Will your new car come with the latest music system?


Driving while listening to our favourite tunes is one of life’s simplest pleasures..

Music just seem to make everything, better…

Who remembers trying to pull the tape reel gently out of the cassette deck when the car stereo tried to ‘eat’ the tape? (Okay, showing my age here!)

But things have come a long way since then. Radio listening in the car and indeed anywhere, remains strong across the country, despite the massive increases in popular streaming services.

But, what advances have been made in evolving the humble car stereo into something more interactive. Here are two heavy contenders that are just hitting the market.

With over 70 million user-generated driving-related playlists on Spotify, the music streaming platform has just announced it’s newest exploration: a limited release of Car Thing, a new smart player that fills your car with music, news, entertainment, talk, and more.

Right now, it’s only available to eligible users in the U.S., Car Thing enables you to play your favorite audio with little faffing about, as it has your favourite audio already playing before you pull out of your driveway.  The Car Thing will allow users to switch between their favorite audio as they drive, as controller the device is via voice, touch and physical controls.

According to Spotify:

The limited release of Car Thing is not meant to compete with in-car infotainment systems. Instead, it’s another step in our larger ubiquity strategy—creating a truly frictionless audio experience for our users, wherever they are and however they choose to listen.

Car Thing from Spotify is currently a limited product launch, and only available in the U.S. on an invite-only basis. For a set time, Car Thing is available at no cost (excluding shipping) to select Spotify listeners. Car Thing requires a paid Spotify Premium subscription plan and a smartphone with WiFi or mobile data connection.

We will let you know as soon as we hear about it being released here!

Sonos has partnered with Audi to equip the automaker’s Q4 E-Tron with sound…



The California-based audio company is best known for home speakers (we have one at home and like it). The news was confirmed earlier this month by Sonos CEO Patrick Spence after Audi published images of the Q4 E-Tron’s interior showing the Sonos logo.

Audi went on to publish a bunch of photos showing off the interior of its next EV, the Q4 E-Tron, with no mention of the collaboration in the press release. Audi emphasized its new augmented reality heads-up display, but hifi heads  took note of the Sonos logo inside the car.

“We want to be in all the different categories of audio, and a big chunk of that is in auto,” said Spence during the Q&A of a scheduled investor event. “Our first partnership of bringing our sound experience to automobiles is with Audi.”

The Sonos set-up in the Audi Q4 e-tron is a “premium sound system” according to Audi’s press release. It’s will be fitted as standard to Vorsprung versions and will be available in other variants of the car as part of the optional Comfort and Sound pack.

It uses the Sonoamic Panorama algorithm to process audio and distribute it to 10 speakers inside the cabin. The algorithm claims to “use stereo recordings to generate a three-dimensional surround sound, where it places the individual sound sources on a virtual U-shaped sound stage. This gives the listener the impression they are sitting in the middle of the orchestra or band”.

Of course, this is not the first time we have seen collaboration between HiFi brands and car manufacturers – we have seen Bose, Bowers & Wilkins, and Bang & Olufsen already in this space.

But is this does feel different somehow. The opportunity to have our favourite music or podcast available to us as we drive is becoming obvious to car manufacturers as they make it an integral part of any new car.

As long as we can still listen to radio in the car, I’m happy 🙂    

Thanks for stopping by. Greg G
You will find me here on Wasted.ie or on-air on Radio Nova
Nova Nights: Weeknights from 7 pm Nova Nights with Greg Gaughran
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