Google may be making a big push cars with Android Auto, but not everyone wants or needs a brand new car. Thankfully there are plenty of ways to bring at least parts of your Android experience into your car, including 3rd party Android Auto in-dash units, newer smartphone-compatible in-dash units, cables for connecting your phone to your stereo, or even just convenient mounts and chargers.
With this in mind, here is a roundup of some of the best Android-related accessories for your car!
Android Auto in-dash units
If you really want Android Auto but aren’t looking to buy a new car in the near future, you do have a few options when it comes installing after market Android Auto in-dash units. Starting with Pioneer and their NEX line of infotainment systems. These systems come with Android Auto compatibility, letting you plug your smartphone to the device to enjoy the full Android Auto experience, while also being compatible with Apple CarPlay. Three models that are available include the AVIC-8100NEX, the AVIC-7100NEX, and the AVH-4100NEX, priced at $1300, $1100, and $600 respectively.
The most expensive of the lot comes with a capacitive touch screen, that allows for pinch-to-zoom navigation, and 16 GB of storage, with the other two coming with resistive touch systems. All the devices feature 7-inch displays with a 800 x 480 resolution, as well as built-in Bluetooth support for hands-free calling and audio streaming. All units also feature built-in HD Radio, an HDMI input with MHL support, and DVD playback, allowing for a slew of options as far as connectivity is concerned. Finally, all three devices allow for rear seat passengers to enjoy audio or video content on additional rear seat monitors and headphones, even while the front passenger and driver listen to audio from other sources or operate navigation functions simultaneously.
Kenwood also has a couple of options in this category, and offer a very similar set of features when compared to the Pioneer NEX systems, including built-in Bluetooth, HD radio, an HDMI input with MHL support, and DVD playback. Of course, these two systems are also compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and Kenwood also claims that these are the only after market in-dash units currently available that allow for a seamless transition between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay without needing to reset the system or change any settings. Instead users can just switch the device that is plugged in, allowing for a seamless transition. Both options come with 6.95-inch resistive touch displays with a resolution of 800 x 480. The two units, called the DDX9902S and the DDX9702S are priced at $750 and $700 respectively.
Smartphone-compatible automobile in-dash units
Looking for a new in-dash unit that integrates with your Android device, without paying top dollar? While it’s not Android Auto by any means, the Pioneer DEH-X4700BT Single-DIN In-Dash CD Receiver features Pioneer’s MIXTRAX technology, built-in Bluetooth for hands-free calling and audio streaming, USB direct control of an iPod or iPhone, USB access to music on Android devices running Android 4.0 or later, and Pandora radio ready for both iPhone and Android. In addition to an updated cosmetic design, these new model CD receivers include updated feature enhancements like Bluetooth USB pairing. The Pioneer DEH-X4700BT is available on Amazon, priced at $92.95.
The interface of the NEX line makes its way to a far cheaper system in the Pioneer AVH270BT. Featuring a 6.2-inch resistive touch display, this device comes with built-in Bluetooth support for hands-free calling and audio streaming, and DVD playback capabilities, along with the usual USB and Aux support as well. Even though the suggested retail price is $280, the Pioneer AVH270BT is available for as low as $199 on Amazon.
The BOSS Audio in-dash unit comes with a motorized 7-inch widescreen touchscreen digital TFT monitor that slides out and up from inside the unit with a high quality 800 x 400 pixel resolution. The device offers built-in Bluetooth support for hands-free calling and audio streaming, as well as USB and Aux support, along with DVD playback. A remote is available to control the system, and depending on your vehicle type, is also compatible with the controls available on your steering wheel. The BOSS Audio BV9976B is available on Amazon, priced at $127.99.
The Pyle Headunit receiver comes with a motorized fold down 7-inch HD touchscreen, and offers built-in Bluetooth support for hands-free calling and audio streaming. There is also an integrated GPS navigation system with features such as text-to-speech and turn-by-turn voice prompts, as well as a CD/DVD player. Apart from Aux support, the device also comes with a built-in SD card reader, giving you an additional media storage option. The Pyle PLDN78i can be found an Amazon for $212.19.
The Nyrius Songo Wireless Bluetooth Receiver Adapter allows you to wireless stream music instantly from your smartphone, tablet, or other Bluetooth audio device to your car speaker by simply plugging the device into your car Aux port. Simple to set up and very easy to use, you can easily enjoy audio in your car without worrying about needing to dock your smartphone anywhere. The device also stores up to eight paired mobile devices, making it very easy to switch between them all. The Nyrius Songo wireless bluetooth receiver adapter is available for $24.99 on Amazon.
The Roverbeats Unify wireless receiver by Etekcity connects to any powered speakers or even your A/V receiver with a 3.5mm to 3.5mm or 3.5mm to 2RCA audio cable. Enabling Bluetooth capabilities in traditional speakers, the Roverbeats Unify allows users to stream music directly from Bluetooth devices to their favorite speaker. Any Bluetooth device, including tablets, smartphones, and computers, can play and control music on a sound system. Setting up a connection is very easy, and from then on, re-pairing is automatic and hassle-free. For phones with NFC, holding it to the Multi-Functional Button also allows for an instant connection. This device is available on Amazon, priced at just $19.49.
