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USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura

Connects your iPod to select 2004-up Acura factory radios

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  • USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura

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  • USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura

 

Our take on the USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura

by Zak Billmeier
USA Spec

You have a factory radio in your Acura, but that doesn't mean you have to leave your iPod at home. Install USA Spec's iPod interface and listen to your favorite tunes through your car's speakers. You can control song selection, and up to six different playlists right from the radio, including shuffle mode. The interface also charges your iPod or iPhone® while it's connected. And with your iPhone® connected, you can even stream music from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livio Radio, iHeartRadio, and more. The interface also includes an auxiliary input for connecting another source to your factory radio.

Note: While most iPods will work with this interface, you should check the "Details" tab to see if your iPod is compatible.

This interface works with select 2004-up Acura radios. Please enter your vehicle information or call an Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this adapter is compatible with your vehicle.

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • iPod connection adapter for select Acura factory stereos with navigation (without Live Traffic)
  • when iPhone is connected, you can stream tunes from popular Internet services like PANDORA®, Livo Radio, and iHeartRadio
  • track up/down, fast-forward, reverse, and shuffle play
  • use up to six playlists (select six favorites, or Auto Playlist will let you choose from the first six on your iPod)
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • PA15-HON3 iPod to Honda/Acura interface
  • 6' iPod to interface cable (CB-PA105)
  • 4' Interface to OEM radio cable (CAS-H3Y)
  • Owner's manual

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 open the box, verify contents, 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.

Features

Overview: The USA SPEC PA15-HON3 interface connects a compatible iPod to select Acura audio systems. Its on-board software translates commands from your Acura radio's in-dash CD-changer or XM controls into commands the iPod understands. This interface enables the iPod to coexist with your Acura in-dash CD-changer or XM tuner and provides a line-level input to your Acura's audio system for optimal sound quality. Please consult the Crutchfield Car Selector to see if your vehicle is compatible.

iPod Charging: The iPod's internal battery is charged whenever it's connected to the PA15-HON3; charging stops automatically 30 minutes after the ignition is turned off or the iPod is paused.

iPod Compatibility: The PA15-HON3 is "Made for iPod/iPhone" compatible and supports the following iPod/iPhone model features when connected to a compatible Acura factory radio (as of 10/3/2013):

iPod/iPhone Model Generation Tested Version Media Type Control Type Display Type Charge
Audio Video Head Unit iPod/iPhone Song/Artist Text Track Info
video 5th 1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
classic 80GB 1.1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
120GB 2.0.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
160GB 2.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
nano 1st 1.3.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 1.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 1.0.4 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th 1.0.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
6th 1.2 PC Y N Y Y Y Y Y
7th* 1.2 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
touch 1st 2.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
2nd 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3rd 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4th 6.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5th* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPhone 2G 3.1.3 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3G 4.2.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
3GS 5.1.1 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
4S 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5C* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
5S* 7.0 Y N Y Y Y Y Y
iPad 1 5.0.1 N N N N N N N
2 7.0 N N N N N N N
3 7.0 N N N N N N N
4 7.0 N N N N N N N
mini 7.0 N N N N N N N

Notes:

  • *Requires Apple Lightning to 30-pin Adapter cable (472LTN230P, sold separately).
  • Apple iPod/iPhone software updates may change functionality results. If you download a newer software version, you may need to reset the head unit and your iPod/iPhone to regain functionality. If this doesn't work, you may need to wait until a newer software update is available.

Control Modes: The iPod can be controlled using the factory XM Radio controls (if the radio has an XM button) or the factory CD changer controls. Depending on which controls you choose, there are three modes of controlling your iPod:

  • Folder Mode: You can access three folders (Playlist, Artist, and Album) on your iPod from your Acura radio to search for your music. Folder mode is available only when using the XM Radio controls. Choose Folder Mode using the DIP switches on the module during installation.
  • Playlist Mode: You can create up to six mobile playlists then use your radio's in-dash CD changer or XM radio controls to access and control your playlists. Choose Playlist Mode using the DIP switches on the module during installation.
  • Direct Mode: All the controls on the iPod are unlocked in Direct Mode, giving you total control remotely. The Radio still has basic controls; track up, track down, fast forward, and fast reverse. Direct mode is available using XM Radio or CD changer controls and you can easily switch between Direct and Folder or Playlist modes.

