USA Spec iPod® Interface

Connects your iPod to select Toyota factory radios

Item #: 581PA11TOY

46 Reviews

This item is no longer available.

Original Price: $139.99

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You can take it with you. Just because you've got a factory radio in your car, doesn't mean you have to leave your iPod (and the hours and hours of music it contains) at home. Just install USA SPEC's iPod interface — it not only allows you to listen to all your favorite tunes through your car's speakers, it even lets you control song and playlist selections right from your radio.

Just mount the compact interface box in a hidden location in your vehicle, and connect the adapter cable to the CD changer input on your compatible Toyota factory radio. Plug your iPod into the interface — you can control volume, source, song selection, and up to five different play lists right from the radio. And the interface charges your iPod while it's connected. You even get an auxiliary input for connecting an add-on satellite radio, DVD player, or other external source.

Please enter your vehicle information or call a Sales Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this adapter is compatible with your vehicle. As the iPod interface uses the CD changer port, any existing changer that you have (including in-dash changers) must be disconnected.

Product Highlights:

  • iPod connection adapter for select Toyota factory stereos
  • manage the iPod via your radio's CD changer controls
  • adjust volume, track up/down, fast forward/rewind
  • use up to five playlists (select five favorites, or Auto Playlist will let you choose from the first five on your iPod)
  • Direct Mode allows you to control everything via the iPod itself, giving you access to all playlists (requires a DIP switch change on the USA SPEC adapter)
  • compatible with all iPod and iPod mini models equipped with a dock connector and iPod software update 2004-04-28, or higher
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Why would I need an iPod® adapter?

An iPod adapter allows you to connect your iPod to your car stereo, then access your playlists with your stereo's controls - a great idea for several reasons. One, you can scroll through your song titles on your stereo's larger display, instead of squinting down at your iPod. Two, you can route the adapter cable to your glove compartment or center console, so your iPod stays safely out of sight. Three, the iPod adapter keeps your iPod fully charged, so it's ready to rock when you leave your car. And last of all, some adapters bypass your iPod's internal digital-to-analog converter, using your stereo's superior DAC to turn your files back into music.

USA Spec iPod® Interface Reviews

Average Customer Review:

46 reviews
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Simple and easy

Written By Manx, Pennsylvania on Thursday, March 27, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This 1-piece device
is easy to install
and easy to use.
I've never used or
owned anything other
than an FM-receiver
and this is far

If your Interface is
not working better
than an FM-receiver,
you've got a bad
wire, or a bad
interface into the
stereo is always
going to be better
unless you're in a
no-interference FM
zone (Alaska comes
to mind).

As for overheating
and burning out
multiple iPods I
offer this
suggestion: when you
leave your car,
unplug your iPod
from the Interface!
Although the iPod
and radio will shut
off when you push
stop on the iPod,
the iPod continues
to charge, all the
time. Thus there is
always power running
to the iPod from the
Interface. When you
leave your car,
disconnect and take
it with you!

I recommend the
mode, without
playlists, to avoid
the need to create
and delete multiple
playlists. Although
you lose a bit of
functionality its
worth it to have
master control over
your iPod.

All in all for the
money and for an
entry-level device
this is more than
adequate. 3.5 to

Worked GREAT...until it burned up 3, yes 3 brand iPods!!!! Beware

Written By Lynnie, Bay Area, CA on Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I got this and used it on my 2 hour r/t commute daily with my iPod Classic for a good while. One day the iPod Classic conked out. I thought maybe the battery had worn even though it seemed too soon for that. But as I wanted to upgrade I went out and got the new 80 GB version of the Classic last October '07.

Everything seemed to work great for about 12 weeks, then ffffzzzzttt, the new iPod stopped working while I was driving. I picked it up and it was WAY overheated. Thought maybe it was a battery defect like the Nanos have been having and Apple gave me a new one as the dead new one was under warranty. A friend noticed that the USA SPEC cable plug that goes into the iPod was sort of faintly "singed" looking. Finally got up my nerve to try the new replacement 80GB iPod... just to see what would happen: played music thru the stereo like a champ!! but would not charge. I figured maybe that could work okay (as I had a distinct impression that the USA SPEC might habe been overcharging my iPods...). It played music just great for about 3 days then ......nothing. The iPod was dead (didn't overheat, just totally died!).

It really seems like the product was failing and somehow sending negative electrical exchange to the iPods. The battery should not have failed so fast on the first one; the second one overheating while on the unit was downright scary; and the third one .... it was practically brand new and just died while plugged into the USA SPEC.

Another thing the SPEC is doing is just overiding the AM/FM radio modes of my car stereo randomly and at will (its will, not mine!) I opted to listen to the radio alot given the problems with the iPod interface, and the unit would just cut the radio out and switch the stereo system to the iPod adapter mode...with nothing plugged into it!!!. Not occassionally: it is doing this all the seems to "flip over" about every 6-10 minutes for no particular reason. Really really annoying, and unnerving. Seems like maybe some kind of electrical problem, which makes me hope like heck that I get it out of the car before something really awful happens!!!

May be some good reason why this product is now discontinued. When it worked, I loved it, but when it fails...uhhh-ohhh. I say "Buyer Beware" on this product.


Written By Jenaro, San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday, February 28, 2008

Excellent device and the instructions on how to install the equipment was outstanding. Shipping process also desire a hat off.

Keep up the outstanding work.

