VW Audio Interface Adapter | iLounge News


VW Audio Interface Adapter

For folks hooking up their iPod to a Volkswagen car, Ed’s Electronics Garage has put together a homebrewed microcontroller that “fools the stock head unit into thinking a VW CD Changer is connected, allowing you to listen to your audio device through your vehicle’s built-in speakers when you select “CD” at the head unit.” The VWCDPIC Audio Interface Adapter is $34.00 plus shipping.

“Allows you to use most audio devices (such as MP3 players) with your stock head unit in 1998+ Volkswagen automobiles.”


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Current VW owners with the changer attached can buy from radio shack an inexpensive RCA passthrough cable with an
1/8” stereo plug at one end and the RCA passthrough at the other.  The iPod signal will mostly silence the CD’s playback, but you can still hear the CD at high volumes.
I just created a 60 minute silent audio CD for the iPod.
That said, way to go Ed.  Great idea.

Posted by dave in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 12:35 PM (CDT)


Is this passthrough cable made specifically for VW automobiles? Do you have a part number?

Posted by Jeremy in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 1:42 PM (CDT)


Don’t bother with this device. Use an iTrip.
I do; it works fine!

Posted by jjr in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 6:29 PM (CDT)


The sound quality of the iTrip is orders of magnitude less than that of a direct input.

Check out:


Go to page 11 for a how to for 3G iPods.

Posted by Alric in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 6:46 PM (CDT)


This seems to be a cool idea,but it seems that they don’t have the bugs worked out of it.  read the forums for postings of people who have problems using the device or using their radio after installing the device.

Still, hat’s off to them.  I’m waiting for the next revision before I get one for our Jetta. . .


Posted by Paul in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 11:39 PM (CDT)


similar devices can be had at www.logjamelectronics.com for various makes and models.

Posted by Jake in Irvine, CA on June 18, 2003 at 11:51 PM (CDT)


hey, I may be a little slow, but isn’t it easier & cheaper just to use a cassette adapter?

Posted by ball of fire in Irvine, CA on June 19, 2003 at 5:54 AM (CDT)


Cassette adapters albeit somewhat better than FM modulators are also of lower sound quality than direct inputs.

Besides coupling a direct input with a belkin auto dapter gives you audio input and POWER with one connector.


Posted by Alric in Irvine, CA on June 19, 2003 at 6:41 AM (CDT)


And, as is quite often the case, cars don’t have cassette players.

Posted by KMC in Irvine, CA on June 19, 2003 at 8:39 AM (CDT)


The belkins give power, too?  Hmmmmmm.  Is this a do it yourself or a pay to have it done operation for the “average” joe/jane?


Posted by Paul in Irvine, CA on June 19, 2003 at 10:43 AM (CDT)



Could be both.  Look in the link I posted above to see what it entails.

Posted by Alric in Irvine, CA on June 19, 2003 at 11:12 AM (CDT)


Use a cassette adapter if you can. It’s super cheap and it works great for me. In fact I used a 4 year old adapter from my now deceased Aiwa Portable CD Player car set and it works perfectly. If you have a cassette deck for your car please don’t waste your money! That’s silly!

Power thing is a good point though…

Posted by Mr.K in Irvine, CA on June 21, 2003 at 7:45 PM (CDT)


Some of the newer head units have “smart” features like auto rewind that interfere with the normal operation of a cassette audio adapter. I’m pretty sure the stock VW head units have this feature/problem (although I’ve never tried a cassette adapter in mine).

Posted by Ed in Irvine, CA on June 22, 2003 at 9:59 PM (CDT)


a cassette works in my wife’s 2001 Jetta TDI.  We have the “regular” single CD—not the high end one.

The sound is ok, but I hate all of the wires.  Still, my iTrip fuzzes out if I go anywhere with radio signals of decent strength.  I think for long trips, until I get a way to hard wire it into the system, a cassette is how I’ll go.

Posted by Paul in Irvine, CA on June 22, 2003 at 11:36 PM (CDT)


It’s funny, my itrip sucks in my volvo, but works great in my girlfriend’s golf. I’m ready to suck it up and get a tape adapter i think. I hate the wires, but the itrip isn’t working out for me.

Posted by morgan in Irvine, CA on June 23, 2003 at 9:01 AM (CDT)


I think it depends on the car, antenna and such.

iTripo in:
Toyota truck=bad
66 Mustang=good

go figure.

Posted by Paul in Irvine, CA on June 23, 2003 at 9:51 AM (CDT)


I want to hard wire the ipod mini into my 04 jetta, what is the most effective way? Should I get an adapter to link it where the CD changer would be? How effective is the FM transmitter? My buddy had his hard wired in his BMW X5 and it sounds sick but he lost the CD changer. Can I still use my in-dash CD? Going to buy soon so please let me know…

Posted by Donald in Irvine, CA on May 14, 2004 at 3:31 PM (CDT)


Go to BestBuy and get an Aiwa head unit with an aux jack on the front for $99, buy the cable for $5 and you’re set. That’s what I did last week, and it’s awesome.

Posted by billy in Irvine, CA on May 20, 2004 at 12:56 PM (CDT)


The iTrip is a good idea poorly executed.  There are just too many interfering signals in the FM band, and the internal antenna just isn’t strong enough to overcome this interference.  Tape adapters are better, for sure, but they introduce hiss, distortion and they introduce extra wires.  And for us VW users, the “Sound detector” feature causes the tape adapter to flip the tape in quiet passages.

The ideal will always be aux input.  This is the easiest feature to add to an aftermarket stereo…I can’t believe so few manufacturers do it.

Posted by dasmb in Irvine, CA on June 22, 2004 at 12:43 PM (CDT)


RE: Ed’s Electronics Garage audio interface looks to be what need but ordering from his site represents the WORST ATTEMPT AT SELLING I HAVE SEEN IN 8 YEARS SURFING THE NET ! I wasn’t sure he was actually selling a PRODUCT !  Great advice, I am glad he took the time to design these different devices, but man .... FIND A FRIEND TO HELP WITH MARKETING!

Maybe in the linux community people are used to suffering, but I canot order from his links :(

Posted by Ken in Irvine, CA on February 28, 2009 at 9:40 PM (CST)

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