iPhone Car Integration
February 5, 2008 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I, like many others, am trying to get the perfect setup for my iPhone in my car. Are there any solutions?

Current info:
2000 Mitsubishi Montero Sport XLS, stock stereo, no aux-in or tape deck
1.1.3 Jailbroken iPhone
Monster FM transmitter

I'm looking to be able to both listen to my iPhone and place and receive calls. I had a friend that was able to do this through a tape deck, and I became insanely jealous.

Ideal setup: be able to run headphone jack to an aux-in input. I haven't been able to find an accessory to allow me to essentially rig an aux-in.

Less-than ideal setup: an FM transmitter that will not produce GSM buzz and will run without being in airplane mode.

The kicker: $100 budget. Preferably way cheaper.

Has anyone had any success with this? Any audiophiles that can satisfy my possibly irrational desire to run my iPhone through my car stereo?
posted by jpcody to Technology (8 answers total)

Response by poster: Yeah, it's a start, but I still can't get past the problem that I don't have a factory "aux-in." The wired FM transmitter sounds interesting, but I'm hoping maybe even someone with the same car, or with a friend with the same car, can point me in the right direction. Or just someone who has had the same problem without being able to aux-in. Thanks for the links!
posted by jpcody at 5:20 PM on February 5, 2008

Response by poster: My car also has a factory-installed 6-disc changer. Just in the even that should help.
posted by jpcody at 5:21 PM on February 5, 2008

Best answer: The disc changer might actually help, as that usually means your car stereo DOES have an Aux In -- that's usually how the stereo is hooked up to a CD changer. It's just that the Aux In is in the back of the unit and not as easily accessible as an Aux In located on the front panel.

As long as you don't mind losing the changer (and who would, if you're using an iPod/iPhone now) you should be able to hook up your iPhone to the stereo with a few dollars for an RCA-to-ministereo cable. Since your budget is tight, you're either going to have to do the work yourself, or hopefully have a friend with car stereo installation experience, as you're going to have to temporarily remove your stereo and run a cable from the Aux in on the back of the unit to where you want it accessible for the iPhone.

Don't waste your time on wireless FM transmitters, the quality is horrible unless you live in the middle of nowhere, where there are no competing FM signals. Otherwise it's an exercise in frustration and a waste of money. A hard-wired line-in is the absolute best you can do in terms of quality.

If you want to get really fancy, get something like this. It's an iPod car charger with a Aux Out and a dock connector on the other end. My car happens to have a cigarette lighter adapter hidden in the center console, so I tuck the charger in there, run the Aux from the stereo to the charger's Aux port, and just dangle the iPod dock port out from the center console. I can hop in the car, plug in my iPhone, and it even charges while it plays. If you got a remote control system for the iPhone, you wouldn't need to keep the iPhone on your lap to control it. Or get one of the coffe-cup-holder style mounts for the iPhone to keep things neat.
posted by wubbie at 7:51 PM on February 5, 2008

I think what you need is this. Only catch is that you can't use your factory installed cd changer, but hey, you have an iPhone now. Good luck!
posted by bertrandom at 1:38 AM on February 6, 2008

I have an Alpine deck with an iPod adapter in my car. I still get the GSM buzz if it's not in airplane mode. Gets really annoying when you're email is being checked every few minutes =) When you plug the iPhone into the adapter it pops up saying it isn't designed for this accessory, etc., and prompts to put it in airplane mode.

I have also run a tape adapater in the GFs car. It has the buzz.

And more recently, I tried it through a charger with line out (some Belkin part) run through a wired FM transmitter, and it was _really_ bad. Got the same prompt to put it in airplane mode.

I don't think there is a good solution to this, whether you have the connection into your stereo or not.
posted by kableh at 6:25 AM on February 6, 2008

Just buy a low-output amp($40)(Not a recommendation of this model!), install it under the seat, and go iPod -> Amp -> Speakers, thereby cutting the stereo out of the loop entirely? If you really want to keep listening to ClearChannel, you might do something fancy with diodes and wire both in (Or something simple with a DPDT switch that would require manual flipover), but are you really going to miss those eight-minute Classic Rock Blocks?
posted by Orb2069 at 6:22 PM on February 6, 2008

Oh. DPDT: Dual Pole, Dual Throw. Should have six connectors on the back, and I suggest you get something unlighted. Pick to match your decor, or hide it in/under somewhere convenient. I went searching and found the Philmore 30-16585 dead euro-sexhay, but Your Switchtaste May Vary.
posted by Orb2069 at 6:30 PM on February 6, 2008

« Older Nice pants, for a girl   |   Name an important recent book on academic... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.