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Best wireless Android Auto adapters in 2023

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Best wireless Android Auto adapters in 2023


In this day of modern always-connected smartphones, it’s fair to say that the built-in navigation systems in most cars have become passé. After all, Google Maps can provide so much more detailed and current information on where you want to go, plus reliable and up-to-the-minute traffic information sourced from hundreds of drivers along your route.

While you can still prop up your smartphone with a car mount, many modern vehicles offer an even better way to stay on top of everything with Android Auto. This lets you tuck your phone away safely and use a more intuitive interface that’s geared toward in-car use — and typically presented on a much larger screen.

Unfortunately, as fantastic as Android Auto is, the significant drawback is that many cars still require you to plug your phone in to use it. Only higher-end vehicles and trims support wireless Android Auto, since Bluetooth doesn’t have the bandwidth to mirror your screen; your car needs to have built-in Wi-Fi.

However, if your car supports wired Android Auto but doesn’t have its own Wi-Fi system, all hope is not lost. The demand for an untethered Android Auto experience has resulted in a vibrant ecosystem of accessories that can get the job done by providing a bridge between the USB port on your car and the Wi-Fi on your smartphone.

The top wireless Android Auto adapters to untether your phone


An AAWireless adapter with a USB cable near its port

AAWireless

Best overall

A powerful and versatile adapter for just about any vehicle

$53 $70 Save
$17

AAWireless is a feature-rich yet affordable way to add wireless Android Auto capabilities to just about any vehicle. A removable USB gives you the flexibility to put it nearly anywhere in your car, and the companion app provides a wealth of configuration options that let you tailor it to your needs.

Pros

  • Easy to set up
  • Very configurable
  • Detachable USB-C cable
Cons

  • Some vehicles may require tweaking in-app settings
  • May need to be disconnected to charge your phone

Our favorite pick among wireless Android Auto adapters is AAWireless, an eponymous accessory from a Dutch company that’s the most versatile and compatible option on the market right now. It’s about the same weight and size as a dental floss container, but thanks to its powerful companion app it packs in everything you need to get wireless Android Auto working flawlessly on nearly any vehicle.

The box contains a six-inch USB-A to USB-C cable that should work with most vehicles; however, you can swap that out for any USB-C cable that works for your car, including a longer one if you prefer to tuck the dongle away somewhere else in your vehicle. Range won’t be a problem since it works over Wi-Fi.


AAWireless by car display

It supports Bluetooth 4.2 and dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi; Bluetooth for the initial setup and 5GHz Wi-Fi for Android Auto connectivity.

Unlike most Android Auto adapters, AAWireless includes a companion app on the Play Store that walks you through the setup process and provides a wealth of advanced configuration and customization options you won’t find on other adapters. This even includes specific settings to solve compatibility issues with certain vehicles, as well as options to tweak the experience to match your in-car display and how your vehicle’s USB ports work.

AAWireless also has a proven track record when it comes to releasing firmware updates that not only fix compatibility problems but also add new features — the company is even beta-testing an update that adds CarPlay for iPhone users, which will come in a future firmware update for all existing customers.


Carlinkit AI Box Max wireless Android Auto adapter

‎Carlinkit AI Box CarPlay Max

Premium pick

A full in-car entertainment system

The Carlinkit AI Box goes beyond a typical wireless Android Auto bridge into a full smart device running Android 13 with 128GB of storage and YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and more. It also converts Android Auto to the CarPlay protocol, so you can use your phone with vehicles that only offer wired CarPlay.

Pros

  • Full Android 13 powered entertainment system
  • 128GB of storage lets you load apps from the Play Store
  • Converts Android Auto to CarPlay for wider compatibility
Cons

  • CarPlay UI is different from Android Auto
  • Android Auto is a bit laggy compared to other solutions
  • Expensive

While it doesn’t come cheap, Carlinkit’s AI Box Max goes the extra mile, bringing not only wireless Android Auto support to your vehicle, but an entire Android-powered entertainment system. With an embedded Android 13 operating system powered by an eight-core Qualcomm Snapdragon QCM 6125 chip, the AI Box Max lets you stream YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, listen to Spotify, and even play games on your car’s infotainment system.

While you’ll obviously want to avoid doing most of these things while driving — it’s not just a good idea, it’s the law — it can still be a useful way to entertain kids in the backseat or enjoy your favorite flicks while you’re waiting to pick them up from school or out on a family camping trip. A built-in 4G modem lets you add your own SIM card to stream on the go or you can connect to your phone’s mobile hotspot over Wi-Fi; there’s also 128GB of internal storage to load up your own apps and content.

