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How to Play Music In The Car Without Aux /Bluetooth?

The latest cars have the facility of seamless connectivity to enjoy music while driving or travelling.

However, if the car is a decade old, it’s likely that you won’t have the convenience of Bluetooth or the option to connect your smartphone through an AUX (auxiliary) cable, making it challenging to listen to your preferred music or podcast.

Fortunately, there are several ways to listen to your favorite music from your phone in your car even if you don’t have an aux or Bluetooth connection.

These include using an FM radio transmitter, a USB connection, Apple CarPlay, a Cassette adapter, an SD card, a 30-pin adapter, as well a new deck.

In this article, we have mentioned these methods with step-by-step instructions for your reference.

What Are The Different Ways to Connect Smartphones to Car Stereo?

Below are going to provide a list of different ways with detailed step-by-step instructions for your reference.

1. Bluetooth FM Transmitter/FM Radio Transmitter

Even if your car is lacking an AUX input or Bluetooth connectivity, you can wirelessly connect your phone or other audio devices to your car stereo and stream your music with a Bluetooth FM transmitter. Here is a simple guide on how to set it up and start jamming to your tunes while driving.

  • Insert the Bluetooth FM transmitter into the power outlet or cigarette lighter of your vehicle.
  • Now Make sure to select an unused FM frequency on your car’s radio and turn it on. It’s crucial to choose a frequency that is not being used by any local radio stations.
  • Activate Bluetooth on your mobile phone and connect it to the Bluetooth FM transmitter. The FM transmitter should show up as a discoverable device in your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
  • Once you have connected your phone to a Bluetooth FM transmitter, you can open the music app and enjoy playing your favorite music.
  • Set the FM transmitter’s frequency to match the one you selected on your car’s radio. Doing so enables you to hear your music through the speakers of your car.
  • Now you can adjust the volume levels on your car stereo or phone to your preference.

If you follow these instructions, you can enjoy your favorite music while driving using a Bluetooth FM transmitter, even if your car lacks an AUX input or Bluetooth connectivity.

2. Cassette Tape Adapter

In case your car comes with a cassette player and you wish to listen to your favorite music from your phone, a cassette tape adapter can come in handy. Below is the step-by-step guide for your reference.

  • Connect the cassette tape adapter to the headphone jack of your phone.
  • Now you must insert the cassette tape adapter into the phone’s headphone jack.
  • Switch on your car’s stereo and tune the input to cassette mode.
  • Adjust the volume on your phone to a comfortable level and play some music.
  • In case of poor sound quality, attempt to adjust both the phone and car stereo’s volume levels. You can also improve the quality by cleaning the cassette tape adapter’s head using a cleaning solution or alternatively, replacing the adapter.

Note : Not all cassette players may be compatible with the cassette tape adapter, and the quality of sound produced can be influenced by the adapter’s quality and your car’s cassette player condition. Nevertheless, using this method remains an affordable and straightforward way to play music in your car, even without an aux or Bluetooth connection.

3. USB Connection or SD Card

In the absence of aux or Bluetooth connectivity in your car, having a USB port or an SD card slot can still allow you to play music. The following steps will guide you on how to use these options:

a. USB Connection

  • First, you have to copy your music files to a USB drive that is compatible with the USB port in your car.
  • Insert the USB drive into the car’s USB port. The car stereo system will automatically detect the drive and start playing the music stored in the USB.
  • Using the controls on the stereo, you can adjust the volume, change the tracks, and skip among the songs.

b. SD Drive

  • First, you have to transfer the songs to an SD card. Make sure to choose an SD card that is compatible with the car’s SD card slot.
  • Copy your music files to an SD card that is compatible with the SD card slot in your car, ensuring that the files are in a format supported by your car stereo.
  • Once you have the SD card with your music files, insert it into your car’s SD card slot. Your car stereo should automatically detect the SD card and start playing the music.
  • Utilize the controls on your car stereo to browse through the music tracks, adjust the volume, and skip between songs.

Note : The exact procedure may differ slightly based on the brand and model of your car stereo. For detailed guidance on how to play music using a USB drive or SD card, please refer to your car’s user manual.

4. iPhone/iPad Adapters/30-Pin Adapter

If your car lacks AUX or Bluetooth connectivity, and you have an iPhone or iPad with a 30-pin connector, there exist alternative methods for playing music in your car.

  • Dock connector to AUX cable : One way to connect your iPhone or iPad to your car stereo is by using a dock connector to an aux cable. This cable features a dock connector that connects to your device and a 3.5mm jack that plugs into your car’s aux input.
  • Dock connector to USB cable : Another way to connect your iPhone or iPad to your car stereo is by using a dock connector to a USB cable. This cable allows you to connect your device to your car’s stereo via the USB port, while also charging your device during use.
  • FM Transmitter : An additional option for linking your iPhone or iPad to your car stereo is to use an FM transmitter that connects via the dock connector. This transmitter broadcasts the audio from your device over an FM frequency, allowing you to tune in to the signal on your car stereo.

Note : If you have an iPad or iPhone with a Lightning connector, then you will require a Lightning to 30-pin adapter to utilize the methods. Moreover, the connectivity options available for integrating your device with your car stereo can differ depending on your car’s brand and model.

