How to Listen to Internet Radio in Your Car

You may already have everything you need

Mpow FM Transmitter
Mpow FM Transmitter. Photo: Mpow

There are thousands of internet radio stations you can listen to on your computer, iOS or Android smartphone, or other mobile devices. You may not have realized that you can also listen to internet radio is most late-model cars as well. The most popular way drivers stream radio to their cars is from their smartphones or other mobile devices using Bluetooth technology. The mobile device acts as a minitransmitter that sends the station to the Bluetooth receptacle that is either built in or that you install in your vehicle's radio or dash.

The only drawback to this arrangement is it can be a little tough on your cellular data plan. If your vehicle operates as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot—an optional feature on the newest cars—data use isn't a concern.

The Basics

Almost any smartphone can be connected to the stereo system in a modern vehicle. If Bluetooth is not available in the car, older models usually have an AUX input that allows you to run an auxiliary cable with the appropriate size plug out of the earphone jack of your phone directly into the AUX IN of your car's radio. You just need to locate and buy the appropriate cable.

No Bluetooth? No AUX IN? No Problem

There is another solution for vehicles that have either no AUX IN or Bluetooth available. If you have a standard FM radio, you can buy a product that acts as an intermediary between your smartphone's Bluetooth and your FM Radio.

Products like iClever's Universal Wireless FM Transmitter can do this.

You plug the device into your vehicle's power source and turn it on. You pair it with your smartphone's Bluetooth and then the iClever device receives the radio stream from your phone and transmits it via FM directly to an unused FM channel on your FM car radio. It's easy to use and affordable. iClever also has a wireless version of the radio adapter.

You might also look at the Mpow Streambot Trapezoid In-Car FM Transmitter. It works similarly to iClever's devices and is well reviewed.

Pandora

You can control music site Pandora and its streaming radio stations directly through the dash in almost 200 car models. Which ones? Pandora has a searchable database that lets you specify the year, car make, and car model. The search covers vehicles made beginning in 2010 to present day. Access Pandora's database and enter your car's information. Accessing Pandora from some vehicles may require optional equipment that your car may already have or that a dealer can install for you.

Slacker Radio

Slacker Radio provides access to hundreds of stations. Slacker Radio works with many model vehicles than can connect to the app. Acura uses AcuraLink. Chrysler uses Uconnect Access. Ford and Lincoln vehicles use SYNC AppLink. HondaLink is a system used by Honda to achieve this. Scion's BeSpoke Premium Audio system provides access to Slacker. Subaru has STARLINK, and Tesla provides an in-dash touch screen that supports streaming apps like Slacker. Ask the respective dealer for information about onboard entertainment options for streaming.

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Your Citation
Deitz, Corey. "How to Listen to Internet Radio in Your Car." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2017, thoughtco.com/playing-internet-radio-in-the-car-2843987. Deitz, Corey. (2017, August 26). How to Listen to Internet Radio in Your Car. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/playing-internet-radio-in-the-car-2843987 Deitz, Corey. "How to Listen to Internet Radio in Your Car." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/playing-internet-radio-in-the-car-2843987 (accessed December 12, 2017).