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Spotify discontinues its passable vehicle device Car Thing

Playing music on Spotify Car Thing.
(Image credit: Ted Kritsonis / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Spotify has discontinued its vehicle device called Car Thing.
  • This device could be attached to a vehicle's center console for a hands-free music experience.
  • U.S. consumers can purchase a Car Thing for $50 while Spotify's summer sale lasts.

According to a post by XDA, Spotify has announced the discontinuation of its first-party hardware device made for vehicles, known as Car Thing.

Though short-lived, Spotify's Car Thing was certainly an interesting car infotainment device. It was typically mounted around a car's center console and featured Spotify content exclusively — in fact, a Spotify Premium subscription was required for customers to use the Car Thing. 

The device came with voice control activated by saying "Hey, Spotify," to speak what you wanted the device to do. It had hands-free driving in mind for safety, though it also featured buttons on its exterior and a dial that assisted in moving through its interface and your playlists.

Regarding Car Thing's discontinuation, a Spotify spokesperson told TechCrunch, "The goal of Spotify's Car Thing exploration was to better understand in-car listening, and bring audio to a wider range of users and vehicles. Based on several factors, including product demand and supply chain issues, we have decided to stop further production of Car Thing units. Existing devices will perform as intended. This initiative has unlocked helpful learnings, and we remain focused on the car as an important place for audio."

What's interesting about Car Thing is that there are other similar options on the market including built-in Android Auto systems that support Spotify. In addition to these options, Spotify also offers a "car view" for using the app on your phone while on the road. This feature alters the interface of the Spotify app, removing the album cover and making the text and navigation elements larger. The Spotify app automatically recognizes when you're in a car and alters the UI to make it more convenient and safe to use.

With such driving filters built-in, it's easy to see why Spotify is one of the best music apps for Android, so discontinuing its vehicle device shouldn't be that significant of a blow. XDA also informed that U.S. consumers can still purchase a Car Thing for a reduced price of $50 while Spotify's summer sale lasts.

Nickolas Diaz