Apr 14, 2011

Making the Most of iOS Audio: The Car

In my last post, Making the Most of iOS Audio: The Bedroom, I talked to you about the best way to listen to audio, sans headphones, in the bedroom.  But what about driving?  Wearing headphones, unless you have the volume low enough, is dangerous when driving and is even illegal in some states.  But driving is the best time to listen to music, podcasts, audio books, and even internet radio.  What are your options?

The first thing you need is a way to play your iPhone or iPod Touch over the speakers.  Depending on the setup in your car, there are several options:
  1. If you have a line-in jack (sometimes called an auxiliary jack), the best way to go is to get a 3.5-mm stereo audio cable that is male on both ends.  This is probably the best setup for quality sound.  I use this in my minivan.
  2. If you have a cassette player, an cassette adapter like this one is a good option.  You typically will get good sound with this as well.  This is what I use in my car and it sounds really good.
  3. If you have one of those fancy stereo systems with Bluetooth built into the stereo, that is an option too.  It's the one option I've never tried though...because I don't have one of those fancy stereo systems.
  4. If all else doesn't apply and you have at least an FM-radio, an FM transmitter that plugs into your headphone jack and broadcasts over FM to your stereo will work.  You simply set it to broadcast to an FM frequency that is not too close to any of the stations your radio normally picks up and tune te radio to that frequency.  This option is fine for spoken word but you may not enjoy the quality for music.
The second thing you need is a car charger.  You may already have one of those.  If you don't you probably want one anyway.

The third thing is optional but helpful.  I have in my car a mount for my iPhone that hangs from the menu.  I got this primarily for Navigon, my GPS app, but its actually quite helpful to look at what song is playing without turning your eyes down to wherever you set your iPhone or iPod Touch.  I got the Arkon IPM514 online for around $15 and it's very good quality.  It attaches to the windshield with a suction cup that is very strong.  I can tug on it very hard and it won't let go.  Whatever you go with, if you decide to get a mount, I would avoid a mount that is specific to the phone you have.  Those don't typically work with a case or bumper and they aren't going to be usable if the design of your next iPhone changes.

1 comment:

  1. My wife's car has BT and I just purchased a car charger with additional USB connector. I've been thinking about trying it, but haven't yet.


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