In this guide, we will explore various methods that allow you to make phone calls, play music from your phone to your car's radio.
These methods use your existing radio and car speakers. No need to upgrade the head unit in your car.
FM Radio Transmitter
A super easy method to play music from your Android or iPhone to the car stereo is to use an FM Bluetooth Adapter. This method works on all cars, even older models that don't have an Aux-In port.
Watch the video to learn how to connect your phone to your car radio using an adapter. The sound quality is not excellent but definitely acceptable for most people. Sound quality depends on the quality of the adapter and can be impacted by interference.
Mono Routing App
Does your car have hands-free Bluetooth calling but no way to play music via Bluetooth?
Many older cars allow you to make hands-free calls using Bluetooth but won't allow you to play music.
Various cars including BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Lexus, Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Honda allow the driver to make hands-free calls using Bluetooth.
A workaround is to use an app that makes your car think you are making calls. This method doesn't cost any money and doesn't require an FM Bluetooth Adapter.
- The main requirement is that your car has hands-free calling.
- Sound quality will be mono, not stereo.
- These instructions typically help car owners with model years manufactured between 2000-2013.
If your car only makes hands-free calls but can't play music via Bluetooth follow these instructions:
Pair your phone with your car
Pair the phone so that you can make hands-free calls. The instructions for this can be found in your owners manual and vary by make. We assume you already have your phone paired with your car and can make calls.
Make a test call
The next step is that we need to make sure you are able to make a call. Let's just double check. This is important because in the next step we will use your phone to route all the music via the hands-free option.
Download and install sound routing app
Here is where all the magic happens. We will use a FREE app called Mono Bluetooth Router to route your music via the hands-free calling system. What this does is that every time you toggle the app on, the car thinks you are making a phone call. Your car hands-free stops the radio from sound and starts to play the music from your phone. Genius!
Play music from your phone via Bluetooth
Toggle the sound routing app on. Open any app that you like such as Youtube for example and start playing music. Your car radio will stop and you will start hearing the music on your speaker.
Because the sound gets routed through the Bluetooth hands-free calling, you may notice that the sound quality isn't perfect. This is because during a call the sound uses mono which is only one signal channel.
Bluetooth to the auxiliary port
Many cars have an auxiliary port but don't have Bluetooth capability.
If your car has aux in port, you can use an Aux to Bluetooth Adapter for your car. The adapter connects to your phone via Bluetooth so that you don't have to plug in a wire to your phone's 3.5mm headphone jack.
This solution works for newer phones without a headphone jack as well. Examples of phones without 3.5 mm headphone jack include Moto Z, HTC Bolt U Ultra Play U11, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, Xiaomi Mi 6, Huawei Mate 10 Pro, Essential Phone, Razer Phone, Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL, LeEco Le.
iPod 30 Pin Adapter
If your car has an iPod 30 pin connector consider yourself lucky. There are interfaces that plug into the 30 pin cable and allows you to connect via Bluetooth your iPhone and iPad.
One good example is the Bovee 100 30 pin Interface which works with iPod Touch, iPad, iPhone 4, 5, 6 and 7,
Many German vehicles including Audi, Mercedes, BMW used to come with the iPod connector. This is a great way to stream music from phone to car using Bluetooth.
The sound quality is much better than using an FM transmitter. Another advantage is that you can access and control your phone using the steering wheel buttons for functions such as play, pause, next, stop etc.
Want an ingenious way to bring new technology to an old car.
Well, if you were born before the year 2000, you may know what I am talking about. Rember cassettes? You may have even used a car cassette adapter to connect your old phone to your car via a 3.5mm cable.
If you have a car that has a cassette slot, you can use a Bluetooth Cassette Adapter for a wireless connection.
This is an ingenious way that allows you to utilize the cassette slot but instead of plugging a cable into your phone, you can connect via Bluetooth. This means that the cassette has a Bluetooth receiver, in turn, this requires the adapter to have batteries inside.
You don't have to worry about all of that, just keep in mind that every now and then you will have to charge the Bluetooth Cassette Adapter.
We hope that you found this guide on how to play music from your Android/iPhone to your car stereo via Bluetooth helpful.
If you would rather upgrade your stereo system consider a head unit that has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Such head units allow you to control your phone from the stereo, display your phone screen directly and a lot more.