I have a lot of thoughts about Spotify’s new Car Thing, a simple display with a big knob that you attach to your car’s dash to play content exclusively from Spotify. Think of Car Thing as you would your current smartphone. From your phone, you can stream music from any service to your Bluetooth or headphone jack equipped vehicle, but with Car Thing, it’s just Spotify. It seems kinda pointless, right? If that’s true, though, then why do I want one so badly?
Car Thing is essentially an experimental product that Spotify is gifting to a select number of Premium users. The chances of any of us getting one seem slim, but if for some reason they’re really popular and there’s a lot of demand, you might be able to buy one down the road. If you are selected to get one, you’ll only pay for shipping, as Spotify is wiping away the suggested retail price of $79. $79 for a Spotify player you put in your car? That’s what my phone does, and as you can see, we’re right back to the pointless product thought.
The setup seems easy enough. After placing Car Thing where you want it in the car, you hook it up to 12V power (aka your car’s old cigarette lighter). Using Bluetooth, you then connect your phone to Car Thing. Lastly, connect your phone to your car stereo via Bluetooth, AUX, or USB cable. Once set up, you can control Spotify playback via Car Thing and you can also speak to Car Thing with its built-in microphones.
While it certainly looks cool, I still don’t quite get it. If I’m already connecting my phone to the car stereo, then why am I not just using Spotify on my phone? I can already talk to my phone and feed it the same commands as Car Thing. This product is just taking up space, but also giving me a sweet little Spotify player that looks cool. I’m really torn, guys. I want to like it, but I simply don’t understand why it needs to exist if it needs a smartphone for its connection to the car.
If you want to try to snag one, sign up for the waitlist below.