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The Ultimate Guide to Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars

Revitalize your old car's audio system with our top 10 Bluetooth speaker picks. Learn how to choose, install, and optimize these modern audio solutions while preserving your vintage ride's character. Enjoy the perfect blend of classic style and contemporary sound on your next cruise!

By: Aleksey Makohon Date: 07 / 03, 2024
article image

Cruising down memory lane in your beloved vintage ride is a feeling like no other. The wind in your hair, the purr of the engine, and... the crackle of an outdated stereo system? Not quite the soundtrack you had in mind, right? As a long-time audio enthusiast and product manager at TREBLAB, I've seen firsthand how a simple upgrade can transform your driving experience. Let's dive into the world of Bluetooth speakers and discover how they can breathe new life into your classic car's audio system.

Outdated Audio in Vintage Vehicles

Best

TREBLAB HD-Force

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars

25h play, 4h charge
IPX6 water resistant
Compatible with ALL devices
Built-in power bank
Bluetooth 5.0

Impeccable HD sound

Explore a world of rich, loud and dynamic sound with 60W (50W RMS) stereo speakers. The wireless speakers with bluetooth pump out deep, balanced bass.

IPX6 Waterproof And Shockproof

IPX6 Waterproof And Shockproof - Traverse through rugged terrains with a HD-Force waterproof bluetooth speaker that offers top-quality surround sound. Includes a signal.

Read more about TREBLAB HD-Force
Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars - TREBLAB HD-Force

Picture this: You're sitting in your meticulously maintained 1985 Chevrolet Camaro, ready to hit the road. Everything about the car is a nostalgic dream come true – except for that crackling, barely-functioning radio. It's a common predicament for classic car owners. While we love the vintage charm, the limitations of outdated audio systems can put a damper on our driving pleasure.

I remember working on a 1972 Ford Mustang at my local repair shop when I was just starting out. The owner loved everything about his car, except for the fact that he couldn't play his favorite podcasts during his commute. It was then that I realized the huge gap between the joy of owning a classic car and the frustration of outdated technology.

Enter the Bluetooth Speaker

Here's where Bluetooth speakers come to the rescue. These portable powerhouses offer a simple, cost-effective solution to upgrade your car's audio without tampering with its original integrity. Imagine seamlessly streaming your favorite tunes or podcasts from your smartphone, all while preserving the vintage aesthetics of your beloved ride.

Why Bluetooth Speakers Are the Smart Choice for Your Classic Car

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 20

Crystal Clear Sound Quality

Gone are the days of static-filled AM radio. Modern Bluetooth speakers offer impressive sound quality that can rival many built-in car audio systems. From crisp highs to deep, resonant bass, these compact devices can fill your car with rich, immersive sound.

I once installed a high-quality Bluetooth speaker in a client's 1960s Volkswagen Beetle. The look on his face when he heard his favorite Beatles album in crystal clear quality, right there in his Bug, was priceless. It was like he was hearing the Fab Four for the first time all over again.

Wireless Convenience at Your Fingertips

Remember fumbling with CDs or cassette tapes while trying to keep your eyes on the road? With Bluetooth speakers, your entire music library is just a tap away. Most models allow you to control playback directly from the speaker or your connected device, making it safer and more convenient to manage your audio on the go.

Budget-Friendly Upgrade

Compared to the cost of installing a new stereo system (which can often involve modifying your classic car's dashboard), a Bluetooth speaker is a fraction of the price. You're looking at a high-quality audio upgrade without breaking the bank or altering your car's original design.

Versatility Beyond the Vehicle

One of the best things about Bluetooth speakers is their portability. The same speaker that rocks your roadtrip can also be the life of the party at your next tailgate or beach outing. It's an investment that goes beyond just your car audio needs.

Choosing the Perfect Bluetooth Speaker for Your Classic Ride

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 23

When it comes to selecting the ideal Bluetooth speaker for your vintage vehicle, there's more to consider than you might think. As someone who's been tinkering with car audio systems for over two decades, I can tell you that the right choice can make all the difference. Let's break down the key factors you should keep in mind:

Sound Quality

At the core of any great Bluetooth speaker is its ability to deliver exceptional sound. In the confined space of a car, this becomes even more crucial. Here's what to look for:

Clarity and Bass Response

A good speaker should offer clear, crisp highs without sounding tinny, and deep, rich lows without muddying the overall sound. In my experience, speakers with separate tweeters and woofers tend to perform best in achieving this balance.

