Review: CPLAY2air Wireless CarPlay Adapter

In late September, I was given a CPLAY2air wireless CarPlay adapter as a gift. Neither of my vehicles support wireless CarPlay, and so I was looking forward to using the CPLAY2air device to enable the use of CarPlay without having to have my phone plugged into a cable. Here’s my feedback on the CPLAY2air device after about six weeks of use.

In general, the device works reasonably well. Setup with the factory radio in my GMC Sierra truck was pretty straightforward, and only took a few minutes. Since then, the device connects to my phone every time I start the vehicle, and all CarPlay functions—music, maps, Siri, sending/reading messages, etc.—all work as expected. I can leave my phone in my pocket and still gain all the benefits of CarPlay, which is incredibly convenient.

The CPLAY2air is not without a few caveats, however. The wireless connection between the CPLAY2air and my iPhone does introduce some noticeable latency. When switching music tracks, for example, it will take between one and three seconds to stop playing the old track and start playing the new track. (By comparison, the same operation using traditional wired CarPlay is nearly instantaneous.) Similarly, when talking on the phone, there is latency in the conversation—almost like the latency one might experience on international calls. Fortunately, the latency does not adversely affect the ability to use Siri, even though the latency is still there.

The other noticeable caveat regarding the CPLAY2air is the startup time. It often takes several minutes after I start the vehicle before the CPLAY2air makes the necessary connection to my iPhone and to the factory radio and wireless CarPlay starts working. Occasionally there will be an error connecting (this is reflected with an error message on the screen) and it takes even longer to retry. In general, though, this is more of a “be aware of this”-type item as opposed to a significant limitation.

Despite these drawbacks, I remain a fan of the CPLAY2air for the added convenience it offers.

Feel free to contact me on Twitter if you have any questions, or if you’d like to share your experience with this device (or related devices). Thanks for reading!

Posted by Contributor