Music streaming

Spotify’s Car Thing is now widely available, bringing streaming music to your car

“Hey Spotify, put my favorites.”

From Tuesday, any Spotify Premium user can buy the streaming service’s first hardware. Car Thing, as the device is descriptively named, is designed for listening to audio in the car in that it’s hands-free and voice-controlled, which hopefully means no more scrolling and clicking on the Spotify app on your phone while driving.

It looks like a small tablet screen with Spotify’s interface, and it can be mounted in the front console area of ​​most cars.

Car Thing was officially announced in April and was only available to select Premium users in October. Now anyone who pays for Spotify can purchase the device for $89.99. It’s just a one-time fee for owning the device that connects your paid music subscription to the car.

It requires your phone and a data plan to work, so it’s not a true standalone product. It plugs into your 12-volt power outlet (aka cigarette lighter) and syncs with your phone to play through your car’s stereo system.

What you will find in the Car Thing box.
Credit: Spotify

Just say “Hey Spotify” to find the song, album, artists, playlist or podcast you want to listen to. There’s also a touchscreen and physical buttons, so you can search for an old-fashioned playlist if Spotify struggles with your voice commands.

New with the wide release, Spotify has added new features to Car Thing, including night mode. This dims the screen brightness when it is dark. Another addition is “add to queue”. This voice command, well, queues whatever you want to listen to next.

The device will be sold on the Spotify website. Now, if someone asks, “What’s that thing in your car?” you can accurately answer, “It’s a car thing.”

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