Spotify Launches Car Thing, Its CarPlay Competitor

BY Sanuj Bhatia

Published 13 Apr 2021

spotify car thing

Spotify, today, announced its first hardware product — Car Thing. Car Thing is the company’s first in-car entertainment system, which mounts on your car’s dashboard. It has a big touchscreen in the front, a knob to control music, and is available to Spotify Premium users in the United States.

Spotify has finally introduced its first in-car entertainment system, oddly called ‘Car Thing.’ It was first spotted back in 2019, but the product doesn’t look at all like we first imagined. It has a large touchscreen up front, a big knob to control music and podcasts, and fits right on your dashboard.

Unlike Apple CarPlay which relies on car manufactures to integrate the CarPlay software onto their own infotainment system, Spotify has gone ahead and introduced its own hardware for the in-car entertainment system. But, with Car Thing, you cannot make calls or text, and even navigate. Car Thing’s sole purpose is to control music in your car.

Spotify is offering three ways of attaching Car Thing to your dashboard. It ships with three different types of dash and vent mounts, along with a car charger and USB Type-C cable. You can pair Car Thing to your car’s existing entertainment system via Bluetooth and AUX.

It pairs to your Spotify account via your smartphone, and then you can control the device via its huge knob and buttons. The knob is used to navigate through the interface, and the single button acts as the select button. You can even control the device by using the “Hey Spotify” voice command.

Car Thing is free for a limited time period, Spotify isn’t charging anything for the device right now, though you’ll have to pay for shipping. It’s only available in the United States on an invite-only basis, and that too for Spotify Premium users with a smartphone. You can sign-up on Spotify’s Car Thing waitlist here.

After the ‘full public release,’ Spotify says, the product will be available for $79.99.

Are you interested in buying Car Thing? Do you use Spotify as your primary music source? Or do you rely on Apple Music? Let us know in the comments section below!