Watching YouTube on your car stereo can help to eliminate boredom and improve your traveling experience. With the mountain technology, you can connect your car stereo to the internet and stream videos on YouTube with a click of your finger.
However, not all people can adjust the car’s head unit and stream videos while traveling, so how can you watch YouTube on the car radio? Let’s find out.
Generally, to watch YouTube on the car radio, you need a Smartphone that can connect to an Apple Car Play or Android software and a stable internet connection. In addition, your car needs to have installed either Apple Car Play or an Android radio.
As an Amazon Associate, ImproveCarAudio will receive a small commission from qualifying purchases made through the links in this article.
Tip: For good quality YouTube videos, you will need a large screen with a min 1024 x 600 resolution. In addition, the screen should support multi-touch input, which means you should get a radio with a capacitive screen.
For instance, a single din Pioneer DMH-WC5700NEX or higher will do a great job. It can support the wired car play and the wired Android auto. This car stereo can access the internet through Bluetooth, USB, or Wi-Fi.
In this article, I will look at watching YouTube on a car stereo and will explain more details.
How to Connect Car Radio to Internet?
The first and most important thing you will need to stream YouTube videos on your car stereo is fast and uninterrupted internet connectivity.
You will not be connecting the internet directly to your car stereo, but rather, you’ll be connecting your smartphone to the internet. So you will need a smartphone that can support a fast internet connection.
You can connect to the internet using your service provider if you plan to watch YouTube videos while traveling or connect to Wi-Fi if you’re planning to watch the videos with your car parked.
Once online with your phone, you need to download an application that will help you connect the phone with the car stereo system.
Here is how to do it on both Android and iOS platforms.
If your smartphone runs on an Android operating system, you will need to download an Android auto car stereo application.
You will also need to install the car stream app, which will help connect your smartphone to the car stereo system. Fortunately, these applications are available on the Google Play store, so you’ll have no problem finding one.
- Install the app after downloading, and then open and connect to the internet.
- Connect the smartphone to the car stereo system using the auxiliary cable. If the connection is good so far, an icon will pop up on your screen, and you only need to click it and select the video you want to stream.
Alternatively, you can use the MirrorLink application to view your smartphone on your car stereo system. It is a great application that runs in the background but mirrors your smartphone on your car’s stereo system.
The audio that should be playing on your smartphone will be simultaneously playing in the car speakers.
However, not all Android devices and car stereo systems can use MirrorLink. So before attempting to establish a connection using MirrorLink, check whether MirrorLink can support your Android device and car stereo system.
Here is how to mirror your smartphone screen to your car’s stereo system:
- Use a USB cable to connect your Android smartphone to the USB port in your vehicle.
- On your smartphone, navigate to settings and look for the MirrorLink option. This option might be under settings, connections, and more connections in some devices.
- Once you find it, turn on the “Connect to the car via USB” to establish a connection between your car stereo system and your Android device.
After establishing your connection successfully, you can stream YouTube videos from your smartphone. The video displays on your car’s dashboard, and the audio plays on your car speakers.
If you’re using an Apple iPhone, you can stream YouTube videos by connecting your iPhone to the car stereo system using the Apple Car Play application.
It is much more straightforward to connect using an iPhone as you will only need to download this software. Furthermore, Apple makes it safer to drive while listening to YouTube music by incorporating the Siri feature.
The Siri feature allows you to use voice recognition technology to control your iPhone while driving.
The car play from Apple works like the MirrorLink for Android, allowing you to display your phone screen to your car’s dashboard. It also diverts all the incoming sound and audio playing on your phone to your car’s audio system.
However, CarPlay doesn’t work in some places, and not all cars support it.
To use Apple CarPlay to mirror your iPhone display to your car’s screen, you will need an iPhone 5 or later.
Here is how you can connect your iPhone with your car stereo system to stream YouTube videos.
- If you want to use the Siri voice control feature on your iPhone, you can enable it by navigating to “settings,” “Siri,” “search,” and then “enable.”
- If you use a wired connection to connect your iPhone with your car’s stereo system, connect your iPhone to the USB port in your car’s dashboard.
- If you can’t see the CarPlay home screen after establishing a wired connection, you can try to connect by tapping the CarPlay logo on the screen of your car.
- You can set up a wireless connection by pressing and holding the voice control button located around the car’s steering wheel. However, your car stereo system needs to be compatible with a wireless CarPlay for a wireless connection.
- Alternatively, you can connect to the internet using the Bluetooth pairing mode on your iPhone. After establishing a Bluetooth pairing mode, navigate to “Settings” in your iPhone, choose “General,” choose “CarPlay,” and then select your car.
- You can then stream YouTube from your iPhone and mirror it to your car’s display.
- You can activate the Siri voice control feature by touching and holding the home button in CarPlay or pressing and holding the voice control button in your car’s steering wheel.
