In this video, I check out the MMB Plus 4.0 Wireless CarPlay Adapter.
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This 4th generation of the MMB Plus dongle offers new software and hardware that includes the addition of wireless Android Auto on top of the same functionality from previous generations including wireless CarPlay, mirroring or screen casting from apps like YouTube directly to your CarPlay screen, playback USB media such as videos and music and connect to devices over Bluetooth for calling and music playback.
Unboxing & Features
In the box, you get a small paper instruction manual, there is the MMB Plus wireless adapter itself, and you get two USB cables to power the adapter, one USB-C to A, and one USB-C to C cable for more modern CarPlay vehicles.
Looking over the adapter then. It features the same casing as the earlier models of the MMB Plus adapter, with its rounded top and side ventilation holes. On one end of the adapter, there is a USB-C port to connect the adapter to your vehicle’s CarPlay port, and on the opposite side, there is a USB-A port for upgrading the dongle and also to connect a USB drive for media playback of videos and music files.
Installation is plug and play, you simply connect the USB-C end of the charging cable and the USB-A or C side of the cable into your CarPlay USB port. This dongle will not work on Android head units, so I tested the adapter on my Alpine and Pioneer CarPlay aftermarket head units, and in 7 seconds I was soon seeing the adapter’s bootup animation, followed by its home screen menu in around 30 seconds in total.
From here you have all the available functions presented to you in a grid-like layout. On the top left of the home screen, there is a media playback panel, which comes alive once any Bluetooth music or USB media playback is playing.
Wireless CarPlay & Android Auto
Beneath this panel are two options for wireless CarPlay and wireless Android Auto. Selecting either will display the Bluetooth profile that you need to connect to on your mobile device. After the initial Bluetooth connection, your mobile will connect wirelessly, in around 10 seconds, over Wi-Fi to the adapter and you can continue to use CarPlay or Android Auto as normal cable-free – with the usual wireless delay traits that are common on all wireless dongles for music playback, turn-by-turn navigation audio commands and calling.
You can connect a USB charging cable to the adapter’s USB-A port to charge your phone without crashing the adapter, however, it will stay in wireless CarPlay or Android Auto, and it will not switch to a wired mode.
USB Video & Music Media Playback
Over in the USB Disk function of the adapter, you get to plug in a USB drive with media pre-installed, and this adapter will playback the content onto your CarPlay system display. In my test files, I found the player wasn’t as capable of playing certain video files that well. MKV files seem to carry some very obvious compression defects in the video, whereas MP4 videos didn’t have any playback issues, but some did look like they had a drop in framerate. The audio seemed in sync though, so taking care to load your USB drive with the compatible file formats should be a priority when using this method of video playback. Music playback seemed fine too, with common sound files being supported. I did notice a few crashes in this area, but disconnecting the USB drive brought me back to the main menu, and the dongle didn’t need to be restarted.
YouTube Mirror & Screen Casting
Selecting either Mirror or Casting options from the main menu offered similar experiences and results. This allows you to connect the adapter to a personal Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone, and then choose to either mirror your device to your CarPlay display or AirPlay or Screen Cast from an app on your iPhone or Android mobile.
For iPhone, this only works by selecting the Screen Mirror option from the Control Panel, whilst Android users can use the Screen Cast button to mirror their phone or use the Cast button that’s available in apps like YouTube for a more native-looking experience. You can view videos from non-copyrighted apps, such as YouTube, Tiktok and videos from your Camera, however, apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ will not be able to display video this way. Sound is played back in sync, and I tested this with a few sound sync test videos on YouTube, as well as playing back my own from both iPhone and Android devices.
Bluetooth Calling & Music
In the Bluetooth section of the menu, you get to connect to a BT device to playback music and use the adapter to browse your synced contacts and call them on your CarPlay display. Audio is adjustable via your phone’s volume buttons this way, and there are clear options to call, browse recent calls and view your contacts, to basic playback and navigation buttons for Bluetooth music from an app running on your connected device.
There is a single round button present on some functions of this adapter, which simply goes back to the home screen and at times there is an additional back option that will take you one sub-screen backwards in the media area you are in. This button doesn’t display during wireless CarPlay or Android Auto.
The MMB Wireless Carplay Adapter Plus Version 3 retails for $139 plus shipping from MMB directly, and you can use my coupon code carplaylife to save yourself 5% at checkout.
It’s good to see wireless Android Auto being added to this dongle, whilst its main menu interface and casting video playback have seen some improvements over older versions of this dongle. Its lengthy and quite over-the-top bootup animation helps distract what is a long bootup time, yet once booted you’ll be able to connect to either CarPlay or Android Auto without the need to reboot it. The option to boot straight into wireless CarPlay is possible, which took around 36 seconds in total, yet auto booting into Android Auto is absent from the Settings area and will require an additional press of the Android Auto button to wirelessly connect to your Android device.
Streaming video from YouTube took some setting up and its performance can vary based on your own mobile’s Wi-Fi hotspot connection, but with a solid connection, playback seemed good with audio in sync with the video and the Android Cast button method seemed a little better presented and navigated than on the iPhone, however, I did have to select the adapter from the casting list each time I wanted to play a different video.
If you’re looking for a wireless CarPlay or wireless Android Auto dongle for the CarPlay system in your car, with the added flexibility of either casting YouTube to your CarPlay display or playing back USB media from a connected USB drive, then this new 4th generation of the MMB Plus adapter does this relatively well without adding any extra complexity or bulk that an alternative Android AI Box would bring.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:34 – Unboxing
0:49 – Features
1:13 – Boot up & menu
1:50 – Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto
2:33 – USB Disk media playback
3:27 – Mirroring & Cast YouTube video apps
4:23 – Bluetooth media playback and calling
5:05 – My Impressions