If you’re an iPhone user that also happens to be shopping for a new head unit for your vehicle, you might want to check out Oxygen Audio’s new O CAR stereo which has been designed specifically for the iPhone. The O CAR features a built-in RDS-enabled AM/FM tuner, Bluetooth connectivity and a 4-channel, 55-watt amp that links to a vehicle’s factory or aftermarket speakers. The iPhone slides into a special dock that turns it into the radio’s faceplate, allowing you to control standard car stereo functions like volume and tuning, as well as browse and play your iTunes library and internet radio station apps. The O CAR also provides hands-free calling and battery charging. It has an MSRP of $299.95, which seems a bit steep, but I’d still love to try this in my 2006 Mazda 3. I could then do away with cigarette lighter chargers, FM transmitters and other connection methods since my car doesn’t have a built in AUX-in jack.
16 thoughts on “Oxygen Audio O CAR – Car Radio Built for the iPhone”
Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
What happens if Apple makes the next iPhone a little bigger?
@Ken That’s a question I was wondering myself. It appears that they have special cases that are used. So they could make a new case for the iPhone 5. But if the new iPhone is longer, it wouldn’t fit in the dock…
Backward compatibility is a problem with any iPod/iPhone-specific devices, especially those that are dependent on the form factor.
We installed a Dual car stereo with a retractable touchscreen which connects directly to the iPod:
It works fine with the older iPods, but would not connect to the iPod Touch or any of the newer iDevices (ipod, touch, iphone). Even thought the USB connector had not change, something had. Dual Electronics was not much help.
We now just dedicate an 80GB iPod for the car and we just update the iPod when needed…it not like we have any other uses for all the older iPods laying around !!!
Of course…the cheapest way to connect a car stereo to the iPod is to use a $7 cable from Radio Shack that connects the AUX IN jack of the car stereo and the headphone socket of the iPod. Pretty sure it will work with any iDevices as the sound all come out of the headphone jack the same 🙂
@RainyDayInterns That assumes your car has an AUX IN…
If it doesn’t, one of the radio transmitter ones will work, although they are a bit more finicky, especially if there are a lot of radio stations in the area.
@DStaal That’s my issue…
I’d say 300 bucks is a decent deal, but I would like to use it with a iPod touch instead. Not an iphone user unfortunately – I wonder if it takes?
The biggest problem I see with this device at the current time is “forward” compatibility. The iPhone5 is just around the corner, and if it has a bigger form factor, it may not fit in the O’Car head unit. It was enough of an uncertainty factor to postpone my purchase of this stereo. Had it been widely available earlier, I may have been more tempted to get one, but Oxygen changed US reps and this interrupted the supply.
A youtube reviewer commented that a case is not required to hold an iPhone 3GS or 4, as well as some issues regarding its size:
Our vehicle’s radio did not have an ready AUX out, but an adapter cable provided the RCA plugs and made it possible.
Many car radios don’t have it readily available, but there are actually capable of it with the right adapter. Of course, this adapter is plugged into the back of the head unit…which means you have to pull the stereo out to put it in.
A quick search will tell you if it is possible for the one in your car.
My carradio has got a SD/MMC-slot, AUX, BT, CD-player and costs only about EURO 80,–.
Connecting the iPhone/iPod through BT goes automatically when entering the car.
Why spend so much as $300 on such a simple thing?
I bought this gadjet one week before.. After 3 days of use, it start to have some connection problems and it needs more than one reset to start work again 🙁 The o car app it`s too “poor” and it doesn`t work in backround.. I spoke with the aftersales dep. and they ask me to send them the unit for repear..
Same problems as above, but after a couple of hours driving.
It seems like the iphone looses connection to the unit an errormessage appear that says: -this unit is not optimized for this iphone.
A second later it works again, this happens often every minute for about 10-60min and Then it works for some hours again…
Guys check out ‘Car Audio Deck’ for iPhone & iPod touch, works fantastically with this:
Does anyone know if the o car works with iOS 6 ?
Works fine with iOS 6
Can I use iPhone 5 I do I hav to buy another dock holder and adopter thanks
It will not work with iphone5.
It will work with car audio deck app.
It s however a great unit as far as I am concerned. Only flaw from my perspective is that line out (RCA) is a little low for my power amps taste. I had to install a line amplifier to boost by 12 dB.
I love mine.