5. Android Auto and Apple Car Play

Both software systems, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto let you connect iOS or Android devices to your car stereo. Though they are designed to be compatible with USB or Bluetooth connectivity, you can also use them without Bluetooth or AUX connection. Below is the right process to do so.

a. Android Auto

  • Using a USB cable, you have to connect the car’s USB port to your phone.
  • Now switch on the car’s ignition and wait until the car’s stereo boots up.
  • On your smartphone, open the Android Auto app. However, if the app is not opening automatically, then you can tap the app icon.
  • To begin using Android Auto, simply follow the provided instructions for setup. You may be prompted to allow the app access to your phone’s data and location services, in which case you will need to grant the necessary permissions.
  • After the successful setup of Android Auto, you have the option to control music playback from your phone using either voice commands or the touchscreen interface.

b. Apple CarPlay

  • To establish a connection between your phone and your car, utilize a USB cable to plug your phone into the USB port in your vehicle.
  • Ensure that the car’s ignition is turned on, and patiently wait for the infotainment system to start up.
  • Access your phone’s settings, then navigate to General followed by CarPlay.
  • From the list of available devices, choose your car as the one you wish to connect to.
  • To set up CarPlay, simply follow the provided instructions and respond to the prompts accordingly. Depending on the specific requirements, you may be prompted to grant permission for the app to access data and location services on your phone.
  • Upon successful setup of CarPlay, you can utilize either the touchscreen interface or voice commands to control music playback from your phone.

Note : Not all Android and Apple devices are compatible with these systems and some may need additional configurations to utilize Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. For assistance, you can always consult your car’s manufacturer or check out the website of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.

6. New Deck: Upgrading to a New Car Stereo Unit

If you want to play music using a new deck, then below is the step-by-step process for your reference.

  • First, you have to purchase a car stereo deck that is compatible with your car’s model.
  • Now you can either personally install or seek professional help in installing a new car stereo deck that is designed to be compatible with the specific make and model of your car.
  • Depending on the capabilities of the car stereo deck, you can connect your audio device, such as a smartphone, to it through various methods such as Bluetooth, an auxiliary cable, or a USB cable.
  • Activate your car stereo and choose the suitable audio input source.
  • Utilize your preferred music app or another audio source on your smartphone or another device to play music.
  • For adjusting the volume, navigating the music library, or skipping tracks, you can use the car stereo deck’s controls.

Note : The steps involved in the process may differ depending on the type of car stereo deck and the devices you are using to play music. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly review and adhere to the installation instructions for your specific car stereo deck. This prevents any damage to your car or the deck and ensures proper installation.

Which Method Delivers the Best Sound Quality?

When you are considering playing music in a car using Bluetooth or AUX, a direct connection with a USB cable or auxiliary cable provides the best sound quality. Because

The reason behind this is that a direct connection enables the transfer of uncompressed audio data from the audio device to the car stereo, which results in superior sound quality with minimal distortion.

Nonetheless, the actual quality of the sound depends on various factors such as the quality of the audio device, car stereo, and cables employed for the connection.

Other factors like the car’s interior acoustics and the type of audio file being players can also have an impact on the overall sound quality.

So, it is advisable to use top-notch audio cables and audio files to guarantee the most exceptional sound quality attainable.

Does Connecting Through These Methods Result In Any Loss Of Sound Quality?

The quality of sound can differ based on the connection methods and audio equipment quality being utilized. Generally, connecting the car’s stereo system to your phone using a USB cable or auxiliary cable can provide the best sound quality compared to using cassette tape or Bluetooth FM transmitter.

But the audio equipment quality, audio files quality, and the car’s interior acoustics can impact the sound quality as well. And it is essential to set the car stereo and phone to their highest audio quality settings for the best sound quality. In addition to that, some of the car’s stereo systems come with in-built audio controls like equalizers which let you adjust them for better audio output.

Additional Tips for Playing Music in Car Without AUX/Bluetooth

Below are some of the tips that help you play music in a car stereo without Bluetooth/AUX

  • Dedicated Music Player : In cases where your phone lacks an audio output, or you do not wish to deplete your phone battery life by playing music, you may utilize a specialized music player that has an SD card slot or USB port to play music files.
  • Use an Audio Splitter : If you’re on a trip with a friend and both of you desire to listen to the same music, an audio splitter can be used to connect two sets of headphones or speakers to your phone.
  • Check for Alternative Radio Stations : When using an FM transmitter, it’s recommended to search for alternative radio stations through scanning to identify one with minimal interference or superior sound quality.
  • Refrain From Using Your Phone While Driving : Prior to commencing your journey, ensure to prepare your music playlist or choose your preferred music options. Distracted driving is hazardous and can lead to accidents.
  • Portable Speaker : An additional effective alternative for playing music in a car without AUX or Bluetooth connectivity is to include a portable speaker. By connecting your phone either via Bluetooth or a cable, you can relish in your preferred tunes while on the move using the portable speaker. However, it’s crucial to ensure that the speaker is securely and safely positioned in your car to prevent movement while driving.

