Spotify opens the waitlist to buy Car Thing, its weird $80 'smart player'

Spotify Car Thing
Spotify Car Thing (Image credit: Spotify)

What you need to know

  • Spotify opens up the waitlist for its first hardware product.
  • The Car Thing connects to a smartphone in order to stream music to your car.
  • The device costs $80 and requires Spotify Premium to work.

Spotify has a Car Thing, and soon you can have a Car Thing too. The company announced on Thursday that it is opening up the waitlist to purchase the device, which costs $80.

Car Thing is Spotify's first hardware product and features a large, easy-to-use dial for scrolling through menus, or you can control the device via the touch-screen or "Hey Spotify" voice commands.

At launch, the device was given limited release, based on an invite-only system, but now that's no longer the case.

Interestingly, the device is completely dependent on your smartphone; it connects to iOS or the best Android phones using Bluetooth in order to play music in your car, which is only possible from your phone's Bluetooth or AUX connection. It essentially performs the same function as your phone when connected to a vehicle, except now with a middle-man. Spotify says it also works with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both of which can already connect to Spotify.

Given its name, it seems clear that even Spotify had no idea where this "thing" would actually fit into one's driving experience in a way that's new or helpful. The setup page even highlights the redundant nature of the device:

If you can currently play music in your car with your phone, you'll be able to do it easily with Car Thing, too.

That said, if you're interested in buying one to free up your phone while you drive, now's your chance. You can sign up for the waitlist now if you're a U.S. resident and regardless of whether you're on a free or paid account.

It's worth noting that a Spotify Premium account is required to use the device, so you'll have to account for that additional cost if you're not already a paid subscriber.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.