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Tablet as In-Car Headunit

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

So I have been spending a lot of time on MP3Car.com forums and I have decided that I would like to attempt to use a tablet as a headunit, and try to save some money by simply Not buying a double DIN pioneer that has a crappy touchscreen, and dumbed down junky operating system.  I've thought about it a lot and I have one specific reason I am posting this here and not on any of the million car audio sites.  You guys know good sound quality and you are constantly seeking out the best portable options.


I've found a few posts on iPads, DACs, and Android tablets.  I've never dealt with the sound quality issues of the tablet market until now, but it seems that a DAC is a good route to go because it bypasses the internal audio processing of the tablet and allows you to get a cleaner source.  Please correct me if I am wrong, like I said my knowledge of this is practically non-existant.  



I am faced with a few options, however I will leave it to you all to tell me what is best.


1.)  I need to choose between a 7" Android Tablet (Main contender Google Nexus 7) or iPad Mini.  Remember I am looking for audio-quality specific arguements.  Can I get equivalent quality from either?


2.) Connection Options:  I have an RCA input on my Clarion Equalizer which is the device that I am trying to run the signal to.  From there it goes to the 5-channel amp, then the speakers.


Connection A:  Direct 3.5mm to RCA connector to my EQ.  I was told this would sound terrible on another site, however I have no first hand experience to say that it does.


Connection B: (iPad Mini only)  Lightning Jack to 30-Pin adapter  + 30-pin to RCA/USB adapter out to my EQ.  This would still allow charging but would have an audio output originating from the lightning jack rather than the 3.5mm.  I was told this would sound better than the 3.5


Connection C: Tablet USB(Or lightning) to DAC + DAC RCA/3.5mm out to my EQ.  I am guessing this will be the best but most expensive option and I do not know if it allows for charging while this is used.  Will the audio quality be noticably better or worth it?



Hopefully someone can shed some light on the subject for me! :)



post #2 of 4

I can't say I am familiar with this subject at all (I ride motorbikes and don't even own a car!), but I do watch a You tube channel that posts up useful (and entertaining) tutorial videos of car mods so this video may be able to provide you with some ideas about your dilemma.




I would also check their forum/thread about this episode for additional information.


I hope I was of some help.

Edited by samason - 1/16/13 at 8:54pm
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

That is a pretty cool video and I wish I was that lucky that my dash simply fit a full sized iPad into it!  Its going to be a lot more complicated than that.  They definitely didn't mention the sound quality in that video though :/

post #4 of 4
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