I have been searching for a way to play mp3 and my ipod through in my 2008 Mazda 6 for sometime now as I only have the standard 6-CD Changer. I have tried external units that I can plug flash driver or aux cables into that send an FM signal but that never sounds good. I have also looked into buying another head unit to play mp3 files but that is expensive — may not look right and many units won’t work with the steering wheel controls. With this in mind I started to research other options as I know the Mazda 6 head unit haz additional input interface options on the back og the unit.
After researching a few products and looking at other reviews and recommendations I came across Grom Audio who manufactures and sells USB/Ipod interfasce modules for a variety of cars and trucks. This was exactly what I was looking for!
The website had tons of options for interface modules and I was a little unsure of which one I actually needed. Using the live chat on the website one of the CSR’s was able to quickly help me and let me know what unit will work with my car and stereo. Additionally, I asked about the Ipod cable and they told me it would not only allow me to use the steering wheel functions but would also charge the Ipod too! This was awesome — so I ordered the unit and in about 3 days it arrived.
Obviosuly the only part of this that I was a bit worried about was getting behind the dash and taking the radio out — but thanks to youtube and google I was able to find good enough instructions on how to properly do it. No longer worried I went through the package and over the detailed documents and parts and then was comfortable enough to take apart the dash — it came apart pretty easy but you have to be careful with the presure clips as they are plastic. Once the head unit was out I plug the interface cable into the stereo and ran it through the dash only a few inches was need. I then found a spot to hook up the interface unit and zip tied it down and connected the interface cable. ( would like some hooks or loops to help fasten the unit down — but it was not that big of a deal)
Now the unit was fastened and I hooked the USB and Ipod cable to it and ran them into the glove box. I quickly turn the car on to make sure the unit was working and it was. I re-assembeld the dash and then hooked up a USB drive (included from GROM) and setup to the specs to ensure the unit would read the directories an files and also hooked up my Ipod Touch which started to charge immediatly.
The USB started playing immediatly and sounded fantastic and all of my steering wheel controls worked!! Next, I switched to the Ipod – which took a few tried to make the unit switch over since you have to hit the cd button then fm and then cd again quickly to put it into mode selection and then you can switch to the different devices… there is also an aux input on the unit if you needed that too!
The GROM Audio USB/iPOD interface sounds amazing and works great in my 2008 Mazda and this was exactly the solution I was looking for. It is very easy to setup and extremely easy to use and I can imagine all of GROM’s product are of the same quality and I highly recommend this unit to others looking to add additional audio connections to your car.
This unit gets a DAMN GOOD REVIEW!
For more information or to place an order check out the Grom Audio website.
You can also watch my video review and basic installation of the unit in my 2008 Mazda 6 below.