Would you like to listen to the music on your smartphone via the sound system of your car? Would you like to respond securely to the calls you receive while you are driving? Are you often traveling and looking for a way to recharge your smartphone via your car? Do not worry, I have all the answers you are looking for! In fact, with today’s guide, I will explain how to connect the phone to the car , both in newer car models and in those with a few more years on the shoulders.
There are many solutions that you can take into consideration: if your machine is quite recent, you can connect the phone to the car via Bluetooth with a configuration procedure that asks for a few seconds. If, however, the car in your possession is less recent, you can rely on one of the many adapters or cables on the market that allow you to get great results, with the ability to listen to music on your phone and answer calls without distractions .
Get comfortable, take five minutes of free time and read the next paragraphs carefully: I will list the methods to connect the phone to your car, I will suggest the devices and cables that allow you to do so and I will show you details and prices for each one. I assure you that after reading this guide you will be able to listen to the music on your smartphone, to recharge your phone while you are traveling and to answer calls in your car without risking dangerous distractions. Good fun!
One of the best ways to connect the phone to the car is to use the Bluetooth connection . On the latest cars, this feature is installed as standard and allows you to easily answer phone calls and to play music in the library of your smartphone without using annoying cables.
The procedure for connecting smartphones and cars via Bluetooth varies depending on the model of machine in use. For the first configuration, therefore, I advise you to read the user manual of your vehicle, in order to have detailed information about it.
Broadly speaking, what you need to do is turn on the machine display, access the phone section (usually the Phone button ) and press the button to add a new device. Then you have to take your smartphone and activate Bluetooth: if you have an Android device , then tap Settings , press the Bluetooth voice and move the lever from OFF to ON ; if you have an iPhone, press instead of the gear wheel icon to access the settings of iOS, press the Bluetooth option and move the lever next to the Bluetooth voice from OFF to ON . You can learn more about the whole procedure by reading my guide on how to activate Bluetooth.
After activating Bluetooth on your phone, on the same screen you can view the paired devices and available devices, including your car’s Bluetooth system. Then tap the Bluetooth system name of the car and, if required, compare that the PIN shown on the phone screen is the same as the one shown on the car display, then press the button Match and wait for the configuration to complete. At this point, your device is associated with your car and the connection will always be automatic, as long as Bluetooth is active on the smartphone.
Do you have a more dated car and Bluetooth is not available as standard? Then you can rely on one of the many Bluetooth receivers that can be used in the car using special adapters.
- Bluetooth AUX: the ideal solution for those without a standard Bluetooth car. Through the AUX IN input, it allows you to add a Bluetooth receiver that can connect the car stereo to your phone. There are solutions for all budgets, starting from 10 euros.
- FM transmitter: older cars do not have an AUX input, but a Bluetooth receiver can be added to the machine via an FM transmitter. It is a tool that communicates with the stereo system through radio waves and that allows you to connect the smartphone with a common Bluetooth connection.
- Bluetooth hands-free kit: for those who prefer the “complete package”, there are Bluetooth car kits that connect the phone and the car via the AUX input and the car’s cigarette lighter. In addition to listening to music, it allows you to receive and make calls without having to intervene on the phone screen, thanks to the hands-free function and convenient commands to be applied near the steering wheel.
If your car has USB inputs, you can connect your phone to the machine via USB cable . This solution is the fastest and the cheapest, as no configuration is required and the USB cable to be used is the one supplied with your smartphone. If the software of your car allows it, you can use the smartphone for calls and listen to music; otherwise, the phone-auto connection via USB cable is only useful for recharging the battery of the device.
All you have to do to connect the phone to the machine via a USB cable is to insert the USB socket in the entry in the car and connect the other end of the cable to your phone. You must know that if your machine is not equipped with a USB input as standard, you can still rely on one of the many adapters available on the market.
- USB Cigarette Lighter: this adapter allows you to take advantage of the car cigarette lighter and have one or more USB sockets available, through which you can charge the phone. With this solution, the device is not connected directly to the car.
- AUX cable with USB socket: with an AUX-USB adapter, you can take advantage of the AUX IN input of the car to get a USB socket. In this way, it is possible to connect the phone to the car audio system, but in this case, it may be more useful to rely directly on an AUX cable.
Atra solution to connect the phone to the machine by cable is the use of an AUX cable with two 3.5 mm connectors to be connected to the AUX IN input in the car and in the mobile device in use. This entry is present both in the most recent car models, but also in older cars. The cost of an AUX cable does not exceed 10 euros.
Connecting your smartphone to the car via AUX cable is a breeze. All you need to do is plug the cable connector into the car’s AUX IN jack and plug the other connector into the device’s input, the one where you usually plug in the headphones. Now, presses the AUX button in the controls of the car radio or, if it is not present, repeatedly press the button you use to switch from the radio to the CD player (it should be SRC or Source ) until the display shows AUX. In the case of a car with a non-standard car radio, it may be necessary to activate the AUX function from the settings of the car radio, a procedure that varies according to the model of car radio installed.
Now your phone is connected to the machine and you can play the music on your smartphone through the car’s audio system. Please note that in case of an incoming call, both the ringtone and the conversation will be played through the speakers of the machine.
On older cars that do not have Bluetooth, USB and AUX inputs, you can still connect the phone to the car via a cassette adapter. It looks like a normal music cassette from which comes a cable AUX to connect to your phone (but also to CD players and all devices that have a 3.5 mm jack input). Its cost ranges between 4 and 15 euros.
To connect your phone to the car via the radio, insert the cassette adapter into the cassette player and insert the jack into the appropriate space on your mobile device (in the case of the latest iPhone models and smartphones without audio jacks), need a Lightning or USB-C adapter with 3.5mm jack).
Now, start playing the tape through the car radio display and play the music on your smartphone. A contact present inside the “fake” cassette will simulate the tape turning deceiving the head of the car radio reader and will transform the analog signal received from the external device into magnetic field, which in turn will be transformed into an electrical signal from the head itself.
Smart systems to connect the phone to the car
I conclude this guide with two Smart systems to connect the phone to the car and allow you to take advantage of many features of the smartphone even through the car display.
If you have an Android device, you can download and install Android Auto , a free tool that allows you to simplify the use of phone apps while you are driving. Allows you to make phone calls using voice actions, answer incoming calls with just a touch and send and read text messages, WhatsApp messages, Facebook and much more via voice functions. It also allows you to listen to music via services such as Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, Deezer and much more.
Android Auto is compatible with over 400 car models and supported by numerous audio systems: you can consult the complete list on the Android Auto website , where you can also view compatible devices. If the vehicle in use has a display and supports Android Auto, you can view the app directly on the car display, or you can also use the app via the smartphone.
Carplay, instead, is the solution of Apple, compatible with over 200 car models (see the complete list ). It allows you to connect the phone to the machine via USB cable or wirelessly. It does not install on your phone like a normal application, but it is a software for cars that allows you to use many applications on iPhone with simple touches or using the voice functions. You can invoke Siri, listen to text messages, emails and messages, play music and much more without distractions from the guide.