Here’s The Thing About The Spotify Car Thing

Spotify is a streaming service. This tech company also experiments with innovative ways to deliver music and podcasts to listeners. Many people would love to listen to Spotify in their cars. But those without the most technologically advanced vehicle may not have an infotainment system that can support Spotify. So Spotify took matters into its own hands. The company is selling a device that plays music in your vehicle: the whimsically named Spotify Car Thing.

What is the Spotify Car Thing?

The Spotify Car thing is the tech companies latest device. | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The Spotify Car Thing is the latest gizmo from Spotify | Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Do you like to listen to music to destress your commute? Maybe you catch up on podcasts in the car. Perhaps you even meditate while driving. If you have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, running your Spotify App while driving is a snap. But what about the rest of us? Spotify has us covered with the Spotify Car Thing.

The Spotify Car Thing is a bit of hardware the size of some cellphones. Spotify calls it a “smart player.” The device features voice control, a touchscreen, selector knob, large “back” button, four preset buttons, and one settings/mute button. Its body is rubberized plastic and it can mount to your HVAC vent, CD tray, or an included sticker.

You can use the Spotify Car Thing to play anything from your Spotify account. Just use voice commands, the control knob, touchscreen, or buttons to control the Car Thing. You can navigate your library or discover new music. When you choose something to listen to, the Car Thing will play it over your radio.

Spotify Car Thing specs

  • Width: 5 inches (124mm)
  • Height: 3 inches (64mm)
  • Depth: 1 inch (20mm)
  • Weight: 3 oz (90g)
  • Screen: 4 inch (measured diagonally)
  • Construction: unibody
  • Surface: textured rubber

How does the Spotify Car Thing work?

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You could call the Spotify Car Thing a remote control. This is because it must pair with your smartphone to play your Spotify audio. To work, the smart player must be Bluetooth paired with your phone. Compatible phones use iOS 14 and Android 8 or above.

The Spotify Car Thing does not have its own data plan. It uses your phone’s Wi-Fi or mobile data to stream audio. This smart player also does not have its own power source: you must plug it into your car’s 12V port. Once your Car Thing is running, simply connect your phone with your stereo via a USB outlet, Bluetooth, or AUX cord. If you would like, you can also connect with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

The Car Thing also features a noise-suppressing microphone. It is always running proprietary adaptive interference cancellation technology to better hear your voice above the road noise. This way, you can simply speak to the Car Thing to choose your audio, without taking your hands off the wheel.

The Spotify Car Thing used to be free, but now it has a waitlist and costs $79.99

For several months, Spotify ran a Car Thing trial. Spotify Premium members could express interest in the device and receive one for free. Unfortunately, the company has ended this promo. At the moment, the Spotify Car Thing costs $79.99.

In addition, the smart player currently has a waitlist. Anyone with a Spotify account–free or paid–can sign up for the waitlist. But only Spotify Premium subscribers can use a Spotify Car Thing. So if you do not have Premium, you will need to sign up once you receive a Car Thing.

If you do get a Spotify Car Thing, have a blast listening to your favorite tunes on the road. Just remember, don’t listen to your music too loud to hear other vehicles.

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