How does an AUX line work

Connect mobile phone to car radio: This is how it works via USB, AUX cable & Bluetooth

If you want to listen to music in your car or use the hands-free function, you usually need the radio to connect to the speakers. More and more people want to connect their cell phones to the car radio. We'll show you how this works very easily via cable (USB, AUX) or Bluetooth.

While many everyday vehicles are still equipped with a car radio that has a CD or cassette player, the smartphone generation uses a completely different medium for media consumption on the go. Music streaming services like Apple Music or Amazon Music Unlimited offer almost all music on demand.

Some users also have their own MP3 collection on their smartphone that they would like to use. Others just want to play phone calls through the speakers in the car. All you have to do is connect your mobile phone to the car radio. In the following we present you the simplest options.

Connect the mobile phone to the car radio: USB and AUX cables

Many more modern radios already have an audio input (AUX), which allows you to set up an uncomplicated connection to your mobile phone. Alternatively, this also works via a USB cable. The smartphone can also be charged using a USB port.

Connect the mobile phone via the AUX cable

  • The audio input is usually located on the front of the car radio. Here you can easily connect a 3.5 mm jack plug that transmits the audio signal directly to your car speakers.
  • The AUX input is also rarely installed in the center console or near the cigarette lighter.
  • Note: You need a special audio cable that has a 3.5 mm jack connector on both sides. You then put one side into the cell phone, the other into the entrance on the car radio. Then set the radio to AUX mode so that the sound is output through the speakers.

Buy 3.5mm audio cable from Amazon

If your smartphone does not have a 3.5 mm jack input, but for example a Lightning port or USB-C, a jack adapter can help. Files cannot be transferred over this cable.

Connect your mobile phone with a USB cable

  • New radios, such as the JVC-KD-R871BT, now also have a USB input on the front.
  • Some of these radios can use it to play files directly from a USB stick.
  • In order to output the sound of your smartphone through the loudspeakers, you only need to connect it to the car radio via a USB cable.
  • Often the smartphone can also be charged via the USB port on the car radio if you have connected it with the cable.

Buy car radio with Bluetooth, USB, AUX from Amazon

Connect mobile phone to the car radio: Bluetooth and FM transmitter

If your radio has a Bluetooth receiver, the smartphone can also be connected wirelessly. Another “wireless” alternative is an FM transmitter.

Connect your smartphone to the radio via Bluetooth

  • Simply activate the Bluetooth function on your radio. In some cases this is already activated or permanently switched on. This often happens with retrofitted Bluetooth receivers.
  • Now all you have to do is pair your mobile phone with the car radio via Bluetooth. Then you simply play your music on your smartphone or start a conversation with the hands-free function activated.
  • If you have problems with the connection, we will show you in two further articles what you can do if you have problems with the Bluetooth connection on an iPhone or Android device.

Do you want to change the name of your Bluetooth device? In the photo gallery we show you how this works in Android:

Connect your smartphone to the car via an FM transmitter

  • The audio signal of your mobile phone can be received with the normal radio via an FM transmitter.
  • Here you connect your smartphone to the FM transmitter via Bluetooth and then set a frequency. This can then be received in the FM mode of the car radio.
  • There are cheap FM stations on Amazon. Some of them also use a simple cable to connect to your phone. The device usually draws electricity from the cigarette lighter.

Buy FM transmitter from Amazon

There are definitely enough ways to connect your cell phone to your car radio. If none of the suggested methods help or if you have a very old radio, you can also buy a special cassette that transmits the sound.

What do you think of online shopping?

You don't want to miss any news about technology, games and pop culture? No current tests and guides? Then follow us on Facebook (GIGA Tech, GIGA Games) or Twitter (GIGA Tech, GIGA Games).