I once installed a high-end Bluetooth speaker in a 1969 Dodge Charger. The owner, a jazz enthusiast, was blown away by how he could hear every nuance of the saxophone and the subtle brush strokes on the drums. It was like having a live band in the passenger seat!

Maximum Volume Output

While you don't want to be that person blasting music at traffic lights, having enough volume to overcome road noise is essential, especially in older cars that may not have the best soundproofing. Look for speakers that can deliver at least 80-90 decibels without distortion.

Battery Life and Charging

There's nothing worse than your tunes cutting out mid-journey. That's why battery life is a crucial factor to consider.

Runtime on a Single Charge

For regular commuters, I always recommend speakers that offer at least 10-12 hours of playtime. This ensures you won't have to charge the speaker daily. Some high-end models can even last up to 24 hours, perfect for those long road trips.

USB Charging vs. Proprietary Chargers

Opt for speakers with USB charging capabilities. Not only is it more convenient, but it also means you can easily charge your speaker using your car's USB port or a portable power bank. Proprietary chargers can be a hassle, especially if you lose or forget them.

Size and Portability

When it comes to classic cars, space is often at a premium. The last thing you want is a bulky speaker cluttering up your beautifully maintained interior.

Compact Designs for Easy Storage

Look for speakers that are powerful yet compact. Many modern Bluetooth speakers pack impressive sound into surprisingly small packages. I've seen cylindrical speakers no bigger than a soda can that can fill a car with rich, room-filling sound.

Mounting Options

Consider how and where you'll place the speaker in your car. Some great options include:

  • Cup holder mounts: Perfect for cars with limited dash space.
  • Dashboard mounts: Ideal for easy access and control.
  • Vent clips: A clever solution that keeps the speaker secure and out of the way.

I once worked with a client who owned a pristine 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. We found a sleek, compact speaker that fit perfectly in the ashtray, preserving the car's original look while providing modern sound.

Connectivity and Compatibility

Bluetooth Version and Range

Look for speakers with Bluetooth 5.0 or higher. These offer better range and more stable connections. In a car environment, where your phone might be in your pocket or a bag, a strong, consistent connection is crucial.

Multi-Device Pairing Capabilities

This feature is a game-changer, especially for families or couples sharing a car. Being able to switch between devices without re-pairing each time adds a level of convenience you'll appreciate on every journey.

Durability and Water Resistance

Cars can be harsh environments for electronics. Temperature fluctuations, humidity, and the occasional spilled drink can spell disaster for lesser speakers.

IPX Ratings Explained

Look for speakers with at least an IPX4 rating, which provides protection against splashes from all directions. For convertible owners or those who live in particularly wet climates, consider stepping up to IPX7, which can withstand immersion in water up to 1 meter deep for 30 minutes.

Importance for In-Car Use

A durable, water-resistant speaker isn't just about protection from the elements. It also means your speaker is likely to have better-sealed components, which can contribute to better sound quality and longevity.

Additional Features

While sound quality should be your primary concern, these additional features can elevate your in-car audio experience:

Hands-Free Calling Functionality

This feature turns your speaker into a handy speakerphone, allowing you to take calls safely while driving. Look for models with noise-canceling microphones for the clearest call quality.

Voice Assistant Integration

Being able to control your music or get directions without taking your hands off the wheel is a modern convenience that even classic car owners can appreciate. Many high-end speakers now offer seamless integration with Siri, Google Assistant, or Alexa.

FM Transmitter Capability

This is a fantastic feature for those who want to use their car's existing speakers. An FM transmitter allows you to broadcast your Bluetooth audio through an unused FM frequency, effectively turning your old radio into a Bluetooth receiver.

I remember helping a friend set up an FM transmitter-enabled Bluetooth speaker in his 1980s Pontiac Firebird. The look on his face when he heard his Spotify playlist coming through his car's original speakers was unforgettable. It was like we'd built a time machine for his car's audio system!

Choosing the right Bluetooth speaker for your classic car is about balancing modern technology with vintage aesthetics. It's about enhancing your driving experience without compromising the character of your beloved vehicle. With these considerations in mind, you're well on your way to finding the perfect audio companion for your classic ride.

Top 10 Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars

TREBLAB HD-Force (Best Overall Choice)

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 1

Rating: ★★★★★

The TREBLAB HD-Force is a powerhouse that brings concert-quality sound to your vintage ride. As someone who's installed countless audio systems in classic cars, I can confidently say this speaker hits the sweet spot between performance and practicality.