Not much over FM Adapter

Written By Chris, Lexington, KY on Monday, November 12, 2007

I ordered this for my 2007 Corolla with non-JBL 6-speaker and in-dash changer. I was hoping to replace the FM direct adapter for better sound but I was surprised to find that there was hardly any difference at all. I had both the FM adapter and the USA spec unit hooked up at the same time to test the difference. I then switched between FM and DISC several times and even unhooked and rehooked the FM just for kicks, but still I could hardly tell any difference in sound quality. I "tried" to like the USA spec, but it just didn't happen. Between the $20 FM adapter and the $140 USA adapter, needless to say, I'm returning the USA spec.

A decent product

Written By octobot, Albuquerque, NM on Monday, March 05, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

just installed this on my 2007 tacoma. i read several reviews that said it would not work with an in-dash 6 CD changer (non-JBL), however it DOES work, at least for the tacoma. it simply replaces the 6th cd if you press DISC again.
after you plug in the ipod it takes it a moment to recognize but after that it works great. you can change volume and track number with the steering wheel controls too. turn off the radio and the ipod pauses after about 2 or 3 seconds. really simple.
some people had issues with low sound. i initially had the same problem but then went into my ipod settings and changed the option for "Sound Check" to off and that resolved it. now the sound is pretty much exactly like radio or CD (maybe just slightly lower)
i had no idea what i was doing but this was very easy. i cannot get over how great it works.

A "must have" for iPod owners

Written By Paul, Acton, MA on Sunday, March 04, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was using a tape cartidge adapter to play my Nano in my 2000 Camry - that was OK except for the mechanical squeeking and not charging the iPod and not being able to control the iPod, and always fussing with the volume on the radio and the iPod to get it just right.

This is a great solution to all those shortcomings. The sound quality is great, the volume is just right, the iPod is automatically charged, and the radio provides basic control of the iPod (select track forward and back, FF and Rev, and pauses the iPod when turning off the radio or the car).

Installation really was easy - I stupidly spent a few minutes figuring out where the "Y" cable plugged in before I realized I didn't need it for my configuration. I mounted the box under the passenger's seat which provided plenty of cable length to have the iPod accessible and completely concealed in the center console (I drilled a hole in the inside of the console for the cable). There's enough slack in the cable for anyone in the car to control the iPod (not that I let them ;^) I use direct mode since I don't use playlists, and it just seemed more straightforward.

So far, I'm very pleased. It may be a tad pricey, but if you consider how much aggravation you avoid with an easy installation and flawless operation, its well worth it.

Great Product

Written By Deirdre, Berlin, CT on Friday, January 19, 2007

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This was installed in a 2002 Camry. Crutchfield's master spec sheet was great and described how to get to the cd changer plug in the back of the radio to attach the interface by removing the trim panels.

Installation was a snap. It was all just plug and play.

The volume was great and the radio controls work the ipod selections (along with the ipod itself). I chose the direct mode and it suits my purposes.

I also plan to connect a satellite radio (from Crutchfield) and it will plug right into the interface for a direct connection.

Just what I needed.

Almost perfect ??

Written By TWSARCH, Orange County NY on Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I have been using a cassette adaptor for the past 2 years I have had my Ipod. Oddly enough the only option on my bottom of the line 04 Corolla CE was a radio with a cassette in addition to the standard CD, so a cassette adaptor seemed like a good idea as a temporary solution until I installed a “system” in the car. 80,000 miles later, the car is not getting a system (the stock sound is surprisingly good for such a cheep car anyway--still). I needed to get rid of the squeaky cassette adaptor and the slight to moderate distortion it introduced on S sounds so the USA Spec item seemed like the way to go.

I read in other review it could be installed in a Corolla with out removing the head unit. I could get my hands on the connection on the rear of the unit but couldn’t get the plug in with out taking the radio out. Once that is done all you have to do is plug stuff in and put it back together, easy to install.

As my stock stereo is not too advance, I suspect I lose out on some of the control possibilities so I elected to use the “direct” mode, meaning you access play list from the Ipod itself. The default mode it arrives in locks out the Ipod and displays “Toyota safe to disconnect” on the Ipod screen and that is it. In the direct mode you can still skip songs with the factory radio and turn the I-pod on and off. I prefer it this way, as the display on the I-pod is still useful. If I had a head unit that could display track names (I think that is supported?) I may have used the other mode and hidden the I-pod.

Sound quality is excellent. The volume is a little lower then when using a CD or radio but that’s

Performs well, but overpriced and lost Steering Wheel controls

Written By Chris, Carlsbad, CA on Sunday, December 31, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this to connect my wife's iPod to the factory stereo (JBL w/ in-dash 6 CD changer) in her 2002 Toyota Sienna. The installation took about 5 minutes, simply remove the four 10mm bolts slide out the head unit, unplug the blue connector on the passenger side of the radio and plug in the CAS-TYi cable into the back of the radio, plug everything as directed into the converter and mount it (I chose under the dash). I routed the iPod cable into the CD drawer just below the power port and ashtray (who needs CDs when you have an iPod) that way the iPod cannot be seen by any would be theives.

The ONE MAJOR DRAWBACK is that unplugging the cable from the back of the head unit disables the steering wheel controls. I called tech support and they told me there was no work around, in fact they claimed it wasn't supposed to work with the in-dash 6 CD changer. In retrospect, it would have made more sense to spend the $20 more than the very overpriced USA Spec to get the Alpine CDA-9856 head unit and the $20 iPod cable, you'll get better sound, more power, and even get to see the track names. Hey, your going to lose the steering wheel controls anyway.

USA Spec versus Peripheral iPod Interface

Written By Don, AZ on Monday, December 04, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I wanted to play my iPod in my 2002 Toyota RAV4 and was unsure which interface to choose. Both the USA Spec and Peripheral adapters were supposed to work with my factory radio. This was not exactly the case.

