|Reader feedback on iPhone/iPod Car Mounts and Adapters
Last Updated: 8/29/2008
Had some questions on this subject (including from some Dynolicious app owners). If you're using an iPod or iPhone in your car, let me know what mount/adapter you're using (with photos of your setup installed if you can). If using an iPhone 3G, please note if you've seen any charging issues with your auto adapter/cable. Thanks.
Reader Replies: (later reports first)
(FYI - I've had dozens of Proclip fans send very short notes they preferred their car-specific mounts. To save space I'm not including those here, just a reminder to check proclip's site as many loved them.)
I have my 2G iPhone running through an Alpine iDA-X200 Media Receiver. I can confirm that it can access my playlists perfectly and I can easily find all my music on the iPhone. It cost me £140 sterling from an online retailer.
Alpine also makes a bluetooth adapter that will allow hands free calls and the conversation can be heard through your car speakers. I have heard of people using this with the iPhone but have not tried it myself as I don't make any calls while driving.
When docking the iPhone with the supplied USB cable the phone asks me if I wish to run in Airplane Mode, either option can be selected. I have not experienced any feedback through the speakers with the iPhone not in Airplane Mode.
My only complaint would be that Alpine have taken the relatively simple operation of an iPod/iPhone and made it more difficult needs to be when accessing my playlists.
While making the decision of which head unit to buy, I tested most of the "Made for iPod" range from Alpine and found them all to work with my iPhone. Which by the way is jailbroken and unlocked.
Hope this helps anyone else out there trying to find the right head unit.
Kind regards, Trevor"
Gomadic for iPhone ($29.95) mounts in Cup Holder.
Four Stars. Good unit, well constructed and engineered.
Groovy, and places iPhone within index finger reach (with my right arm on the console armrest) in my '07 Toyota Avalon. Couldn't fit better! Thanks for the wonderful site. Been tuning in daily since about 1997!
"Audi adaptor is not good value for money - no info on screen, turns off shuffle
(I asked Shaun for more details (Audi dealer sold option/item?))
An official option from Audi Australia into the std Audi stereo (not Sat.Nav) - Symphony Radio is the stereo model.
Requires mix (shuffle) to be turned on through 3 menu levels (needed each time iPod re-connected as re-sets iPod to sequential play).
Play/pause, charging, change track from steering wheel/stereo, uses CD button pressed a second time to access iPod.
CD 7-11 are first 5 playlists on iPod and CD12 is the 'current' one (the one last used on the iPod) - screen displays "track 1" etc, in comparison to normal CD displays which allows CD title, track name, artist and browsing ahead for next track selection this is very poor. Need to unplug iPod to change current playlist if other than first 5 or current is wanted, same for Artist/Album.
iPhone 3G reports 'the connection cannot charge this device', but it does.
Not sure if this is subjective or not, but iPhone 3G sounds better than my 2 year old iPod through stereos.
Installed the KUDA (www.kudausa.com) in my 2007 Mini Cooper with the generic holder (Right now, I'm using a Kensington LiquidAux for charging and AUX input to my Mini's stereo). They are working on an iPhone 3G holder with electrical connections and when it's available, I'll swap out the generic for it.
The custom built-in look and good fit and finish is what I like. Their web page has a great little configurator for whatever make/model car you have.
Usually it takes forever for stuff to get from the US to here in Nova Scotia, but I received it in less than a week.
I wanted to alert you to a difference between the original iPhone and iPhone 3G - the ability to charge over the Firewire pin in the connector was removed in the 3G. (Many iPods (since iPods changed to USB)) that do not sync over Firewire can still be charged over it. Therefore, several car adapters will function with the 3G as an iPod but will not charge the phone. Here's a link to more info (iPhone 3G accessory incompatibility index).
I use the Alpine KCE-422i cable with my original iPhone and my Alpine head unit and am very happy with it. It is not mounted, just a cable in the glove box.
