At last: car stereos with frontal mini-jacks

JVC car stereo with line-in
You need portable MP3 player for when you’re on the move. On the move includes: in the car. Why would you want to listen through tiny white earphones, if you have dozens of Watt of pure musical power already at your disposal in that car of yours? Or: how to connect your iPod to your car stereo.

FM Transmitter

First of all, they’re illegal in Belgium, so you can’t buy them anywhere here. Thanks to my numerous maffia friends however, I’ve been able to try 2 Griffins and a white-label gizmo, but my experiences have always been disappointing: impossible to tune right or get an acceptable sound.

Fake tape

There are these cassette look-alikes that you can put in your tape player. Only, who still has a tape player in his car? And what does the conversion electric-to-magnetic-to-electric do for your sound quality?

Custom interfaces

Alpine has a special solution for iPod (didn’t BMW have something like that too?), but we don’t like vendor lock-in.

Line/Aux in

  • One year ago I had already talked about Kenwood making car radios with line-in possibility. But Kenwood used the RCA jack on the back of the device, which might have been a good idea in a hifi-stereo world, but not so for portable audio players.I wanted a mini-jack, damn it, but no vendor had that.
  • But now: behold the mini-jack!
    Sony has the CDX-GT200 (about € 130) and its bigger brothers CDX-GT300 and CDX-GT400 (not in Europe).
    JVC has the KD-G612 (bout € 150) with “Front AUX Input”, as well as the KD-G510 or KD-ADV6160 (last one even plays DVDs)

I hope the rest of the vendors get the message and provide a frontal AUX in on their products. Car stereos, boomboxes, mini-chains, DVD players, DivX players, …
Rip, Mix, Plug it in!

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4 thoughts on “At last: car stereos with frontal mini-jacks”

  1. I have the same problems with my XM radio. The tape option works WAY better than the FM transmitter. I can’t find a clear enough station to really get the FM system to work well.

  2. My Aiwa rds-radio with 6cd-changer, which I bought in december 2000 allready featured a mini-jack on the frontpanel. A truly handy feature: since the cd-player broke down, I’m still able to listen to mp3’s via my Palm Tungsten E.

  3. What comes ’round goes round. I bought a car stereo with a front aux line-in jack … back in 1987! The gee whiz device I was plugging in was an incredible portable CD player! Just imagine. Never worked well; it skipped constantly.

    I’ve heard why stereo makers don’t like the front jacks. Supposedly they have a high failure rate, and no one wants to sell a $200 head unit that gets warrantee-returned just because of the failure of a $5 part.

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