What is Spotify “Car Thing”?

Sometime during April 2021, Spotify released its gadget “Car Thing”. It is a smart music player that riders can clip onto their dashboards and listen to music, talks and entertainment through voice. Initially, the brand offered to give away its $80-or-so device for free to select Spotify listeners. 

The limited launch was exclusive to the US and made available by invite-only. Over two weeks ago, on 14th October 2021, Spotify launched the Car Thing as a ‘limited’ release. 

The pain points

Spotify posits that there are over 70 million user-generated driving-related playlists in existence. This is how far content curation has reached. The gadget is here to satisfy a need-based demand and bridge a gap. Many drivers were missing a seamless and personalized in-car experience. But, not anymore! 

The Innovation

Even if your older automobile does not support applications or lacks a modern infotainment system, you can still control the music through your voice. And, of course, there is the massive knob that operates by turning. If the automobile manufacturer does not support Spotify as its in-car audio option, the Car Things comes to the rescue. In short, you can navigate it in any car, including the ones with older dashboard systems, when en route. 

From the CEO Chambers

According to an article, Daniel Ek, the CEO of Spotify, reveals that chip shortages are the number one constraint in getting the supplies for their product flowing. The deficiencies are evident as there is also the lack of microprocessors for digital cameras, electric cars, smartphones and gaming consoles in the market. 

How to use it?

It is similar to the works of Amazon Echo. Fancily named as ‘Car Thing’, it also looks like an old iPod; the only difference is it comes with touch. 

At the very simplest, you can start with the formal greeting, “Hey Spotify”. Follow it up with a command or request, and you shall have your playlist up and running in no time. But, this is not the only way to control the gadget. There are also touch gestures that drivers can use. Yet another way is the large dial on the front. When it comes to placement, it can be mounted anywhere in your automobile. For instance, you can place it on the CD drive slot, the dash, or air conditioning vents. However, to get with this, you require a premium membership. 

With this, you can now move beyond Hey Siri, Alexa, and Hey Google. 

How to set up the Spotify Car Thing?

First up, get yourself a Spotify premium subscription. Second, a smartphone with Wi-Fi or mobile data. Once these necessities are sorted, proceed to do the following.

Open the Spotify application, and click on the Settings gear icon that sits at the top right corner.

Tap Car, and then under Car Thing, click Set up Car Thing

Click on Begin Setup

The Design Specifications

The Spotify Car Thing features a 3.97-inch touch screen with a resolution of 480x800. What’s more, it has a large dial and another button on its front. At the top, it has four preset buttons and a settings button. 


The unique selling proposition is its voice assistance. And for this, it comprises four near-field and mid-field microphones with noise suppression capabilities. Yet another aspect is the adaptive interference cancellation that prioritizes your voice over other disturbances and distractions. In short, it recognizes you and your voice!


The gadget consists of tactile navigational controls, comprising several buttons, a dial, and a back button. All these render durability, speediness and repeated use. What’s more, it has matte-textured rubber details. 

The Technical Specifications

The Car Thing gadget operates via Bluetooth 4.2 that connects to your phone. It is packed with a USB Type-C port that powers the device from the 12V outlet in the vehicle. The device also requires Bluetooth and an auxiliary port. The way this works is that Car Thing connects through the Spotify application on your phone. Using mobile data or Wi-Fi connection from the smartphone, you get for yourself an eclectic mix of audible content.


The Car Thing is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, keep in mind that the smartphone itself should operate on iOS 14 or Android 8 at the very least. 

The Final Verdict

The Car Thing is the newest exploration for Spotify. With this one, you can begin listening to that peppy track or a podcast episode before leaving your driveway. It makes for an excellent digital audio companion for all your moments. The device further drills down on Spotify’s ideology of being with you wherever you are.

It is creating a considerable buzz in the tech world already. As of 27th October 2021, the gadget has amassed a waitlist of over 2 million. The numbers go to show that people are looking forward to the seamless in-car streaming service.