New Stereo for Bluetooth Audio Streaming

I enjoy listening to audiobooks during my daily commute in Southern California. If you are familiar with SoCal roads, this means I have a LOT of time to listen to audiobooks. (If you have to deal with long commutes, whether driving, taking public transit, or walking; I highly recommend audiobooks to help make the commute much more tolerable).

The audiobooks are on my phone, so streaming from it via Bluetooth is the cleanest and most convenient to get the audio to the speakers. However, my MR2 Spyder didn’t have Bluetooth.

For a while, I used an add-on Bluetooth car adapter. This is a quick, easy, and cheap solution if you want to add Bluetooth without much fuss. It worked great and sounded fine, but I didn’t like the extra accessory hanging there. I could have hidden it, but it’s just not as simple and elegant as having it built into the stereo head unit.

The previous owner had already upgraded the original Toyota CD/radio/cassette tape head unit with a newer Pioneer MP3 CD/radio unit from a newer Scion.

Original 2002 Unit:

Newer Scion Pioneer Unit:

This is a very easy upgrade from the late 2000’s. The mounts and plugs are compatible, so simply remove and replace the unit, plug and play. No need for adapters or splicing wires.┬áIts also better than the original unit with more features… except the… uh, “cassette feature.” The one I like best is its ability to play CDs filled with MP3 files. You literally can get hundreds of songs on a CD and you can sort them by folders to play from. It still keeps the nice stock look too. When you have a soft top convertible, you generally don’t want to get a flashy expensive unit.

However, it’s missing the one feature I use the most… Bluetooth.

So… I got this even newer unit on eBay.

Even Newer Unit with Bluetooth:

It is supposed to be plug and play. I’ll post about the installation challenges and how I eventually got it to work next.

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