iPhone 3gs car stereo recommendation?
September 3, 2009 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Anyone know of an aftermaket car stereo head unit that will play nicely with the iPhone 3gs? I looked at the previous question related to this, but didn't see any specific model recs...various google searches and Crutchfield have led me to believe that the 3rd gen iPhones are having charging issues with some (or all?) models of aftermarket stereos. I'd love to hear if anyone has any first hand experience lately with buying a new stereo for use with a newer iPhone. I probably would spend up to $400 for something cool. Thanks in advance.
posted by katocolon to Technology (4 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I have this bad boy http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=9202542&type=product&id=1218057726915 along with a car-specific charging mount from proclipusa. It'll come out somewhere in the $250 range total, probably. Streaming music via Bluetooth is definitely in the realm of "indistinguishable from magic". It connects automatically as soon as I turn the car on. I love it. Can't recommend it enough.

I had a non-BT version for a while (plugged into the dock connector) and liked it a lot less. The stereo would automatically take control of the iPod features, and navigating through the menus/artists/etc with the built in controls was a GREAT way to crash the car. Holding down the Home button to force quit the iPod app and then relauching worked, but was kind of a pain, and only *sometimes* worked when I upgraded from the OG to the 3GS. Would definitely not recommend using a dock connector version.

Plus, most of the dock connector-using stereos out there will only charge via the Firewire pin, not the USB one, which means that OG iphones would charge fine, but that capability was removed in the 3G/S upgrade, so you'd need a third party charger ANYWAY, and then couldn't play music when you were charging.
posted by frankdrebin at 4:00 PM on September 3, 2009

I would agree with the dislike of the non-bluetooth stereos. Back when I bought my 1G iPod Touch, I installed an Alpine that could hook directly into the iPod via a dock cable and have, generally, found it to be a complete waste of money for two reasons. First, picking music through one of these things really is a great way to have an accident. Second, you can only play music from the iPod part of the device so you won't be able to listen to streamed music through your stereo. In general, I much prefer stereos with a direct line-in port, though the bluetooth option mentioned above sounds like it might be worthwhile.
posted by Joe Schlabotnik at 4:38 PM on September 3, 2009

Bit of a side question, can the iPhone 3G stream music via bluetooth. Thought I had heard that the 3.0 OS release would support, but apparently does not. Is there an app perhaps?
posted by evilelf at 9:42 AM on September 4, 2009

I have the Clarion DUZ385SAT and it works great with my 3G iPhone (charging included). It's double-din and, if you shop it hard, can be purchased for $100.

Worth every penny!
posted by jdlugo at 8:36 PM on September 4, 2009

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