While the AI Box Max supports both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, in a rather odd twist, it converts everything to the CarPlay protocol. That can be a good thing if you have a car that supports wired CarPlay but not Android Auto, but it does mean you’ll get a slightly different user experience compared to a naive Android Auto system. There’s also a bit of lag in the conversion compared to dedicated Android Auto adapters, although it may be worth the trade-off for a device that works as a more full-featured Android entertainment system.


A Motorola MA1 Wireless Android Auto Car Adapter on a white background

Motorola MA1

Best value

Simple and reliable

$74 $90 Save
$16

Designed in collaboration with Google, Motorola’s MA1 is a plug-and-play way to get wireless Android Auto support in your car. It works on a wide range of vehicles, but the lack of configuration options means you’ll want to double-check that yours is supported before buying.

Pros

  • Very easy to set up
  • Reliable connection
  • Broad vehicle compatibility
Cons

  • Non-removable USB-A cable
  • Lacks advanced configuration options
  • Not compatible with all vehicles

Motorola’s MA1 was one of the earliest Android Auto adapters available from a more well-known company, and it was so popular that it was hard to get your hands on one for the first few months after it launched. This wasn’t just because of the Motorola branding but also the fact that it was designed in collaboration with Google, giving customers even more confidence in its reliability and compatibility.

That wasn’t an empty promise, as the MA1 works surprisingly well on a broad range of cars and offers a plug-and-play setup with no additional apps to download. Just pair your car with Android Auto over a wired connection, swap it out for the MA1, pair it up over Bluetooth, and you’re good to go.

It should work on most cars, but there are some that are known to be incompatible, such as Mitsubishi, so like any adapter on this list, it’s important to do your homework before making a purchase. The USB-A cable is also non-removable, so you may need to factor in a USB extension cable or a USB-C adapter, depending on your make and model of car and where you want to connect it.


A Motorola MA1 Android Auto adapter.

While the Motorola MA1 is one of the easiest devices to use with broad compatibility, there’s not much you can do if you run into problems with your vehicle, as there’s no app to tweak the configuration or update the firmware. It’s also not as smooth at handling multiple smartphones when they’re both in the car at the same time since there’s no way to control which one it connects to. There’s a button that sometimes — but not always — works to switch to the other paired phone, but it’s easier to have the person who doesn’t want to use it switch off Bluetooth to avoid this.

Still, as long as it works with your vehicle, and you don’t have to deal with multiple phones regularly, it’s one of the simplest and most reliable wireless Android Auto Adapters you can buy.


Carlinkit 5.0 wireless Android Auto adapter

Carlinkit 5.0

Best of both worlds

An ideal solution for Android and iPhone families

The Carlinkit 5.0 is an ideal device for families who share a car among both Android and iPhone users, as it supports both sets of software, bridging wired Android Auto to wireless for your Android smartphone, and wired CarPlay to wireless for your partner’s iPhone.

Pros

  • Supports both Android Auto and CarPlay
  • Native Android Auto experience
  • Upgradeable firmware

While Carlinkit’s AI Box provides a full entertainment system, the company also makes a more straightforward adapter in the Carlinkit 5.0. This device is ideal for folks who share a car with family members who aren’t on Team Android, as it can not only bridge wired Android Auto to your Android phone but also do the same with CarPlay for iPhone users.

Unlike Carlinkit’s older adapters, this provides a native Android Auto experience on your dashboard rather than trying to squeeze the Android UI into an Apple CarPlay interface — so there’s no added lag. This does mean your car will need to support wired Android Auto, but that’s become much more common on vehicles released in the past few years.

The package comes with detachable USB-A and USB-C cables and is compact enough to stow away in your center console if you have an appropriate USB port there. While there’s no companion app, Carlinkit boasts wide compatibility and upgradable firmware to help resolve any issues down the road.


AACPlay wireless Android Auto adapter

AACPlay Android Auto Wireless Adapter

Budget pick

A no-frills adapter that gets the job done

The AACPlay is a no-frills wireless Android Auto adapter that proves that you don’t have to spend a bundle if you just want basic wireless connectivity.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Plug-and-play operation
  • Includes gel pad for slip-free mounting
Cons

  • No configuration options
  • Doesn’t handle multiple phones well

The compact design of the AACPlay lets you tuck it away anywhere, with removable USB-A and USB-C cables to match it up to whatever ports your vehicle has. It even comes with a gel pad to help you secure it in your car.

