Spotify unveils new in-car hardware named 'Car Thing'

Car Thing
Car Thing (Image credit: Spotify)

What you need to know

  • Spotify has unveiled a new in-car audio entertainment system.
  • It's called 'Car Thing' and is aimed at people with cars that don't support more modern audio solutions like CarPlay or Android Auto.

Spotify has today unveiled a new in-car audio entertainment system called 'Car Thing', aimed at drivers of older cars that don't support more modern audio solutions like CarPlay and Android auto.

From TechCrunch:

Spotify this morning officially announced the limited U.S. release of its first hardware device, the oddly named Car Thing, aimed at Spotify Premium subscribers. The new device — which Spotify is surprisingly offering for free plus shipping — has evolved substantially from the version that first began testing in 2019. This upgraded model has a touchscreen, a big, grippable knob for navigation, voice control features, and four preset buttons at the top for favorite music, podcasts or playlists, similar to Spotify on mobile devices.

Spotify says Car Thing is meant for "more seamless" and personalized in-car listening. The company notes that most cars in the U.S. (the only place you'll be able to buy this initially) are 11 years old and last on average around 18 years, meaning many drivers in the U.S. aren't yet ready for systems like CarPlay or Android Auto. The specs? From the report:

The new Car Thing itself is a lightweight (3.4 oz.), thin (4.6″ x 2.5″ x 0.7″) music and podcast player that offers a combination of voice control, knobs, buttons, and a touchscreen display for navigating its menus and selecting the media you want to hear. You can choose to use set up the device to work via Bluetooth or an AUX or USB cable, depending on how you usually connect your phone to your car stereo to play music.

Car Thing can be mounted in different ways to your dashboard or vents, and also comes with a car charger and USB-C cable. Car Thing also uses Spotify's new 'Hey Spotify' voice command

Car Thing

Car Thing (Image credit: Spotify)

For a limited time, Car Thing will be available during a limited release period at no cost, with users only paying shipping. You can join the waitlist at

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9