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Options for iPhone Car Connections [w/out AUX, USB, etc.]


Aura
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Hey guys - we're going on a lengthy road trip early next month [2,500 mi] and are considering not taking a rental. Our prehistoric (2006) Chevy Malibu does not have any sort of connection for an iPhone, and I sure as shit need to be able to use Spotify/iTunes for this trip if I plan on keeping my sanity. There's no aux, USB, etc.

 

Anyone have suggestions?  I'm not handy with cars and do not want to try taking apart the dashboard to access our CD changer or anything like that. Seems that something like this might be my only option with the limited amount of time and effort I'm willing to put in. Will it actually sound close to cd-quality?

 

Thanks for the help.

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I presume having someone like Best Buy install it for you is out of the question?  Because the best iPod connection I ever had was through the CD changer connection (you'll have to check if your head unit even has one).  They can look it up without opening it up, and determining that should be free.

 

Otherwise yes, an FM transmitter is your only choice.  There's also iSimple, but that's basically at the halfway point between the two (it's wired, but it uses the antenna and transmits via FM).  When they installed mine, they overloaded the input, so it did not sound CD quality.

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This is what I would use.

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_142FMMOD02/Scosche-FM-MOD02.html?tp=121&awkw=42674262265&awat=pla&awnw=g&awcr=15087687625&awdv=t

Seems pretty easy. I used to be quite proficient with car stereo, so I could help. You could also just put in another receiver with an auxiliary input.

Edited by morphsci
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As an obvious alternative does the CD player support MP3/AAC burned discs? You certainly could create pretty lengthy mixes.

The greatest long trip I ever did was night driving listening to old X Minus One episodes (think Twilight Zone). Highly recommended.

Finally, I know it tempts sanity, but I'm a firm believer local radio sets the mood of a place, even if those moods alternate between depression and anger.

Edited by blessingx
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Thinking outside of the box (car), how about one of these kind of things that would be useful at home as well:

 

140327_Blog_BoomboxMeasurements_Photo_So

 

http://www.innerfidelity.com/content/audio-toolkit-creative-sound-blaster-roar-sr20

 

Tyll likes the Creative Soundblaster Roar quite a bit, it has an 8-hour battery life and it can be your hotel room sound system along the way.  There are cheaper ones as well.

 

Cheaper and not as good sound-wise but still with a battery option is the JBL Flip:

 

140327_Blog_BoomboxMeasurements_Photo_JB

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I actually have the Go Groove and it works about as well as any FM transmitter will work. There will be static and I noticed the extreme highs are slightly distorted but never to the point where it un-enjoyable.

 

My experience on going on long car rides with it is that it works very well for what I was doing but with only one drawback. As you drive, the radio stations change and I found myself having to change both the car radio station and the one on the transmitter every few hours. Annoying as it was, it still made the long car drives much, much more enjoyable so for a ~$50 investment, it might be the best bet to get sound through your car speakers without ripping apart your dash.

 

I did eventually give up on it and hack an auxiliary port into my car but that was after finding a $60 purpose-built kit for my specific car.

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