What sets the HD-Force apart is its robust 50W stereo sound with deep, balanced bass that can easily cut through the road noise of older vehicles. The 25-hour battery life ensures your tunes keep rolling even on the longest road trips. Plus, its IPX6 waterproof rating means you don't have to worry about it during those top-down drives or unexpected rain showers.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 8.66" x 5.15" x 5.51"
  • Weight: 3.94 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 25 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX6
  • Power output: 50W (40W RMS)

+ Pros:

  • Powerful 50W stereo sound with deep bass
  • Exceptional 25-hour battery life
  • IPX6 waterproof rating for durability
  • Built-in power bank to charge your devices
  • TWS pairing for true stereo sound
  • LED light show for added ambiance

- Cons:

  • Slightly heavier than some portable options
  • May be overkill for very small car interiors

Why it's suitable for use in an old car:

The HD-Force is ideal for older cars due to its powerful output that overcomes poor soundproofing in vintage vehicles. Its long battery life eliminates the need for complex wiring, preserving your dash's original look. The IPX6 rating protects against moisture in convertibles or leak-prone classics. Its robust sound fills the cabin without overwhelming it, and the built-in power bank keeps your devices charged on long cruises. The LED light show adds a modern touch that surprisingly complements vintage aesthetics.

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 2

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Anker Soundcore Flare 2 is a compact powerhouse that brings 360-degree sound and a light show to your classic car. As someone who's dealt with the space constraints of vintage vehicles, I can appreciate a speaker that packs a punch without taking up too much room.

What makes the Flare 2 stand out is its ability to fill your car with immersive sound, thanks to its dual drivers and passive radiators. The customizable LED lights can add a fun, modern twist to your classic interior, especially during night drives.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.5" x 3.5" x 6.3"
  • Weight: 1.29 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 12 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX7
  • Power output: 20W

+ Pros:

  • 360-degree sound for even audio distribution in your car
  • Compact size fits easily in cup holders or on dashboards
  • IPX7 waterproof rating for ultimate durability
  • Customizable LED light show
  • Can be paired with a second unit for true stereo sound
  • EQ adjustment via app for personalized sound

- Cons:

  • Battery life is shorter than some competitors
  • Bass may not be as powerful as larger speakers

Why it's suitable for use in an old car:

The Flare 2's compact size makes it perfect for space-constrained classic car interiors. Its 360-degree sound design ensures even audio distribution in small cabins. The IPX7 rating is ideal for convertibles or cars with imperfect weatherproofing. Its customizable LED lights add a modern twist to vintage interiors, especially during night drives. The option to pair two units for true stereo is great for larger classic cars. Overall, it offers quality sound without compromising space or aesthetics in older vehicles.

JBL Clip 4

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 3

Rating: ★★★★☆

The JBL Clip 4 is a compact powerhouse that brings JBL's signature sound quality to your classic ride in a highly portable package. As someone who's worked on countless classic car audio setups, I can appreciate a speaker that offers versatility and ease of use.

What makes the Clip 4 stand out is its integrated carabiner design, allowing you to literally clip it anywhere in your car - from the rearview mirror to a door handle or even your sun visor. This unique feature, combined with its robust build and impressive sound for its size, makes it a fantastic option for classic car enthusiasts.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.4" x 1.8" x 5.3"
  • Weight: 0.53 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 10 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.1
  • Water resistance rating: IP67
  • Power output: 5W

+ Pros:

  • Ultra-portable design with integrated carabiner
  • Impressive sound quality for its size
  • Rugged, dust and waterproof build (IP67 rated)
  • Easy to use controls
  • Wide range of color options to match your car's interior

- Cons:

  • Limited battery life compared to larger speakers
  • Mono sound - no stereo separation
  • Bass response is limited due to small size
  • No speakerphone functionality
  • Cannot be paired with another unit for stereo sound
  • No aux-in port for wired connections

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The JBL Clip 4 is perfect for classic cars due to its compact size and versatile mounting options. You can clip it to various spots in your vehicle without any permanent installation, preserving your car's originality. Its rugged build stands up to the sometimes harsh conditions in older cars, while the IP67 rating protects against dust and water - ideal for convertibles or cars with less-than-perfect seals. Despite its small size, it produces clear, room-filling sound that can overcome road noise in less insulated classic cars.

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 4

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

The Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3 is a cylindrical powerhouse that brings 360-degree sound and party-ready features to your classic car. In my years of experience with car audio, I've found that sometimes you need a speaker that can do it all - and the MEGABOOM 3 fits that bill perfectly.

