Choosing an MP3 player for your car: 7 solutions, from budget to expensive.
A cassette recorder in a car is already a rarity today. Most of those who bought such a device earlier got rid of it long ago, replacing it with a more modern one, playing CDs and reading other digital media. However, this is easy to do if the radio tape recorder was not integrated into the center console, but was installed in a place specially designated for it 1Din or 2Din. Finding a replacement for the head unit is quite difficult, especially if the car is already ten to fifteen years old.
And they cost a lot of money. Still, there are budget options for listening to MP3 files on a cassette player..
The adapters made in the form of an audio cassette are inserted into the radio and transmit a digital signal through a special transmitter to the head of the radio, which it perceives as a signal coming from a magnetic tape. In the most budgetary version, there is a wire from such an adapter, by inserting it into the headphone jack of a smartphone or MP3 player, you can listen to your favorite songs through the car radio. Such an adapter costs about 150 rubles, which is practically nothing nowadays..
There is a more expensive option. In this case, the MP3 player itself is made in the cassette form factor. It has a slot for an SD card, a battery that allows it to work autonomously for about 6 hours, and control buttons. Comes with USB charger, remote control and headphones. That is, this player can be used as a regular MP3 player, or you can insert it into the radio jack and listen to it like an audio cassette.
Such a device costs around 800 rubles. Its disadvantages can be attributed only to the fact that on some models you can hear how the gears rotate, compensating for the operation of the tape drive, and the transmitting head does not always clearly coincide with the player’s head, due to which the sound quality suffers a little..
However, there is a solution to these problems. Having disassembled the device and lubricated the gears with grease, you can solve the first one. The sound quality, if necessary, can be improved by correcting the position of the transmitting head..
2. MINI MP3 PLAYER.
The dimensions of this player are really small and allow you to embed it in any convenient place – both on the dashboard and directly into the radio tape recorder itself.
With such a modest size, the player can play audio from a flash drive, receive air in the FM range and play music from another source via a Bluetooth connection with it. This functionality allows you to significantly expand the capabilities of the standard car audio system, especially if it cannot reproduce digital formats due to its technical capabilities. This miracle of technology costs, depending on the manufacturer and the seller’s greed, from 160 to 350 rubles.
The kit includes instructions, cables for connection and a remote control.
By the way, you can install this player in household cassette recorders, and even in active speakers..
So if the hands grow out of that place and there are some skills in working with tools, this option is not just a budget, but a gift.
3. MP3 ADAPTER FOR STANDARD AUDIO SYSTEM.
It is possible to improve the standard car audio system, which has a connector for connecting a CD-changer, with a corresponding digital player. Knowing the manufacturer of the stock audio system, it is quite easy to choose the appropriate adapter with the connector at the end that will suit your audio system. The player is capable of playing audio files from both a USB flash drive and an SD card.
You can also connect to it via the AUX connector. Audio files are controlled by the standard audio system buttons: the “head” perceives this adapter as a CD changer. In addition to a wired connection, the adapter is able to receive audio files via Bluetooth and provide a hands-free telephone connection – the kit includes a microphone.
The small size of the device makes it easy to place it in the glove compartment of a car. Such a device costs from 2,000 to 3,500 rubles, depending on the model of the audio system installed on the car.
4. FM TRANSMITTER.
There are many variations on the market today on the theme of such an adapter, which allows you to listen to audio files from a digital carrier by tuning the car receiver to a frequency similar to the transmitter. However, this FM transmitter seemed to us interesting primarily because the display and controls are remote, which makes it more ergonomic. Recall that, basically, the transmitters are made in the form of a monoblock, and this in turn – due to the sometimes inconvenient location of the cigarette lighter socket – makes it difficult to use them. The quality of telephone communication, which the transmitters also support via Bluetooth, suffers especially from improper placement. Cause: The built-in microphone is very far from the driver’s face.
The device, divided into two parts, is devoid of these shortcomings..
On one end of the wire, there is a power plug with two USB sockets, one of which can be used to transfer data from a USB flash drive, and the other as a 2A charging connector. At the other end, a display with controls, a microphone and a microSD card slot. And in order to make the transmitter more convenient to use, its head is attached to the instrument panel with a magnet, the location of which is pre-selected by the driver.
Such a device costs about 700 rubles and fits organically into most car interiors..
5.1DIN MP3 / FM PLAYER WITH BUILT-IN SPEAKERS.
Very often, new car owners do not want to bother installing an expensive audio system. This happens especially often when “music” is bought into a working machine, for reasons of “just mumbling”. In this case, you should pay attention to an audio system with built-in speakers. The maximum you need to do when installing it is to insert it into the place intended for the radio tape recorder and connect the power.
It will take about twenty minutes, no more.
It must be said that such an audio system can practically do the same thing as its older brothers. That is, it plays digital formats from a flash drive or SD card, supports file playback via Bluetooth and provides hands-free phone calls. And it looks quite modern.
Of course, one should not expect high-quality sound from her, but she will be able to brighten up the working day of the driver of a dump truck or excavator. Such a device costs about 1000 rubles.
6.1DIN MP3 / FM PLAYER WITH PHONE HOLDER.
This unsightly car MP3 / FM player is interesting in that, in addition to the functions of a regular digital format player and radio reception, it is equipped with a standard smartphone holder. Flip up and down part of the bezel, you get a full-fledged smartphone holder with a screen size of up to 6 inches.
A fixed smartphone can function as the display of this device when paired with it via Bluetooth. The output power of the device is 60 watts per channel, of which it has four.
And in order for the radio tape recorder to better fit the interior, the backlight of the display and buttons can be made blue, red or green. It remains to add that such a device costs about 1,700 rubles..
7.1DIN MULTIMEDIA WITH ANDROID 7.0.
Multimedia complexes are more and more firmly registered in the interiors of cars. This is understandable: large screens and wide functionality are modern and in demand. It’s nice when there is a device in the car that is in one person and a powerful media player that can digest both audio and video files, and an entertainment complex with Internet access, and navigation, and a rear-view camera monitor, and a Wi-Fi router, and many what else. However, most of these head units have a 2Din installation size.
But what if you really want to have such a system, but there is no place for it on the center console in principle?
In this case, you should pay attention to the 1Din-system with a “add-on” 7-inch screen. In terms of functionality, it is no different from those that have a larger installation size, and organically fits into the interior of almost
any car without reworking the center console.
You just need to keep in mind that such a “radio tape recorder” is no longer 1500 or 5000 rubles. For a high-quality “head” will have to pay, depending on the level of equipment, processor power and preinstalled operating system, from 9,000 to 15,000 rubles, which is comparable in price with a mid-range smartphone or a good tablet. But, as they say, “hunting is worse than bondage”.