RAM mounts for iPhone 3G
great for my harley!
I can take pics later, but definitely these guys http://www.proclipusa.com/
Have the best mounts on the market for any mobile device - very thorough assortment.
Have 2 in my GTO, side mount next to the instrument cluster for my iPhone 3G, and a mount to the right of the radio for my iPod Touch. Definitely not cheap from Proclip - but the best.
(Another thing you may want to cover is favorite charging options, input options (docks, transmitters), etc.
I'm a ProClip fan too (see C6 model info/pix in earlier report below).
"The Harmon Kardon Drive+Play is a very slick, beautifully integrated system. Not cheap though. This is the model I have (original/version 1):
The Drive+Play v2 (http://www.harmankardon.com/drive-2/default_dp1.aspx looks even nicer.
The connection options on the version 1 (which I own) are several, and I think in general extremely good. You can wire it to a AUX input on your stereo, which is the method I used. It has an additional AUX input so you don't lose it for other sources if you do this.
You can directly attach it (with wire) to your antenna to tune it in on a station. This is unique as far as I know, and avoids the problems of wireless FM transmission.
You can use a radio transmitter and tune it in OTA.
You can either wire it directly in to the power system or plug it in to a 12v DC jack.
"If you don't mind permanently (and I do mean permanently) attaching something to your dash, I recommend the Pro-fit system. I use it in my BMW (I can send a picture later) and it is secure and works well. The circular mounting pad is the only part that is permanently mounted. The arm and iPod bracket can be unscrewed and used elsewhere. But the adhesive will definitely not come off without damage to your car.
The arm can be flipped over, and of course the iPod mount can swivel, so it doesn't have to be mounted vertically, in fact I have mine mounted horizontally on the dash to the right of my steering wheel.
I got mine from Crutchfield, but I'm sure there are other sources.
Regards, Mel K."
"Here's my Proclip base/mount for C6 (2005-2007) Corvettes (PDF install guide here) w/iPod mount (30GB iPod video, although they sell other model mounts that screw to the base) - used with OEM NAV and "Blose" stereo. I chose this base mount as I liked it better than any others I'd seen at the time (last xmas - 2007) - no regrets, really like it (perfect viewing angle, clean look, solid attachment - but not as cheap as some other options)
The Proclip C6-specific mount was for the original (pre-2008) console but as shown in the photo - it still worked/snapped on the 2008 (w/fake leather trimmed edges) console I later swapped in when I did the MGW shifter install.
Couple of Notes/FYI:
- As shipped using the C6 Proclip base's iPod (5th gen) mounting holes resulted in some slight rubbing of the NAV screen against the iPod mount edge when opening the display (for inserting discs) - so I drilled alternate mtg holes in the plastic base mt that were a tad more to the right. (Also have a swivel/ball attachement but not using it/don't care for it - although it would come in handy for Dynolicious app use w/iPhone perhaps.)
- The 30GB iPod (5th gen) mount had almost no real 'grip' (literally no friction on the sides) - so I added two adhesive-backed velcro (soft side) 'dots' to the back mount surface, which snugged it up perfectly.
Although I know there are better iPod adapters out there (I found out later) - I'm using the USA Spec PA11-Vette iPod adapter with my OEM NAV/bose system. (Bought in summer 2007 - it isn't compatible with the iPhone, although they said I could send it in for a firmware update w/iPhone support.) You can use the iPod for selections or use the XM2 buttons on the NAV screen, but song titles are -not- displayed. (I had used a Belkin Tunebase (FM transmitter) but wanted better sound so went with a wired connection.)
BTW - for users of iPhones w/Dynolicious app - the tilt of this mount is not good for accurate results with it (as the developer noted here previously for accurate results the iPhone should -not- be canted at an angle like this mount has). I'm going to try the 'ball/swivel' adapter to see if it's rigid enough (for acceleration runs) - if not I'll make an (angular) adapter to slide in the iPod mount to correct that.