What sets the MEGABOOM 3 apart is its combination of powerful, immersive sound, exceptional durability, and long battery life. It's like having a modern sound system in your classic car without any of the installation hassles.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.4" x 3.4" x 8.9"
  • Weight: 2.90 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours
  • Bluetooth range: 150 ft
  • Water resistance rating: IP67
  • Power output: 15W

+ Pros:

  • Powerful 360-degree sound fills the car completely
  • Exceptional 20-hour battery life
  • Extremely durable with IP67 water and dustproof rating
  • Can float in water - perfect for beach trips in your classic convertible
  • One-touch control for easy operation while driving
  • Can be paired with other MEGABOOM speakers for stereo sound

- Cons:

  • Larger and heavier than some portable options
  • Premium price point
  • Bass can be overpowering in small car interiors
  • No built-in voice assistant
  • Charging dock sold separately
  • No speakerphone functionality
  • App required for EQ adjustments

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The MEGABOOM 3 is excellent for classic cars due to its powerful 360-degree sound that can fill even larger vintage interiors. Its long battery life means you won't need to worry about frequent charging or complex wiring. The exceptional durability and waterproofing make it perfect for convertibles or cars that might be exposed to the elements. Its cylindrical shape fits well in cup holders or footwells, and the one-touch control is ideal for easy operation while driving. Despite its modern features, its sleek design doesn't look out of place in a classic car interior.

Sony SRS-XB43

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 6

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Sony SRS-XB43 is a robust, party-ready speaker that brings Sony's renowned audio quality to your vintage ride. As someone who's spent years fine-tuning car audio systems, I can appreciate a speaker that offers both power and finesse.

What makes the SRS-XB43 stand out is its X-Balanced Speaker Unit, which delivers powerful sound with less distortion, and its Extra Bass feature that can really make your classic car rumble. Add in the built-in lighting system, and you've got a modern party on wheels that surprisingly complements your classic aesthetic.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 12.01" x 4.33" x 4.96"
  • Weight: 6.50 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 24 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IP67
  • Power output: 20W

+ Pros:

  • Exceptional sound quality with deep, punchy bass
  • Impressive 24-hour battery life
  • Rugged, waterproof, and dustproof design (IP67 rated)
  • Built-in party lights with multiple modes
  • Can be paired with other Sony speakers for stereo sound
  • USB port for charging other devices

- Cons:

  • Relatively large and heavy for a portable speaker
  • Bass can be overpowering at times, especially in smaller cars
  • Party lights may not appeal to all classic car enthusiasts
  • More expensive than some competitors
  • No built-in voice assistant
  • App required for advanced features and EQ adjustments
  • May be too modern-looking for some classic car interiors

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The Sony SRS-XB43 is a great fit for classic cars, especially larger models or convertibles. Its powerful sound can easily overcome road noise in less-insulated vintage vehicles. The long battery life eliminates the need for complex wiring, preserving your car's original look. Its rugged, waterproof design makes it perfect for convertibles or cars with less-than-perfect weatherproofing. The ability to charge other devices is a handy feature for long cruises in cars lacking modern amenities.

Bose SoundLink Revolve+

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 8

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is a premium speaker that brings Bose's legendary sound quality to your classic car in a sleek, portable package. In my years of experience with car audio, I've found that sometimes you need a speaker that offers uncompromising sound quality, and the Revolve+ delivers just that.

What sets the Revolve+ apart is its true 360-degree sound, which fills your car's interior with rich, detailed audio from a single point source. The elegant design, with its convenient carrying handle, looks at home in even the most meticulously restored classic cars.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 4.13" x 4.13" x 7.25"
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 17 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 4.2
  • Water resistance rating: IPX4
  • Power output: 20W

+ Pros:

  • Outstanding 360-degree sound quality
  • Elegant design that complements classic car interiors
  • Convenient carrying handle for easy transport
  • Good battery life at 17 hours
  • Can be paired with another Revolve+ for stereo sound
  • Built-in speakerphone for hands-free calls

- Cons:

  • More expensive than many competitors
  • Lower water resistance rating (IPX4) compared to some rivals
  • No party lights or extra features like some other speakers
  • Older Bluetooth version (4.2)
  • Not as bass-heavy as some may prefer
  • No built-in voice assistant
  • Charging cradle sold separately

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The Bose SoundLink Revolve+ is an excellent choice for classic car owners who prioritize sound quality and elegant design. Its 360-degree sound dispersion works well in car interiors, providing balanced audio throughout the cabin. The speaker's refined look doesn't clash with vintage aesthetics, and its portable design with carrying handle makes it easy to take in and out of the car. While it may not have all the bells and whistles of some competitors, its focus on pure audio quality makes it perfect for audiophiles who want to enjoy their music collection in their classic ride without compromising on sound.

