4 Zune Car Audio Solutions
This page describes 4 different Zune car audio solutions.
Because unless you are from another planet, each and every one of us listens to something while driving. For most it's music, but many listen to audiobooks or talk shows as well.
So if you own a Zune but aren't listening to your Zune in your car, you're missing out! Better hurry up and read this page.
This is especially critical if you have a Zune pass. If you do, of course you want to listen to the music and podcasts you download in your car!
Here are 4 different techniques to get that Zune playing in your car ASAP. The right one for you will really depend on what kind of car stereo you currently have.
#1 The Suicidal Maniac: Using Headphones
WARNING: Do NOT try this one at home!
If you are interested in committing suicide here's a technique that I've learned from a "friend".
Your Zune already comes with headphones. Why not use them to listen to it while driving?
Simple. No accessories required. No car stereo required either.
All joking aside, this is stupid. Sooner or later you'll either hurt yourself or someone else. Worst case someone will get killed. Not cool!
Do everyone a favor and DON'T use this technique.
Even my "friend" swears he's done this only a couple of times. With headphones in only one ear.
This was just to get by until he received one of the other accessories below.
Listening to your Zune in your car is pretty much a matter of life and death. Literally.
I still SMACKED him on the head. He doesn't do it anymore.
And unless you want me to smack you on the head, you aren't going to do this either. Right? RIGHT? Ok.
Instead choose any one of the following 3 methods. They'll keep you both safe AND rocking out to your Zune. Now there's a win-win situation, if you ask me!
#2 Old Skool: A Car Cassette Adapter
Does you still have a car stereo with a cassette player? If so, you need a car cassette adapter.
It has a headphone jack that provides a direct audio connection from your Zune to your stereo.
It's inexpensive and simple to hook up. Yet it gives great audio quality.
Coby CA-747 Dual Position CD/MD/MP3 Cassette Adapter
Some car cassette players will accept a cassette tape with the tape opening facing the side. Others require the tape opening to face the front or the back.
My point? If the attached cable is on the wrong side, then it won't fit in your player. Double check that the adapter is compatible with your player before you buy it.
Or just buy this dual-position car cassette adapter from Coby. It should work no matter what kind of cassette player you have in your car. An added bonus is that you can carry it with you to use in other cars without worrying if it will fit.
You really can't go wrong with a car cassette adapter. Except for maybe being called Old Skool!
Learn more about the Coby CA-747 Dual Position CD/MD/MP3 Cassette Adapter.
#3 New Skool: An AUX Cable
Many car stereos nowadays come with an AUX input port. This is a great way to get a direct audio connection to your car stereo.
AUX cables are super-cheap. You just connect one end to the AUX port on your car stereo, the other to your Zune's headphone jack and you are ready to ROCK!
This was my method of choice for the last couple of years till I discovered #4 below recently.
I even upgraded my factory-installed car stereo to an after-market SONY that has an AUX port. [It can also play MP3/WMA CDs which is another reason I bought it.]
Cables To Go - 21062 - 6ft 3.5mm M/M Stereo Audio Cable (Black)
I use this 6 ft cable from Cables To Go. It's made of high quality and long enough to reach all the way to the back seat. In case someone in the backseat wants to play DJ for a day.
Plus, it doesn't hurt that it's practically FREE on Amazon.com! Minus shipping and a car stereo that has an AUX input, of course.
Unfortunately these missing pieces can add up to over $100. For a cheaper and better alternative, check out #4 below.
NOTE: If you use an AUX cable, remember to really crank up the volume on both your Zune AND your car stereo. Otherwise you may not hear anything and think that it doesn't work.
NOTE 2: Even more important - remember to reduce the volume after you remove your Zune from your car. Otherwise you might try to listen to it with headphones and blow out an eardrum.
My Zune connected to my car stereo's AUX input using the cable featured here. I still have it tied up to keep things nice and tidy. No one's playing backseat DJ in my car!
Learn more about the Cables To Go - 21062 - 6ft 3.5mm M/M Stereo Audio Cable.
#4 Raised On Radio: An FM Transmitter
For the vast majority of Zune owners, an FM transmitter is by far the best alternative.
Zune Car Pack v2
Yes, you actually heard me correctly. An FM Transmitter. Can you believe they actually work?!
For years I avoided trying an FM transmitter due to bad reviews. Like I mention in #3 above, I actually upgraded my car stereo so I did not have to use one.
What a mistake!
I highly recommend the Zune Car Pack (and specifically the v2 model) as the BEST Zune car audio solution. Click here for more information than you could even want about this Zune accessory.
Here are some of the reasons why I prefer the Zune car pack over using an AUX cable.
- Audio quality of an FM transmitter is on par with the direct audio connection of an aux cable or car cassette adapter. (I know, I'm surprised too!)
- More convenient. I leave my Zune car pack plugged in. All I have to do is hook up my Zune and I'm ready to rock.
- No need to fiddle with volume controls to get it right. With an AUX cable I really have to crank up the volume on both my stereo and Zune before I can hear anything. AND I have to remember to turn the volume down before leave the car. I've forgotten to do this a couple times and the impact to my ears was not pretty. (Luckily I haven't detected any permanant hearing damage so far.)
- My Zune remains charged. I can't think of a worst way to start my day then to go for my morning workout only to find out my Zune is out of battery. With any of the other methods on this page you'll still need an extra car charger to keep your Zune charged in the car.
Again, I can only vouch for the quality of the FM transmitter that you get with the Zune car pack. If you use a generic FM transmitter, you're on your own.
Definitely, check out the Zune car pack. I LOVE it and use it inspite of having an AUX connection in my stereo.
Learn more about the Zune Car Pack v2.
Return to Must-Have Zune Accessories
Return from 4 Zune Car Audio Solutions to World Of Zune