I have one of these in my car:
Pioneer CD-IB100II iPod adapter (iPod Interface Adapter for Pioneer Headunits) and love it. I can fully control my iPod (iPhone in my case) from the stereo which is really awesome.
And if I want to get extra geeky, I'll pair the iPhone with my Garmin nuvi 680, and then plug the Garmin into my stereo via its headphone jack. Then, if the phone rings, I need only switch inputs on the stereo and suddenly I've got a very nice speakerphone that uses the car stereo speakers and microphone on the Garmin.
Using the iGrip. Without a doubt. Had to find a substantial mount for dynolicious and that did the job beautifully. At the moment too, (for all you UK buyers), it's cheaper to buy form the states than it is here. Look; iGrip Universal Fit Sturdy Swivel Mount ($29.95 currently). As for cost I paid £22.00+post for an incase iPhone3G case over here. In the states $20.00+$7.00post= £14.72 !!
A weird place to mount it I know but it's in a Mini and there isn't an awful lot of windscreen in one of those plus the info that the mount obscures on the console can be had in duplicate on the display behind the wheel.
Here's a close up shot of the rear Rebel Capsule Olive case I bought from APSprostore.
It cost me $27.00 inc shipping, (all the way from the States-over here you are looking at £19.99 BEFORE shipping, that's over $36.00+post). Anyhow, they come in many colours and the fit and finish is second to none. The biggest gripe I had about the iPhone when I got mine was how smooth and slippery it was, it's easier to hold a block of ice with oily hands. I was scared to use it in case I dropped it and then stood on it all in the same few seconds.
So the first case I bought was the Incase rubber one that has like a tyre track pattern on the back. Nice case but too grippy, it gripped the inside of my pocket and pulled it and all my change out once.
As for the Rebel, the only gripe I have about the case is also partly what I love about it. The fit is so good that there is only a small hole around where the headphones plug in so make sure you have a small slim adaptor for it. (Mine cost £13.00!!!, a Belkin something or other).
If they don't have the colour combo you like, it may cost more but buy two cases as, (and I've not tested this), it looks as though you can mix and match the soft skins and the exoskeletons. Would score it 9.99999/10
The holder, is very substantial, just as solid as the mount for the original Tomtom Go you can see above it. It comes with sticky pads too so you don't need to sucker it on where I did. A close up shows also the DLO charger, (Apsprostore), plugged into the bottom and around that area two little feet that the phone could sit on if you wanted it to. The arms to the right and left are adjustable and padded and hold the phone snugly even, again would score it 9.99999/10 also.
I really like the Mini Cooper - everyone I've talked to that owns one raves about it.
They have the best mounting solutions for a ton of cars. And you usually have 2-3 choices as to location of the mount. Used them for several cars and they are expertly engineered for the specific car and are top quality. Highly recommended.
I use a ProClip USA iPhone holder - custom made for the make of my car (not cheap, but works perfect) and the Griffin iTrip AutoPilot for connecting my 3G to the car stereo (really not cheap, but works superbly - even with the 3G!)
"In one of my vehicles I use a Belkin Auto Kit for iPod w/ Dock Connector which plugs in the power outlet (cigarette lighter) I then use a cassette adapter in the factory stereo. The sound is OK, but very limited by the factory system.
In the other vehicle I use a Kenwood KCA-iP500 iPod Interface. It is older technology but works fairly well. It was one of the few choices available in my area when I purchased the system. It does allow for controlling the iPod from the head unit and displays track information. The iPod is hidden in the glove box. The sound is very good however I again think it has more to do with the other components than the interface. I hope this is the information you were looking for, thanks for a great site!
I've tested both the zcover (useful for people travelling between cars) nice if you don't want to undress you iphone from its cover...
and the Brodit - the best permanent solution for iPhone...
the version I've tested works well with iPhone 2G, 3G and touch with the same cradle.
Ciao from Italy"
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