For the most part, this is a plug-and-play device that just works, although there’s no companion app or upgradeable firmware, so your mileage will vary depending on your vehicle. Fortunately, AACPlay provides a comprehensive list of the vehicles the adapter has been tested with. However, while it will work with everyone on that list, not all are equal when it comes to performance; for example, we’ve seen reports of startup times ranging between one and 20 seconds depending on the vehicle.

Nevertheless, it’s a simple and affordable device that will get the job done if your car is compatible. However, if you’re looking for something that will let you tweak configuration options or handle multiple phones, you’ll probably want to consider spending a bit more to get a more versatile adapter.


Carsifi wireless Android Auto adapter

Carsifi Wireless Android Auto Adapter

For multiple phones

A magic button to switch phones

Carsifi’s wireless Android Auto adapter is a great pick for folks who share a car, as it provides a customizable button that can be used to quickly disconnect Android Auto or switch over to another paired smartphone. There’s also an app for customizing the options and updating the firmware.

Pros

  • Customizable button for pairing and connecting
  • Upgradeable firmware
  • Companion app provides some configurability
Cons

  • Limited configuration options
  • App has not yet been updated for Android 14

If you share a car with someone you regularly travel with, then finding the right Android Auto adapter can be tricky. Most adapters work best for cars with only one driver — or at least only one driver that wants to use Android Auto — and can get confused when both paired smartphones are in the car at the same time.

While you can normally solve this by turning off Bluetooth on whichever phone you don’t want to connect, that’s a kludgy workaround. Thankfully, that’s not necessary with Carsifi, as this adapter provides a customizable “magic button” that can be used to switch between the last two paired phones with a click or two.

The button can be customized through the Carsifi companion app, where you can also set it to pause and resume Android Auto with a different number of clicks. The app also provides firmware updates when they’re available and lets you change things like screen DPI and how Android Auto starts up when it first connects. The only catch is that, as of this writing, the Carsifi app hasn’t been updated for Android 14. Hopefully, the company will do that soon, but in the meantime, it should work fine on devices running Android 13 or older versions.

Picking the right wireless Android Auto adapter


An AAWireless adapter held up in front of a Nissan vehicle

In an ideal world, every vehicle would have wireless Android Auto support built right in. However, it will likely be years before that happens. Carmakers aren’t merely being stingy by excluding wireless support for Android Auto; rather, it requires that the vehicle be equipped with not only Bluetooth but also Wi-Fi — hardware that’s usually limited to higher-end trims.

Thankfully, wireless Android Auto adapters are here to bridge that gap by providing the necessary Wi-Fi interface into your car’s USB port. However, it’s important to remember that these adapters can’t bring Android Auto to a car that doesn’t already have it; they merely turn a wired Android Auto connection into an untethered one for your phone.

Some, like Carlinkit’s adapters, can convert Android Auto into a CarPlay connection for vehicles that only support Apple’s solution, but this is an imperfect scenario at best. Not only does this give you a non-Android user experience, but it also introduces a fair bit of lag into the process. Since CarPlay had a head start, these may be useful for older cars — most commonly 2015-2018 model years — but fortunately, most vehicles released since then support at least wired Android Auto and CarPlay.

While there are some more affordable options available for those who just want the basics, the best of the bunch by far is the AAWireless adapter, which includes a companion app that lets you tweak the experience for your specific car, but even includes workarounds for the idiosyncrasies of some vehicle infotainment systems. AAWireless also has a proven track record of releasing timely firmware updates to address bugs and incompatibilities and even add new features.

For a more plug-and-play solution, Motorola’s MA1 is also a great choice. There’s no companion app — and no upgradeable firmware — but it was designed in collaboration with Google, making it one of the most compatible Android Auto adapters on the market, at least from the phone side. The wide variety of vehicle systems out there means it won’t work everywhere, but it’s one of the most compatible options right out of the box, which means you generally can’t go wrong.

Nevertheless, we recommend doing a bit of research before investing in a wireless Android Auto adapter — or at least make sure the place you’re buying it from has a good return policy. With hundreds of different carmakers, models, years, and in-car systems out there, there’s no guarantee that every adapter will be compatible with every model of car.


An AAWireless adapter with a USB cable near its port

AAWireless

Best overall

A powerful and versatile adapter for just about any vehicle

$53 $70 Save
$17

AAWireless is a feature-rich yet affordable way to add wireless Android Auto capabilities to just about any vehicle. A removable USB gives you the flexibility to put it nearly anywhere in your car, and the companion app provides a wealth of configuration options that let you tailor it to your needs.



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