How To Connect Bluetooth to a Car Radio - 3 Different Solutions
| Reuben Howe
Many modern cars come equipped with a full suite of music and communication options built in to the dash, but there are 4 key reasons why someone might want to add Bluetooth to a car radio...
Why to Add Bluetooth to a Car
1) Do you want to improve the quality and speed of your Bluetooth transmission?
2) Do you want to add Bluetooth to an older or cheaper car that doesn't have it inbuilt?
3) Do you hate having to download and navigate proprietary apps and programs instead of just using Bluetooth?
4) Do you need clean, practical control over audio instead of the unresponsive touch-screens of modern car cockpits?
If any of these questions struck a nerve then adding your own Bluetooth solution from the 3 options below might be exactly what you and your car radio needs!
Solution 1 - Use a 3.5mm Bluetooth Adaptor
If we want to start with the cheapest and most universally applicable option then a 3.5mm AUX Bluetooth adaptor is the way to go.
AUX Cables can carry input or output depending on the system you plug in, and so are the perfect port to use for converting your car radio to Bluetooth. To connect your car radio to Bluetooth with this adaptor you need:
1 x 3.5mm Input or Output port (which will decide how the Bluetooth connection functions)
1 x 3.5mm Bluetooth adaptor
1 x Bluetooth Device to listen or play audio from
And that's all! Bear in mind you already have the car, and most likely already have the Bluetooth device which is why you're here, so all you need to pick up is the adaptor.
To go into a bit more detail, if you connect a 3.5mm Bluetooth adaptor into a car radio input, you will be able to play modern apps like Spotify from Bluetooth devices like mobile phones and tablets wirelessly!
If you connect a 3.5mmm wireless audio adaptor into an output port you'll be able to play the car radio music wirelessly to Bluetooth headphones, earphones or speakers! This is perfect for having the kids in the back connect Bluetooth headphones to the car radio while the driver has no distractions from loud music.
Solution 2 - Use a Cigarette Port Adaptor
The second way to connect your car radio to Bluetooth is actually an FM adaptor. It might sound like an FM adaptor would be something to get radio stations, but it actually provides a way of adding Bluetooth by using FM technology.
An FM adaptor connects to the power port in your car, which limits it's use to only cars with such a port. Once plugged in, an FM adaptor can be tuned just like an FM radio, and should be made to match the tuning of your car radio.
Once the car radio and FM adaptor are both on the same frequency you can connect a device to the adaptor via Bluetooth, which will then push that audio through to the radio! Using a middle-man system like this adds a Bluetooth connection to your car radio accessible through any Bluetooth device.
The other benefit is these adaptors have button controls built-on to the rotatable adaptor. This means a driver can interact with music and phone calls in a much safer and more efficient way that using apps and touch-screens.
Solution 3 - Add a Bluetooth Radio Speaker
The final option is to add an entirely separate speaker which can provide Bluetooth connection inside the car. This bypasses your in-car radio and leaves all that work in the hands of a dedicated speaker like MB330. This unit can sit in the car and connect wirelessly, pick up FM or DAB and output through AUX if needed to be used as a passthrough!
It's certainly more expensive than using an adaptor, but having a dedicated in-car speaker and radio system can save a lot of trouble and also has the added benefit of being able to be removed from the car easily to use at home, on holidays and more.
Whether this solution is right for you will depend on why you are looking into a Bluetooth connection to your car radio to begin with, so weigh up your options carefully.
Explore Adaptors for Bluetooth to Car Radio
Daffodil are pleased to offer a range of Bluetooth Adaptors which can connect via 3.5mm or dashboard port like the above examples, as well as adaptors with Optical audio connection (although this is less common inside cars!).