Review: Monster iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect 3000 for iPhone and iPod
November 28, 2012 by Bill Palmer
by Bill Palmer
Nearly a decade after the idea of connecting a device like an iPod to your car stereo first arose, getting audio out of the device while simultaneously getting power into the device in an elegant manner remains a challenge. With its new iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect 3000, Monster takes the basic principles of its earlier iCarCharger 1000 product and takes it step further with a twist I haven’t seen elsewhere.
The 3000 plugs into your car’s charging port with two cables emanating from it, one for connecting to your iPhone or iPod and the other for connecting to the aux-in port on your car stereo if you have one. Because your stereo faceplate is often near your car’s charging port, the cable which runs between them is of variable length. If you’ve ever suspected that the big head on most car chargers is just for show, you’re right – and in this instance it slides open to allow you to unwind as much audio cable as you need while keeping the rest spooled up and hidden inside. This trick alone should get an award (and did, Beatweek Best of the Year). But that’s not even the coolest part of the product.
In this increasingly hands free era, many vendors are pushing forward with voice control. But the 3000 instead has a motion sensor on the front of the charging head which allows you to control the most basic of playback functionality (play, pause, next or previous track) with hand gestures. In my tests I found that they work surprisingly well. The only caveat would be that you’re out of luck if your car places its charging port in an odd place or angle which prevents you from being able to easily make hand gestures in front of it. But for most users, this is cool and handy.
Because it uses Apple’s outgoing 30-pin connector port, this product is only compatible with the iPhone 4S and older, iPod touch 4 and older, iPod nano 6 and older. Those with a new iPhone 5 or iPod touch 5 will need to wait until Monster invariably revises the product for use with Lightning port products.
Anything not to like here with the Monster iMotion CarPlay Direct Connect 3000? Perhaps the price, as a hundred bucks is a lot of money for a car charger, even one as sophisticated and cool as this one. But it’s still highly recommended.
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 • Price: $99 • monstercable.com