UPDATE: #5 Wireless CarPlay Dongle in my new 2022 round-up – View this here!
Enjoy my Ottocast U2-Air Fast Wireless CarPlay Adapter Review & Fastest Wireless Adapter Shootout
You can buy this adapter for $109.95 from Amazon US → https://amzn.to/34L1tW0 or from Amazon UK → https://amzn.to/3JUFStF or from Amazon DE → https://amzn.to/3oGilUV or from AliExpress → https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_A0D8Lh
Or buy from Ottocast directly here → https://bit.ly/ottocastu2air
The timings in the video differ to my labels because in the car I was timing from ignition turn, where as in the video I always start it from the first display of the Alpine boot splash screen and stop it as soon as CarPlay displays on screen.
In this video, I look at the new U2-Air Wireless Apple CarPlay Adapter from Ottocast. This is your standard wireless CarPlay dongle that you simply plug into an existing wired CarPlay port and it will allow you to ditch the cable and run Apple CarPlay wirelessly in your car.
This way you can leave your iPhone in your pocket, jacket, handbag or manbag and on the ignition and an initial Bluetooth pairing, your iPhone will connect to your CarPlay display wirelessly.
This is a super convenience accessory for your CarPlay enabled vehicle. Sure it won’t charge your iPhone, but for short trips where charging your iPhone isn’t required, it’s such a convenience to just jump in the car and not fumble around with cables. It will not do any of the Android OS, Android Auto, or AirPlay streaming features that I have covered recently on other new dongles and adapters. This purely does what is now “old-school” Wireless CarPlay. No frills, and because of this, it’s one of the fastest at it too!
This is FAST!
Just coming in 1 second slower than the fastest DAYO adapter, the U2-Air is up at the top as one of the fastest booting CarPlay adapters available today. Speed-wise, it sits on level-pegging with the TNVTEK wireless adapter I reviewed recently at around 24-28 seconds, which for my system is pretty fast.
Slower U2W and U2W-Autokit dongles can take around 30-50 seconds at times.
So there’s a lot of like about the U2-Air. Long-term performance is hard to judge, as I don’t do that many long trips. Sort term has been fairly reliable. I say fairly as I did recently encounter some black screens at boot-up. Something the TNVTEC does less as often on my system. A quick remove and reattach the USB fixes this, but it is a clear compatibility issue with my setup that maybe an update might address in the future.
Usual wireless CarPlay traits apply to the U2-Air adapter. So there’s nothing new or different to report here. I found screen input and display lag to be decent and on par with most other wireless dongles. On paper, it isn’t the best performer, but its actual performance and boot-up deliver very well.
Fastest Wireless CarPlay Adapter
As it has booted faster than the TNVTEK Wireless Adapter, this dongle will stay in my Golf (for now). The TNVTEK does have some major advantages with its software, in that it has a richer and more tweakable IP-based settings menu over the U2-Air, and they both share the inability to hot-swap between connecting iPhones, so if that feature is highly desirable, I would suggest the CarlinKit 3.0/3.0 mini. If you want the fastest, then the DAYO Wireless Adapter was 1 second faster, but considering how unstable it is, I would crown the U2-Air as one of the fastest “recommended” Wireless CarPlay dongles right now.
It was a surprise to me during my Fastest CarPlay Adapter Shootout towards the end of this video, that the U2-X Wireless Adapter was very slow. Almost 20 seconds slower, so if having Android Auto support isn’t that important for you, I would look at the U2-Air instead.
0:00 – Brief overview
0:45 – Unboxing U2-Air
2:19 – U2-Air Installation & Demo
2:31 – U2-Air Boot menu
3:38 – U2-Air Wireless CarPlay
6:38 – U2-Air Ignition to CarPlay speed test
7:21 – U2-Air IP-based menu & updating
7:49 – U2-Air firmware updating
8:56 – Fastest CarPlay Adapter Shootout
9:04 – U2-Air Boot Speed
9:10 – TNVTEC Boot Speed
9:51 – U2-Air Boot Speed
11:16 – U2-Now Boot Speed
11:58 – DAYO Boot Speed
12:48 – CarlinKit 3.0 Mini Boot Speed
13:31 – U2-X Boot Speed
14:20 – Boot Speed Results
15:05 – Wireless CarPlay Adapter Spec Sheet
16:05 – My U2-Air Impressions