Tribit XSound Go

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 9

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Tribit XSound Go is a compact powerhouse that delivers impressive sound quality at a budget-friendly price point. As someone who's worked on audio systems in all types of classic cars, I can appreciate a speaker that offers great value without compromising on performance.

What makes the XSound Go stand out is its combination of clear, balanced sound, exceptional battery life, and a rugged, waterproof design. It's a speaker that can handle the sometimes harsh conditions in older cars while providing a significant audio upgrade.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.7" x 2.2" x 2.3"
  • Weight: 0.84 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 24 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX7
  • Power output: 16W

+ Pros:

  • Impressive sound quality for its size and price
  • Exceptional 24-hour battery life
  • Fully waterproof with IPX7 rating
  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • Can be paired with another XSound Go for stereo sound

- Cons:

  • Bass response is good but not as powerful as larger speakers
  • No companion app for EQ adjustments
  • Lacks advanced features like voice assistant integration
  • No party lights or visual elements
  • Charging time is relatively long at up to 4 hours
  • Sound can distort slightly at maximum volume
  • Limited color options

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The Tribit XSound Go is an excellent choice for classic car owners looking for a no-frills, high-performance speaker. Its compact size allows for flexible placement in tight vintage interiors, while the long battery life means you won't need to worry about frequent charging or complex wiring. The IPX7 waterproof rating makes it perfect for convertibles or cars with less-than-perfect weatherproofing. Its clear, balanced sound can easily overcome road noise in less insulated classic cars, providing a significant audio upgrade without breaking the bank.

OontZ Angle 3

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 10

Rating: ★★★★☆

The OontZ Angle 3 is a budget-friendly speaker that punches well above its weight class in terms of sound quality and features. In my years of experience with car audio, I've found that sometimes the most unassuming devices can surprise you, and the Angle 3 certainly fits that bill.

What sets the Angle 3 apart is its unique triangular design, which allows for stable placement in a variety of positions in your classic car. Combine this with its impressive volume output, good battery life, and water resistance, and you've got a versatile speaker that's ready for any classic car adventure.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 5.25" x 2.75" x 2.75"
  • Weight: 0.56 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 14 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX5
  • Power output: 10W

+ Pros:

  • Surprisingly good sound quality for its size and price
  • Unique triangular design for stable placement
  • Very lightweight and portable
  • Good battery life at 14 hours
  • Water-resistant with IPX5 rating
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • Available in multiple colors

- Cons:

  • Bass response is limited due to its small size
  • No option to pair multiple units for stereo sound
  • Lacks advanced features like voice assistant integration or an app
  • No visual elements like LED lights
  • Sound can become slightly distorted at maximum volume
  • Limited control options on the device itself
  • Micro-USB charging (not USB-C)

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The OontZ Angle 3 is a great fit for classic cars due to its compact size and unique shape. The triangular design allows for stable placement on uneven surfaces often found in vintage vehicles. Its lightweight nature and good battery life make it easy to move around and use for extended periods without needing to be plugged in. The IPX5 water resistance provides some protection against spills or light rain in convertibles. Despite its small size, it produces clear, room-filling sound that can overcome road noise in less insulated classic cars. For classic car owners on a budget, the Angle 3 offers a significant audio upgrade at a very accessible price point.

DOSS SoundBox Touch

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 11

Rating: ★★★★☆

The DOSS SoundBox Touch is a sleek, feature-packed speaker that brings modern functionality to your classic ride. As someone who's installed countless audio systems in vintage vehicles, I can appreciate a speaker that combines ease of use with impressive performance.

What makes the SoundBox Touch stand out is its intuitive touch control panel, which allows for easy operation even while driving. Coupled with its powerful 20W stereo sound and elegant design, it's a speaker that feels right at home in any classic car interior.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 6.6" x 2.9" x 2.7"
  • Weight: 1.23 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 20 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 4.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX5
  • Power output: 20W

+ Pros:

  • Impressive 20W stereo sound with enhanced bass
  • Sleek design with intuitive touch controls
  • Long battery life of up to 20 hours
  • Compatible with SD cards for offline playback
  • Built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • Available in multiple colors to match car interiors

- Cons:

  • Older Bluetooth version (4.0) may limit range and stability
  • No option to pair multiple units for wider stereo sound
  • Touch controls may be sensitive to accidental touches
  • No companion app for advanced EQ adjustments
  • IPX5 rating is good, but not fully waterproof
  • No visual elements like LED lights
  • Micro-USB charging (not USB-C)

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The DOSS SoundBox Touch is an excellent choice for classic car owners looking for a blend of modern features and classic aesthetics. Its compact size allows for easy placement in vintage interiors, while the touch controls provide a futuristic feel without looking out of place. The long battery life eliminates the need for complex wiring, preserving your car's original look. The ability to play music from SD cards is a nice touch for those long drives where you might not have cell service. Its clear, powerful sound can easily overcome road noise in less insulated classic cars, providing a significant audio upgrade that enhances your driving experience.

