Wireless CarPlay adapters are a great way to give your car a smart touch. They give you hands-free control over your iPhone’s functions while you’re driving. The best part is that you can do this without attaching your phone to any cables.
Currently, two dongles on the market are grabbing all of the attention. Continue reading our Ottocast vs CarlinKit comparison to find out which is better for you!
Ottocast vs CarlinKit: A Head-To-Head Comparison
- Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 7.3 inches
- Connectivity Technology: RCA, Bluetooth, USB
- Phone Support: iPhone
It’s time to pit the Ottocast vs CarlinKit adapters against each other! The following are the five criteria we used to compare both models:
1. Design and Build
Overall, the Ottocast and CarlinKit dongles are compact and won’t take up much space.
The Ottocast has a squared look and a bulkier feel to it. Whereas, the CarlinKit has a rectangular shape with a slim profile. Regarding appearance, they’re both black and have a minimalistic design.
In terms of design and build, we can say that it was a tie. Whether you prefer one over the other will depend on your preferences.
2. Connection Speed
You should know that several factors influence a wireless adapter connection speed. One of them is the car model.
The Ottocast was tested by its manufacturer on a Mercedes GLE350 and showed a startup time of 7 seconds. When we tested the dongle on various car models, it took an average of 18 seconds, which is still pretty fast.
CarlinKit, on the other hand, had a slower boot-up time of 25-30 seconds.
*In this example, CarliKit was already connected before entering the car
3. Network Connection
Both wireless adapters’ network connection stability was adequate, with one outperforming the other. First off, both automatically connect once their initial setup is complete, which is quite convenient.
The Ottocast dongle has a 5GHz Wi-Fi module that’s advertised as being capable of connecting to your phone even when it’s in your pocket. We investigated it and discovered that it wasn’t entirely accurate because we did experience some connectivity issues.
The CarlinKit has received a lot of praise for its solid connectivity, which we now know is well-deserved. Even when the phone was in a pocket, the audio quality was clear and consistent. This is attributed to the dual-band wireless transmission we previously discussed.
Both dongles are similar in that they don’t work with Android devices.
However, Ottocast has additional restrictions on the car models and head units that it can work with. It’s incompatible with the cars we mentioned above, as well as others. This adapter is also not guaranteed to operate with aftermarket head units.
In contrast, CarlinKit 3.0, is compatible with nearly all car models and can be used with aftermarket head units.
You should carefully read the manufactures compatibility lists before purchasing to make sure it is compatible with your vehcial.
The CarlinKit tends to cost slightly more than the Ottocast. Yet, the price difference between the two adapters isn’t significant.
Ottocast and CarlinKit are among the highly-priced wireless CarPlay adapters on the market. You can find much cheaper alternatives, but we can’t promise that they’ll deliver comparable quality.
6. Warranty and Technical Support
Ottocast offers a 30-day return policy, subject to certain conditions, in case you aren’t satisfied with their product. We liked how their website had an “Instructional Videos” section that showed how to use their products. They also provide excellent technical support via email.
You’ll receive a one-year worldwide warranty if you choose the CarlinKit adapter. You can refer to their website’s FAQ section or email their customer service if you face any problem with their product.
*This is subject to change. If you purchase from Amazon, the returns policy may also differ.
First, let’s talk about the Ottocast wireless CarPlay adapter. This adapter looks fantastic and is available in shiny black. It’s also super compact and light, measuring about 2.2 x 2.1 x 0.5 inches and weighing 1.6 ounces.
The Ottocast is pretty easy to set up. You simply enable Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and CarPlay features on your phone. Afterward, connect the Ottocast adapter to the car’s USB port. Finally, you pair the Bluetooth signals from your phone and the adapter, and that’s it!
After you’ve set up this dongle, it’ll automatically connect your phone to the car with a full startup time of 7-18 seconds. The adapter has an integrated 5GHz Wi-Fi module that quickly detects your phone.
Keep in mind that some Ottocast products, such as the U2-AIR, are only compatible with iPhones. You should consider the U2-X if you own an Android device to work.
Speaking of compatibility, the Ottocast only works with cars that have factory-wired CarPlay, model years 2016-2022. This means your car came with CarPlay rather than you install it with an aftermarket stereo.
This Ottocast adapter is compatible with a wide range of vehicle models, such as Mercedes, Volvo, Chevrolet, and Kia. However, the Ottocast doesn’t work with certain car models, including BMW, Mitsubishi, and the 2016 Buick LaCrosse.
- Small and light
- Easy to set up
- Short startup time
- Connects automatically
- No audio lag
- The 5Ghz Wi-Fi module provides a stable network connection
- Doesn’t support Android phones
- Not compatible with all car models
- Doesn’t work with cars that don’t have factory-wired CarPlay
- May not work with aftermarket head units (ex: Pioneer)
See a video by Justin Kelly, who discusses it in more detail or view our full Ottocast wireless CarPlay adapter review:
Introducing our next contender, the CarlinKit wireless CarPlay adapter. This adapter has a sleek appearance and a slim build. It’s 3.1 x 1.8 x 0.5 inches in size and weighs 1.4 ounces.
The CarlinKit has various versions, such as 2.0, 3.0, and the most recent 4.0. While this might be confusing, it’s mostly a marketing play with no major differences between the models. With this being said, we’d still recommend getting the 3.0 or 4.0 as they seem to have the most reliable software at the moment.
These are plug-and-play adapters, making them incredibly simple to set up. To activate the device, you can follow the steps outlined in the preceding product, which will only take a few minutes to complete.
What’s great about this wireless adapter is how it’s designed to provide the optimal CarPlay connection.
To explain, it has a new low-power consumption upgrade that reduces the problems associated with overheating. You see, the core idea behind this module is to produce less heat and dissipate it more quickly.
On top of this, the CarlinKit is designed with dual-band wireless transmission (5.8GHz+2.4GHz). This results in a faster response, an uninterrupted network connection, and no sound delays.
This dongle only works with iPhones and vehicles that have factory-installed CarPlay. It’s compatible with almost all car models; in fact, the manufacturer claims that it works with 98% of them.
Besides, it won’t be an issue if you have an aftermarket unit head installed. Most of them, including Pioneer, Kenwood, and Alpine, are compatible with this CarlinKit adapter.
- Slim and lightweight
- Simple pairing process
- Compatible with most car models
- Crisp sound quality with no delays
- Low power consumption; rarely overheats
- Works with most aftermarket head units
- Dual-band wireless transmission for optimized network connectivity
- Relatively expensive
- Doesn’t work with Android devices
- Incompatible with cars that lack factory-installed CarPlay
See a video by MJTech that discusses it in more detail, or view our full CarlinKit Review:
That’s a wrap for our Ottocast vs CarlinKit comparison! Although both models performed superbly, we have to admit that the CarlinKit was a better choice.
Both dongles are compact, easy to use, and fall within a similar price range. However, the CarlinKit was superior in terms of compatibility and connection stability.