My budget Bluetooth car audio system (not elegant but it works).
Since I upgraded to iPhone 5 recently I started looking into how to connect my iPhone to my car without needing to use both an AUX and charging cable. Ideally I just wanted an iPhone connector cable that split to USB and AUX (I had been using the below cable with my iPhone 4S) but a Lightning version don’t exist yet… I could buy a $30 Apple adaptor that hasn’t even been released yet…
I figured a way around this would be using Bluetooth audio output and optionally an Apple Lightning USB cable to charge. After some research I found the below receiver and figured I’d take a chance on it since I can always send it back to Amazon.
If like mine, your car’s iPod/iPhone connector does not support the above Bluetooth receiver you will also need this:
If your car’s iPhone/iPod connector still doesn’t work with the above, additionally these will work with any AUX port:
So after all this mess (pictured above) it works really well and can be tucked out of the way. If I didn’t already own the additional adaptor and cable, I’d be sending the CoolStream back to Amazon for a refund.
The sound quality is great (once I replaced my car charger… the old one was causing a hissing noise over the Bluetooth receiver). I can’t really detect a difference in quality between direct AUX and Bluetooth.
When I get in the car I simply press and hold the button on the receiver for 3 sec for my iPhone to pair, stick my iPhone in the car mount, and optionally plug-in my Lightning cable to keep charged.
If you need to buy each item I listed it does start to add-up ($70.07) and you might prefer something like this Belkin Car Bluetooth Receiver ($79 - $90)… I had shied away from this due to the high sticker price and mixed reviews on the hands-free calling features.