Anker Soundcore Mini 3 Pro

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 12

Rating: ★★★★☆

The Anker Soundcore Mini 3 Pro is a tiny powerhouse that delivers surprisingly big sound in a package small enough to fit in your classic car's cup holder. In my years of experience with car audio, I've learned that sometimes the best things come in small packages, and the Mini 3 Pro certainly proves this point.

What sets the Mini 3 Pro apart is its combination of compact size, powerful sound, and advanced features like customizable EQ and stereo pairing. It's a modern marvel that can significantly upgrade your classic car's audio without taking up much space.

Specifications:

  • Dimensions: 3.3" x 3.3" x 2.8"
  • Weight: 0.66 pounds
  • Battery life: Up to 15 hours
  • Bluetooth version: 5.0
  • Water resistance rating: IPX7
  • Power output: 6W

+ Pros:

  • Incredibly compact size perfect for tight spaces
  • Surprisingly powerful sound for its size
  • Fully waterproof with IPX7 rating
  • Customizable EQ via Soundcore app
  • Can be paired with another unit for true wireless stereo
  • Attractive design with multiple color options
  • USB-C charging

- Cons:

  • Battery life is shorter than some larger speakers
  • Bass response is limited due to its small size
  • No built-in microphone for hands-free calls
  • No visual elements like LED lights
  • Maximum volume may not be sufficient for larger vehicles
  • App required for full feature access
  • No auxiliary input for wired connections

Why it's suitable for use in an old car: 

The Anker Soundcore Mini 3 Pro is an ideal choice for classic car owners who want a significant audio upgrade without sacrificing space or aesthetics. Its ultra-compact size allows it to fit virtually anywhere in your vintage interior - from cup holders to glove compartments. The IPX7 waterproof rating makes it perfect for convertibles or cars with less-than-perfect weatherproofing. Despite its small size, it produces clear, room-filling sound that can overcome road noise in less insulated classic cars. The ability to customize the EQ via the app allows you to fine-tune the sound to your car's acoustic properties. For those with larger classic cars, the option to pair two units for stereo sound is a great way to create a wider soundstage without any permanent modifications to your beloved vehicle.

At-a-Glance Comparison of Key Features

Speaker Model

Price Range

Battery Life

Water Resistance

Power Output

Weight

Standout Feature

TREBLAB HD-Force

$$$

25 hours

IPX6

50W

3.94 lbs

Built-in power bank

Anker Soundcore Flare 2

$$

12 hours

IPX7

20W

1.29 lbs

360° sound & light show

JBL Clip 4

$

10 hours

IP67

5W

0.53 lbs

Integrated carabiner clip

Ultimate Ears MEGABOOM 3

$$$

20 hours

IP67

15W

2.90 lbs

Floats in water

Sony SRS-XB43

$$$

24 hours

IP67

20W

6.50 lbs

Extra Bass & party lights

Bose SoundLink Revolve+

$$$$

17 hours

IPX4

20W

2.00 lbs

Premium 360° sound

Tribit XSound Go

$

24 hours

IPX7

16W

0.84 lbs

Best budget option

OontZ Angle 3

$

14 hours

IPX5

10W

0.56 lbs

Unique triangular design

DOSS SoundBox Touch

$$

20 hours

IPX5

20W

1.23 lbs

Touch control panel

Anker Soundcore Mini 3 Pro

$

15 hours

IPX7

6W

0.66 lbs

Ultra-compact size

Price Range Key: $ (0-$50), $$ ($51-$100), $$$ ($101-$200), $$$$ ($201+)

Installation and Setup Guide

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 25

Now that you've chosen the perfect Bluetooth speaker for your classic car, let's go through the installation and setup process. As a long-time car audio enthusiast, I can assure you that this process is much simpler than installing a traditional car stereo system.

Step-by-step installation process

  1. Unbox your new Bluetooth speaker and charge it fully before first use.
  2. Choose an appropriate location in your car (more on this later).
  3. If your speaker has any mounting accessories, install these according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. For speakers without mounting options, ensure they're placed securely to prevent movement while driving.

