How to install Bluetooth into your car radio

Car stereo Bluetooth adapter: AUX, USB and cigarette lighter connection

Hello all! Bluetooth adapter in the car is a small device that acts as a switch for the interconnection of the car radio and other gadgets. Such a device is recommended for use while traveling, as it can play songs from the paired smartphone, control them without distracting the phone.

Bluetooth adapter for car stereo: AUX, USB and cigarette lighter connection

Main appointments

Bluetooth adapter for car radio implements a couple or three main functions:

  1. Acts as an intermediary between the file carrier (any portable gadget with a file system) and the audio playback system.
  2. By putting the adapter in the car, a wireless connection to the paired device is ensured, without the need to use your hands to interact with the device.
  3. Allows you to listen to music and video, exchange data, tune in and listen to your favorite FM-wave radio station.

Some bluetooth modules for your car radio are equipped with more functions. It all depends on the selected model.

Pros and cons of using

Bluetooth module for the car stereo is dominated by a mass of positive options:

  • Implemented for most devices with AUX output;
  • Realizes a stable connection and excellent sound;
  • Compactness;
  • Different design and design, you can buy what you like;
  • Connection and setup is done without outside help.

The disadvantage is that the USB Bluetooth adapter for the radio takes one single jack for the audio output. But this disadvantage can be bypassed by some tricks.

Types of Devices

There is no single concept of receiver for the boombox. You can choose from what is on the market with adjustments for your car radio. Each and adapter has its positive and negative sides, so get acquainted with each and pick up what you see fit.

FM Transmitter

Bluetooth adapter for car stereo: AUX, USB and cigarette lighter connection

The FM transmitter type of adapter is very popular among car enthusiasts in Russia. This adapter is paired with the cigarette lighter socket. Allows you to listen to music, receive calls from your smartphone, listen to the radio. A huge disadvantage of the adapter – it must always be connected to the cigarette lighter. Additional disadvantages are:

  • Not aesthetically pleasing (it’s bulky);
  • Intersection of FM-waves – while driving, if the car next to listen to the same wave, there will be interference and hissing.
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The popularity of the receiver is due to the low price and availability of this type of bluetooth adapter at gas stations, auto goods stores, radio markets.

It is recommended to buy the product by touching it in person and checking its functionality. You can order online if you have plenty of time. On Aliekspress and other online stores can come across devices with unfinished options. For example, there is no function to add audio from your phone, but the option to talk is present.


Bluetooth adapter for car stereo: AUX, USB and cigarette lighter connection

This type of adapter is similar to a regular flash drive. Some models are virtually indistinguishable from a USB-flash. This receiver plugs into the USB port of the car radio and activates a Bluetooth hotspot to pair the car radio with other devices. The device has a limited permanent memory access, akin to a regular flash drive. The car radio reads data as if a standard USB flash drive was connected to it.


  • Small price;
  • Small size;
  • Variety of colors and designs of models;
  • Can be connected to any player with a USB port.


  • Communication quality is on the verge of being “acceptable”, as sound may be lost or “stutter”;
  • Not all boomboxes are ready to work with such devices, even if they have a USB port;
  • If you use USB charging for your smartphone, you will need to separately take an adapter from the cigarette lighter to USB for cars.

This option of bluetooth adapter will be of interest to car owners who have no audio input in their car radio. In this case you can sacrifice the sound quality. But if there is a possibility, it is recommended to improve the sound quality with the new car radio with wireless pairing module integrated inside.

If you own a Japanese car radio, you can buy a special adapter which allows pairing and listening to radio stations of your native country. It doesn’t matter if you use the power of your car radio or car radio + Bluetooth receiver.

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USB bluetooth AUX adapter

Bluetooth adapter for car stereo: AUX, USB and cigarette lighter connection

This is the best version of the adapter, because it uses AUX output for quality signal reception and sound playback, and solves several problems simultaneously:

  • Plays audio from your flash drive or phone;
  • Receives incoming calls.

The device is universal, because it is essentially an adapter from SD-format to USB-device. In this transition and lies the principle of the device. When you connect the adapter, it receives power and plays digital audio. This pairing format resembles the operation of a wireless device.