Note: When using the factory radio's XM controls, the iPod will be controlled through XM 1 band, while your factory XM radio will be controlled through XM 2 band.

App Streaming (in Direct Mode): Direct mode also lets you listen to the sound from your iPhone's downloaded music apps (such as Pandora, iHeart Radio, SiriusXM, etc.) through your factory head unit & speakers. You will continue to control your iPhone's apps & view song/artist information from its touchscreen.

Note: Your iPhone will need an active Data Plan account with connection to the Internet via 3G, EDGE, or WiFi. You will also need applicable music service accounts.

iPod Text: The Artist name and song title text can be displayed on the radio if the factory radio has XM Radio control buttons (text is not displayed in Direct Mode).

Auxiliary Input: In addition to the iPod input on the PA15-HON3 there is an auxiliary input (RCA) for use with another source, such as a DVD system, satellite radio, etc. This aux input can be used with or without the iPod connected.

Vehicle Compatibility: This interface enables your iPod to co-exist with the navigation, in-dash CD changer, XM radio receiver and DVD system of many Acura vehicles; please check the Crutchfield Vehicle Selector to confirm compatibility.

 
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USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

The Local Expert Shop Said it Couldn't Be Done. Enter Crutchfield.

Written By Average Dave, Akron, OH on Sunday, August 31, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I called my local expert shop. They've refunded the last three iPod integrations on my type car (2004 Acura TL or similar year, w/ navigation) because of too much static.

For this product, the Crutchfield reviews were great for my specific car and year. Still nervous about doing the install, I called Crutchfield. Buck assured me it was easy, even though my car needs to have nearly the whole center console and dash disassembled. It is "supposed" to take 1.5 hrs for a normal person, but I took 3 hrs taking the opportunity to clean the crap out of crevices along the way). No biggie.

Watchouts for other novices: A) Invest 30 min to read the USA SPEC manual carefully. B) After you reconnect the negative battery terminal, Have the factory radio and navi codes handy. The dealer put mine on a card in with the manuals. If you don't have it, get it for FREE from the Acura website. When the terminal was reconnected and the car started, we had to enter the code for each (1) navi - using the touchscreen (2) radio - using the radio preset buttons, viewing LCD screen that was currently sitting backwards on our dash (turn it around, stupid and save 15 minutes wondering why the radio won't work!!!! LOL) C) Buck from Crutchfield suggested a pack of three panel tools for about $12. Worth every penny for your car. Yes, we broke a couple connectors, but a screwdriver would've done worse. D) The panel under the steering wheel pulls out 4" max before breaking the temp sensor.
Pros:
You can do it! Works over the XM radio, AND you can use the XM still Sounds great
Cons:
Final operation is a little confusing because the buttons have different functions. I decided to just set it so that the ipod always controls Did not come with 2 RCA x 1/8" connector. Bought mine from a local retailer. 6' was enough. STILL 5 stars because of the degree of difficulty of working in this vechicle. Great job USA SPEC and Crutchfield.
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4 out of 5

USA Spec iPod Interface

Written By JamesJ, Ventura, CA on Saturday, August 23, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy to install, step change in car stereo awesomeness. Only complaint, the iPod cable came with a manufacturing flaw, will need to take paneling apart again... but not a big deal. Just needs to be swapped out.
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1 out of 5

Does not fit 2004 TSX without external CD changer

Written By MikeS, Raleigh, NC on Friday, March 21, 2014
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I ordered this item after discussing with an advisor the lack of a bluetooth adaptor for a 2004 Acura TSX without navigation.l. I was advised the 581PA15HN3 USA Spec iPod Interface would fit. After disassembling the dash, it became apparent the wiring harness was not compatible. After discussing it again with an advisor, it was concluded the Crutchfield data was inaccurate regarding compatibility. So, I was given inaccurate information and spent the time to figure out what Crutchfield should have known to start with. I gave the one star because the return process was flawless and it looks like Crutchfield has corrected their compatibility database.
Pros:
None
Cons:
Totally incompatible with make and model.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works fine, easy to install

