Posted by: Anthony Drewery | January 5, 2006

In-car MP3 audio

One of the things that prompted me to buy an iPod was finally being able to connect it through the factory fitted radio/CD in my 2005 VW Golf. I did consider replacing it with a unit that had a dedicated aux input or iPod connection but then you have the hassle of remembering to remove the fascia as a security precaution.

First I tried an FM broadcast gizmo that powered from my cigarette lighter. The sound quality was a bit hit and miss though depending on the strength of the local FM radio signals in the area you were driving through. I bought mine from eBay as they are technically illegal in the UK.

Next I tried an FM transmitter that you wire in-line with the car aerial. In theory this ensures a good signal with minimal interference. Unfortunately after removing my head unit I discovered that it has non-standard aerial connectors so this idea was a non-starter.

Finally I came across a product from Connects 2 that connects to the CD changer port to give me an aux input. My stereo has a built-in single CD drive so this seemed like a good option. Installation was easy and now I get perfect sound quality from any auxiliary source by connecting to the headphone jack of the device and switching to the CD changer. I can finally get rid of the CDs cluttering up my car and listen to podcasts during my commute.


  1. Hey Ant. I’ve read a few of your entries recently. Part of the reason I’m adding this comment is because I’ll feel like I’m stalking you if you aren’t aware that I’m reading your blog!

    I don’t have an MP3 player at all; mainly because my commuting time is so short. I’ve actually been craving the ability to play MP3s in my car more than on public transport and for the same reason that you mentioned – I’m sick of my car slowly filling up with CDs! I’m considering buying an iPod and the Connects 2 solution sounds like a good option – Thanks.

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