2 New Fast TNVTEC Adapters for Wireless Apple CarPlay & Wireless Android Auto Reviewed

In this video, I check out two adapters from TNVTEC, SMT-V06 is for wireless Apple CarPlay and SMT-A06 is for wireless Android Auto.

You can buy the wireless CarPlay adapter for €68.99 with 15% coupon 👉🏻 https://amzn.to/3BdRLci, and €63.99 for the wireless Android Auto adapter 👉🏻 https://amzn.to/3BdRLci. Links are currently for Amazon DE, but US and UK will get these in stock soon.

These curved Apple Magic Mouse-like wireless CarPlay and Android adapters simply turn either an existing wired CarPlay or wired Android Auto system into a wireless one.

In the box you get a paper instruction manual, there is the adapter itself, a USB-A to C cable to power it, a USB-C to C cable for more modern vehicles, and there is also a 3M adhesive sticker, should you wish to mount the adapter more permanently onto your centre console and possibly reduce any hardware-based disconnections.

TNVTEC wireless Apple CarPlay adapter

Looking over the TNVTEC Wireless CarPlay adapter specifically. It has a dark blue/grey metallic colour on top, an offset status light, and TNVTEC branding on the edge. Underneath it’s silver in colour and here is where you can check its model numbers and CE markings. This CarPlay-specific model number is called the SMT-V06. It only has one USB-C port along one side of the adapter, to power the dongle, and over on the other side there is a small button, which isn’t mentioned in the manual, and neither does it do anything on this specific adapter.

Boot-up time took 11.88 seconds, which is a little faster than the Ottocast U2-Air. It’s main boot interface and options are very basic. With no on-screen options or multi-device menus available. There’s just the version number of the adapter and the Bluetooth ID that you need to pair your iPhone with for wireless CarPlay.

Boot-up into wireless Apple CarPlay took around 13 seconds, and including the boot-up time, it took around 25 seconds in total, which matches closely matches the U2-Air adapter also.

Once into wireless CarPlay, the overall performance was responsive with the usual 1-2 second audio lag that you can expect from these wireless adapters. Both calling and voice capture in audio messages sounded good. But what really sets this adapter apart from other dongles, is that it shares the same higher resolution output as the U2-Air, in that for higher resolution displays, it will offer more icons per screen with a supporting resolution output. This not only offers less swiping between icon screens, but it also brings increased real-estate in apps, so you see more navigation tiles in maps apps, and more menu options when scrolling through music. It’s a nicer way to make full use of a high-resolution display – if you have one.

Updating the dongle is done over the air, by logging into its IP config menu. And from here you can also use its rather basic customisation options should you encounter any compatibility issues with your CarPlay system by choosing between its audio and startup delay options.

Overall, this is basically the same U2-Air spec in a different case. So coming in at just under its full retail price of €68.99 with a 15% coupon from Amazon DE, with US and UK stores also coming soon. If you’re after a fast, yet basic wireless CarPlay dongle, that does just as much as the U2-Air does, then I’d put this adapter on your shortlist. Against my top 5 wireless CarPlay dongles, I would say it would be level pegging with the U2-Air at 5th place.

TNVTEC wireless Android Auto adapter

Moving on to the TNVTEC wireless Android Auto adapter. It has a distinctive white colour (that personally I think would suit CarPlay more than Android), again on top there is an offset status light and TNVTEC branding along one edge. Underneath it’s silver in colour and here and this Android Auto-specific model number is called the SMT-A06. It only has one USB-C power port along one side, and over on the other side, there is the same small button, which doesn’t do anything either.

Boot-up couldn’t be tested without a boot menu and connection to my Pioneer was less as successful as my Alpine receiver, with some instant connection drops on the Pioneer, so this adapter seems a little more sensitive to certain wired Android Auto systems. There isn’t any boot menu or interface on this adapter, you just pair your Android 11+ or newer device to the active Bluetooth ID of the adapter and Android Auto will fire up wirelessly from your Android device. 

Pairing to a device for wireless Android Auto took around 14 seconds, and including the boot-up time, it took around 29 seconds in total. Once into wireless Android Auto, the overall performance was responsive and sharp on my Pioneer display and not so much on my Alpine display with its lower resolution. It has the usual 1-2 second audio lag that you can expect from these wireless adapters. I did encounter an issue with hearing audio during calling on my Pioneer, but it was just fine on my Alpine receiver, so again, this will vary on the system it’s being plugged into.

Updating the dongle is done over the air, by logging into its IP config menu. From here you also have slightly fewer configuration options than the CarPlay adapter, with just delay start being the only option here. I also tried to update the dongle but encountered a few issues connecting and applying the update to the adapter, because on Android you have to switch in and out of connecting to the dongle’s Wi-Fi and also internet-connected Wi-Fi, so it isn’t as smooth a process as it is on CarPlay adapters.

Overall, this Android Auto adapter wasn’t as solid performing as the CarPlay adapter, at least on my Pioneer test system. So if this concerns you, I recommend you buy it from Amazon so you have easy returns if it doesn’t work well with your Android Auto system. 

This adapter retails for €63.99 from Amazon DE, with US and UK stores also releasing soon. This is €20 less than the full price of the A2-Air from Ottocast and even more savings against the CarlinKit A2A adapter that sells at full price for over €100. So if you’re on a budget and willing to test adapter this out on your Android Auto system, you’ll be saving a bundle and likely get very similar performance.

TIMESTAMPS:

0:00 – Brief overview
0:24 – Unboxing both adapters
0:45 – TNVTEC SMT-V06 Wireless CarPlay Adapter
3:10 – SMT-V06 Impressions
3:41 – TNVTEC SMT-A06 Wireless Android Auto Adapter
5:57 – SMT-A06 Impressions

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