As someone who doesn’t own a car with built-in Bluetooth, I am somewhat jealous of those who can get in and connect quickly and painlessly. But, with that said, I’ve been able to work around the problem with the last few cars I’ve owned.
Be it a Bluetooth speakerphone with an FM transmitter or by plugging directly into the AUX port, I’m able to get by. The last few weeks, however, I’ve been using a Griffin iTrip AUX Bluetooth adapter to pair my phone to my car stereo.
For lack of a better way of describing, picture a car charger that has a 3.5mm headphone plug instead of a USB port. That’s essentially what you’re dealing with here.
I was impressed with how easy it was to take this out of the package and get rolling. All you really need to do is open up the Bluetooth settings on the phone and push the button on the adapter. Once your device finds it, you’re good to go. Other than that, just remember to switch your car input to auxiliary mode when you plan to listen to your phone.
Should your device not automatically connect the next time you get in the car, simply press the button again. I had no issues connecting over a two week period.
If there’s one drawback to putting this guy into my car’s power adapter it’s that I lose the ability to charge up my device. In cases where I want to use turn-by-turn driving directions or listen to extended periods of music, I like to juice up. Note that if you only have one spot in your car that you’ll have to pick what’s more important: Bluetooth connection or charging.
Along these lines, I ended up simply plugging my phone into the (included 2′) 3.5mm cable and directly into the stereo. As I saw it, I already have the cord dangling, why not go direct? This way I could also plug in and charge up the device, too.
Truth be told, however, it’s more convenient to get in and automatically connect. And, if you can tuck the cord away neatly you’ll be doing alright for yourself.
Price and availability
The Griffin iTrip AUX runs $49.99 which I find to be a little more than I expected. At $30-$35 I would have no reservations recommending one of these. But, at the current price I am somewhat reticent. I love the quality, easy setup, and convenience, but I would like to see a lower cost. Or, perhaps, find a way to offer the USB charging again. My advice, keep an eye on Amazon for price drops.