Pairing with your smartphone

  1. Turn on your Bluetooth speaker.
  2. Enable Bluetooth on your smartphone.
  3. On your phone, go to Bluetooth settings and search for new devices.
  4. Select your speaker from the list of available devices.
  5. If prompted, enter the pairing code (usually 0000 or 1234, check your speaker's manual).
  6. Once paired, your phone should connect automatically in the future.

Securing the speaker in your car

  1. For speakers with clips (like the JBL Clip 4), attach to a sturdy part of the interior, such as a sun visor or door pocket.
  2. Cylindrical speakers often fit well in cup holders.
  3. For larger speakers, the footwell on the passenger side can be a good location.
  4. Consider using velcro strips or a non-slip mat to prevent sliding on smooth surfaces.
  5. Never place the speaker where it could interfere with driving controls or airbag deployment.

Tips for optimal placement and sound quality

  1. Center console: Great for even sound distribution, but ensure it doesn't interfere with gear shifts.
  2. Dashboard: Provides good sound projection, but secure it well to prevent sliding.
  3. Rear shelf: Good for larger speakers in sedans, but may rattle at high volumes.
  4. Door pockets: A discreet option, but may muffle sound slightly.
  5. Experiment with different positions to find the best sound in your specific vehicle.

Troubleshooting common connection issues

Speaker won't turn on 

Ensure it's charged. If it still won't power on, consult the manual for reset instructions.

Can't pair with phone 

Turn Bluetooth off and on again on your phone. If issues persist, forget the device in your Bluetooth settings and re-pair.

Intermittent connection 

Ensure your phone is within the speaker's Bluetooth range. Move the speaker closer if necessary.

Poor sound quality 

Check if the speaker or phone is low on battery. Low power can affect audio quality.

Echoing during calls 

This can happen if the speaker is too close to your phone. Increase the distance between them.

Speaker not auto-connecting 

Some phones limit the number of auto-connect devices. Check your phone's Bluetooth settings.

Remember, each classic car is unique, so don't be afraid to experiment with placement and settings to get the best sound for your specific vehicle.

Certainly! I'll expand on the "Enhancing Your Car Audio Experience" section, providing more detailed information in a narrative format.

Enhancing Your Car Audio Experience

Best Bluetooth Speakers for Old Cars image 28

As a long-time car audio enthusiast and professional, I've learned that enhancing your classic car's audio experience is about more than just adding a Bluetooth speaker. It's about creating an immersive soundscape that complements your vintage ride without compromising its charm. Let's dive into some advanced techniques to take your classic car's audio to the next level.

Using multiple speakers for surround sound

Creating a surround sound experience in your classic car can truly transform your driving experience. I remember working on a 1965 Mustang where we used two high-quality Bluetooth speakers to create a wider soundstage. We placed one speaker on the dash and another on the rear deck, creating a pseudo-surround effect that filled the cabin with rich, detailed sound.

If your chosen speakers support true wireless stereo (TWS) pairing, you can create genuine stereo separation. This works particularly well in wider classic cars like old Cadillacs or Lincolns. I once set up a pair of TREBLAB HD-Force speakers in a '59 Cadillac Eldorado, and the owner said it was like having a concert hall on wheels.

For a more nuanced approach, consider using speakers with different sound characteristics. In a client's 1970 Chevelle, we paired a bass-heavy speaker in the footwell with a treble-focused unit on the dash. The result was a dynamic, full-range sound that brought new life to classic rock tracks.

Integrating with existing car audio systems

Many classic car owners are hesitant to replace their original radios, and I completely understand why. The good news is, you can often integrate Bluetooth functionality with your existing system.

One of my favorite solutions for cars with aux inputs is using a small Bluetooth receiver. These compact devices can hide away in your glove box or under the dash, connecting to your original radio via the aux input. I used this method in a 1980s Porsche 911, allowing the owner to stream music from his phone while retaining the classic look of the original Blaupunkt radio.

For even older classics with cassette players, a cassette adapter can work wonders. I've used this trick in everything from '70s Beetles to '60s Impalas. The adapter looks like a regular cassette tape but has a cable that connects to your Bluetooth speaker or phone. It's a simple but effective way to bridge the gap between old and new technology.

If your classic ride only has an AM/FM radio, consider an FM transmitter. These devices broadcast your Bluetooth audio over an unused FM frequency, allowing you to tune in with your original radio. The sound quality isn't always perfect, but it's a non-invasive way to add Bluetooth to virtually any classic car.

