Best wireless CarPlay adapter 2023
Convert your wired CarPlay to wireless.
CarPlay is Apple's voice-activated assistant for use in the car. It's a convenient way to connect your best iPhone to your vehicle. CarPlay allows you to use many of the iPhone's features while you drive with a simplified home screen on your car's touch display. You can access Siri, control your music, make phone calls, navigate to your next location in Maps (or third-party map app), respond to Messages, and more. CarPlay originally used to require you to plug your iPhone in, but some newer vehicles now offer wireless CarPlay.
My five-year-old car has wired CarPlay, and sometimes I wish it were wireless. I don't want to have to physically plug and unplug my iPhone 14 Pro every time I enter and exit my car in order to use CarPlay. So, I tried out some of the popular wireless CarPlay adapters to see if I could easily convert my wired CarPlay to wireless. As it turns out, there are some good ones on the market that are seamless and easy to use.
The best wireless CarPlay adapters
You can always trust iMore. Our team of Apple experts have years of experience testing all kinds of tech and gadgets, so you can be sure our recommendations and criticisms are accurate and helpful. Find out more about how we test.
Quick and easy
Plug this little box into your vehicle's CarPlay port, follow the prompts to connect it to your iPhone, and you're good to go! It works seamlessly to convert my wired CarPlay to wireless. When I'm listening to a podcast at home and hop into my car, the podcast continues on CarPlay without my having to do a thing. It comes with both a USB-A and USB-C plug, so you're covered no matter which port your car has.
This one conveniently offers two ports, a USB-C port on one end and a USB-A port on the other. This means that you can use the included USB-C to USB-C or USB-C to USB-A cables, depending one what your car has. Alternatively, you can use any USB-A (to whichever your car port is) cables you already have.
Looking like Apple's own Magic Mouse, this handy adapter offers a sleek aesthetic as it converts your wired CarPlay to wireless. It comes with both cables you might need, depending on your car's port: both USB-C and USB-A. Plus, it's one of the least expensive options.
Compact and inexpensive
This well-priced little dongle offers three plug-in options. If you have room, you can plug it directly into your USB-A port. If there isn't room for the adapter, or if you have the USB-C port, you can use one of the two included cables instead: USB-A and USB-C.
Black or white
This no-frills dongle comes in two color options, black and white. There's no separate cable; just plug this one directly into your car's USB-A CarPlay port. If your vehicle has only a USB-C port, you'll want to select a different adapter on this list.
Shades of gray
This clever little button design looks good and comes in several shades of silver and gray. The cable it comes with is for a USB-A port, so if your car has the USB-C port then you'll need to provide your own USB-C to USB-C cable.
This adapter is equipped with the latest 2.4GHz/5.8GHz dual-band WiFi and 5.0 Bluetooth, so it's fast. It also comes with a dual-tipped cable: USB-C and USB-A in one, so you're covered no matter which port your vehicle has.
One of the least expensive options on this list, the simple adapter can be plugged into either a USB-A or USB-C (with the included plug adapter) CarPlay port. It's easy to set up and go.
YouTube and Netflix
Entertain your passengers on long car trips with this device. The CYCPLAY works with both CarPlay and Android Auto. It allows you to access your YouTube and Netflix accounts wirelessly, so you can play videos via CarPlay/Android Auto. As the driver, you should use with extreme caution, of course.
Wired is tired
While my wired CarPlay port does charge my iPhone, it does so very slowly. If I do need to charge my iPhone, I'd rather do so on my much faster MagSafe car charging mount.
Have you ever plugged your iPhone into CarPlay, reached your destination, and left your phone in the car? I have. But using CarPlay wirelessly makes that far less likely to happen.
Why do you need wireless CarPlay?
CarPlay is pretty awesome even in its wired form, so you don't need to convert it to wireless functionality. But it sure is convenient. I love being able to just hop into my car and go. Your phone stays in your bag and you don't have to take it out and plug it in. With one of these adapters in place, your CarPlay starts up automatically. So, you can listen to music and other entertainment, picking up right where you left off in the house. You can easily get directions to where you're going. You can make and take phone calls and respond to texts on the road totally hands-free while your iPhone remains in your pocket or bag.
Which is the best wireless CarPlay adapter for you?
I found the OTTOCAST Wireless CarPlay Adapter to be the fastest of the adapters I tried. However, the difference in start-up times was minimal, so I'd just go with the one that has the features you prefer.
Get more iMore in your inbox!
Our news, reviews, opinions, and easy to follow guides can turn any iPhone owner into an Apple aficionado
Karen is a contributor to iMore.com as a writer and co-host of the iMore Show. She’s been writing about Apple since 2010 with a year-long break to work at an Apple Store as a product specialist. She's also a contributor at CNET. Before joining iMore in 2018, Karen wrote for Macworld, AppAdvice, WatchAware. She’s an early adopter who used to wait in long lines on release days before pre-ordering made things much easier. Karen is also a part-time teacher and occasional movie extra. She loves to spend time with her family, travel the world, and is always looking for portable tech and accessories so she can work from anywhere.