How To Play Music From Phone To Car Without an Aux Connection (2024)

You can play music in your car through your phone using an FM transmitter, a car audio cassette adapter, USB input, or via a Bluetooth app.

If you have an old car without an aux input, there are still several easy ways that you can play music from your phone on your car’s audio system.

Some might not give perfect audio quality, but they are a great way for you to listen to your music on your phone, without having to replace the sound system in your car.

At a Glance

  • Play music in your car without an aux connection using methods like FM transmitters, cassette adapters, USB inputs, and Bluetooth apps.
  • FM transmitters connect via Bluetooth, transmitting audio through your car’s radio for a convenient solution.
  • Cassette adapters are suitable for older cars with cassette players, providing an easy way to connect your phone.
  • USB inputs offer a direct connection with high sound quality, requiring the right cable.
  • Bluetooth apps work well in modern cars with Bluetooth connectivity, providing a hands-free and versatile option.
  • For iPhone-iPad owners, there is the option to use 30-pin adapters to connect their phones to their car stereo.
  • For superior sound quality, opt for direct connections via USB or auxiliary cables. But audio devices, car stereos, cables, acoustics, and file quality are also factors in sound quality.

Play Music From Phone To Car Without an Aux Connection

1. Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter Radio Adapter
Editor's Choice - This device transmits music to your car radio. Simply just tune your radio into the correct frequency!
2. Arsvita Car Audio Bluetooth Cassette Receiver
Cassette Aux Adapter - Very handy option if you have a cassette player in your car. There is an alternative 3.5mm cable option available also.

FM Transmitter

Using an FM transmitter is a very popular option. You generally connect your phone to the FM transmitter via Bluetooth. The transmitter will then transmit radio waves, which you can tune into on your car radio.

For example, You can set your transmitter to be at frequency FM105 and simply just change your radio to FM105, and then you will get you will be able to play audio in your car!

How do you power an FM Transmitter?

Simply connect the FM transmitter to the power outlet (cigarette lighter) in your car, which powers this.

If you want to power multiple items at once using your cigarette lighter power outlet, then you can buy a separate splitter for this.

If you go for an option like the Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter, then, this has several handy buttons that you can quickly alter the songs answer messages, and increase the volume.

Interference issue: If you have a strong radio wave from a local radio station, then this can sometimes interfere with the signal. In general, the radio wave from the FM transmitter will be much stronger than the other radio waves coming in because it’s much closer, but sometimes you can get a little bit of interference.

If that’s the case, then it’s recommended to change the FM radio wave that the Bluetooth FM transmitter is broadcasting and then change that radio frequency on your radio. If you’re going on a long journey, you may need to change the frequency a few times if you’re traveling over a long distance.


  • Easy to set up.
  • It works with all car radios.
  • It’s very affordable.
  • It uses Bluetooth, which works on practically every mobile phone.
  • You can also answer calls and change songs.


  • There can be some interference.
  • Audio quality is not as good as a direct aux connection.

Are FM transmitters legal?

In the US, low-power FM transmitters, like the option above, are perfectly legal. Anything that’s designed for use in a car is generally perfectly fine to use. The same rules apply in most countries when it comes to using small FM transmitters.

They are not interfering with radio waves for other people, so there should not be an issue. If you’re using a high-powered FM transmitter, which transmits over a larger area, then this could interfere with other radio waves. In this case, you may require a license.

If in doubt, be sure to check with the broadcasting laws of your country.

Car Audio Cassettes to Aux Adapter

If you have an old car with a cassette tape player, then you can play audio through using a car audio cassette to aux adapter.

You simply put this car audio cassette adapter into the cassette player in your car, and it connects to your phone via Bluetooth (or using a 3.5 mil jack to your phone if you bought that version of the car audio cassette adapter).

You can also alternatively get a Bluetooth cassette receiver.


  • Works with audio cassette players – even if the radio receiver on your car is broken.
  • Pretty decent sound quality: Not amazing, but it would do the job quite well and is very easy to use.


  • They generally don’t have as many features as FM Transmitters do (e.g., change song, answer calls, change volume).
  • You need to have a cassette player in your car to use one

USB Input

An easy way to play music in your car using your phone is by using a USB connector from your phone to your stereo.

Most cars nowadays have a USB input option that allows you to either use a USB flash drive and directly store music and play it when you connect it to your car, or you can use a USB connecting cable that goes from your phone to your stereo.


  • An incredibly easy way to use, a pretty straightforward method.
  • Has a decent sound quality.
  • It’s totally hands-free.


  • You have to buy a cable if you don’t have one already.
  • You need to have a spare around in case the first one malfunctions.

Bluetooth App on Phone

This is the most modern way you can approach playing music from your phone in your car. Using a free app that’s connected via Bluetooth, you can easily play music using this method.

Now, this doesn’t apply if you have an older car that doesn’t even have Bluetooth, so it’s more focused on the newer models that come with a Bluetooth connectivity option.


  • Hands-free option.
  • Listen to anything if you have an internet connection or an offline library.
  • Totally free; there are many free apps for download.


  • Needs internet if you don’t have an offline library.
  • Only for newer cars that have Bluetooth

iPhone/iPad Adapters

For iPhone and iPad owners, there is another easy way to connect your phone to your car’s sound system. The only thing you will need is a 30-pin adapter to create the connection. Also, this way, you can have a pretty high sound quality.


  • High sound quality
  • Straightforward method


  • Requires an adapter
  • Only for iPhone or iPad owners

Which Method Offers The Best Sound Quality?

When playing music in a car using either Bluetooth or an AUX connection, it should be noted that a direct connection via a USB cable or auxiliary cable tends to offer the best sound quality.

This is primarily because a direct connection facilitates the transfer of uncompressed audio data from your audio device to the car stereo, resulting in superior sound quality with minimal distortion.

However, it’s essential to recognize that the actual sound quality can be influenced by several factors, including the quality of the audio device, the capabilities of the car stereo, and the cables used for the connection. Additionally, factors such as the car’s interior acoustics and the type of audio file being played can also impact the overall audio experience.

To ensure the utmost sound quality, it is advisable to utilize high-quality audio cables and audio files. This ensures that you achieve the best possible sound experience in your car.


Those are some of the ways to play music in your car without relying on an AUX connection. While some cost some money, there are free options to consider. This still depends on what model of car you have, so make sure to check if it has all the necessary things.

You can find all the pros and cons for each method in the article, so you can pinpoint which option might not be for you. Nevertheless, these are all viable options to consider.

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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