Which Car Stereo System Is Best for Watching YouTube Videos?
Although you can stream YouTube videos on your car stereo if you have stable internet connectivity, it might not work in the older car stereo models.
Some modern car stereo systems can connect to Wi-Fi, and you can browse YouTube from the stereo system itself.
However, if your car stereo system doesn’t support Wi-Fi but only Bluetooth, you can only transmit the sound of the YouTube videos. In that case, you are streaming from your mobile device to your car speakers for a better listening experience.
On the other hand, the Double DIN Android car stereo is a 7-inch touchscreen car stereo system that supports the Android operating system, and you can use it to stream YouTube videos.
It comes with a high-quality capacitive touch screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600 and supports multi-touch input.
Considering it runs on an Android platform, the user interface is straightforward and can support the apps available in the Google Play Store, such as YouTube and Google Maps.
You can watch YouTube videos, stream music, or use Google Maps while traveling.
From double din radios, a great example is the Pioneer DMH-WC5700NEX that can support the wired car play and the wired Android auto. This car stereo system can access the internet through Bluetooth, USB tethering, and Wi-Fi. You can stream YouTube videos using this car stereo system with an internet connection.
It also features dual Bluetooth chips for music streaming and hands-free calls. It is an excellent car stereo system for navigation, watching YouTube videos, and listening to music that you can get without paying too much.
How to Get the Best Quality YouTube Videos on a Car Stereo System
You might have low-quality audio or images when streaming YouTube videos on your car stereo system. However, note that the YouTube audio quality is different from the video quality, and having a low-quality YouTube video doesn’t necessarily mean the audio quality will not be good.
For instance, decreasing the video quality on YouTube when you are streaming YouTube music doesn’t affect the audio quality. The same applies to the car stereo system.
Here are some ways to improve your overall YouTube streaming experience on a car stereo system.
Upgrade the Head Unit of Your Car Stereo System
If you use an auxiliary cable to connect your smartphone to the car stereo system when listening to YouTube music, the audio quality might not be the best.
If you plan to listen to digitally compressed music, I recommend purchasing a radio that supports a USB connection.
You may also want to consider upgrading your head unit to one that supports high-quality DAC. The upgrade means you will not be connecting your phone using the standard auxiliary input but a USB cable.
A USB connection allows the car stereo system to read the data from the smartphone, change it into analog signals, and then pass the audio signals to the car speakers and or the amplifier.
Improve the Speed of the Internet Connection
The speed of your internet connection is the main determinant of the video quality of your YouTube videos.
In most cases, YouTube will detect the speed of the Internet connection and adjust the quality of the video to prevent the video from getting stuck.
When YouTube operates using the auto mode, the video quality will be low when the internet connection is poor and higher on the internet connection is fast.
These adjustments can be a problem, especially when driving from regions with good internet connectivity to mountains and valleys with the poor network coverage.
Although this is not a problem you can quickly solve, you can use internet devices with solid network connectivity.
Upgrade Your Car’s Stereo Display
Different car stereo displays come in different sizes and resolutions. Typically, high-quality videos will stream better on larger displays. However, a poor internet connection will be more noticeable on larger screens than on smaller displays.
For instance, streaming 320p video on a larger display might make the video appear low quality, while streaming the exact resolution on a smaller screen will make the video seem high quality.
It, therefore, means you’ll need a more stable internet connection when streaming YouTube videos on larger car stereo displays than on smaller stereo displays.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Stream YouTube Using the Car Stereo System Bluetooth?
Yes, you can stream YouTube using the car stereo system Bluetooth, but you can only connect the audio and not the video.
It is a viable option to stream YouTube music on your smartphone while driving with the sound coming through your car speakers. However, the video stops when your smartphone screen turns off.
How Can I Change the Audio Quality Settings on YouTube?
If you want to change the audio quality settings on YouTube, navigate your profile picture in the YouTube music app.
Tap on settings and then select playback & restrictions. Select audio quality on Wi-Fi, and then choose from one of the options.
Typically, it consists of a low-quality setting with an upper bound of 48 kbps AAC, which works well in poor internet connection, a default setting for medium quality, and a high-quality setting with an upper bound of 128 kbps AAC works well in stable internet connection.
Does YouTube Music Feature a Car Stereo Mode?
The YouTube Music app can play uploaded tracks on Android auto.
However, the CarPlay apps and YouTube Music’s Android Auto require a premium membership or a music premium for you to access them. This YouTube music feature is now a common feature in the Android Auto on smartphone screens and the modern car head units.
If you have an iPhone or an Android device and your car has a modern stereo system, you can stream YouTube videos and YouTube music on your car stereo.
You will need to install the Android Auto car stereo application or the MirrorLink application if you’re using an Android device or the CarPlay application if you are using an iPhone.
It is however not advisable to watch YouTube videos while driving.