Play Music In The Car Without AUX/Bluetooth – FAQs

1. How to play music in the car without an AUX port?

Ans: There are several ways to play your preferred music from your phone to your car without AUX or Bluetooth, such as using an FM radio transmitter, a cassette tape adapter, a USB connection, sound routing apps, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

2. My car doesn’t have an AUX cord, how can I listen to music?

Ans: You can use Bluetooth or an FM radio transmitter for playing music if you do not have an AUX cord.

3. How to play your music in a car without AUX?

Ans: If your car stereo does not have the AUX feature, then you can utilize an FM transmitter, USB connection, or a cassette tape adapter.

4. How to connect a phone to a car without Bluetooth or AUX?

Ans: If there is no AUX or Bluetooth case, then a USB port is a common feature in most modern car head units, which can be utilized to play music from a smartphone or memory stick via a USB cable.

5. How can I use USB as an aux in the car?

Ans: To use USB as an AUX in your car, you can connect your phone or music player to your car stereo using a USB cable. Simply plug one end of the USB cable into the USB port on your car stereo, and plug the other end into your phone or music player. Then, select the USB input on your car stereo and start playing your music. This will allow you to listen to your music through your car’s sound system, even if your car doesn’t have an AUX input.

6. How do I connect my phone to my old car?

Ans: One of the simplest methods for connecting your phone to your car stereo is by using an auxiliary cable. To do this, you can plug one end of the cable into the headphone jack of your mobile device and the other end into the auxiliary input of your car’s audio system.

7. How do I connect my phone to my car for music?

Ans: There are several ways of connecting a smartphone to a car stereo for playing music. Some of the easiest ones are FM radio transmitters, Bluetooth, auxiliary cables, or USB. You can refer to the information provided in this article for further assistance.

8. How do I play music from my phone to my car via USB?

Ans: If your car has a USB port, you can transfer your music files to a USB flash drive and insert it into the USB port to play your music. For more details, you can refer to the information mentioned in this article.

9. How can I play music in my old car?

Ans: For cars with an AUX port, a Bluetooth to AUX adapter can be used to connect and play audio wirelessly. If the car has a tape deck, a Bluetooth-to-tape adapter can be used. In the case of a car with only an FM radio or an FM radio/CD player combination, a Bluetooth FM transmitter can be used to play audio without the need for a wired connection.

10. Why is my USB not playing music in my car?

Ans: If your stereo system is not recognizing the USB device that you have connected, one solution to try is disconnecting and then reconnecting the device. This simple step may help establish a proper connection between the stereo and the USB device.

11. Is a Bluetooth adapter for a car stereo without aux the best solution if there is no aux?

Ans: For a car stereo without an AUX input, a Bluetooth adapter may be a viable option to provide wireless audio streaming. It can pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices like your smartphone and send audio to your car stereo using an FM radio signal or a cassette tape adapter. However, the performance may be affected by elements like the signal strength and interference from other radio signals, and the audio quality might not be as excellent as a straight-connected connection. Because of this, it might not be the finest option in terms of audio quality, but it is a practical and cost-effective choice.

12. Can I connect my phone to my car speakers using Bluetooth?

Ans: If your car has Bluetooth connectivity and supports the A2DP protocol, you can connect your phone to your car speakers wirelessly. Put your car’s audio system in pairing mode, search for available Bluetooth devices on your phone, pair the two devices, and start playing audio from your phone through your car speakers.

13. How to connect a speaker to a phone without Bluetooth?

Ans: If you want to connect a car’s stereo speaker to your phone without using Bluetooth, then using an AUX cable or FM transmitter is the best solution. We have provided detailed steps in this article.

14. Is Bluetooth better than AUX?

Ans: AUX cables generally offer better sound quality compared to Bluetooth, but the difference may not be significant unless you have a keen ear for audio quality. Therefore, for most casual listeners, the difference in sound quality may not be noticeable between the two options.

15. How do I convert my cassette tape to aux?

Ans: You can use a cassette tape adapter to change your cassette tape into an aux connection. You can play music from any device with an auxiliary output, such as your phone or an MP3 player, by connecting your cassette player to it using the cassette tape adapter.

16. What are the benefits of having an FM Bluetooth adapter (Bluetooth receiver) for the car’s audio system?

Ans: If your car has an auxiliary or mini-plug input, using an aux cassette tape adapter offers a direct connection to your car’s audio system. This eliminates potential interference issues that may occur when using FM frequencies to transmit sound to your car radio.


Despite the lack of these standard connectivity features, you can still enjoy listening to music in a car without an AUX or Bluetooth connection. If your car’s stereo has a USB port, then you can move your music files into a USB drive and plug it into the port.  

Apart from that, you can also use an FM transmitter for broadcasting the phone’s audio over the FM frequency that the car’s radio has picked up. The next option is using a cassette adapter if in case your car has a cassette player.

If none of them is viable, then you can always use a portable speaker and connect it via Bluetooth or cable. Or else, you can use a dedicated music player that features a USB port or SD card slot. It is crucial to prioritize safe driving practices and avoid any distractions that may be caused by playing music or using electronic devices while operating a vehicle.

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