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Spotify’s Car Thing: What is it and how does it work?

Spotify launched a smart media player that will enhance your car listening experience. Here are the facts.


Spotify launches its hardware for the first time. It is an infotainment device aptly and succinctly called “Car Thing”.

Spotify’s Car Thing is a way to stream more efficiently and easier. The device is part of a larger plan to streamline Spotify’s streaming.

Car Thing is for everyone, regardless of what vehicle you drive. It helps you quickly find, play and enjoy your favorite audio content while you are driving.

Spotify’s Car Thing: What is it?

Car Thing can be used as a remote to stream your Spotify content from your phone while you are driving. This smart player allows you to stream your music and podcasts from your car.

Americans are so busy, and always on the go, it is becoming increasingly important to have quick, easy solutions for all of our daily needs, including entertainment. Spotify has more than 70,000,000 user-generated playlists that are driving-related.

RELATED: How to Access Your Personal Spotify Mixes

Spotify said that even though there are so many playlists, customers still “miss out on a seamless, personalized in-car listening experience.”

Therefore, the company identified an opportunity to offer customers Car Thing, Spotify’s solution that gives you a more holistic listening experience.

Spotify’s Car Thing platform aims to make your ride on the road more enjoyable by offering seamless streaming services from the moment that you get in your car.

How to get Spotify’s Car Thing

After initially launching Car Thing for select listeners only, now has the ability to be purchased by more people in the U.S. starting February 22, 2022 at $89.99

Spotify’s Car Thing can be purchased directly from Spotify’s Car Thing webpage, provided you are on Spotify Premium subscription plan. To use the device, you will need a smartphone that has an internet connection, either Wi-Fi or via your mobile data plan.

Spotify’s Car Thing: How to Use It

Here’s how to use Car Thing’s most important features if you are lucky enough to have one.


1. With voice controls, you can easily access your library

Spotify’s voice search works in the same way as voice assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri. It also allows you to find and play any song, album, artist, playlist, station, station, podcast, or car’s infotainment system. You can simply say “Hey Spotify” and tell it what you want.

You could say, for example, “Hey Spotify. Play my favorite songs” or “Hey Spotify. Shuffle today’s most popular hits”. Spotify placed four microphones on the top of the device to ensure that Car Thing can hear you, regardless of how loud or low your windows are.


2. You can use the dial to navigate songs hands-free

You can use the dial to navigate your Spotify library if you are a bit more traditional and prefer to choose the audio you want manually.

The dial will allow you to quickly create the playlist that you need to get to where you are going. You can browse, select, play or pause the dial and quickly find the audio you are looking for.

3. To see what’s playing, view the Touchscreen Display

Car Thing, much like other car infotainment systems is interactive. You can view and navigate your Spotify playlists using the touch screen, and you can also view voice-search results. You can swipe to scroll further, skip or tap to play.


4. Choose Four Preset Buttons

Car Thing can be used while you are on the move, so the device has buttons that will help you save time. You can simply get in your car and select a button to start listening while driving.

RELATED: How to Filter Out Explicit Music on Spotify

Spotify is investing in hardware?

Spotify may be asking if it is entering the hardware market and competing through this new offering. No. Spotify reiterated its commitment to being the world’s most popular audio platform.

According to the company, its goal was not to create a hardware device but rather to create a solution. This seamless in-car listening experience is customized for you and provides you with an extensive range of audio content, no matter what type of car you have, even if you don’t have an advanced infotainment system.

As mentioned in the For The Record post:

We believe everyone deserves a better listening experience, regardless of the vehicle’s year and model. Car Thing will allow us to bring our entire music and podcasts to more people across a wider range.

It is not meant to compete with in-car infotainment systems

Spotify claims that it does not intend to compete with your car’s infotainment system. Instead, Car Thing is just another step in Spotify’s larger ubiquity strategy. It creates a “frictionless audio environment” for its users wherever they are, however they listen.


Sten Garmark, Spotify’s VP Product, said in a post on for the Record.

It is important to use whatever moment you are in, whether you are driving, at home, or exercising. And to make sure you get your Spotify experience as fast and easy as possible.

Spotify should be able to connect more deeply with your devices so you don’t have to search for the right songs or podcasts at the right time. They will find you.

Car Thing delivers an enhanced in-car listening experience

Spotify seems to have the right idea about streamlining and offering a convenient solution for faster, more efficient streaming in your car.

Car Thing is a better option than your phone. It allows you to listen to your favorite audio content in your car while you drive.




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