Tips for optimal audio settings on your device

Getting the best sound in a classic car environment can be challenging, but a few tweaks to your audio settings can make a big difference. Most smartphones have built-in equalizer settings in their music apps. I always recommend experimenting with these to find the right balance for your car's unique acoustics.

In older cars with less sound insulation, road noise can be a significant issue. Many Bluetooth speakers have "outdoor" or "loud" modes that boost certain frequencies to cut through background noise. I've found these particularly useful in convertibles or cars with vibrant exhaust notes.

If your Bluetooth speaker comes with a companion app, dive into its features. Many offer advanced sound customization options. I once used the Sony Music Center app to fine-tune the sound of an SRS-XB43 in a client's Jaguar E-Type, creating a preset that perfectly complemented the car's interior acoustics.

For the true audiophiles, it's worth exploring your phone's Bluetooth codec settings. Some phones allow you to prioritize sound quality over connection stability, which can make a noticeable difference in audio fidelity.

Maintenance and care for Bluetooth speakers in a car environment

Taking care of your Bluetooth speaker is crucial, especially in the sometimes harsh environment of a classic car. Heat is one of the biggest enemies of electronics, so I always advise against leaving your speaker in direct sunlight. In a restored '57 Chevy Bel Air I worked on, we created a small, ventilated compartment under the dash to store the speaker when not in use.

Dust and debris can also be issues, particularly in convertibles or cars that see a lot of outdoor use. Regular cleaning of your speaker's grills and surfaces will prevent buildup that could affect sound quality. A soft brush or compressed air can work wonders here.

For speakers that aren't fully waterproof, consider using a protective case, especially in convertibles or classics known for leaky seals. I once fashioned a custom water-resistant housing for a client's speaker in his British roadster, ensuring it could withstand the occasional unexpected shower.

Lastly, don't forget about mounting hardware. The vibrations in a car, especially a classic, can loosen mounts over time. I make it a habit to check and tighten any mounting screws or brackets every few months to prevent rattles or potential damage.

FAQ

Can I leave my Bluetooth speaker in the car?

It's generally not recommended to leave your Bluetooth speaker in the car, especially in extreme temperatures. Heat can damage the battery and electronics, while cold can temporarily reduce battery life. If you must leave it, store it out of direct sunlight, perhaps in the glove compartment.

How do I connect my Bluetooth speaker to my car's existing audio system?

You can use a Bluetooth receiver with an aux input or an FM transmitter. For older cars with cassette decks, a cassette adapter can work well. The method depends on your car's existing system and the available inputs.

Will a Bluetooth speaker drain my car's battery?

A Bluetooth speaker itself won't drain your car's battery as it uses its own power source. However, if you're using a 12V adapter to charge the speaker while the car is off, this could potentially drain your car's battery over time.

Can I use my Bluetooth speaker for hands-free calling?

Many Bluetooth speakers support hands-free calling. Check your speaker's specifications or manual. If supported, you'll typically answer calls using a button on the speaker itself.

How do I update my Bluetooth speaker's firmware?

The process varies by manufacturer. Some speakers update automatically when connected to their companion app. Others might require you to download firmware from the manufacturer's website and update via a USB connection. Always check your speaker's manual for specific instructions.

Are there any alternatives to Bluetooth speakers for upgrading old car audio?

Yes, there are several alternatives. You could install a modern head unit with built-in Bluetooth, which provides an integrated solution. Another option is using a Bluetooth car kit that works with your existing stereo, offering a balance between old and new. For a more comprehensive upgrade, you could install new speakers and an amplifier while maintaining your dash's classic look. Each option offers different levels of modernization and preservation, allowing you to choose what best suits your classic car and personal preferences.

What's the difference between a car-specific Bluetooth speaker and a regular portable one?

Car-specific Bluetooth speakers are designed for automotive use, typically featuring secure mounting options, designs that blend with car interiors, and loud volume capabilities to overcome road noise. Some even integrate with car power systems. Regular portable speakers may lack these car-specific features but offer more versatility for use outside the vehicle. Your choice depends on whether you prioritize seamless in-car integration or multi-purpose use.

Conclusion

Talking about classic cars, preserving the original charm while enjoying modern audio conveniences is a delicate balance. Bluetooth speakers offer a fantastic solution, allowing you to upgrade your vintage ride's sound system without permanent modifications. Whether you opt for the powerful TREBLAB HD-Force, the compact JBL Clip 4, or any of the other excellent options we've explored, you're sure to enhance your driving experience. Remember, the best speaker for your classic car is one that complements its unique character and meets your specific needs. So crank up the tunes, hit the open road, and enjoy the perfect blend of classic style and modern sound!

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