If you’re like me and bought a car before an iPod/mp3 jack became standard or bought a current car from a late adopting manufacturer, you want a decent way to connect your iPod to your car stereo. Enter the products from Grom Audio. I checked them out based on a recommendation from a Mazda3 forum that I frequent and liked what I saw on their website. I decided to get the Grom Audio USB/iPod interface adapter with the optional iPod control cable. On the site, they have installation instructions via pdf so you can see what it takes to install the adapter in your vehicle. They also have step by step picture guidance and links to installation videos for about 20 different cars. Luckily for me, they had a link to a Mazda3 video someone created that outlined the steps I needed to follow. The shipment arrived quickly and after viewing the video for my vehicle, I prepared for the installation.
My plan was to install the interface inside the dash near the radio using velcro tape and run the cables out through my center console to my cup-holders where my iPod usually resides. After removing some trim and the factory radio, I inserted the adapter cable into the plug on the back of the stereo where an external CD changer would normally plug into. The interface itself has two plug holes, so I hooked up both the iPod cable as well as the 3.5mm cable that was standard with the adapter in case I want to run something else through the stereo like a GPS or phone. All in all, installation was remarkably easy although I will qualify that I am pretty handy and am comfortable taking a car apart. If you are not or if the installation instructions seem a bit overwhelming, you may want to find someone who is or throw a few bucks at a car audio installer for installation.
Easy To Use
The adapter interface for my particular car, 2006 Mazda3, allows the user to control the iPod using the steering wheel controls for the audio. While I can only change tracks up and down, it is a big upgrade compared to previous vehicles I’ve owned with a factory AUX plug that required manual iPod navigation. This feature may or may not be available for your car, so check Grom Audio’s website. Plugging the iPod into the optional iPod cable also charges it. To play the iPod, I just switch my input mode on my car stereo to EX and the iPod starts right where I left off listening to it prior to getting into the car. When I switch the car off or change the car stereo input, the iPod pauses on the song I was last listening to.
Having used both factory and other aftermarket interfaces before, I have to say that this is a great product. Grom Audio now has additional options for Bluetooth adapters and kits where you can plug in a USB Memory stick with MP3 music on it. If you are looking for an audio adapter to connect your music to your car stereo at a reasonable price take a look at Grom Audio.