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Iphone Compatible Car Stereo

8015 Views 13 Replies Latest reply: May 13, 2009 12:40 AM by keypounder RSS
J Stewart Wells Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 20, 2009 6:41 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions or recommendations for an Iphone compatible car stereo? Most stereo websites don't list compatibility with Iphone 3g. I am looking for something that will charge the phone as well as allow maximum control.
Dell Laptop, Windows XP Pro
  • Craig Baron Level 3 Level 3 (680 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 6:49 PM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    Good question, I was looking for the same thing and did not find one that I found acceptable. I ended up installing a Kenwood radio and using a headphone jack connection to the auxiliary input connection. I also installed a separate power connector to charge the iphone. The radio would control the iphone through the USB connection, but it disables the iphone screen and I did not think the radio controls were adequate to navigate the iphone. The bluetooth phone connection does work correctly.
    MacBook Pro, Mini, etc., Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • locondcoco Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
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    Jan 20, 2009 8:19 PM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    i have a first generation phone, and purchased a Pioneer head unit. i think pioneer brand units in general are pretty good with the iphone. just be sure you have a cable that doesnt charge via firewire, otherwise, it will not charge.

    my unit has a jog dial, making navigating through playlists, songs, albums, artists, etc simple.
    Dell Vostro 1500, Windows XP
  • sigjuice Calculating status...
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    Jan 21, 2009 2:35 AM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    I am looking for the same thing. I have almost made up my mind on the Sony CDX-GT630UI. This is the only stereo with the "Made for iPhone" logo that I have come across so far. I had the opportunity to experiment with a unit on display at a local Best Buy store recently. The stereo has a USB port on the front. My iPhone 3G started charging a few seconds after I plugged it in. I was also able to use the stereo controls to navigate through my songs and playlists. This is the default mode where songs on the iPhone can only be controlled via the stereo. The iPod app on the phone is locked out during this mode.

    The stereo can also put the iPhone in "Passenger control" mode where songs will no longer be controlled by the stereo but by the iPod app on the phone. I'm assuming other apps like Pandora can be used to play music while in this mode. Unfortunately, I was unable to verify this since this unit did not have speakers attached to it.
    Mac OS X (10.5.5), Mac mini (1.42 GHz G4), Macbook (2.0 GHz Core 2 Duo)
  • locondcoco Level 3 Level 3 (590 points)
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    Jan 21, 2009 8:56 AM (in response to sigjuice)
    i've been able to use AOL radio the same way as the ipod, so yes, your assumption is correct.
    Dell Vostro 1500, Windows XP
  • IanD222 Calculating status...
  • ~007~ Calculating status...
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    Mar 16, 2009 3:56 PM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    I have a possible solution that I will be testing out in the next week or two. This may not be the cheapest but I think it would be the best. Take any after market radio that has RCA input in the rear. Buy the Ipod/Iphone composite dock cable. Plug in the red and white cable to the rear of the Car Deck. If you feel froggy, get a cheap DC to usb power adapter and hard wire to a power source. When you are done, run the dock connector out of the dash(where ever it is convenient). Plug it in and enjoy. I would image that if you buy a video head unit, that you could plug in the yellow wire and watch you music videos and youtube in your car. This idea sounds flawless. My only concern is that when listening to your music with a video head unit, I don't know if your album artwork will be displayed. If anybody beats me to this idea, let me know if the album artwork works.
    Mac Book, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • GalinMcMahon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 16, 2009 11:30 AM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    Apple really ought to have a car stereo compatibility list for each device. When 3.0 comes out we'll have stereo bluetooth and it'd be nice to know which car stereos will work seamlessly with it. I bought a Pioneer stereo that was supposed to run my nano but it wouldn't charge the battery as advertised. I don't really have the R&D money to buy every stereo that promises to work with ipods/iphones.