I bought the Peripheral iPod adapter with the Pro Fit TY-73-01 mounting bracket because the Crutchfield salesperson assured me that there were options available on the Peripheral that were not available on the USA Spec. Plus the USA Spec was out of stock. The Pro Fit bracket was not even close to being a good fit for this car (which it was designed for) in fact, the dash panel wouldn't fit properly with the bracket installed.

The Peripheral iPod adapter was crummy. It was much lower volume than the other sources (radio, tape, CD) even when employing the dipswitch fix for volume (explained in other reviews). There was an irritating display issue where the disc number flashed between 1 and 2 which the manual said is normal. The head controls did not always control the iPod properly. And so on.

So I called Crutchfield back and when the USA Spec was available they sent me one to exchange (Crutchfield ROCKS!!!). I yanked out the Peripheral and installed the USA Spec and MAN WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The USA Spec sounds great (no loss in volume), is easy to use, has more to offer (like an extra aux input), communicates perfectly with the iPod and offers access to 5 playlists (the sixth playlist is your entire music library) which the other iPod adapter can't do.

I've been a music producer for 30 years and I know what good sound is. Buy the USA Spec and you won't be sorry!

Exactly What I Was Looking For!

Written By Terry, Cleveland, OH on Saturday, November 25, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently bought an 80 GB iPod and wanted to interface it with the factory installed 6-disc in-dash CD changer in my 2006 Toyota Matrix. The interface kits sold at retail stores would not work because my CD changer does not have red & white AUX plugs. I tried FM transmitters but found both sound quality and signal strength to be inferior. An after-market stereo would have required modifying the dashboard. I then read about the USA Spec iPod Interface PA11-TOY so I called Crutchfield to order the product. The instructions were straightforward. The CD changer faceplate and chassis were easy to remove, as long as your socket wrench has a 10" or longer shaft to reach all of the bracket bolts. The smaller of two CAS-TA adapters fits into an input on the back of the CD changer. The Interface is set for Direct Mode so that I retain full control over the iPod. The AUX INPUT is turned OFF but it is a nice add-on feature. When I press the CD changer's DISC button, it thinks the iPod is Disc #6. When the iPod is unplugged, the CD changer returns to its normal mode. Best of all, the iPod sound is almost CD quality! The installation took about an hour, mostly because I was figuring out where to mount the Interface (behind the lower right side of the console) and where to run the iPod cable. I found a perfect spot through the (so-called) ashtray in the lower front of the console. The cable stays coiled up inside the ashtray, along with the iPod, and pulls out with about two feet of excess cable, which makes it convenient to operate the iPod from either the driver or front passenger seats. Overall, I'm very satisfied with the iPod Interface. I highly recommend it!

Wow - Toyota 4runner Sport

Written By David, Aston, PA on Sunday, November 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I previously had another AUX onnected to my JBL premium sound system and got horriblem humming that couldn't be fixed in any way - tried ground loop interupters, everything. I installed this, adn now I have my Iopd and my Surius Sat. Radio connected and it sounds perfect, works great on CD1. I was hoping it would work better than my older AUX connector, but never expected it to work this well!

Not Perfect, But Probably One Of The Best For Factory Integration

Written By Steve, Long Island, NY on Friday, November 03, 2006

I finally joined the iPod revolution and bought 2nd gen 8GB Nano and of course I needed some way to play it in my '99 Solara. The USA Spec interface provides great sound and charges the iPod. I have enough wires in my car so I didn't want another cig lighter charger or cassette adapter. FM transmitters can be a pain to use and sound quality sucks. It's not perfect because the iPod has to be reset every once in a while after unplugging from the car, the high price, and I haven't found my head unit controls to be 100% responsive using the adapter. This is the best you can probably do with factory integration. This adapter gives an aux input- although I'm not using it I'm glad the options there. Install took about 25 min during my lunch break. $140 is a lot of money for the product- if I didn't purchase it using gift certificates I think it's too much money for the product. Spend a little more money and get an aftermarket radio with an iPod interface that gives you track information. It's obviously not portable so keep that in consideration if you use multiple cars.

Exactly what I wanted

Written By Amir, Lorton, VA on Saturday, October 21, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I called crutchfield to order this product, I received it the next day. I installed it, very easy to install. Was a little skeptical at first...not anymore! The only troub le I had was figuring out where to put the box, but after a few minutes trying it out in different places, I found a perfect spot under my seat. The radio receivers things are "whack" compared to this!

great purchase and i'm super pleased!!!

Written By Michael, statesboro, GA on Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

after realizing i was NEVER going to get quality reception from the number of radio transmitters i'd purchased for my ipod, i decided to give this a shot in my toyota tacoma. man, am i glad i did!!!

with crutchfield's instructions, a friend and i easily handled this job in about 30 minutes. simply plug the interface into your radio, hide it, and run your cable to a convenient place for your ipod and that's it! as for the interface quality, sound, and ease of use it is perfect. when i'm not using the ipod, the radio picks up fine with no interference and when i switch over to the ipod it starts up without missing a beat.

it's great that i can now use my factory radio to control the ipod AND use the ipod directly to access all it's features.

i HIGHLY recommend this product!!!

Product works as advertised

Written By Kris, Sacramento, CA on Monday, October 09, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I recently installed the product in my 2006 Toyota Sequoia. The products works better then I expected given the fact that the stereo was not designed to support an IPOD. What I mean is it is not perfect, it does not display songs being played but since I still have full control over the IPod I can select playlists on the IPod and move between songs using the headset, I can also adjust volume, and charge the IPod. Sound is excellent and for an add on it works great. One of the nice features is I can also connect a portable DVD player. I previously used a Tape deck adapter and anything is better then that. The reason my rating is not 4 stars is it would be nice if a product showed the songs on my headset but I have a feeling it is a limitation that no vendor can overcome.

