Spotify is testing an in-car music device - but it's not what you think

Spotify is testing an in-car music device - but it's not what you think

Spotify has announced it is officially testing an in-car voice-controlled 'music and playlist' device, but it isn't the consumer in-car player or controller we hoped it would be when rumours of a Spotify car device broke last spring. 

Spotify is simply installing what it's calling the "Car Thing" into the vehicles of a select number of Spotify Premium subscribers in the US in order to learn more about people's listening habits when they're behind the wheel. Sorry, Spotify-subscribing petrolheads...

In a recent blog post, the streaming giant said its focus is still on software, 'not on creating hardware', with the test's purpose to shed light on in-car music behaviour and ultimately allow Spotify to enhance the service's user experience. 'Our focus remains on becoming the world’s number one audio platform... We don’t have any current plans to make this specific device available to consumers, but the learnings from our test will dictate how we develop experiences everywhere you listen.' 

While we won't be holding our breath for a consumer-ready car player (or any consumer electronics) from Spotify a moment longer, we will be keeping an ear out for further voice-specific tests in the future. 'Don’t be surprised if you hear about “Voice Thing” and “Home Thing”', said Spotify.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10+ years in the hi-fi industry, she has reviewed all manner of audio gear, from budget amplifiers to high-end speakers, and particularly specialises in headphones and head-fi devices. In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.