Tag: ipod in car

Factory Stereo OEM Integration

Factory Stereo OEM Integration

In the past 25 years, there has been a drastic change in the type of car stereo systems that vehicle manufacturers have been incorporating into their new models of cars. Most premium models of new cars are built with high quality In-Dash CD players that you simply cannot remove without re-doing the whole system because it is part of the vehicle’s network. However, this does not mean that you have to settle for the lack of extra features the factory radio contains. To keep up with today’s technology, manufacturers such as Scosche, Metra, PAC, iSimple, Axxess and many others created convenient OEM Integration products. These integration products allow you to add on some of today’s most sought aftermarket components such as Bluetooth, GPS Navigation, iPod, HD Radio, Amplifiers, Subwoofers, and much more with the benefits keeping the factory receiver. In most cases, factory receivers are built with higher quality components than aftermarket headunits and usually last just as long as the vehicle itself.

Now-a-days, with the “no cell phone use while driving” law, the most popular add-on most people want to integrate into their vehicle is Handsfree Bluetooth. No matter what vehicle you drive, there is a very good chance there is a Bluetooth Integration product that will work for you. This is all made possible by companies like Metra, Scosche, and PAC who created easy plug-in harness’s that are compatible today’s most popular Bluetooth Handfree Kits. First you will need to purchase a Handsfree kit like the Parrot MKi9000 if you don’t have one already. The next step would be to find the harness that is compatible with your car and Bluetooth Kit, get it installed, and that’s it, you have yourself Bluetooth with a factory system.

With CD’s almost becoming a thing of the past, most people keep all their music on their iPods. Luckliy, these same great companies I have mentioned above, also make iPod interfaces kits that allow you to connect an iPod or an iPhone to your factory stereo with simple plug-n-play installation. One quality interface you can use is the iSimple PXDP. The PXDP is a universal iPod Interface that allows you to control an iPod directly from the factory radio and is compatible with most popular makes of vehicles. Most iPod interfaces do require a vehicle specific harness to install.

If you are not completely satisfied with the sound quality of your factory car audio system, it is possible to add an amplifier, speakers, or even a subwoofer to your vehicle without changing the factory receiver. To add an amplifier, all you need is the amp of your choice, a matching extension cable, and a vehicle specific T-harness to avoid having to splice into your factory wiring. Blaupunkt is known for making quality vehicle specific amplifier solutions that provide a crisp, clean sound to your factory system.

If you’re looking to add some bass to your factory system, but don’t want to lose any precious cargo space, MTX has come to your rescue. The MTX Thunderform Enclosures are custom fit solutions that are designed specifically to fit into a convenient spot in your vehicle. They come in a pre-loaded or an empty option and are made for mostly all makes and models of vehicles.

OEM integration is the best way to keep your factory system while adding on any aftermarket component that you may desire. Whether it be adding a CD Changer, iPod integration, Bluetooth, HD Radio, Amplifier, Speakers, Subwoofers, or more, it can all be accomplished while keeping your vehicles dash untouched.


USB: The Present and Future of Car Stereos

Kenwood KIV-BT900 USB iPod Car Stereo Digital Media Receiver

The past several years have introduced many cutting-edge and grand technological advancements in the world of car audio. From complete iPod integration to Pandora interfaces, it seems like the car stereo has a solution for just about any type of audio source. If you take a look back a few years you will notice two great advancements that made connection of portable media possible: the auxiliary cable and the USB interface. The auxiliary input became a standard and quickly become popular. Any device with an audio source could then be listened to inside a car and throughout the car’s audio system. While this was a great breakthrough in terms of portable audio integration, the better was yet to come. Today we have USB ports on many of the car stereos and this opened an entire new world of audio integration.

So what can you use with an USB port on an in-dash car stereo? The technology was primarily driven by the consumers demand to have a iPod compatible Car Stereo. On the majority of units with a USB port, complete iPod/iPhone integration is made possible. Once connected, the user is able to have complete access to the iPod via the car stereo. That means you can hide the iPod in the glove box and still be able to play the music from it. But the technology doesn’t stop at Apple. USB interfaces also allow music to be played back from flash drives, thumb drives, SD cards (via USB-to-SD adapter), and even hard drives. Of course the stereo itself has to be able to read the files and formats in order for it to work properly, but this is becoming the standard for USB integration.

Another impressive features is the ability to connect a USB hub to a single USB port. Consider the Kenwood KIV-BT900. This single DIN unit has one rear USSB port. However, you can connect that port to a USB hub and that single port can turn into a 3 USB media center. Connect 2 thumb drives and an iPod and you are set for as much music as you could ever want. For those that have a “want it all” attitude, the new generation of USB capable car stereos are a must.


Sony Integrates TomTom and TeleAtlas into a GPS Navigation Unit

Sony Uses TomTom GPS Navigation for XNV-660BT

Sony has been one of the leaders in car audio for a number of years now. Each year they release new units, technology, software, and hardware that lead the 12-volt industry to the next level. Last year they introduced the Sony XAV-60, which was the first unit to use the SensMe feature. They also released the Sony DSX-S100, which led the industry in internal iPod docking and housing. Continuing with this tradition, Sony has introduced the XNV-660BT and the XNV-770BT for 2011.

