How do you connect your Note 8 to your car, for listening to music, listening to GPS navigation instructions or taking calls? There a multitude of different ways, so let’s walk through them. We’ll start with the most elegant options, and move into increasing esoteric ways of connecting up your car and phone. Let’s get started!
1. Android Auto is rare, but well worth it
Android Auto is one of the best ways to connect your phone to your car stereo. You can listen to music from Google Play Music or Spotify, and it’ll come out from your car’s speakers. You can control the music using the touchscreen or using the vehicles media buttons. You get navigation, notifications and plenty of other nice features as well. Just connect your phone via USB, and you’re away.
Unfortunately, Android Auto is only available as an option in a limited number of recent cars from marques like Audi, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Ford, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz. (For the full list, check out the Android Auto website).
You can also get car stereos with Android Auto built in, although they are more expensive than traditional single-slot stereos. These are made by manufacturers such as Pioneer, Alpine, JVC and Kenwood.
2. Bluetooth works well if you can get it
A Bluetooth-compatible stereo is an increasingly common inclusion for many vehicles, although some cars will only support calls via the stereo, not music. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you can listen to music quite simply — just turn the stereo into pairing mode, then visit Settings > Connections > Bluetooth and select your car from the list of available devices.
Once connected, your music should automatically come from your car’s speakers, and you can skip tracks or adjust the volume using the car’s controls instead of needing to mess with your phone.
If your car doesn’t have Bluetooth, a replacement that does is usually not too expensive.
3. Auxiliary is a solid backup option
Of course, wireless isn’t the only method for connecting your Note 8 to your car stereo. The good old auxiliary input, the 3.5mm cable, will also do the job just as well (and potentially with better sound quality). Simply run a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable between your Note 8 and the stereo, and you’re good to go. You may wish to pick up a Note 8 car holder as well, as you’ll need to skip tracks or perform other adjustments using the phone itself.
4. FM transmitters are surprisingly good
For older cars that don’t have fancy car stereos with various inputs, an FM transmitter will work well. The idea is simple: connect your phone to the transmitter, via 3.5mm cable or Bluetooth, then it’ll make a short-range FM broadcast on a certain frequency. Tune into that frequency using your FM radio, and your music is suddenly coming out of the car’s speakers. Awesome! You loose some quality through the transmission, but this is an elegant solution for many vehicles. Our favourite FM transmitter is the ProMate, so be sure to have a look!
5. Tape adapters: a miraculous meld of old and new
This is not going to be your first choice, but you can actually connect a Note 8’s headphone jack to a cassette tape adapter. This allows you to listen to your music (or even calls) on rather ancient car stereos that only have tape decks and no other inputs. This does result in some noticeable degradation in audio quality, but it’s better than nothing.
6. Bluetooth car kits work anywhere
Of course, if your car doesn’t have any speakers at all, they’re rubbish or broken, you can also just use a completely separate Bluetooth speaker. Bluetooth car kits are a good choice for this, as they are designed to fit conveniently onto the sun visor. You can listen to music or take calls, the sizeable battery should last for a while and large buttons make it relatively easy to control your music (while you’re stationary, of course). You can check out our full range of Bluetooth car kits here, or go straight to our favourite: the venerable Clip and Talk.