2005 Corolla factory stereo installation

Written By Anonymous, San Diego, Ca on Monday, September 25, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was skeptical about buying this product for my wife's 2005 Corolla with factory stereo (in dash 6 disc changer but no JBL system). I was very worry the unit will not work well with the head unit and may require disconnect of the disk changer to get it to work based on other reviews. Oh well, I guess I would still give it a try, worst cast I can return the unit back to Crutchfield for full refund.

Working with a flashlight, spent half hour last night following the Mastersheet instruction to get the stereo out after wife went to sleep. In the back of the headunit, there are 2 set of conectors, one set was already taken up and will not fit with the standard CAS-TYi connector. The other set connector has one smaller connector that fit perfectly with the CAS-TA adaptor. Put everything back together and turn-on the stereo, I was able to hear both CD disc 1-5 and FM radio, and the most importantly Ipod at disc 6!!

It was nice while is lasted....

Written By lwr, Oostburg on Thursday, August 10, 2006

Installed easy and worked great for about a month then the left channel cut out, not worth the time or effort. If you need this functionality buy a head unit with a aux connection.

USA Spec iPod® Interface

Written By Bill, Billerica, Ma on Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product works very well. The installation was very easy. It took longer to find the spot for the box than the total installation. I would highly recomend this for your IPOD.

Great Product

Written By SteveG, Alexandria, VA on Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Great product. Took about 45 minutes to install in my 2005 Celica GT, and that included some trimming to run wire and install my IPOD inside the upper storage area out of sight. The Crutchfield instructions to remove trim panels and get at the back of the radio were detailed, accurate, and simple to follow. The IPOD interface was a simple plug and play and worked flawlessly. I chose Direct mode to have the flexibility of using some radio controls and the IPOD control. I couldn't be happier, sound and quality are excellent.

Outstanding value!

Written By Rob, Chicago, IL on Thursday, June 29, 2006

I'd been looking for a while. The USA Spec allowed full control of the iPod, had good reviews and was the cheapest. Got it from Crutchfield just 2 days after ordering. I'm a complete klutz with installing stuff but the MasterSheet detailed every step and, amazingly, I actually did install it myself in a little over an hour (being extra careful). Had to call Crutchfield tech support b/c one plug wouldn't fit in my '05 Sienna (non-JBL) and turns out that plug isn't needed. Used industrial-strength velcro to attach the USA Spec and just left the cord under the right-side trim so I didn't have to do any ugly hole drilling anywhere. Cord is black so it's fairly obscure under the trim. Minor gripes: left side speaker seems a tad weaker than right side speaker, and bass seems deeper than normal...but nothing that would detract from my rating. Didn't notice any ticking or hissing as mentioned in some other reviews but I've only been using it for an hour now. Love having full control of the iPod, and steering wheel controls work with it too. Crutchfield rocks, and so does this won't regret it!

2005 Rav4...Way Cool!

Written By Anthony, Horseheads, NY on Sunday, June 25, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I came across the USA Spec iPod® Interface when I was looking into ways to use my 3rd gen Ipod in my '05 Toyota Rav4. I had an FM transmitter, but I could never get a clear signal. I thouht about a tape adapter, but I've read that they are only so-so. I decided I'd try the USA Spec.

I have a factory cd player installed with cd changer controls (required). Installation was breeze. But, after getting it hooked up, it didn't work. I was crushed. For what ever reason my cd player wasn't recognizing it. Thinking it was defective, Crutchfield sent me a replacement right away. When I hooked up the replacement, it worked beautifully. I figured out in the process, that the first one wasn't really defective. You have to give it a few seconds (maybe 5-10) after plugging your Ipod in before the cd player recognizes the Ipod. This delay wasn't stated in the instructions.

Anyway, I love it. It charges my Ipod while I drive and allows me to listen to all of my music. I set it for direct mode so that I can keep complete control over my Ipod. I think this mode just makes it easier to find the songs you want to listen to. Actually, besides the great price, direct mode is what made me select the USA Spec over other brands. Many other brands don't give you the direct control option.

I love it and would highly recommend it if you have a compatible toyota factory radio.

Great product

Written By David, Chicago, IL on Sunday, June 18, 2006

When I first bought this product I loved it. I used it with a 4g iPod. Only gripe was that the playback volume was a bit lower than playing a CD. I would say a CD at 35 would equal about 45-50. However this past christmas I bought a iPod Video. Still works however there are some problems.
1. Volume is now lower. MAX on iPod is about equal to 42-45 on a CD.
2. Tracks on ipod that are not 128kbs or greater sound really bad. Bass would fall in and out, left speakers or right speakers would fall and rise in volume, etc.

Mostly these problems are correctable. Just convert your songs to a better format. I also got some Alpine speakers so that helps in the volume department.

Works great with Factory 6-CD in-dash Changer!

Written By Ben, MA on Friday, May 19, 2006

Well, I bought this knoing I could return it, as no one could tell me whether it would connect into my 2005 Corolla with the 6 CD Changer in the dash (not JBL). So I got it, opened up the dash, and VOILA it works perfectly. My car now thinks it has 2 CD changers, CD and CD1, though it only recognizes the ipod (CD1) a few seconds after you plug it in. It works perfectly in direct mode (I don't care for the playlist option) and I can change tracks on the car head unit no problem. Great! My only minor gripe is that sometimes the ipod backlight doesn't go off when I'm not using the ipod. But whatever... a small price to pay for a fine peice of equipment. Oh, and by the way, the included cable to the stereo has a daisy-chain kind of wiring which would allow me to add another CD changer should I ever want one. Not that I'd need one, but it's pretty nifty, eh?

