iPod Your Car Central Information Hub | iLounge Article

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iPod Your Car Central Information Hub

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Monday, August 7, 2006
Articles Categories: Features

Ranging in price from $10 to $3000, dozens of car integration solutions are now available for iPod owners. iLounge’s iPod Your Car Central Information Hub lists three types of iPod-to-car accessories: official solutions sold by car manufacturers and aftermarket integrated solutions sold by third-parties both require professional installation and create premium-quality audio connections between your iPod and car speakers. Additional products called aftermarket non-integrated solutions require no professional installation and cost much less, but generally offer lower-quality audio.

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Need help choosing between these options? Download iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.2, which canvasses what’s out there, and our Holiday Buyers’ Guide 2005-2006, for additional information on the topic.

Official Solutions

The following automobile manufacturers have announced “official” iPod integration systems for use with specific makes and models of their cars. Some of the vehicles listed below can be modified after purchase with these official kits, while others can only be purchased with the kits installed. Dealer installation provides car owners with full warranty rights and a guarantee of car and iPod compatibility. Installation charges often vary from dealer to dealer and may be negotiable.

These “official” kits vary in functionality from company to company and car to car. Some kits provide only an audio connection, others provide audio and charging, some provide audio, charging, and text display on the car’s stereo system, and still others provide audio, charging, and iPod navigation. One kit may do one set of things when installed in one car, and another set of things in another car - contact your dealer for specifics on your make and model. Additional makes and models are being added to this official solutions list as appropriate.

Notes: No matter whether your car is or is not on the list of officially supported vehicles, aftermarket solutions (below) may be available as well. Be aware that aftermarket solutions are not guaranteed or warranted by your car’s manufacturer. Some car makers also sell kits that are not iPod-specific, which are not listed here. Contact your dealer for additional details.

Acura

iPod Kit: Acura Music Link iPod Adapter ($250 + installation)
Models Supported: MDX, RL, TL, TSX

Alfa Romeo

iPod Kit: iPod Pack (Price TBD)
Models Supported: 147, GT

Audi

iPod Kit: Audi iPod Interface Wiring Harness ($196 + installation)
Models Supported: A3, A4, A6, A8, Allroad, TT

BMW

iPod Kits: BMW iPod Adapter (2002-2006, $249), BMW Interface for iPod (2006, Price TBD)
Models Supported: 3 Series, X3 SAV, X5 SAV, Z4, M3, Sports Wagons 5, 6, 7, M5 Sedan, M6 Coupe

Chrysler

iPod Kit: iPod Integration Kit for Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge ($175)
Models Supported: Pacifica, Sebring, Town & Country

Daihatsu

iPod Kit: Integrated Into Factory Stereos and Navigation Systems; Cable for iPod Connection (10,500 Yen)
Models Supported: 2006+ Model Years - Japan Only

Dodge

iPod Kit: iPod Integration Kit for Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge ($175)
Models Supported: Caravan, Grand Caravan, Neon, Ram, Stratus Sedan

Ferrari

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: 599 GTB Fiorano

Ford

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: TBD

GM

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: Chevrolet HHR

Honda

iPod Kit: Honda Music Link iPod Adaptor ($250)
Models Supported: Accord, Civic, CR-V, Element, Fit, Odyssey, Pilot, Ridgeline, S2000

Infiniti

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: TBD

Jaguar

iPod Kit: Jaguar Audio Connectivity Module ($317.50)
Models Supported: X-Type, S-Type, XJ, XK

Jeep

iPod Kit: iPod Integration Kit for Chrysler, Jeep, and Dodge ($175)
Models Supported: Liberty, Wrangler

Mazda

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: USA Models TBD, 2006+ Model Year Cars - Japan Only

Mercedes-Benz

iPod Kit: iPod Integration Kit for Mercedes-Benz ($299)
Models Supported: C-Class, CLK, CLS, E-Class, GL-Class, S-Class, SLK, M-Class, R-Class

