How to play music from phone to car without aux or Bluetooth

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Jamming with music in the car is something we all love!

Thanks to the technology we have today, all we need to do if we want to play music, is connect our Bluetooth or aux and play it. It’s very easy, especially for many new car models.

Unfortunately, sometimes we don’t have that option, but we want our road trip to be fun, and what’s fun without music, right?

That’s the problem. If you are traveling in someone else’s car, there is the possibility that you have no option of a reliable connection with your device via Bluetooth or any aux available. It could be a really big disappointment when your favorite playlist is not playing, and you stayed up all night making it for an upcoming road trip.

Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to save your traveling days!

Here is an ultimate guide on How to Play Music from Phone to Car Without Aux or Bluetooth!

These options relate to the old car audio system.

Play Music with Frequency Modulated (FM) Transmitter

Don’t worry, almost every car has an FM transmitter, even the really old ones. It is a really convenient, simple, and also cheap way to play music, plus we get a fairly decent sound quality.

Let’s check how FM Transmitters work

1. Connect your FM transmitter to the Cigarette Lighter Pot or Power Socket – this way your FM transmitter gets the power source

2. Turn on the audio system and select the FM radio signal

3. Choose FM radio frequency that is not used – no radio station is available on it

4. Pair the same FM frequency in your audio system with the FM transmitter

5. Match your smartphone’s Bluetooth with the FM transmitter and play your music

6. Another option of using an FM transmitter is without connecting your phone with it. Simple, choose the FM station and play music with the car stereo in an old-fashioned way

This option can be used for all cars that don’t have an Aux-In port. It is a very easy way to do it. Play any music on the car stereo from your iPhone or Android by using an FM Bluetooth adapter.

Using this way of playing music really depends on the type of phone you have. The Bluetooth function is maybe more for up-to-date cars, which leaves us with an option of using these transmitters by plugging in the power socket.

Even though the audio quality is not at an enviable level, many people are pleased with the outcome and it is certainly better than being without music at all!

Play Music with Universal Serial Bus (USB) Connection

This is maybe the easiest and most convenient way to play music. The USB input is maybe a better option compared to the FM radio.

A lot of cars include a USB port, allowing you to easily play music from your phone to your car.

The USB ports are THE ONLY option that permits us to play music from our phone to car without using a Bluetooth device or AUX port.

Having a USB port can be very useful because it has few advantages.

Firstly, a USB port can be used as a charging outlet for your mobile device, and secondly, it can be used for converting data and playing music. This way, you can have access to a reliable connection and a clear sound quality.

There is another awesome option for using this auxiliary cable and that’s an option that permits you to make hands-free calls while driving.

The best thing is that by using a USB input, you cannot only connect your phone but the USB flash drive and other external hard drives as well.

Moreover, if you want to have these options in your car, you must have a compatible USB cable for it to function.

A USB cable is usually available when purchasing a smartphone, but it is recommended to have a spare USB cable in your car because this way you will never forget to bring it on a road trip. Of course, the USB input really relies on the type of phone you have. For Android users get a USB-C cable or a micro-USB cord, and for iPhone users get an Apple Lightning cable.

How to Use It:

1. First, check if the car has a stereo support connection to your smartphone

2. If it does, in the car’s audio system find one of the USB ports. It is usually located in front of the car’s head unit

3. Plugin the auxiliary cable – USB. Connect one end of it with your phone and the other end with the USB port of the car’s audio system

4. The smartphone will automatically recognize the connection of the USB with the other device

5. Set the car stereo to USB mode. In some cars, it will be done automatically, but sometimes, you will need to go through the audio system’s menu and set it

6. Now you should be able to play your smartphone’s music in the car. Enjoy and jam along with your favorite playlist

If your car has the availability of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, use that!

Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay can bring apps to your car display so you can focus on driving. This helps you to control features like navigation, taking calls and messages, and control your music easily.

Play Music with Cassette Tape Adapter

This is maybe the oldest way of transferring music to your car speakers.

Usually, the audio system cassette slot is typical for old cars, but some new ones still come with it.

Play music with the cassette adapter in an old model of car that has a unique car stereo.

If you have a cassette slot, the Bluetooth cassette adapter will function as a wireless connection. The role of the cassette tape adapter is to connect your phone to the car stereo so you can play music from phone.

How to Do It:

1. For this, you need to have a cassette tape adapter of 3.5 mm. Plugin the cassette adapter into the system’s cassette slot

2. The other end of the cable connects with the phone’s headphone slot

3. Now the adapter should be connected to both devices

4. Find a tape option in the audio system’s menu and press play

5. Listen to music and enjoy your ride

This is the very old way of playing music, and it is not so common to see it yet still, some cars own it.

If we compare it to other options for transferring music such as FM transmitters, USB ports, let alone AUX, a Cassette Tape Adapter doesn’t have a lot of advantages.

The audio system and the sound quality are not so good, plus you will have left an auxiliary wire waving around the dashboard. Another, not such a great thing is that nowadays smartphones don’t have a 3.5 mm port. This means that you are not able to play music this way.

The problem can be solved by using an older phone with a compatible port or just buying an appropriate adapter.

If, in any case, you cannot catch a clear signal with FM transmitters or Power Socket Adapter, the Cassette Tape Adapter will be fine with okay audio quality.

Stated options differ in the convenience of use and audio quality.

Overall Conclusion

If we don’t have the opportunity to use AUX, the USB option provides excellent audio quality and will do more than fine.

The bad thing is that in some cars we are not able to use them. On the other hand, the FM radio transmitter and Cassette Tape adapter are very convenient and work in most cars, but they provide poor sound quality.

For those who have newer cars, there are plenty of Google’s Android auto apps as well as apps compatible with Apple devices.

Having more advanced options in the car stereo, you have more superiority. Hands-free Bluetooth option, better sound system, phone screen straight option, and many more.

But we still love jamming and enjoying music in any way possible!

That’s why we tried to cover all the possibilities of playing music without using AUX and Bluetooth.

Choose the option that suits your car, connect it with your available device, and start the tunes to roll on!

Overall rank from the best to the worst ways of playing music in your car by using your phone:

1. USB Input

Using a USB auxiliary port., you will get very good sound quality and if you use Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, your driving will be safe and sound.

2. FM transmitter

This one will not provide such great sound quality and it requires Bluetooth connections. If you have it, you can use hands-free Bluetooth, if not, just use FM stations.

3. Audio system’s Cassette Slot

This might be the least favorable option, but it’s still better than nothing. This way of listening to music is typical for older cars, but you can make calls hands-free, which is a pretty good feature.


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Hi, I'm Red, the Chief Editor of Red Diamond Audio.