The ultimate iPod accessory!

Written By James, Northern VA on Friday, May 12, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought the Griffin RoadTrip (FM transmitter, charger, mount) for $95 at Best Buy to get my iPod working with my new Corolla. So disappointed by the quality of the output, the very next day I got on crutchfield and found this adapter and placed my order. The very next day it arrived and i returned the RoadTrip. Now for about $20 more, and about 15 minutes spent installing the product (the provided instructions are incredibly detailed; it is next to impossible to mess up) i have perfect sound quality coming out of my iPod. I do not have any issues with hissing or ticking or other problems with sound quality that have been reported. The adapter is out of sight and i can keep the ipod sitting in my dash tray; or the provided ipod adapter cable is long enough for both front and back passengers to DJ if they want. Highly recommended product and the perfect solution for iPod-to-Car.

Makes a

Written By Mark, NJ on Thursday, April 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Product works as advertised. Fastest car stereo uninstall and reinstall I've had to date. Product plugs directly into the 2001 Toyota Highlander JBL 6 in 1 stereo in the unused disc changer socket in rear of the stereo, whew!

Problems noted:
1 - When using the iPod adapter cable, unit produces a constant "ticking" sound when iPod is connected but not playing. This is when the car is not running. Annoying
2 - When using mini jack (I bought the monster cable RCA to mini jack) there is a hiss, like you hear with an old cassette tape, but no ticking! Unfortunately, you don't get to charge your iPod this way.
3 - iPod interface cable sticks on right side, same problem noted above. Sounds like a Q.C. issue at the manufacturer.

Crutchfield service advisors, definately the best in the industry based on my experience, had heard of this intermittant problem, tried to call USA Spec, the mfg. and sent me out a new one today. I have my fingers crossed that the new one works well and that this one is somehow bugged, with poor internal shielding. No place to put any kind of line filter on this unit.

No loss of 6-disc changer! This is an AWESOME product.

Written By Peter, San Diego, CA on Monday, April 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just installed this in my 2006 Tacoma (with the 6-disc JBL system), and there is an extra input plug on the factory stereo so you don't have to sacrifice the 6-disc changer like the product specs say - you can have it all (iPod, 6-disc changer and satellite radio via the RCA inputs).

Installation was a breeze, placed the unit under the gear shift (pop out the front cup holders). Drilled some small holes on the right side of the tray to feed iPod and mini-to-RCA wires through.

No volume issues either, sound is good and loud. Sound output/volume is identical through both the iPod connection and the mini-to-RCA.

This is an awesome product. Get it, you'll love it.

Great product!

Written By Patrick, Denver, CO on Monday, April 10, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is by far the best iPod product I have purchased. Installation was easy, even though I had never worked on a car stereo before. It sounds great, just as good as a CD. The only complaint I have (which is very minor) is that the cord is hard to unplug from my iPod. Other than that, this product is awesome!

It can't be this easy!

Written By Dave, Jacksonville, FL on Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got one of these for my 2006 Tacoma, and I couldn't be happier. They forgot to include the master sheet with my order, but a quick phone call and they emailed it to me in minutes. Once started, it took a whopping 15 minutes to install. The sound is awesome, with no volume loss as previously discussed here. If you are looking for a simple adapter that delivers outstanding sound, then you have found it! Highly recommended!

Good So Far

Written By Brian, Virginia Beach, VA on Monday, March 20, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I drive a 2005 Toyota Camry and have been using one of the griffin transmitters since I bought the car over a year ago. I installed the USA Spec interface today and so far it is perfect. I was extremely nervous about the install because I know nothing about car stereos but it was truly a breeze. I mounted the box under my shift lever with 3M double sided tape. I drilled a 1/2 inch hole in in the back of the compartment under the stereo. I fed the wire through there with a rubber gromment so the hole looks proffesional. I also installed a mini-rca cable to the aux port of the USA Spec while I had the dash apart in case I wanted to add xm (which I have been considering). The only thing that I have noticed is the slight humming that others have mentioned in their reviews. I only notice it in between songs. When I figure out how to get rid of that I will post another review. All in all though I have no complaints.

Must fot iPod lovers

Written By Ravi, Richmond, VA on Sunday, March 19, 2006

I have a 05' Camry and I love this product. If you're a music or iPod lover this is a must have product.

The installation is pretty simple. I have no experience working on Cars and it took close to 1hr to install it. As many users said the main issue will be how to run your wire and to decide where to mount the USA Spec. I kept mine in the Glove box and it is pretty decent.

The sound quality is very good, it is same as an CD, may be better than CD. I really love this one.

Customer support is very good. Even on Sunday they provide top support. If you have any small questions don't hesitate to call customer support, they will run through it very easily.

