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Spotify is letting more people buy its weird Car Thing in-car audio device

Car Thing
Car Thing (Image credit: Spotify)

What you need to know

  • Spotify is allowing any of its US-based customers to buy its Car Thing in-car audio accessory.
  • People will need a paid subscription to use the accessory.

Music streaming service Spotify is giving more people the chance to get their hands on its weird Car Thing in-car audio accessory. Having previously limited who could get one, Spotify now says that anyone in the United States can sign up for the chance to give it $79.99 in exchange for the itty bitty screen.

Car Thing is a small display that is retrofitted to your car. It then connects to your iPhone in a way similar to CarPlay but then connects to your in-car entertainment system via either a cable or Bluetooth. That's how the music gets to your car's speakers.

Car Thing also supports the "Hey Spotify" wake phrase to help with handsfree listening, too. You can get one of your very own, too. So long as you're in the United States and have a spare $80, that is.

Today, we're expanding our limited U.S. release of Car Thing to users who are interested in purchasing the device. Our goal is to bring our entire catalogue of music and podcasts to a wider range of users across an even wider range of vehicles.

The caveats:

  • Select users in the U.S. who have signed up for the Car Thing waitlist will be among the first to purchase Car Thing for $79.99.
  • All U.S. Spotify users—Free and Premium—can sign up for the Car Thing waitlist.
  • Car Thing does require a paid Spotify Premium subscription plan—whether that's an Individual, Family, or Student plan—and connects to your smartphone for mobile data.

If you have a car with CarPlay you probably don't need to consider picking this up. But for those who don't, and live in Spotify rather than Apple Music, this could be a cool option.

Oliver Haslam
Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.

Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.