PecanEater

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2007
    #2
    What options are there for aftermarket systems that replace the factor stereo and have an iPhone mount? I'm curious about this option.
     
  3. buggsy2 thread starter macrumors member

    buggsy2

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #3
  4. JM2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #4
    Surf over to http://www.crutchfield.com/cgi-bin/tools/icarstereo/intro.asp and follow the instructions, chances are they have a factory interface for your vehicle. This way you can keep your factory stereo and maybe even have limited control of the iPhone thru it. You might have to pull the radio from your dash and plug in some kind of adapter but Crutchfield's instructions and customer support is second to none. You'll pay a bit more then most online stores but their excellent support is worth the extra coin especially if you've never done this kind of work before.

    Avoid those cheap FM transmitters as they mostly suck but will work if its your only option. You could replace your factory radio with an aftermarket unit that has built in iPod / USB controls if you want. If you go that route I suggest Alpine or Pioneer, I've had good luck with both of those brands interfacing, controlling and charging iPods/iPhones.
     
  5. buggsy2 thread starter macrumors member

    buggsy2

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #5
    Took your advice, thx

    After talking to the Crutchfield guys, I finally ordered interface kits for my two cars (2000 Toyota Camry and 2008 Honda CRV). I considered replacing the factory radios with aftermarket units, but the Toyota would have still required the interface (adapter) kits because it has some special separate factory amp. And I wouldn't gain that much with aftermarket: maybe bluetooth for extra $$, maybe HD radio for extra $$. Oh and I wouldn't lose the CD changer like I will on the Toyota, but I hardly use it anyway. On the Honda I'll lose the XM which I don't use anyway.

    The Crutchfield advisors said none of the aftermarket radios will do what I really wanted: listen to say FM radio, with my iPhone using a GPS navigation app with spoken commands, and have the spoken commands mute the radio. I don't understand why that isn't possible with an aftermarket, but they said none would do it.

    As for mounting the iPhone, I'm looking at ProClip mounting systems and will order one for each car. We will keep the cars 5 or 10 years so might as well do the job right.
     
  6. JM2 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Location:
    South Florida
    #6
    The reason it doesn't work is because the radio can only play from one audio source at a time, so its either FM, or satellite, or CD, or the iPhone - but never a combination. Basically the radio can't multitask like a computer. To work with spoken commands it would need some kind of logical (software) that listens to the iPhone source all the time and only mutes the music when a spoken command is about to come up. That type of integration is what fancy factory navigation systems or dedicated aftermarket headunits do, which is why those options tend to be more expensive.

    However the spoken command thing can work the way you described... but only if your playing audio from the iPhone. This can be done by using the iPod controls on the phone directly or an audio app like Pandora, Slacker, etc running in the background. Not sure about other navigation apps, but TomTom even offers a setting for how loud the voice is when the music is muted. The effect is really nice - the music quickly fades out, the command speaks up, then your music fades back in - all seamlessly.
     
  7. buggsy2 thread starter macrumors member

    buggsy2

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2010
    #7
    Seems strange that an aftermarket, more upscale radio system can't do this, but whatever.
    Yeah, figured this out. That's fine. Having a "permanent" installation is a lot better than a bunch of cables lose on the dash.

    I really liked dealing with Crutchfield. Their advisors are great, both pre-purchase advice and post-purchase install. For instance, with the Honda CRV they advised getting an additional wiring harness--too new to be in their catalog--which made connecting a Parrot Handsfree Bluetooth, the iPod adapther, and the factory radio far easier. After the main order was in and shipped I ordered a mount gadget for $30 and expected to pay shipping on that, but my advisor removed shipping when I saw the bill. There instructions for removing the panels and radio were very good for a newb like me. Later when I was installing and had a question, I called and got a clear answer in just minutes and no offshore advisors!

    As for the gadgets themselves, for the Honda and Toyota I used USA-Spec. It works great on the Honda, somewhat erratic on the older Toyota. Nonetheless I'm happy I went this way and would do it again.
     

Share This Page