The Best for Now

Written By Bill, Seattle, WA on Monday, February 27, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I agree with the other reviewers about the ease of installation. Calling the tech advisor wasn't needed until I encountered the issue of whether to go direct mode and how to do it. I didn't receive any instruction manual with the USA SPEC, but the second advisor was a great help in determining that the number 2 setting should be set to "No". Looking for a universal converter seems to be a problem for those of us who want to take it to our next car. Hopefully many new cars in a few years will have auxillary ports for IPODs. The installation for my Toyota Camry has the USB cord coming out from the drivers side and under the console molding to the center well where the IPOD rests secured by the MiMount holder. The nice thing is that everything is black, including the cord, and not easily noticed. I can reach and read the IPOD during driving to change my selections, but have to remember to have the volume all the way up before inserting the USB. Only two criticisms: 1) there is definite feedback hum related to inadequate grounding through the system. Similar to P.A. hum. The advisor mentioned this was slight and he is correct, it is only noticeable if you are parked in the car without the engine on. I had to pare down the treble setting. 2) The USB connect that comes with the system is difficult to dislodge from the IPOD. This requires patience because the left bracket on the plug seems to catch. Not great when all you want is to remove it while still installed in the Mi-mount. I trimmed the plug opening on the Mi-Mount to better accomodate this oversized plug, but it didn't make a difference when disconnecting. Still, I am very pleased for the most part

Great Product! Small quirks keep it from 5 stars, highly recommended

Written By Barlow_S, Richmond, Va on Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great product, east to install, and works as advertised.
I do have a couple small issues/annoyances that I would like to mention, other than that, this is an excellent product and I highly recommend it.

Problems that I've encountered:

- In direct Mode, the pause on the IPOD and stereo can counter each other. First, my Toyota radio does not have a pause.. it has a power button. However, when you switch from the radio to the disk changer.. and pause the IPOD from the IPOD device, you can't unpause it from the Stereo. When I've had the unit playing when I turned the radio on, the stereo has "paused" my ipod. This looks to be a minor bug.. and a minor annoyance... but my ONLY functionality complaint.

- I've "shorted" the device by trying the plug in headphones when the unit was still connected(I wanted to connect the headphones before I disconnected the cable so I wouldn't miss a beat). This was a POP and a SPARK. The IPOD and car radio BOTH reset and the IPOD went to "CHARGING", the device was no longer recognized by the radio as a CD changer. I had to reset the car power system before it would work again.

- I get a HUM on my XM radio when it's plugged into the AUX port. I'm not ready to blame this device or the XM2GO unit. I believe I saw on one of these reviews that someone had to buy a filter to resolve this issue.

Better than I anticipated!!

Written By Hyghgynx, Fresno, CA on Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for an Aux. Adapter to hook up my iPod and SIRIUS Satellite Radio to my Scion tC Head Unit because I was getting tired of the constant static cause by FM Transmitters. The PA11-TOY was definitely the answer! The adapter comes with most of the wires needed for install. (Minus the RCA "Y" adapter cables, that's if you're going to be hooking up Sat. Radio or a DVD player.) Speaking of install; it was a breeze! It took me about 40 Mins. and I am not car-savy!

As stated before, Direct Mode is the way to go. You can use the iPod as you normally do AND use some of the function controls on the Head Unit as well! Sound quality is 100x better than FM Transmitters! The only minor flaw is artist and song information are not supported. So you still have to look at the iPod for that information. Still a very good product. I highly recommend it!

Yes, it works!

Written By Will, Meridian, MS on Sunday, February 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was skeptical about this, since my 05 Toyota Matrix XRS has an in-dash changer and I couldn't verify if there was actually an external changer connector on the unit. I trusted the Crutchfield advisor and it was correct. The JBL system in the Matrix DOES have an external CD changer connection in addition to the in-dash changer. So, now I have a 6-disc changer, XM and the iPod working.

The unit works best in Direct Mode, in my opinion. There is a Playlist Mode in which you can access 5 playlists plus the RCA line inputs, but keeping up playlists is a hassle. In Direct Mode, just pull up what you want on the iPod like normal. You can still FF/RW and SKIP from the JBL in-dash unit.

One note on the audio level...I have read a lot from people who say the unit does not provide enough other words, the iPod isn't as loud as the CD player or FM radio. This has nothing to do with the USA Spec product, or any other product. The iPod's audio output at the Dock connector is somewhat low in level to accommodate the wide variety of accessories that are made for the iPod. If you want more level, you can use the headphone output connected to the USA Spec Aux In port and use Disc 6 on the changer to access it. Then you will also have a level control on the iPod to set up the gain structure properly.

I recommend this unit highly.

Fantastic and Easy

Written By Johney, Montana on Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

2003 Toyota Corolla S
IPOD 30 gig 5th generation

Easy installation. Plug it in and play.

As I shopped around, I also kept coming back to this product. It was about half the price compared to similar products.

One thing - Do wait for the package to arrive before removing your factory stereo. They sent great instructions for the stero removal in the box. I did take my stereo out before I ordered to make sure I had the right addapter for this unit. I would instead just call Cruchfield and take their word for it next time. Although I figured it out - it could have been much easier with thier instructions 1st (my dumb)!

I like the Using the IPOD to control the stereo so far. Using the 6 playlist options was not as cool for me. BUT this is really great - you can choose either option. Changing between the two is easy peasy - just flip a little switch. Right in the manual and no special tools.

So two big thumbs up on this product, the great customer service and fantastic communication with Crutchfiled.

versatile but not perfect

Written By brent, greenville, sc on Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

after talking with a crutchfield tech. expert, i had no problems installing the adaptor. in fact, deciding where to mount it and run the wire took more time than installation. it works great. no disparity between radio, cd and ipod sound. works with the disc changer controls including the controls on the steering wheel of my tundra.

my biggest complaint involves the playlist mode. you can create up to 5 playlists in this mode and control them using the factory controls. there is no way to see either via the ipod or the receiver what song is playing or what song you are switching to. in direct mode, you control song selection using the ipod only and this problem is resolved, but the factory controls on the steering wheel and receiver are useless. otherwise an excellent alternative to fm modulator and tape adaptor. it charges the ipod as well which is a perk.

