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February 29, 2024 3 min read

CarPlay, whether wireless or wired, is a topic that car owners are concerned about and often find themselves pondering. Many scattered comments and reviews online are actually personal opinions shared by car owners based on their own needs and experiences. They may not reflect your needs or your potential experience. Today, we'll straighten things out and discuss which is better: wired or wireless CarPlay, and how to choose between them.


Here's what you'll learn from this blog:

  • The pros and cons of wired CarPlay
  • The pros and cons of wireless CarPlay
  • Common misunderstandings about wired and wireless CarPlay
  • Is wireless Carplay worth it?

Firstly, everyone needs to be aware of a situation:

Currently, all wireless CarPlay devices, whether they are original equipment manufacturer (OEM) certified devices or aftermarket devices, have an audio delay issue of 1-2 seconds. This is true for brands like Mercedes-Benz, BMW.

The audio delay in wireless CarPlay is mainly due to Apple's intentional optimization for the user experience of wireless CarPlay (which might seem difficult to understand, done to ensure the continuous flow of audio, among other reasons). The main culprit of the delay is not actually the wireless adapter. Some car owners mistakenly attribute the delay to the wireless adapter after switching from wired to wireless CarPlay, leading to negative reviews of the wireless adapter, which is truly unfair...

The pros of wired CarPlay:

1. Stable connection with negligible latency.

2. Generally better audio quality than wireless CarPlay.

3. Charging while driving ensures your device stays powered, prioritizing charging over battery drain.

The cons of wired CarPlay:

1. Limited by the length of the cable, restricting movement and making it inconvenient to use your phone, especially when parking and needing to pay by scanning a code. You may need to unplug and reconnect CarPlay afterwards.

2. Inconvenient to place your phone if there is no dedicated area in your car. You either need to use a phone mount or place it randomly, affecting aesthetics.

3. The cable connector may become loose or accidentally unplugged, affecting CarPlay connection.

The pros of wireless CarPlay:

1. Convenient connection without the need to plug and unplug each time, automatically connecting when in range.

2. Convenient to use, as your phone can be placed wherever it's convenient without being constrained by a cable.

3. Neat and aesthetically pleasing, with no visible cables, making the central console area look much cleaner.

The cons of wireless CarPlay:

1. Increased latency compared to wired CarPlay (while wired CarPlay also has latency, it may be less noticeable).

2. Less stable connection compared to wired CarPlay.

3. Better audio quality.

After reviewing the analysis above, you may notice that:

The advantages of wired CarPlay = the disadvantages of wireless CarPlay.

The disadvantages of wired CarPlay = the advantages of wireless CarPlay.

Wait, don't worry, the disadvantages are not as severe as you might imagine. We will answer and address the issues that everyone is concerned about:

Delay: Apart from a 1-2 second delay when changing songs or viewing lyrics, the delay in functions like making calls and using navigation is no different from wired CarPlay. The experience is not significantly affected and may even go unnoticed.

Sound Quality: The sound quality of wireless CarPlay is actually better than Bluetooth audio! This is determined by the audio protocols used. However, factors such as the audio source, car audio system, and individual ear sensitivity can affect the perceived difference in sound quality. For the vast majority of car owners, the difference in sound quality is not very noticeable.

Stability: Whether it's factory-installed wireless CarPlay or wireless CarPlay through an aftermarket adapter, the connection is generally stable for most users, most of the time. However, occasional disconnections or reconnections do occur. High-quality adapters, like Carlinkit, can greatly reduce the likelihood of disconnections.

Is wireless Carplay worth it?

Absolutely. If you mostly take shorter trips, wireless is fantastic because you won't have to deal with connecting a cable each time, and there's no loss of audio quality. However, if you often take long drives, wired is the way to go for the charging benefits.

In conclusion

The choice between wired and wireless CarPlay ultimately depends on your priorities and preferences. Regardless of your choice, it's important to understand that both wired and wireless CarPlay have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. By being aware of these factors and considering your own needs, you can make an informed decision that best suits your driving experience.

If you're interested in upgrading your wired Carplay to wireless CarPlay, consider the Carlinkit 3.0 wireless Apple Carplay adapter, known for its affordability and reliability.

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