If you’re looking for an option that doesn’t require Bluetooth, or if your vehicle doesn’t have an aux port, the Keedox FM wireless radio transmitter is the device for you. The device has to be plugged into the lighter socket for power, and then all you have to do is connect it to your mobile device using the headphone jack. Select the right FM channel and then you can transmit audio from your mobile device to your car speaker system. The device also comes with an additional USB port to simultaneously charge your device as well. The Keedox FM wireless radio transmitter is available on Amazon, priced at just $13.99.
The iXCC auxiliary cable is a sturdy 3.5 mm Aux stereo cable wire that is ideal and convenient for connecting portable audio devices, smartphones, tablets, and MP3 players, to a car stereo (with AUX port), portable speaker system or other 3.5mm-compatible output devices. Built with dual-shielding, high-quality polished metal connectors, and corrosion-resistant gold-plated 3.5mm connectors, the plugs are durable enough to withstand heavy usage. The design prevents tangling, which makes it easy to store without worrying about knots or kinks. Available lengths include 3 feet, 6 feet, and 10 feet, and can be found on Amazon, starting at $4.99.
Just because your car is getting up there in age, doesn’t mean you can’t easily hook up your phone for listening to your favorite tunes. As the name suggest, the RCA car cassette adapter lets you play audio from any mobile device or portable audio player with a 3.5 mm headphone jack using the convenience of the cassette deck in your older car. All you need to do is plug the device into the cassette deck to enjoy your music. The RCA car cassette adapter is available on Amazon $6.35.
If you’re looking for a reliable high-quality mount and have a CD slot in your vehicle, the Mountek nGroove Mount is a great choice. This mount installs directly into the CD player slot, and doesn’t use any suction cups, clips, screws, and is therefore very easy to install, and is perfectly calibrated to snugly fit without damaging your vehicle. Firmly mounts most current smartphones, but it always a good idea to check for size compatibility, especially if you use a large device like the Nexus 6. The holder can also be rotated to any angle, depending on your convenience. The Mountek nGroove CD slot mount is available on Amazon, priced at $19.95.
The Kenu Airframe is an ultra-portable car mount that weighs under an ounce and is small enough to fit in your pocket. The device fits into the vents in your car, and the clip can be rotated to securely fit onto any vent, be it horizontal, vertical, or angled. Given its rather small frame, the only limitation with the Kenu Airframe is that it can accommodate smartphones with a display size up to 5-inches, and you will have to check for compatibility with your smartphone first. The Kenu Airframe is available on Amazon for $24.95.
The Aduro U-Grip Plus is a car mount that uses a suction cup to hold on to either the dashboard or the windshield of your vehicle, and does not leave any residue when removing the mount. The device holder can accommodate devices with a display size up to 5.5-inches, but seems to also be able to manage slightly larger smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The holder can be rotated by a 360 degree angle, allowing you to adjust the angle to your liking. The Aduro U-Grip Plus is available on Amazon, priced at just $9.99.
The Jabra Drive is a wireless bluetooth speakerphone for your car that can be clipped on to the sun visor. No setup is required, and it is very easy to operate. Voice guidance talks you through as you pair it up with your mobile for the first time, and after that, it will connect automatically whenever you get into the car, and is a great way for hands-free calling. The device also features A2DP technology, which allows you to stream music from a smartphone or Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player, listen to directions from your GPS applications, and more. The Jabra Drive is available for $36.99 on Amazon.
The Kinivo BTC450 Bluetooth Car Kit is designed to provide a simple hands-free solution for answering and receiving phone calls while on the go, and also allows you to stream stereo music from your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth capable devices. The device provides audio through your 3.5 mm input in the car stereo when playing music and answering phone calls, and so requires a car that has one. There is also an additional USB port available to charge your smartphone or tablet simultaneously while using the device. The Kinivo BTC450 can be found on Amazon, priced at $35.
The Belkin AirCast Auto lets you easily connects your smartphone to your car stereo without the need for any professional installation. All you have to do is simply plug the device into the aux port of your car and use Bluetooth to pair it with your smartphone or tablet. A convenient light ring makes it visible at all hours and blinks when calls come in. The power adapter comes with an USB port that lets you charge your smartphone while you drive. After an initial pairing process, just push the AirCast Auto button to reconnect, even if your smartphone is in your pocket or a bag. Wth built-in echo cancellation technology specifically designed for in-car use, this device ensures that you get optimal sound during calls. The Belkin AirCast Auto is priced at $47.99 on Amazon.
This AmazonBasics device is a handy car charger that features a dual-port design, which allows for charging two devices at the same time. Each USB port delivers a 2 amps of power (4 amps max total) for safe, high-speed charging of any 5V device. There is a discrete and non-distracting LED light to indicate when a connection is established and the device is charging. The AmazonBasics car charger is available for $9.99.
This 300W device comes with dual AC outlets and two USB charging ports that should cover all your charging needs while on the road. It is quite compact, and there are no loose parts to worry about, with the plug that connects to the lighter port permanently attached to the device. The device allows for a maximum of 3.1 amps when charging mobile devices using the USB charging ports, and can charge two devices simultaneously. The Bestek charger is available on Amazon for $32.99.
This Anker car charger not only allows for the charging of up to 4 devices simultaneously, but its exclusive Power IQ technology detects your device to deliver its fastest possible speed, up to 2.4 amps per port. Built with industry grade materials and premium circuitry, this product is CE and FCC certified to ensure complete safety and reliability. Keep in mind though that this device is not compatible with Qualcomm QuickCharge 2.0 technology. The Anker 4-port car charger is priced at $14.99 on Amazon.