    Going off on a tangent; I think that Apple ought to create a car stereo with a built in swiveling ipod/iphone dock right there on the faceplate. Knowing their design skills, I am sure that it would look nice, nothing like a Sony (*** are their designers thinking?)
    Fujitsu, Windows Vista
  • Tamara Level 6 Level 6 (13,720 points)
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    Apr 16, 2009 11:49 AM (in response to GalinMcMahon)
    Why is it Apple's responsibility? Wouldn't it be easier for the manufacturer of the stereo to make the list of compatible devices and which features are compatible?
    MacBook , Mini, Airport Express, iPhone 3G x 2, Mac OS X (10.5.5)
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6 (14,780 points)
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    Apr 16, 2009 11:54 AM (in response to GalinMcMahon)
    Odds are the stereo you bought is using the older Firewire interface, rather than USB. The newer Nanos, iPod Touches and 3G iPhone can't charge from those. There are adapters available for about $30. These will allow your Nano/iPhone/Touch to charge through the stereo's dock connector.

    ~Lyssa
    13" White Macbook; 160 GB black iPod Classic ^_^, Mac OS X (10.5.6), iBook G4 1.07 GHz (10.4.11); 3G iPod 15 GB (4.5 years running smooth!)
  • Daniel Isaacs Level 1 Level 1 (50 points)
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    May 12, 2009 11:27 AM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    Does anyone know if any of these iPhone compatible car stereos fit a 2003 Explorer?
    iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • Tim Klein Calculating status...
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    May 12, 2009 3:24 PM (in response to J Stewart Wells)
    I've got a Pioneer FH-P800BT. It's a double DIN sized single CD receiver with USB iPod control integrated into the menus, and with the addition of a microphone, it works handsfree for the phone. It also charges the battery while plugged in and has the capability to do audio bluetooth, so I think it might be usable wirelessly if that finds it's way into the 3.0 OS.

    I bought the unit to use with an iPod and a different phone, but when I got my 3G I was happy to see it worked fine with the receiver. I do get a message on the iphone when I plug it in that suggests I should put the phone in airplane mode to avoid interference, but I've never done that and I haven't had a problem with noise. To be completely honest though, I don't plug it in all that often (only when I really need to charge my battery while I'm driving). I have an older nano that I simply leave plugged in at all times in my glovebox for music. The phone still works via bluetooth through the receiver menus, including the ability to download your phonebook to the receiver. This allows you to dial your contacts from the receiver without picking up the phone.

    It's really designed for the iPod rather than the iPhone, so no texting from the receiver or any other app usage (though I'm suddenly curious whether I could use Pandora... hmmm...)

    Two things that don't work particularly well... Manual dialing - You really need to use the phone itself. You can dial a number directly from the receiver menu or the included remote control, but it's not easy to do. The other thing is voicemail - Voicemail seems to want to play through the phone, and even if you select the bluetooth conection on the iPhone's menu screen, it just doesn't work reliably.

    Everything else work great though. I have my cable run into my glovebox so I just plug it in and close it up. The phone charges away while I control the music directly from the receiver (including the ability to browse songs, artists, playlists, etc). When a call comes in, the music pauses as the receiver automatically switches to phone mode. Push one button on the stereo to answer, chat, push a button to hang up and your music picks up right where you left off!

    ---
    Tim
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.4)
  • keypounder Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    May 13, 2009 12:40 AM (in response to Daniel Isaacs)
    I have an '03 Explorer and I'm using an Alpine CDA-9883 in it that I got a couple years ago, BEFORE I got my iPhone 3G. It worked GREAT with my iPod.

    What I ended up doing is getting Alpine's KCX-422TR adapter (works the very same as the Scosche Passport, only double the price, and the size -lol --I just wanted everything to be all Alpine).

    It works great --will play and charge, BUT with a few "stipulations" --and my understanding from Alpine tech support is that, short of a few exceptions, ALL their receivers do this, even the ones NOT requiring the adapter:

    1) Upon first plugging in, you will STILL get the 'not compatible with this device' error message, for which you simply press 'no', and you're on your way. Their newer USB-equipped units, however, do NOT do this.

    2) The iPhone's speakers will be disabled --WHICH MEANS, EXCEPT FOR THE RINGER (for some reason), the only way you will hear anything such as text-alerts, text typing sound, locking sound, etc, is through the vehicle's speakers --BUT ONLY when A) the receiver is powered on, and B) when the source is set to 'iPod' (i.e. won't work with the radio).

    So if it's plugged in but none of those 2 "parameters" are met, you'll only hear the ringer.

    BTW, I cannot stand Pioneers --tried one before the Alpine I have and ended up exchanging it FOR the Alpine.
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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