Best buy for someone wanting Quality sound

Written By Matt, Orlando, FL on Monday, February 06, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I just installed the USA Spec iPOD interface in my 2006 Scion tC. I have installed a lot of electronics into vehicles and this must have been the easiest one yet. It plugged right in my factory radio and souds great. I highly recommend this product to anyone who wants to use there iPOD in their car. I tried the FM transmitter and hated it so I went with the interface from USA Spec and love it. Great service, dilivery, and product.

USA Spec iPod® Interface

Written By Ronald, Middletown, CT on Thursday, January 19, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I was looking for an iPod interface for the '03 Toyota Corolla S and 4 gig nano for a while and found a few different ones at local electronics stores but couldn't get any solid answers from the employees for how they worked or any details on how it controlled the iPod so i looked here on crutchfield and saw this one for about $100 less than the other ones at the local stores and all the information was right here on how it controls the iPod, how it installs .. it was easy and i saved money!

install was pretty simple - working slow and making sure i didnt break anything - it took about 30 minutes, using it is easy too - you just need to make some playlists to access any songs you might want to hear or you can have access to the whole ipod. you also have the option of using the ipod controls and not the headunit to control the ipod, which might be good if you have a bigger ipod and dont want to limit yourself to 5 playslists.

i just wish they made one for my Subaru WRX..

USA Spec PA11TOY is the ONE!!!

Written By Blair, Western NC on Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I did a lot of research on in-car iPod interfaces and I kept coming back to the USA Spec PA11TOY. I bought & installed one in my '03 Tundra shortly after the first of the year. It was a very easy install and I am thrilled with it.

There is one issue for me, but it is not enough to downgrade from 5 stars. As another person has said, the cable from the unit to the iPod could be just a touch longer, but it isn't a problem.

I chose the direct mode which lets me control the iPod from the iPod while also controlling it from the radio and steering wheel. This way I can see what is playing since that info doesn't show up on the head unit.

The USA Spec PA11TOY is a great value & Crutchfield's accompanying vehicle specific instructions, and other documentation, is worth its weight in gold.

I highly recommend the USA Spec PA11 for any vehicle, it has a BIG bang for the buck.

USA Spec iPod® Interface

Written By Clinton, NJ on Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a remakible product for the cost. Save yourself the money if you are thinking about getting a different Ipod to car interface. Took me about 2 hours to install. The only think that is annoying is you can't search for a song while it's hooked up. You have to disconnect it find the song and plug it back in. If you have an Ipod it's worth every penny.

Ditch you cassette adapter!

Written By Eric, West Brookield, MA on Sunday, January 15, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The slickest solution for connecting your iPod to your Toyata radio! The dash in my '02 Solara looks so much better now without my cassette adapter and charger wires, plus the sound is much better. Installation was fairly simple, it took me about 45 minutes. The hardest part was snaking the cable behind my radio. I ended up velcroing the box under my glove box. It is fairly light so I think it should hold. My only complaint is that the cable to the iPod could be a little bit longer.

Installed ipod in my '06 Matrix

Written By Shelley, Tallahassee, FL on Thursday, January 12, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This product is fabulous!

I purchased a FM reciever for my video ipod and the sound quality was horrible. After doing a significant amount of research on ipod car adapters I ended up with this one after reading the review written by James from Atlanta with the Highlander. I was worried because I could not find any other info about it and it was less expensive than the others, but IT IS WONDERFUL!

I installed it in about a half an hour. The dash was easy to pull apart and the adapter just plugged into the back of my 6 disk CD player. I ran the wire from the CD player down through my dash and installed the box in the side of the floorboard under the plastic. Then I ran the wire that connected to the ipod through the center console and directly to my ipod. I didn't have any problem with the length of the wires (but a Matrix is pretty small).

Installation was a breeze, the sound quality is fabulous, and Crutchfield provided me with the best customer service that I have had in years. I highly recommend this product and I highly recommend purchasing it from Crutchfield.

And cheers to James from Atlanta for the review. Thank you for helping me!!

Works Great

Written By WILLIAM, Virginia Beach, VA on Thursday, January 05, 2006

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I installed the interface on my 2006 Toyota Tundra and it was a piece of cake. I placed the interface under the center console and ran the cable from the factor radio to the interface. I then ran the cable from my IPOD NANO to the interface, placing the IPOD in the center console. I had to drill a 1/2 hole to run the cable which will not be seen. I have a center console that has 2 lids that open up, one on top of the other. The one with the larger lid, the bottom one was where I drilled the hole in the top left corner at the bottom of the storage area. No one would know there was an IPOD in the the truck. This Ipod interface is an awsome addition for my truck. It took about 45 minutes to install and no wires to cut, just plug it in.

Ipod in my car!!!

Written By mike, LBI, NJ on Saturday, December 31, 2005

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Works perfectly in my 2004 Toyota Solara. The factory radio has an extra slot for the plug that comes with the interface. The Ipod gets charged, and also can be controled from the steering wheel as well. Easy install with no cutting or drilling required. Crutchfield also ships fast!!!

Works perfectly, super-simple installation too

Written By James, Atlanta, GA on Thursday, December 15, 2005

Desire: Connect my wife's iPod to the factory radio in her 2001 Toyota Highlander while powering the iPod and preserving audio quality. The PA11-TOY device proved to be the perfect solution.

The PA11-xxx is simply awesome.

