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Wi-Fi and Networking Reviews
15,518 Reviews

iO PLAY review

£199 inc VAT

Manufacturer: iO

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Integrate your iPod and iPhone into your car with the iO PLAY, a system that enables you to stream music from your iPod or iPhone to your car stereo via Bluetooth.

Integrate your iPod and iPhone into your car with the iO PLAY, a system that enables you to stream music from your iPod or iPhone to your car stereo via Bluetooth.

Ever since the iPod replaced the walkman and CD player as our means of playing music, the issue of how to play music in the car has never really been solved - a situation the iO PLAY aims to resolve.

Before the iO PLAY the result was a form of time-stasis - our cars have more archaic music setups than our grandparents' houses. Tapes from the late 1990s, the odd CD from a few years ago - we usually resort to listening to the radio.

Virtually all of our music is stored on the iPod or iPhone and, without a solution such as the iO PLAY, accessing it in a car has been something of a chore. None of the in-car solutions have worked with enough success for us to whole-heartedly recommended them. Tape converters work but sound terrible, while FM transmitters can sound quite good, but rarely work in built-up cities such as London.

iPod integration is something that the car industry has dabbled with, but hardly got to grips with. Many new stereo systems feature 3.5mm minijack inputs enabling you to plug your iPod directly to your stereo via the headphone socket. This works but is hardly an elegant solution.

So iO PLAY's attempt at integrating an iPod or iPhone to your car comes as something of a revelation. This system replaces an existing in-car stereo system, and enables you to stream music from your iPod or iPhone to your car stereo via Bluetooth. A Bluetooth dongle that plugs into the bottom of the iPod or iPhone is provided, click it into the bottom of your device and any music you play is streamed through your car speakers.

Inside the iO PLAY box you get an Amplifier, a Bluetooth dongle, a control console, a microphone, and connection leads. The whole thing needs to be installed behind your car stereo and the only visible part should be the control console.

The iO PLAY Control Console provides a volume dial, plus buttons to shuffle songs and answer calls

The installation is a job for an expert, and will require you to place the amplifier and leads behind the dashboard. To that end the iO PLAY comes with a voucher that covers the cost of installation. The idea is that you purchase the iO PLAY, use the supplied phone number to book an installer who will come and put the system into your car, or you can take it along to a local Halfords who will install it for you.

Once the system is installed, using the iO PLAY couldn't be easier. Plug the dongle into the iPod, or iPhone and press play. The radio cuts out and the music is streamed through your speakers.

The iO PLAY control console has a dial to control the volume and two buttons, which act as back and forward.

NEXT PAGE: using the iPhone with the iO PLAY

iO PLAY Expert Verdict »
Supported Profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP, MPA
60W RMS, Class D Amplifier, ISO Connection
iO PLAY Amplifier: 100x81x24mm
iO PLAY Bluetooth Module: 70x81x24mm
iO PLAY Console: 70x31x23mm
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

For just £199 the iO PLAY is a superb solution to the problem of integrating your iPod or iPhone into a car. The audio sounds superb for music, playback is straightforward, the whole system has no clutter whatsoever, and the idea of selling a complete integrated kit including the installation voucher inside the box is a smart answer to a long-standing problem. We advise you to pop along to Halfords and buy one.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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