What many readers will find interesting is that this is a Sony unit and it has GPS navigation. For the past several years, it has been noted that Sony has been one of the few car stereo manufacturers that do not have a navigation option. Even the entry-level brands that have only a few years of manufacturing experience have units that come standard with built-in GPS navigation. Sony has listened to the customers and heard the requests for a navi unit. New for 2011, the Sony XNV-660BT and the Sony XNV-770BT are released. The timing couldn’t be better either. With the exit of Eclipse in the car audio industry, a TomTom presence was removed from the industry. However, Sony worked with TomTom to incorporate the advanced TomTom navigation system into these new units. Using the TeleAtlas map database, TomTom remains a leader in the GPS navigation industry.

These two powerful companies are planning to take 2011 by storm by offering top-notch features for a price that is competitive with compatible models. Sony is focusing a lot of there advertisements on the unique features that TomTom has to offer, such as IQ routes, my TomTom, advanced lane guidance, and the Quick GPSFix. Look for more review, article, and blogs about these two units and the TomTom service, as we grow more familiar with them.


Direct OEM Integration

Lexus OEM Integration

By Chelsey P. – Product Specialist

Purchasing a new vehicle can be exciting, until you take a look at the stock stereo that comes with it. Many of today’s new cars have advanced integrated stereos that make it a hassle to replace.  Upgrading to an aftermarket car stereo can end up taking a lot of time, effort, and frustration to install. And with most aftermarket receivers, the factory style that most people love, ends up being lost with a new and sometimes hard to use interface. Direct OEM replacement receivers will become more and more popular because they provide you with everything you need in a stereo, including a factory feel. Most of the time, these receivers will come with even more features than a stock head unit such as built-in Bluetooth, GPS navigation, and iPod integration. So I ask you, Why not replace your receiver with a feature-packed headunit while keeping your vehicle looking clean and new?

A company that has done all of the above is Fly Audio. They have created a head unit that looks stock, but comes with more options and features than you may know what to do with. The Double DIN Receivers have a 6.5”, 7” or 8” TFT-LCD Screen with CD, DVD, VCD, DivX and MP3 Playback. Fly Audio has integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calling as well as iPod direct connectivity. The USB Input allows you to charge, control and playback your iPod straight through the receiver. The Fly Audio E8039NAVI-2 is great example of a head unit for a vehicle that you would want to maintain the stock look in. It is a 7” Receiver with a touchscreen display made for the 2009 Lexus IS250/350. It has all of the features mentioned above along with built-in navigation. This may be one feature that your stock stereo did not have before. The navigation has voice prompts, traffic lane guidance and destination searches so you always know where to go. Fly Audio makes these head units for just about every car out there, not just the Lexus. These OEM integrated receivers will become increasingly popular over the years with the addition of new cars.


5 Ways To Connect Your iPod To Your Car

Written by Kyle Duffy – Product Specialist

Progress is slow, but more and more vehicles are coming from the factory with built-in 3.5mm headphone jack inputs or iPod specific connections. However, most of us don’t have new vehicles shiny from the factory, with that new car smell. So how then do you play your iPod through your car instead of having tons of pesky CDs?  There is always the route of buying a new aftermarket car stereo with an iPod car adapter, but that isn’t the solution for all of us.  Here are some other methods on how you can get iPod playback in your car.

Method 1: Cassette Adapter
Most vehicles in the world have the dreaded cassette player which sits there doing nothing. Unfortunately, most of us do not have cassettes we care to dust off. No worries, let’s put it to use! With a cassette adapter, you can plug in any portable electronic device with a headphone jack into the adapter, which goes into your cassette player, giving you tunes from your iPod or MP3 player.

Method 2: Wireless FM Transmitter
If your car has a working cigarette lighter power adapter and a working FM radio, you can get those tunes from your iPod to your car speakers. They broadcast a radio station only strong enough to be picked up by your car radio, so just tune your FM radio to the transmitters selected frequency and there you have it! No messy wires, plug and play installation, thousands of songs at your fingertips. The biggest issue however with this method is that sometimes you will pickup radio stations from actual broadcasting towers, just change the frequency and your good!

Method 3: Stock Radio with 3.5mm Auxiliary Input
If you’re lucky, your vehicle will have a 3.5mm (Headphone jack) port on the face of the radio or somewhere in your center consol. The radio will also have an AUX button to activate the port. This is ideal because all you have to do is by a 3.5mm Male-to-3.5mm Male auxiliary cable and you can rock out all day or night long with your iPod, Zune, or MP3 player. This is becoming more popular in newer vehicles, so be on the lookout!

Method 4: RCA Input Jack
Very few stock car stereos will come with a feature like this. The radio will have either on the back, front, or in the center console a red RCA input and a white RCA input. Get a 3.5mm Male to RCA Male cable and you can enjoy tunes from this input type. Some 6-disk CD changers use this, so if you’re willing to give up the CD changer for your vast iPod music collection, just hijack those RCA lines! And Poof!

Method 5: Wired FM Modulator
This method is not as popular as the other connections, but it should still be considered if you can’t jump the gun for an aftermarket radio. The wired FM Modulator hooks up to your radios antenna cable and inserts your iPod signal right into the line. This method does require a bit of installation but it is not incredibly difficult, the quality is better than a wireless FM transmitter.