The unit arrived quickly and the installation was a breeze. Though the factory radio had to be temporarily removed to get to the back of the unit (6 bolts, 15 minutes going slowly) I did not have to cut, splice, or solder a single wire. The PA11-TOY came with a connector that fit perfectly into the back of the radio into the unused CD changer jack. I plugged it in, connected the iPod, turned the key, pressed the "CD" button on the radio twice and it started working! I then mounted the small box to the inside of the dash with velcro, pulled the iPod cable over to the glove compartment and reinstalled the radio. Done.

I cant say enough about this device. It is an absolutely perfect fit for our application. It works smoothly and perfectly.

*easy installation
*audio quality
*iPod is powered/charged
*access to 5 playlists or all songs
*AUX input (backseat DVD or XM/Sirius!)

*iPod cable approx. 3 feet long (could be non-issue for you)
*name of songs not displayed on radio (minor)

I would rate this product a "5" if the iPod cable was longer. 6 feet would be nice to easily get to the car's center console but it easily reaches the glove compartment. A longer cable is available from the manufacturer (USA Spec) for about $20.

If you want a way to reliably connect your iPod to your factory radio while powering the device and preserving audio quality this is THE solution.

Hands-on research

What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • PA11-TOY iPod-to-Toyota interface
  • 49" iPod interface cable (CB-PA14)
  • 46" Adapter to Toyota radio interface (CAS-TYi)
  • 4.75" Adapter cable (CAS-TA)
  • 4 Self-tapping screws
  • Owner's manual
  • Limited warranty registration card

Features and Specs

Adapter Type iPod audio in w/ iPod control
Vehicle Specific Toyota, Scion
Brand Specific No
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year
iPod Compatibility
Full-Size 4Gen/3Gen
Nano No
Touch No
Mini Mini2/Mini1
iPhone No

Product Research


Overview: This adapter allows an iPod with a dock connector to be connected to and controlled by the factory radio in select Toyota and Scion vehicles. Please check the Crutchfield Vehicle Selector to confirm compatibility with your vehicle. The iPod interface takes the place of the slave Toyota 6-disc CD changer. They cannot be connected to your factory radio simultaneously.

iPod Compatibility: This adapter is compatible with virtually any iPod with the Dock Connector. This includes (but is not limited to) iPod G3 and G4 (3rd and 4th generation, firmware version 2.3 and 3.0.2), iPod mini (firmware version 1.3), and the iPod photo (firmware version 1.1).

Vehicle Compatibility: The PA11-TOY interface is compatible with the following vehicles:

  • 1998-2005 Toyota 4Runner
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Avalon
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Camry
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Corolla, Echo
  • 2001-2005 Toyota Highlander
  • 1998-2001 Toyota Land Cruiser
  • 2005 Toyota Matrix
  • 1998-2005 Toyota MR2, Celica
  • 1998-2005 Toyota RAV4
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Sequoia, Tundra
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Sienna
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Solara
  • 1998-2005 Toyota Tacoma
  • Scion: All models
Note: PA11-TOY is not applicable to Toyota vehicles equipped with factory navigation and/or DVD systems.

Modes of Operation: The PA11-TOY provides two operation modes:

  • Direct Mode: In this mode, the controls on the iPod are functional as well as the track up/down, fast forward/reverse buttons on your radio for controlling music playback. To use this mode, set the dip switch #2 on the interface to "Off" position. In this mode, the audio will come through DISC 5, Track 1 on the radio.
  • Playlist Mode: In this mode, the iPod is operated and controlled as a factory CD changer. This mode allows you access up to five playlists on the iPod. For this mode, dip switch #2 must be switched to the "On" position with the iPod disconnected.

iPod Playback: All audio tracks on the iPod will be played at Disc 6. The track order is determined by the default order on the iPod. Selecting discs 1 through 5 on the factory radio will allow playback of 5 playists on the iPod if the Aux Input is not selected. You can select a playlist by pressing the Disc Up or Disc Down buttons. Playlists which are created for direct access must be designated with the word "TOYOTA" and the disc number. If no "TOYOTA" playlists are designated, the first five playlists on the iPod are accessible from the Disc 1 through Disc 5 buttons.

Auxiliary Input: In addition to the iPod input on the PA11-TOY there is an auxiliary input (stereo RCA) for use with another source, such as a DVD system, satellite radio, or game system. The aux input is selected at CD 6 Track 1 using the factory radio controls. This aux input can be used with or without the iPod connected. To use the auxiliary input on the interface, dip switch #1 must be set to the "Off" position.

Note: When the Aux input is used, the "All Tracks" playlist is moved to Disc 5, and playlist "TOYOTA5" is lost.

Controls: The factory radio's controls give you access to the following iPod functions:

  • Scan: plays first 10 seconds of each track
  • Random (Shuffle): songs are played back in random order (some radios have a "P scan" button for this function)
  • Track Up/Down: the "Next" button advances to the next track in the playlist; the "Prev" button allows you to jump to the beginning of the currently playing song
  • Fast Track Search: the "Fwd" or "Rev" button will advance or retreat through the tracks in increments of 10 (i.e. 04, 14, 24...).
  • Fast Forward/Fast Reverse Play: While in Random mode, press the forward or backward button to fast forward or fast reverse through the current song.

Note: Repeat play is not supported by this interface. Switching to another source, such as AM/FM, CD, or Cassette, puts the iPod into pause mode.

Display: The factory radio will display the playlist number and track number only. Display of artist and song title information is not supported.

Battery Charge: The PA11-TOY charges the iPod's battery when connected. Charging stops automatically one hour after the iPod is paused.

Note: The PA11-TOY requires an optional cable (item # 581CBP85) to charge the iPod nano 4th generation, iPod touch 2nd generation, or the iPhone 3G.

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team. They verify what’s in the box, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.