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It is common for product names to be fairly descriptive, just alike the Spotify Car Thing. On the other hand, is like the Spotify Car Thing in that its name elicits curiosity about what it is. It was announced and released in limited quantities early last year, and CNET recently examined what it’s like to live with the device. However, sales are restricted to select Premium subscribers, so most consumers won’t have the opportunity to find out for themselves what the Car Thing’s deal really is, if it even exists.
Audio streaming firm Spotify said this week that it will begin selling to the general public. In light of the fact that you can now get one for $90 and that the hype train is preparing to depart once more, I believe it is time to revisit what the Spotify Car Thing is and what it is not.
What Is Car Thing
It’s the Spotify Car Thing that stands out in the packaging. The Car Thing is just under an inch thick, so a USB cord can be plugged in underneath to connect it to your car’s 12-volt adaptor and your computer. Spotify Car Thing comes with a vent clip, a dash mount, and a CD-player mount, as well as a step-by-step guide for getting started.
What Isn’t Car Thing?
Instead of adding audio streaming connectivity to your car, you can simply use the Spotify Car Thing to stream music from your phone. Because it’s only a remote control, connecting your phone through Bluetooth or an auxiliary analogue input to your car sound is required. The Car Thing won’t do you any good if your vehicle doesn’t already support one of these features. This might be a deal breaker for many older vehicles.
In addition, the Car Thing will be superfluous if your vehicle already supports a standard like Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. A wider choice of audio streaming services, app kinds (such as parking or messaging apps), and navigation can be integrated with these larger touchscreen technology.
To use the Car Thing, you must have a $10-per-month Spotify Premium subscription, which severely limits its utility if you ever stop using or paying for the service.
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What is Spotify Car Thing? How It Works In Your Car
Bluetooth-enabled audio player Spotify Car Thing aims to enhance your in-car listening experience with Spotify. To put it another way, this gadget might be able to keep you from buying a new car. Even if it’s just for a little while. As an alternative to the down payment on a modern car, a $89.99 Spotify Car Thing may appear to be an attractive option because of its low price and well-known brand name.
Using an aux wire, USB, or Bluetooth, the Car Thing communicates with your phone. Once you’ve connected Car Thing to the 12-volt plug in your car, you’re ready to go. In that vein, we had little trouble getting everything up and running. In addition, the controls are easy to grasp. Rotating dial and smaller back button are located on the right side of the 4.0-inch touchscreen for those times when you don’t feel like simply swiping and tapping. The 2.5-inch-tall Car Thing has four little, tab-like buttons at the top that function as configurable presets. Alternatively, you can use the “Hey, Spotify” command to get closer to a favorite song, artist, or podcast.
Gadget You Need For Spotify Car Thing
You’ll need a smartphone, a Spotify Premium subscription, and a $89.99 gadget to utilize Spotify Car Thing Spotify Premium subscriptions start at $9.99 for ad-free listening and escalate for two- or six-person family accounts (a student rate is $4.99) as of this writing; the student pricing is $4.99.
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A new Spotify Car Thing upgrade for Apple iPhone users was announced just a few weeks ago and includes controls for non-Spotify media as well as the ability to answer phone calls from the display. So far, there’s no word on when Android users will be able to take use of these conveniences. The Spotify Car Thing may now add music to your listening queue regardless of whether you’re using Android or iOS. In addition, a night mode is in the works.
All of these improvements make the gadget a lot more useful. When it comes to “phone stuff,” we’re all familiar with Spotify’s Car Thing website’s assertion that a smartphone should be able to manage it all. It’s possible to use Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on a 6.5-inch or 7.0-inch screen and still get excellent all-around functionality.
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In the same way that Siri and Alexa, the popular voice assistants from Amazon and Apple, and even your car’s in-dash infotainment system, let you find and play music, Spotify’s voice search does the same. Simply say “Hey Spotify,” then tell it exactly what you want it to do, whether it’s a song, album, artist, playlist, station, or podcast.
Think of it like way: “Hey Spotify, play my favourite songs,” or “Hey Spotify, shuffle today’s biggest hits.” Even if you have your windows down or your volume turned up, four microphones on the top of Car Thing will pick up what you’re saying.
Using the dial instead of voice control can be a good option if you’re a bit old-school and prefer to manually select the sort of audio you want to listen to, or if you just prefer to be in control of your Spotify library.
With the dial, you can easily create a playlist that will get you where you need to go, whether it’s at work, home, or on the road. To quickly and easily find the audio you’re looking for, simply turn the dial.
3. Search For Song Over Voice Command
Similar to other automotive entertainment systems, Car Thing lets you browse your Spotify library and search for songs using voice commands. You can also slide to browse further or skip, or you can tap to play…
4 Preset Buttons to Choose From
Using Car Thing while driving necessitates that the gadget be equipped with buttons that can assist you save time. Your favorite music or podcasts are just a few buttons away when you get into your car.
Is Car Thing Right Choice For You
The Car Thing is a great feature for Spotify Premium subscribers with older automobiles. The Spotify-specific settings offered by the Car Thing are not available on in-car touchscreens, making it a unique feature that is difficult to imitate. Many older vehicles, including SUVs and trucks, have a small audio display panel that only shows one line of information. A color screen, replete with cover art on Spotify Car Thing, is a huge advance over the original.
You’ll see Spotify Car Thing’s strengths more clearly the more experimental you are, and even against Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
“Senior editor Aaron Gold said, “I’m not a frequent Spotify user, but after playing with the Car Thing, I might be.” Using merely the “Hey Spotify” voice command, I was able to explore Spotify in an entirely new way.”
The Spotify Car Thing’s voice commands can also play (or display) other audio content, such as the current selection. The Car Thing’s utility rises with use, as it does with any new technology. With the Car Thing, you lose some of the flexibility you gain.
As Gold explained, “it came up with something related after playing a particular song I requested, then I asked it for additional music by that particular artist.” “No matter what I asked it to play—”80s road trip music,” “relaxing classical music,” or “harpsichord music,” it always answered accurately.” Because the Car Thing can play any song you request, there’s no need to stock up on music on your phone.”
Alternative Of Spotify Car Thing
To avoid becoming distracted while driving, there are alternatives to using your car as a mobile media center. In addition to Alexa skills for news, numerous music streaming services, and radio, Amazon’s screen less Echo Auto and its ilk also provide Alexa skills. Upgrade your car radio to support Android Auto or Apple Car Play if you have the funds available. This is a straightforward choice for older cars, but newer models with more integrated stereos may make the process more difficult.
It doesn’t matter if your car has Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. This is where the Spotify Car Thing comes into its own as a more valuable feature. Listening to music and podcasts on the go has never been easier thanks to Spotify Car Thing.
The Car Thing costs $89.99. It’s a more advanced streaming option than a phone clipped to a vent. (Gold suggests including a few months of Spotify Premium with every purchase). As more people acquire newer cars with phone mirroring and voice controls that can handle just enough of the Spotify Car Thing’s capabilities, it becomes increasingly difficult to recommend. When it comes to attempting to avoid buying a new car at today’s inflated prices, what are your options? Consider the Spotify Car Thing.
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