Remember when we used separate devices for everything in our day-to-day lives? We had navigation units (or printed directions) to tell us where to go, cell phones to make calls, and e-mails that were usually done through computers.
Well, the Spotify Car Thing brings back some nostalgia because it’s a device solely intended to play Spotify through your car’s radio. That’s right, instead of using your phone with the Spotify app playing, you can have a separate player that does the same thing but in a nicer fashion. It has a touchscreen that you can scroll through, voice recognition, and physical buttons for presets.
However, for those not willing to plunk down $89 for it, here are five other alternatives.
1. Echo Auto — $49
Have you ever wanted to say “Alexa!” in your car? Now you can with Echo Auto. This device does what the Spotify Thing can do and more. According to Nerds Chalk, “You play Spotify or Apple Music, stream Audible, listen to iHeartRadio, SiriusXM, and basically do anything else you can do with your phone – as well as all sorts of other Alexa-oriented tasks like checking your email, making phone calls, or accessing your Smart home accessories through voice control.”
Needless to say, the Echo Auto can do whatever you normally do at home, but in your car, and for less than the cost of a Spotify Car Thing.
2. Satechi Bluetooth Media Button — $29
Have you ever wanted steering-wheel-mounted audio controls on your car? If so, the Satechi Bluetooth Media Button is the answer. This little button-size device can connect to your phone and allows you to change the track and adjust the volume right from your fingertips. You can mount it on your car’s steering wheel, dashboard, or anywhere else that works.
3. Kinivo BTC 450 — $39
The Kinivo BTC 450 doesn’t have a fancy screen like the Car Thing, but it can play Spotify or any other app through your car’s speakers. The BTC 450 connects to your phone via Bluetooth and allows you to make phone calls or listen to music wirelessly. It also mounts anywhere you want, provided the attached power cable can reach it.
4. Soundbot SB360 — $19
If you want something that’s a fraction of the price of the Spotify Car Thing, the Soundbot SB360 is it. The Soundbot is a media button that allows you to pause, play, and skip music tracks on your phone. It also has a built-in microphone so that you can use it for phone calls. It’s not a direct replacement for the Car Thing, but it gets the job done when it comes to playing music through your car’s speakers.
5. Your trusty cell phone — $Free (basically)
When all else fails, you can always use your trusty cell phone. No, we don’t mean that you should stare at it intently while driving to toggle the Spotify app. But we mean connecting it via Bluetooth to your car’s system and playing the Spotify app before you set off. Of course, you probably already do that anyway.
Spotify Car Thing alternatives
While there are only a few direct alternatives to the Spotify Car Thing in the market, there are definitely cheaper ways to get the same job done. Don’t get us wrong, the Spotify Car Thing is a good device, and we’re sure many users enjoy it in their cars. But for the other drivers that want a cheaper solution, these five devices should suffice.