Mini

iPod Kit: Mini iPod Adapter (BMW iPod Adapter, $149)
Models Supported: Cooper, Cooper-S

Mitsubishi

iPod Kit: Integrated into i Car (Play Edition) Only
Models Supported: i Car (Play Edition)

Nissan

iPod Kit: Nissan iPod Interface (Requires Bose CD6, $205-$235)
Models Supported: Frontier, Pathfinder, Quest, Xterra

Scion

iPod Kit: Scion Pioneer iPod Upgrade ($260, installation included)
Models Supported: xA, xB, tC

smart

iPod Kit: Smart iPod Car Kit (Price TBD)
Models Supported: fortwo carbrio edition i-Move

Suzuki

iPod Kit: TBD
Models Supported: Aerio SX, Grand Vitara

Volkswagen

iPod Kit: Volkswagen iPod Adapter ($170.41)
Models Supported: New Beetle, Jetta, Golf, GTI, Passat, Touareg

Volvo

iPod Kits: Volvo Adapter for the Apple iPod, powered by PhatNoise ($150, installed price $347.90, for S60, S80, V70, XC70)
Volvo iPod FM Transmitter ($179 installed price, for S40, V50, C70, XC90)
Models Supported: S60, S80, V70, XC70, S40*, V50*, C70*, XC90* (* = 2007 cars - Aux Input and MP3 Capability added to 2.4i Select Package and T5 Audio Package)

Aftermarket Integrated Solutions

The following companies sell iPod integration kits that are not endorsed by specific automobile manufacturers, and are installed by third-party installers with limited warranties. Installation and kit prices are negotiable and vary from installer to installer. Prices and features of these kits vary tremendously from company to company, and from car to car. Some of the solutions require the purchase of a compatible car stereo or navigation system, other solutions require only your currently installed car stereo.

Alpine

iPod Kits: KCA-420i, KCE-422i Connection Cable

Axxess/Metra Electronics

iPod Kits: Wire-Tunes

Blitzsafe

iPod Kit: Universal iPod Interface

Clarion

iPod Kits: EA1251B CeNET iPod Interface ($150), EA1276B CeNET iPod Interface for DFZ675MC

Dension

iPod Kits: ice>Link Plus

DICE Electronics

iPod Kits: Dice iPod Integration Kit/Dice Cradle with Video

Harman/Kardon

iPod Kits: Drive+Play

Kenwood

iPod Kits: KCA-iP500

Monster

iPod Kits: iCruze

Neo Car Audio

iPod Kits: iOn

Peripheral Electronics Interfacing

iPod Kit: iPod2car

Pacific Accessory Corporation (PAC)

iPod Kits: AV-series, ic-series, IP2-series, iPAC-series

PhatNoise

iPod Kits: AutoPort

Pioneer

iPod Kits: CD-IB100, CD-IB100II

Precision Interface Electronics (PIE)

iPod Kits: POD, POD 2, POD/S, Universal iPod Interfaces, Aftermarket Radio Specific Interfaces

VAIS Technology

iPod Kits: SoundLinQ (SLI) - Auxiliary Input Adapter with Apple iPod Interface

Aftermarket Non-Integrated Solutions

Many companies sell less expensive iPod accessories that do not require wiring or other professional installation into your car. iLounge has reviewed hundreds of these accessories, including ones in the following categories.

Car Mounts: These are brackets that hold your iPod for easier viewing and access in your car, as explained here.

Car Power Chargers, Kits, and Adapters These are electronic accessories that charge and/or output audio from your iPod to your car, as explained here.

Cassette Tape Adapters These are cassette tape-sized adapters that connect your iPod to your car’s tape deck, as explained here.

FM Transmitters - Car Only These are wireless transmitters to broadcast iPod music to a car stereo, and charge your iPod, as explained here.

FM Transmitters - Portable These are wireless transmitters to broadcast iPod music to a car or non-car stereo, as explained here.

