Livio kit wirelessly transmits internet radio to your car stereo
By Ben Coxworth
October 6, 2011
For those of us with iPhones, there are currently various apps that allow us to receive internet radio on our devices, but ... what if you're one of those people who usually only listens to the radio while you're driving? If your car has an auxiliary-in jack, of course, you can just run your phone into that. For the many cars that lack such a feature, however, now there's Livio Radio's Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit. Acting as a bridge between your iPhone and your automobile, it wirelessly receives an internet radio signal from your phone, then relays it onto the FM receiver of your car stereo.
The heart of the kit is its transmitter/controller, which is mounted on a flexible gooseneck attachment, that plugs into your car's 12-volt adapter. With the touch of a button, the unit locates available frequencies on your stereo's FM receiver, one of which you then tune in on that receiver.
Next, you pair your iPhone with the device, then download Livio Radio's free Car Internet Radio App, which will allow you to choose from over 45,000 stations. Other internet radio applications will also work.
After that, you just place your phone in your car (running the app), and allow it to stream the station of your choice through the Livio transmitter, and into your car radio. Controls on the device allow you to search through internet radio stations, or to shuttle through MP3s stored on your phone, if you're listening to those instead.
You can also use the device to make and receive phone calls using its built-in mic, or to charge your phone via its USB charger.
The Bluetooth Internet Radio Car Kit is available on the Livio Radio website, for US$119.99. SIRIUS XM offers a somewhat similar product, in the form of its Snap! satellite radio. In its case, however, the device itself is what receives the radio stations - no phone is involved. It costs less than the Livio Radio kit, but requires a monthly subscription fee (keep in mind, it picks up satellite stations). SIRIUS' Skydock is another device along the same lines, which transmits an XM satellite signal from the user's smartphone to their car's FM receiver.