Home / Automotive Upgrades / Hands On: GROM USB3 Car Stereo Adapter

Hands On: GROM USB3 Car Stereo Adapter

Do you have a used vehicle or even a new car that you wish had Bluetooth integration for hands free calls as well as media streaming? Thanks to the people over at GROM Audio,  you can get that all in a package that keeps the factory look of your radio with an easy to install kit. Lets take a look and see if this is something you should check out. The GROM Audio USB Android, iPhone Bluetooth Adapter comes with everything you need to get your factory radio working like a new one. In the box you get the "brain…

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Do you have a used vehicle or even a new car that you wish had Bluetooth integration for hands free calls as well as media streaming? Thanks to the people over at GROM Audio,  you can get that all in a package that keeps the factory look of your radio with an easy to install kit. Lets take a look and see if this is something you should check out.

The GROM Audio USB Android, iPhone Bluetooth Adapter comes with everything you need to get your factory radio working like a new one. In the box you get the “brain box” that has all of the electronics in it as well as an install manual, instructions, and all the cables you need to have Bluetooth and USB connections to your radio.

The GROM kit is very well put together and allows even an inexperienced car audio person to install it. I was expecting to have to do some wiring for the install. The kit is completely plug and play. There is no wires to cut or splice to get this kit installed. This kit is powered by the car’s factory wiring.  As you can see from the pictures, all the wires have plugs that connect directly to the cars factory harness as well as plug directly into the back of the radio.

To install, you will need to remove your factory radio to access the harness behind it. Unplug the harness from the back of the radio and then plug those wires into the GROM harness. Next plug the other end of the GROM harness into your radio. After that, just attach the USB/aux, USB Charging and Bluetooth plugs into the GROM box. Then attach the wired mic to the Bluetooth wires and install the mic in a location that is near the drivers head, facing the driver. After that, the only thing you need to do it find a location to place the box and wires behind the radio and re-install the head unit.

The install only took me about 30 minutes from start to connecting my phone via Bluetooth.

Pairing of your phone is the same as any other Bluetooth device. Once you are paired, your phone will automatically connect every time you get in the car. To use the GROM, you need to use the band button and switch from AM/FM and go to XM. This is what powers the GROM unit and allows the music/phone calls to go through your cars speakers. You can also use the USB Cables to charge your phone, so there is no need for a separate charging cable.

If you have a MP3 Player that doesn’t have Bluetooth, the kit allows you to plug your device in via a 3.5mm AUX cable. This works just like listening through your headphones, but it goes to your car’s audio. You can also play music that is on a USB thumb drive. The screen of your head unit will show you track numbers as well as play time, just like if you were listening to a CD.  Audio streaming types that are compatible with the GROM unit are MP3, M4A, OGG, FLAC, AAC, WAV.

The basic kit comes with the GROM USB3 box and the USB cable, as well as vehicle specific wire harness. The kit as we have tested it also include the optional Bluetooth connectivity. That addition includes the Bluetooth Dongle and the wired microphone.  One option that is available that we didn’t test was the HD Radio kit that will allow you to receive HD radio station on your non HD radio. This opens up countless more radio stations in CD Quality.

The audio for the GROM USB3 kit will be as good as the speakers in your car. Luckily, in our test vehicle we have a decent speaker system so the music was very good with no static or pooping like you can get from an FM Transmitter or an inline antenna adapter. The call quality using the Bluetooth receiver and wired mic is very clear and the people on the other end were able to easily understand everything I said.

Overall, I am very impressed with the GROM USB3 kit. It was much easier to install than I expected and the clean install makes it look like your car came factory with Bluetooth option.

The base price for the GROM USB3 kit we tested is $156.99 and price as tested is $216.73 with the Bluetooth Dongle and AuxMini Din cable.  To add-on the GROM HD Radio Tuner and antenna, you will need to pony up an extra $89.99

About boaks

Ben is the Owner of Cerebral Overload, and the Verizon Wireless Reviewer for Techburgh.com. Ben’s love of gadgets came from his lack of a Nintendo Game Boy when he was a child . Ben vowed from that day on to get his hands on as many tech products as possible. Ben’s approach to a review is to make it informative for the technofile while still making it understandable to everyone. Ben is a new voice in the tech industry and is looking to make a mark wherever he goes. When not reviewing products, Ben is also a 911 Telecommunicator just outside of Pittsburgh PA. Twitter: @gizmoboaks Hangouts: Beavercountyemt Skype: Ben.Oaks

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