Add Bluetooth + Wireless Charging to Your Car Stereo to Pimp Your Ride!
Picture this: You hop in your car, take your phone out of your pocket and lay it on your Wireless Charger. Your phone starts quick-charging. After your car started up, your phone auto-connected to your Bluetooth and you started your Pandora app. All of this happens in about 5 seconds as you enter your vehicle – ALL without plugging in any wires or cables. No finding the “right way” of your USB power cable. No fishing for that audio input cord. Just easy, wireless charging and Bluetooth playback. Make this your reality and add Bluetooth to your car (and Wireless Charging!) for about $25 with a Wireless Charger ($10) and a Bluetooth adapter (around $15).
Are you stuck with an old stereo – or a stereo that simply doesn’t have Bluetooth? Don’t worry – just add Bluetooth and wireless charging to update that old beast. This works even for newer stereos that for some reason just don’t have Bluetooth built-in. End your days of plugging your phone into your charger – just lay it on your Wireless Charger and cruise down the road, charging the entire time.
The end result and the goal of this setup is to have your car stereo playing your playlist wirelessly, as well as charging wirelessly. By “playlist”, we mean whatever music you choose to play on your phone (Pandora/Spotify/Google Music/whatever).
What options do we have for adding Bluetooth to a car stereo? How do we add Bluetooth to a car stereo?
Basically, for stereos that don’t have Bluetooth built-in, we need to add Bluetooth buy buying the right adapter for whatever type(s) of input your stereo has! That’s all! To see how that’s done, continue on.
How to Add Bluetooth to Any Car Stereo (Even Dinosaurs!)
Here’s the list of the different types of inputs your stereo most likely has, along with the corresponding Bluetooth adapter you’ll need to add Bluetooth to your car stereo. Most of them range from $10 to $20:
- To install this, simply put the tape part of the adapter in your tape deck. Then use the cord coming out of it to plug into your Bluetooth USB adapter. The Bluetooth USB adapter will receive the Bluetooth signal from your phone, pass it to the stereo with the cassette adapter, and play through your car stereo speakers!
If you have an Auxiliary input jack in your stereo (also known as a 3.5mm input jack – the same size that’s on your phone’s headphone jack), you can just get a Bluetooth USB dongle. I did this with my 1998 4Runner and it worked beautifully.
- To add Bluetooth using this setup, simply get a Bluetooth USB adapter, plug it into a USB power source, and attach an audio cable from the Bluetooth USB adapter to the auxiliary input jack on your car stereo. Then start your playlist.
If you only have a radio receiver in your car stereo (AM/FM), you can get a Bluetooth FM transmitter. I’ve done this in the past with a few vehicles several years ago and it worked surprisingly well – so these days I’m sure the technology has only gotten better.
- To add Bluetooth with this method, get a Bluetooth FM Transmitter, plug it into your car, tune your stereo to the station indicated on the Bluetooth FM Transmitter, and play your tunes!
- This is the most universal method for adding Bluetooth to your car stereo, since almost all stereos can receive an FM signal. It’s the most universal method because most stereos do not share any common type of input (some cars have cassette players, some have AUX input jacks, etc). So if you’re not sure which adapter to get, get this one! It’ll work as long as your car stereo will play the radio.
- If your car stereo already has Bluetooth, you’re set on Bluetooth capabilities and now you just need a Wireless Charger. Move on to the Wireless Charging section of this article.
How to Add Wireless Qi Smartphone Charging to Your Car
If you have a Samsung Galaxy S6 or S7, this is easy, because these phones already have Wireless Charging capabilities built right into the smartphone. In this case, you simply buy a Wireless Qi Charger for $10 to $20 and slap that baby in your car.
How to Add Wireless Charging to Your Phone
To add wireless Qi charging to your phone, follow these steps:
- Buy a Wireless Qi charging pad.
- Open your phone’s case
- Find the two electrical “leads” on your phone which your battery uses to make contact with your phone.
- Place the Wireless Charging pad with the two connection points touching your phone’s “leads” found in Step 3.
- Close your phone back up and lay it on that Wireless charger!
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