iPod: What do I need?

dedmiston

Member
My wife just bought a new '08 CX-9 GT and wants to plug in her iPod. She bought an AUX cable from Radio Shack to connect from the earphone jack on the iPod to the AUX port in her car. This seems pretty un-handsfree to me. I thought there would be a way for her to doc the iPod and have it charge and have playback control from the car's audio system. Can this be done or am I on crack?

Her car:

'08 CX-9
GT
Nav assist package
Rear entertainment package



Off topic: How cheesy is it that the GT doesn't come with a homelink auto-dimming mirror? A $40k vehicle with a mirror that could have come from my '65 VW Beetle?!?! We haven't bought a new vehicle in over a decade that didn't have homelink and a dimming mirror. What was Mazda thinking?
 

dedmiston

Member
By the way, just wanted to say that I did read through the posts here already and was more confused then before I read them.

I posted a new thread because I'm only trying to get the iPod to work (not iPod + Sat).

TIA
 
2 options. Neither of them are the dream scenario you may hope for.

1 - use aux port. Just like you'd expect, simply run a cable from your ipod to the aux port. There are cables you can buy that take a line-out from the dock port on the ipod, which may provide slightly better fidelity than the headphone jack. To control the ipod, you can use a wireless remote like the Griffin Airclick or iJet. To charge the ipod just plug a cigarette lighter charger in. If you get a hissing or buzzing sound, you may need to purchase a ground loop blocker (<$20) which you put in-line with the headphone cable. If you're not charging the ipod while you're listening to it, it won't be an issue.

2 - Mazda's iPod integration kit. This provides a connector to plug right into the ipod. The buttons on the steering wheel will provide the ability to fast forward and rewind to different tracks. But it inexplicably disables the screen on the ipod itself, so you can *only* navigate the ipod through the clunky car controls without seeing what you are doing on the ipod. See one in person before you plunk down the money for the kit plus installation, it really is a bit of a joke.


There are other variations of #1, such as using the HarmonKardon DrivePlay, which provides a neat screen and other controller for the iPod, but you'd probably still just plug the output of the Driveplay right into the aux port.
 

dedmiston

Member
Hmmm. Neither solution sounds all that great.

What's the installation like for the Mazda kit. Isn't it just a cable?
 

DashingMax

Member
:
2006 MazdaSpeed6
This is the Ground Loop Isolator that is being referred to here:
h127SNi135-fp.jpg


Alternatively, the CX-9 with Nav package can actually play MP3 CD's. You can even create custom folders (similar usability as iPod "playlist") and can select them from the touch screen!
 

tidriver

Member
:
Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
all in one charge and dock port line out

what your looking for, line out and charger all in one. Line out utilizes the Ipod dock port so you keep the sound quality.

cost less than $15 ebay link below, if it's expired just search "belkin ipod car charger"


https://www.ebay.com (commissions earned)
 
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dedmiston

Member
Alternatively, the CX-9 with Nav package can actually play MP3 CD's. You can even create custom folders (similar usability as iPod "playlist") and can select them from the touch screen!

Remember, we're talking about my wife's vehicle. It's taken too long to train her on the iPod. There's no way I'm going to teach her how to burn MP3 CDs (especially not when all she uses is iTunes on her Mac).

Nope, she needs a solution that's as close to turn-key as possible. I liked the idea of controlling the iPod from her steering wheel, but it sounds like that's not a simple (or cheap) solution.

So the Mazda iPod Integration Module is the one that requires in-dash installation? The photo makes it look like a simple cable. Not so simple after all.
 

tidriver

Member
:
Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
no need for a ground loop isolator, at least I don't need one in mine.
Sounds great with no exterior electrical noise.
keep in mind that the belkin taps into the ipod dock connection and not the headphone out.
 
Line-out or headphone jack doesn't matter for ground loop issues, the ipod itself doesn't do anything about it either way. I have this unit:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/ (commissions earned)

which is an all-in-one just like the Belkin, and unfortunately there is still alot of noise without the blocker. If the Belkin doesn't have any noise, either it has a ground loop blocker included, or your vehicle is one of the lucky ones that doesn't have a bad ground loop from the 12V sockets to the audio system.
 

tidriver

Member
:
Mazda CX-9 GT AWD
I guess I did luck out not having a ground loop problem. Regardless of which brand you get sik or belkin or monster charger/line input, aciurczak is correct that more than likely a ground loop isolator will be necessary. None of the brands I mentioned have a built in ground loop isolater.

But these devices definetely make the ipod hookup a lot easier. I'm debating if the HK drive & play is a better alternative.
 

l-miwa

Member
:
Mazda CX-9
...I'm debating if the HK drive & play is a better alternative.

Mostly, what the H/K D+P offers is safety / convenience. If you're OK with picking up your iPod and scrolling while you're driving (or if you're one of the few that only does this while not moving) then there's really nothing to be gained from the H/K.

But since I didn't want my iPod sliding around, I didn't want to stick an iPod mount somewhere on the dash, and I didn't want a cord long enough to plug into the Aux and still have the iPod in line of sight, I opted for the H/K.

My iPod is stashed in the center console along with the H/K connections module. The H/K controller is just to the right of the steering wheel, and the display is just to the left. Nothing moves, I can find and use the controller without looking, and I need only glance down at the display (just like any of the rest of the guages). It's much more convenient, it's safer, and it's a nice clean install.

It's a bit of an effort to do the install (involves popping off a few dash panels), but for me it was well worth the effort.
 

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