Written By DerekB, NY Metro Area on Monday, May 20, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works great in my 2004 Acura TSX (without XM radio or navigation). Installation was much simpler than suggested, as I only had to pop out the front center console bin and use a mirror to find the auxilliary input, and simply plug it in. No need to remove the factory radio. (I couldn't anyway since the "8mm" bolts were not 8mm and they were welded onto the frame!). Then threaded the cable through to the glove box where I put the unit. Pretty cool.
Pros:
Ease to install and use; charges iPhone while plugged in
Cons:
Have to remove iPhone case to get connection
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

works great

Written By Anonymous, Raleigh, NC on Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This works great in my 2004 Acura TSX (without navigation). Charge your iPod/iPhone & listen to music, podcasts, etc. Can use Channel +/- buttons on the steering wheel (or stereo) to skip songs both in iTunes & Pandora. (Other than that, you have to control on the iPhone.)

On my car, when in "CD-C" mode (push CD button again): * CDs 1-6 are playlists from iTunes (either 1st six or you can name appropriately to customize) * CD 7 is all iTunes songs (shuffle) * CD 8 is "Direct Mode" which allows you to use Pandora, listen to Podcasts, or whatever audio you may select on your phone/ipod * CD 9 is an additional option -- if you add an auxiliary cable, you can then use a regular auxiliary plug to attach other devices (or use with your iPhone/iPod, plugging into the headphone jack -- just don't get charging that way)
Pros:
Easy to use, works great for what I need. Sounds good. Pandora works well (I have unlimited data on my phone).
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

iPod interface

Written By Darreb, Port orange,fl on Monday, April 08, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great product and quality
Pros:
Great sound
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5 out of 5

Must buy!

Written By Dipen P, Los Angeles, CA on Monday, October 01, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I did a TON of research on what to purchase for my 2004 Acura TSX non-navi/non XM and after reading all the reviews/forums, I decided to go with the USASpec. Basically, if you are an audiophile and like sound quality over features such as song name display, etc... then this is the product for you.

Also, the product was easy to install (took less that 30 mins). So far I am very happy with it and am kicking myself for waiting so long to pull the trigger.
Pros:
Amazing some quality Easy to install
Cons:
No song name display
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Recommended with reservations

Written By Anonymous, Memphis, TN on Sunday, August 19, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed the USA Spec iPod interface in my 2004 Acura TL with navigation. The hardest part of installation is the getting to the back of the radio. Check YouTube for videos. Overall, the USA Spec box works as described. Sound quality is great - sounds just like a CD when playing Apple lossless tracks from my iPod classic 160GB. It also seems to work fine with my iPhone 4S. I've had no problems when using "direct" mode, where most functions are controlled from the iPod but track info/text is not displayed on the factory radio. Steering wheel controls still work in direct mode and skip forward/back one track. However, in my limited attempts to use the XM controls to select playlists and so on, the audio controls have locked and/or the Nav has rebooted a high percentage of the time. Sometimes this has required turning the car off and back on to correct. Overall, I'd still recommend this because I'm really fine with the Direct mode since it sounds great and steering wheel controls work. If you were planning to "hide" the iPod and control it through the XM radio controls, I'd look at another option. I understand iSimple makes a similar interace box but I have experience with it.
Pros:
- great sound quality, just as it should be - plug and play installation - no wire cutting - steering wheel controls work and allow you to change tracks
Cons:
- audio controls can freeze - can reboot navi computer
3 out of 3 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great device

Written By Anonymous, Hendersonville, Tennessee on Wednesday, July 25, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This device gives me the functionality I wanted. It's great to just plug in my iPhone and listen over the car stereo. my only complaint...the cord to connect between the device and my iPhone is way too long for a mid size car.
Pros:
Functionality through the car's existing radio controls
Cons:
iPod/iPhone connection cord way too long.
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5 out of 5

