How to Convert an Old Car to a Bluetooth Capable One

How to Convert an Old Car to a Bluetooth Capable One

If you’ve ever wanted to play music and make calls through your car speakers, the good news is your car doesn’t need Bluetooth. Tethering your phone to the car via an auxiliary cord works, but it’s not always ideal. With rumors that future iPhones won’t have headphone jacks, even the auxiliary cord option may become obsolete.

How to Convert an Old Car to a Bluetooth Capable One

What you need is a Bluetooth car adapter. This device allows your car to receive and pass on a Bluetooth signal to your speakers. There are different options for the type of car adapter you might want.

Wired Bluetooth Adapters

Wired Bluetooth adapters are mounted on the dashboard and typically feature control buttons and a built-in microphone. The microphone is used for calls or voice control, while the buttons are for making/receiving calls and playback. Therefore, the adapter should be within reach.

How to Convert an Old Car to a Bluetooth Capable One

An auxiliary cord plugs into your car’s 3.5 mm audio port, while a USB cord plugs into the car’s power port. These cords stay plugged in and draw power while you’re driving, making wired Bluetooth adapters charge-free.

Tip: A quality Bluetooth car adapter can be purchased for $50 or less. Belkin’s Bluetooth car kit, priced at $48 on Amazon, is recommended. It allows for multi-device pairing, enabling you to connect and switch between two smartphones. For more affordable options, check out SoundBot’s car kit for just $17 on Amazon or Anker’s SoundSync Drive for $18. Both of these kits come with traditional car chargers.

Wireless Bluetooth Receivers

If you prefer to charge your Bluetooth adapter separately to avoid cables on your car’s dashboard, wireless options are available. They are typically priced similarly to or cheaper than wired options.

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How to Convert an Old Car to a Bluetooth Capable One

Wireless Bluetooth receivers plug into your aux-in port and run off battery. Just plug it in, turn it on, and you’re good to go. These receivers are inconspicuous but need to be recharged. Most have a battery life of 5 to 10 hours on a single charge.

One downside is that wireless receivers usually do not have built-in microphones, so making phone calls is not ideal.

Most wireless receivers charge via a micro-USB cable. If you have an Android phone, you probably have plenty of those lying around. If your car has a USB port, you can charge the receiver directly from your car without bringing it inside.

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