This bluetooth adapter resembles a CAN adapter. The latter serves as a device to simplify the control of the car radio. Modern cars have electronics with CAN bus, which allows displaying any information on the car radio.

The main advantage of USB / AUX car radios is that it plays music of high quality, accurately, without stuttering and tearing. The other positive qualities:

  • Stable operation;
  • Small size;
  • Virtually all head unit interfacing.
  • High price;
  • No aesthetics;
  • Always busy AUX-Output.

Instructions for the homemade installation of the adapter into the boombox

The sight of wires and flash drives sticking out of the boombox, busy ports and inputs cause some discomfort to motorists. This can be avoided by installing a Bluetooth device inside the car radio. First, remove the radio from the car and take it to the workplace, where you can do the following with it:

  1. Remove the outer casing of your car radio.
  2. Use a tester to test the pin jack and the USB adapter port.
  3. Install the pins.
  4. Open the box and solder off the connector with a soldering iron.
  5. You should end up with a small board.
  6. The wires with the pins identified before, connect to their own places and attach to the front panel, make a mold to melt the tendril.
  7. Assemble the finished device into the housing and plug it into the machine.
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Once connected, you should do an initial bluetooth pairing with any gadget. Activate the Bluetooth option on your smartphone, locate the car hotspot and connect to it. The initial connection will require you to enter a password. The standard one is “0000,” but you can find out exactly what it is from the adapter’s manual.

Adding Bluetooth to your car stereo!

Requiring simultaneous connection to the AUX socket on the radio + a separate power supply for this adapter, if this radio has a USB socket!

At least, it is better in such a case to use another cheap USB adapter: Link – one, two:

By the way, inside they are exactly the same))):

Without any tangled wires, chargers, etc… You just plug it into the USB of the radio and that’s it!

These adapters emulate a “flash drive”. and the car radio sees them as an ordinary USB “flash drive” with music (i.e. by connecting to the adapter from the phone via Bluetooth and pressing play on the phone, the sound is transmitted to the adapter and played back immediately by the car radio). Plus you can control the tracks from your phone as well as from the boombox itself! Most boomboxes will even display the track names. Yes, and through this adapter can even make hands-free calls (it has a microphone), but the quality is usually not so good.

But I, like many do not like when sticking out of the panel a huge “flash drive” (and break it can accidentally), so I advise to put directly into the radio (solder to the board)!

This is done very simply, no tricks in it, just look at the pinout USB connector:

You open casing of a radio, find usb input, open a Bluetooth adapter, unsolder plug “dad” from the adapter (it is not needed anymore) and solder the circuit which is now parallel to radio’s usb input:

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If you want to keep working ability of usb connector for reading “usual flash cards”, it’s enough to solder tumbler at the power supply line of our board:

So, you’ll get something like this:

In case if your radio’s USB connector is on the removable front panel, solder the same adapter board to the removable front panel to the USB input (if there is enough space in the front panel), or just test the contacts going from the USB connector on the removable front panel in the connector, connecting the panel with the carcass of the radio, and already solder to these contacts inside the carcass.

If you have a radio without USB, it can be solved by taking an adapter with AUX output. Hook up to the AUX input of the radio (and its absence, already look options in place) and look on the board where the boombox take +5V to power the board, well, and the land put on the case – everything.

UPD 24.11.19: I read a little more info about Bluetooth on Habra. I analyzed used/supported codecs by this whistle:

It turns out that the whistle supports SBS HQ codec – Sample rate up to 48kHz on, mono/stereo, 8 subchannels and 16 blocks in the audio frame. Bitpool is supported up to 53, and this gives an audio bitrate of 328kbps. (at the level of the same aptX!) Here is a comparison:

Although, if you take for example a device that is incommensurably more expensive – headphones from Samsung (Gear IconX) for ~10k, there is another song! It uses the same codec SBC, but with cut Bitpool to 37, which gives a maximum of 239kb/s. Which significantly affects the sound quality…

So who have problems with sound quality – look at the settings of the phone (android version), or look for that shits in the ether at the frequency of Bluetooth – because of this device and lower the connection speed, and hence the bitrate of audio!

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