Great interface - 2006 TL Non Nav

Written By SeanP, Laurel, MD on Friday, July 13, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works as advertised. Easy shortcut installation in TL (see youtube video), great sound. I prefer using direct mode and navigating with the ipod/phone.
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5 out of 5

2005 Acura TL USA spec i-pod interface

Written By GT, Pensacola FL on Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
All works as advertised with no problems. My TL does not have Nav. Note you will need to purchase an generic audio cable if you want aux in as well. On the Acura TL I ran the iPod cable to the rear console and placed the unit above the Passenger's Dashboard Under Cover. Use a 5 Piece Auto Trim and Molding Tool Set available at Harbor Freight or KTC brand tools to pry off trim. AC vents are tough without these tools.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Works as advertised

Written By magicianfl, florida on Monday, May 28, 2012
 
user manual leaves a lot to be desired. i found this install video helpful
Pros:
simple install once you know where the interface points are on your vehicle..
Cons:
manual is not very helpful
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2 out of 5

Great Product But.......

Written By MichaelG, Fairfax, VA on Sunday, July 10, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
When the unit worked it worked very well. Great sound and everything. I saw the rebooting as discussed by other reviewers. However, with some 05 TLs it actually locks up the Nav system. Mine started as once every other week. Now it is doing it every other day. USA spec says they don't plan on fixing.

That is the reason for the low rating
2 out of 3 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Integrates Well

Written By Brad, Versailles, KY on Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is my second USA-Spec. The first was for an 02 Pathfinder. This was was for an 05 TL.
This one works even better. Full control of the iPod is available, but takes some getting
used to if not using direct mode. Hooks up through the XM function and you still have XM
available. I installed this thing less than an hour after I bought the car. I recommend it
highly.

Install is not easy on the 05 Acura TL. Be ready to pretty much remove every trim panel on
the front dash. Directions could be a little more clear as to the location of all the snap-fits. It
bums me out when I break some.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Perfect for stock radio

Written By Nicholas, Toledo, OH on Friday, March 05, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I had an 02 Acura TL and installed the older version of this a few years back and recently traded that it for an 07 Acura Tl and I have to say this is the best product for your iPod and stock radio. I have done some research and there is nothing else like this out there. I installed it in about 2 hours and it just works great. I use preset 2-Artist mode the most. It would be nice to have a sub section for Artist>Album>Song though. Since all albums of the artists are just thrown together and it takes some memory on your part to remember what song was on what album. If I ever get a car again that doesn't come with a built in ipod adapter. It will continue to purchase products from USA Spec.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

USA Spec PA15-HON3 in '04 Acura TL w/Navi - resets Navi computer

Written By Art G, Parkland, FL on Sunday, February 07, 2010
 
I installed the USA Spec PA15-HON3 in a 2004 Acura TL with Navigation. Overall, the installation was quite easy. The majority of the effort was taking the car apart to gain access to the back of the radio. Once the back of the radio was available it was simple to unplug the connector from the XM receiver, and connect the cable to the original connectors. The cable to the iPod I routed to the console storage compartment and made a hole under the power jack. That hole did need to be a full 3/4". I also made a cable to a 3.5 mm jack and installed an AUX input. I put the actual unit in space near the steering column in the dash.

Overall I'm happy with the performance and integration with the car. The sound quality is very good. The steering wheel controls can select the next song, and the song information shows up on both the top one line LCD display, as well as the Navi display when Audio is selected. I do miss some of the XM presets that are lost. Voice recognition does not work with the iPod, but this isn't surprising.

HOWEVER :When you have the Navi display set to Audio showing the song playing, sometimes when the iPod switches to the next song it will cause the Navi computer to reset and reboot. This has happened several times now, always, and only when showing the song information on the display. This could be really annoying if you were Navigating with the Navi and it rebooted. I haven't seen the problem when the Map display is shown yet.
13 out of 13 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the USA Spec iPod® Interface for Acura, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_581PA15HN3/USA-Spec-iPod-Interface-for-Acura.html ).

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