Car Bluetooth Options for Toyota Avalon


I just returned my 2015 Buick Regal as it was a lease and my Dad gifted me his 2007 Toyota Avalon Limited as a replacement.

The car is equipped with an (ancient!) navigation system and a JBL Synthesis sound system. It does not appear that the car has an auxiliary input jack (unless I’m blind), although it’s got 12V inputs ( so I could use some type of adapter from that input) and while it does have a primitive voice recognition feature, there is no cell phone integration.

This leads me to my question. I simply cannot go back to talking on the phone while driving with the phone wedged in between my shoulder and ear. I need something hands free and as wireless as possible.

I’m pretty knowledgeable about cars in general but I am not a mechanic nor an installer.

What bluetooth system can I get that is inexpensive, as wireless as possible and is easy to install? It appears online that most of these things are also designed to provide an audio interface as well, but that isn’t as important to me as just being able to talk on the phone while keeping my eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

Ideally I would love to get something that I won’t have to tear apart half the dashboard to access wiring harnesses, etc.

Does anyone have experience with these systems? I’ve never used one as my cars were either older than cellphones or had the bluetooth integrated into the car.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks Dopers.

I just installed a Pioneer Avic 8200NEX in my 2004 Avalon. It works flawlessly and the hands free is crystal clear.
There are double din kits for your model year Avalon and I can’t recommend it highly enough. I also got a rear camera.

There is a newer model; the 8400NEX has all the same feature plus it wirelessly connects to CarPlay. I always plug my phone in to charge it so the several hundred dollar premium was not worth it to me.

Check the condition of your speaker! My poor 2094 subwoofer could not handle the new power and tore itself apart within 10 minutes. Popped s new Hertz in and sounds better than ever.

Note: if you have the JBL system make sure you get the right connectors.

I can think of three choices.

[li]Do as MikeG says, and replace the entire head unit. Depending on how difficult it is to get the old one out, this may be pretty easy or very difficult. Someplace like Crutchfield will tell you what fits your car and what parts you need to make it work. I did this on a 2002 VW and am pleased with the results. Total cost was around $150.[/li][li]Get a Bluetooth to FM adapter that goes into your cigarette lighter. I got one at the last minute before a 1000 mile trip when I found out the tape player wouldn’t accept one of those tape line-in adapters. It was only $15 or so, and worked really well in the country. In the city the radio stations are too dense. There is interference on almost every single channel. A clear FM channel on the north part of town doesn’t work on the south part, etc.[/li][li]Get a dedicated car Bluetooth speakerphone. I have no idea how well they perform, and if they even work better than simply having your phone in a mount and using the phone’s built in speakerphone.[/li][li]I guess, get a dash mount, and use the built-in speakerphone function on your phone.[/li][/ol]
If you plan to keep the car for a long time, I recommend option 1.

I was hoping not to have to replace the head unit. It’s expensive, and I happen to think the JBL Synthesis surround system sounds better than the Bose system in the 2015 Regal I used to have. I am however considering a 12" sub in a sealed enclosure with a small amp to augment rather than replace the 8" sub included in the system. I believe it would sound good as the 8" sub in the stock system is a very midrange sub with little to now deep bass response.

As far as the speakers, well Mike…my Dad is almost 80 so he never really cranked anything up so I have to assume they are in decent condition. They sound great right now, especially in surround mode.

IDK. I used to be a car audio guy but it’s been years since I’ve been in that game.

Again, I am trying to get my phone to connect to whatever I do get just for hands free calling, any audio benefits for music are secondary but welcomed. I am trying to understand what my options are. Any fine detail as to what those options are is appreciated.

I’ve got an '06 Toyota Avalon. I use a Jabra Freeway which clips to your sunvisor, and connects to your phone via Bluetooth. It has a built-in speaker, microphone, and FM transceiver. I’m pretty satisfied with it’s performance so far. Jabra calls it a bluetooth speakerphone, if you want to search for similar options.

I use this Bluetooth adapter that plugs into the 12v plug:

Nulaxy Wireless In-Car Bluetooth FM Transmitter

It also has a jack to connect to the AUX input if you ever find it.

I might go with this one. It seems to meet all the requirements. Sucks not having an aux jack though. I’ve read negative things about these types of devices that use an FM station to transmit due to interference, etc.

Have you ever had any issues like that?

[quote=“echoreply, post:3, topic:818707”]

[li]Get a Bluetooth to FM adapter that goes into your cigarette lighter. I got one at the last minute before a 1000 mile trip when I found out the tape player wouldn’t accept one of those tape line-in adapters. It was only $15 or so…[/li][/QUOTE]
I’d always sneered at those (“What, good sound without wires? What infernal sorcery be this, that travels through the air into my radio? Pish, posh, suh!”).

But my daughter swore by hers, and brought it along on a road trip. I loved it, bought it off her, and only twice a year do I run into interference where I need to (quickly) change the frequency that it uses.

I love that I can be listening to music (or an audiobook) on my iPhone with earbuds, get in the car and as soon as I start up, it’s playing through my speakers with no effort on my part.

And if there’s a drop in quality over hard-wiring into an AUX jack, I can’t hear it.

Yeah, I had a little static over the FM, so it plugged it into the AUX input. Does your Avalon have a cassette player? If so, you can use a cassette adapter to connect it to your audio system:

INSTEN 3.5mm Universal Car Audio Cassette Adapter

I read about that, but unfortunately, no dice on that. So really it looks like my only options are replacing the head unit outright ($$$) or going the FM route.