Links for Additional Information

Apple Computer: The iPod Your Car page of Apple’s official website contains a mostly comprehensive list of official iPod integration solutions, as well as leading aftermarket options.

iLounge’s Free iPod Book 2.2: Contains information and photographs on everything from low-end to high-end iPod car kits, including custom installation into a 2006 Porsche Boxster and much more.

iLounge Discussion Forums - In-Car Solutions: iPod-to-car installation discussions, photographs, hacks and tips from the world’s largest community of iPod users.

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Comments

1

http://www.autosound2000.com/

Dave Navone (along with Richard Clark, he’s pretty much the big boy granddaddy of car audio) sells ipod integration kits that would be well worth while to check out as you go through your options.

Posted by OnlyShawn on August 7, 2006 at 8:54 AM (PDT)

2

i’m sorry…those would be in the “Aftermarket Integrated Solutions” category.  smile

Posted by OnlyShawn on August 7, 2006 at 8:55 AM (PDT)

3

The 2007 Honda Fit supports the integrated iPod kit.

Posted by Galley in Greenville, SC on August 7, 2006 at 8:57 AM (PDT)

4

Alpine has integrated hi speed iPod connectivity in some new head units. No box needed.

Posted by gilgaldo on August 7, 2006 at 9:23 AM (PDT)

5

gilgado is correct about Alpine. The KCA-420i interface box is yesterday’s news. You still need a $30 connection cable (KCE-422i) to attach your iPod to the newer head units, but they were giving them away for while with the purchase of certain head units.

I have this system in my car via the CDA-9857 receiver. It rocks. Took all of 25 minutes to install. Just hook my iPod to the cable in my glove box, and I’m good to go. Selecting playlists, artists, albums is easy & quick. Sound is great. Highly recommended.

Posted by Fangorn in Texas on August 7, 2006 at 3:15 PM (PDT)

6

I’ve got an adaptor from http://www.connects2.com and am amazed.

Mine plugs into my Sony head unit through the cd changer socket (20 minutes to instal)and ipod sits charging in the glovebox.

I can then choose between playlists/artist/albums and show either Track Name/Artist or Track Name/Album.

Highly recommended!!!

Posted by chris_I on August 8, 2006 at 1:46 AM (PDT)

7

Forgot to mention, they do adaptors for all cars and head units but my experience is only with my sony

Posted by chris_I on August 8, 2006 at 1:48 AM (PDT)

8

Goodmans do a radio with an iPod Interface the GCE 7207i.  I bought mine for 80GBP and it works well and sounds well.

Posted by ColinT in UK on August 10, 2006 at 10:31 AM (PDT)

9

My 2006 Toyota Yaris has a dealer installed ipod interface that charges and plays. It’s controlled through the cd changer buttons. It treats your playlists as though they are cd’s. Playlists 1-5 are playlists set up on the ipod and the 6th one is the entire ipod library.

Posted by dnarz909 on August 13, 2006 at 1:45 PM (PDT)

10

The 2005 & 2006 Lotus Elise/Exige come factory with Blaupunkt CD players which are capable of iPod integration with an optional interface cable from Blaupunkt.  I won’t say that they work great, I had a horrible experience with mine, but I figured it was worth mentioning.

Posted by FleurDesign on August 17, 2006 at 8:12 AM (PDT)

11

I have a Honda Pilot with the DVD system (2005) and the Honda iPod kit cannot be added aftermarket. But my Honda Pilot has a Aux input, so for $5 I bought an RCA cable, plug it into the Aux input and the sound is great. Far better than a crappy iTrip.

Posted by britgirl on August 21, 2006 at 4:02 PM (PDT)

12

I am assuming after what I have read here and elsewhere that I can’t connect an adaptor to my 2005 Volvo wagon with factory stereo…unless I change out my stereo. The dealership stated that Volvo tried to produce one but failed. If someone has any new info to share I would appreciate it.
Minnesota here and just wary of electronic stores that want to install a product in my car..since Volvo won’t unless it’s their product.

Posted by rock on June 25, 2009 at 6:25 AM (PDT)

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