5 Best Wireless CarPlay Adapters for Your Car

Apple’s CarPlay interface is a nifty feature that brings your phone’s apps to your car’s infotainment screen. You can carry out everything with ease, from making phone calls to navigating using Maps. But, if your car doesn’t have wireless CarPlay, it can be a hassle to fiddle with all the cables. You may even face connectivity issues. So what’s the solution, you ask? Wireless CarPlay adapters.

These Bluetooth CarPlay dongles plug into your car’s USB port and let you reap the full advantages of your Apple CarPlay — minus all the cable mess. If you’re convinced to go cable-free when driving, look at the best Apple CarPlay wireless adapters. But before that,

Note: Check your car’s compatibility with the adapters below before hitting the Buy button.

1. CarlinKit 3.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter

The CarlinKit 3.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter is one of the popular adapters. It’s small and compact and plugs directly into the car. At the same time, it’s a well-built device and establishes the connection via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

The setup process is simple. It pairs with your phone via Bluetooth first. After that, it will stay connected to your phone via Wi-Fi. The only catch is that you need to ensure that the device has the latest firmware.

Again, the speed depends on the speed between the device and your phone. Wireless CarPlay adapters are generally a tad slow compared to their wired counterparts, and this one is no different. It has a delay of around 10 seconds.

It bundles an LED light on top and glows green when working. But the green glow can sometimes be distracting, especially when driving at night. The CarlinKit 3.0 adapter has mixed reviews. While it has worked well for some users, a few couldn’t get it to work beyond a few weeks. And the almost non-existent customer service tends to sour the experience in the long run.

The company sells two variants of the adapter. The older model works on cars made between 2018 and 2019. And this variant works for cars made between 2019-2020.

2. Loadkey 2021 Wireless CarPlay Adapter

Another wireless adapter you can try is the one by Loadkey. It has a similar construction, but more premium design — all thanks to the carbon fiber material at the top. The key highlight of the Loadkey adapter is its minimum loading and boot time.

A user has reported that the Loadkey adapter works flawlessly when connected to their older iPhone 8. Again, the load time may differ from car to car. Plus, Siri voice commands work as expected. It utilizes Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for connection and shares a similar setup process with the one above. One clear advantage is that it offers a clear set of instructions.

The Loadkey wireless adapter has a big indicator on top. Naturally, it glows when the adapter operates. And as you may have expected, it is a tad distracting. Thankfully, you can always cover it with a piece of tape. It’s not as popular as the CarLinKit 3.0 adapter. However, it has managed to find respectable reviews for its performance.

3. Drimfly Wired to Wireless Carplay Adapter

The Drimfly wireless adapter brings the best of both worlds. It’s not expensive, and at the same time, brings a decent performance compared to the ones above. The boot-up time is around 10 seconds, which is decent considering the price and the competition.

Though most CarPlay adapters work on most cars, Drimfly has a list of compatible cars that you should check before buying this product. The best part is that it also supports Siri voice commands, and quite a few users have backed this in their reviews. Moreover, an additional USB port lets you charge your phone. You need to plug a cable into one end and then connect that cable to your phone.

The setup process is the same as the ones above. At the same time, it’s a small device and fits easily into most car nooks. Both the performance and the durability are comparatively better than the ones above. And that’s probably one of the reasons it enjoys a good chunk of positive reviews on Amazon.

4. Carliet Wireless CarPlay Adapter

carliet carplay adapter

Carliet’s implementation of a CarPlay adapter is slightly boxier and more plastic-y than others. However, it’s also inexpensive so the design and build quality doesn’t matter. It functions well as per reviews and is compatible with many cars.

If your car has wired CarPlay by default — regardless of the make — the Carliet adapter will convert it into the wireless version. Under the hood, a capable processor works smoothly while running apps and switching between them.

Carliet uses the 5GHz Wi-Fi network to connect to your phone, so you’re getting a faster connection. As per reviews, the Carliet adapter works as expected 8/10 times. There are some issues occasionally with random disconnections. In such a case, you need to unplug the adapter and plug it back. If you’re ready to deal with this occasionally, the Carliet adapter is a bargain.

5. Riousv Wireless CarPlay Dongle

riousv carplay adapter

The highlight of the Riousv CarPlay dongle is its small size. You can tuck it into a small compartment in your car and forget about it. What’s more is that you also get a USB-A to USB-C adapter in the box – handy for a newer car.

On the front of the dongle is an LED that indicates the connection status of your phone. Speaking of connection, users have said that their phones connect to the Riousv dongle within a minute of turning on the car’s ignition. That’s quite respectable, given that this is a third-party adapter.

As per the brand, the Riousv adapter works well with all cars from 2015, and onwards. Your iPhone needs to run iOS 10 and above as well. Just like the Carliet product, this one also uses the 5GHz Wi-Fi band to communicate with your phone. Unless you want that small form factor, the CarlinKit wireless adapter offers better value.

FAQs for Wireless CarPlay Adapters

1. Can I use a wireless CarPlay adapter with Android Auto?

The CarPlay adapters mentioned above work only with iPhone devices. So, you won’t be able to use Android Auto. However, you can get an Android Auto head unit if you own an Android phone.

2. Is wireless CarPlay better than the wired version?

Wireless CarPlay is more convenient compared to its wired counterpart. However, you may face some disconnections now and then with wireless Android Auto.

3. Does wireless Apple CarPlay drain more battery?

Yes, wireless CarPlay drains your iPhone’s battery faster since it transfers data via a Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection.

Eliminate All Cables

Wireless CarPlay adapters remove the hassles of connecting your phone to the car via wires every single time. Along with establishing a wireless connection, using Wireless CarPlay also helps you maintain the battery health of your iPhone in the long run. This is because you don’t always have to keep your iPhone plugged into the charger.

Last updated on 29 June, 2023

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