How To Play My Android Phone’s Music Through My Car Radio

There is nothing more satisfying than listening to your favorite music while driving. I upgraded my stock speakers, added a sub, an amplifier and the sound quality in my vehicle is unbeatable. But what would this matter if I was not able to play my favorite songs? For many years radio and a couple other primitive methods like A-Tracks, cassettes and CDs were the only methods to listen to music while on the road. This limited the audio selection of the driver to say the least. However, advancements in technology have enabled drivers to play whatever music they want through their car’s audio system. Today, almost every vehicle has a disk player, mp3, flash drive player and lots of other amazing ways to listen to stored music.

However, none of these methods even comes close to what the average cell phone can achieve. Smartphones are portable and are taken with us everywhere. Android phones now come with larger memory and more features, they are quickly replacing other techniques for in-car entertainment. The Android phone is now more than a phone; it is an entertainment center. Here are a few different ways you can play your Android’s music through your car radio.

Four Options

1. Analog Cable/Auxiliary Input

Undoubtedly the simplest method to use with your Android phone is an analog cable. This will connect the headphone jack on your Android phone to the in line option on your vehicle’s audio system. Most commonly the AUX input only requires a 3.5mm male-to-male jack audio patch cable. By plugging straight into the headphone jack on your Android phone, you can hear any audio on your car stereo that you would normally hear via headphones. The main advantage of this is its relative ubiquity and simplicity that requires absolutely no software to contend with. The audio patch cables are also super inexpensive and easy to find. This is the most common method as almost every vehicle model comes with one type of auxiliary input. Lastly, The charging port is left available allowing the user to simultaneously play music while they charge their phone.


2. USB Cable

While not all cars have it, using the USB port in your car’s stereo to connect to your Android phone is a preferable option. Luckily whatever the make, model and year of your vehicle, there is an aftermarket stereo that can be easily installed enabling USB connect-ability. This USB port allows your car’s stereo to pair with your Android. Once you connect to the USB, your phone engages into mass storage mode. This lets you use it just like it was apart of the car’s stock equipment. The car stereo then plays back the stored music just like it would from a memory card or flash drive. This option is highly beneficial since it lets you control the playlist through the car stereo controls which is safer than using your phone. Another welcomed advantage is the fact that your Android phone is now able to draw power from the USB connection. This means that in addition to extending the music playtime infinitely, drivers are also able to enjoy a full phone battery once they arrive at their destination.

Playing Music from an Android Device while Driving

3. Bluetooth Connectivity

Most modern car audio systems come with Bluetooth capabilities for playing music through a short-range wireless network. While varying from stereo to stereo, Bluetooth connection typically starts off with initiating the pairing setting on your car’s radio. Once you set the Bluetooth to discoverable, your Android phone should detect it and pair with it. The great news here is that once you pair for the first time, you will not have to repeat the actions in future. The Bluetooth pairing will now occur automatically every time you step in your car with your Android phone. However, Bluetooth has serious power draining capabilities, so make sure you are charging your phone while using Bluetooth.

4. Android Auto

Shop Android Auto Head Units
Introducing the most convenient way to use your Android phone in your car. Android Auto was designed with driver safety in mind first and foremost. This is Google’s solution to bringing the full power of your smart phone to the untapped nature of vehicular infotainment. Android Auto actually runs on your phone and not your car’s head unit. Using Android Auto is both simple and fun. Just plug your phone to a compatible receiver and enjoy a new world of driver assistance. In addition to playing your music, Android Auto displays everything directly to the car’s display. This includes destinations, maps, weather, and voice control and even allows you to make calls/send messages. With Android Auto, distractions are significantly minimized so you can focus on the road ahead of you.

Born in a subwoofer box, music has always been my passion. At the proud age of 9 I began driving. The two eventually met and led to my career at Sonic Electronix.

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