In an increasingly wireless world, new users of Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are often surprised to find out that they need to plug their phone in to connect. That inconvenience will soon be a thing of the past: Pioneer’s latest NEX in-dash receivers let you connect to your CarPlay or Android Auto system without having to deal with a cable at all.
There are three models in the latest addition to the NEX line: the AVIC-W8400NEX, the AVIC-W6400NEX, and the AVH-W4400NEX. No matter which model you choose, you’ll be able to connect either with a cable or wirelessly.
“We’re excited to expand our NEX line with models that deliver the latest advancements in smartphone and car-to-home smart home integration,” Pioneer Electronics USA Vice President Ted Cardenas said in a statement. “With our new wireless connectivity option, you no longer need to worry about taking your smartphone out of your bag or pocket before getting in the car.”
There are a few reasons why connecting wirelessly is handy. The first is obvious: no cables. The second is that while this seems to be less of an issue with CarPlay, some Android Auto users find that their phone loses charge while connected. Connecting wirelessly lets you use either a battery pack or 12-volt charger yet still connect to CarPlay or Android Auto. There’s also the issue of legality: in some states, it’s illegal to so much as touch your phone while driving, so keeping it safely in your pocket or bag means this won’t happen.
If you’re new to CarPlay or Android Auto, it’s worth knowing that the platforms support Siri and Google Assistant, respectively. This means that not only do you add functionality to your car with one of these new receivers, but you can also control smart home devices so you can turn on your lights and adjust the thermostat before you even walk in the door.
The most expensive of the new NEX models is the AVIC-W8400NEX, which retails for $1,200, while the AVIC-W6400NEX costs $800 and the AVH-W4400NEX is priced at $700. If you’re new to all of these, be sure to check our guides to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.