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Harman Kardon Drive + Play

iPod® control system

50 Reviews

Item # 108DP1US

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Our take on the Harman Kardon Drive + Play™

Harman Kardon's Drive + Play is more than just an iPod adapter — it's a complete digital music control system for your car. In fact, the Drive + Play handles the iPod so well that it was given an Innovations Award at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show.

Harman Kardon's Drive + Play is more than just an iPod adapter — it's a complete digital music control system for your car. In fact, the Drive + Play handles the iPod so well that it was given an Innovations Award at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show.

Consider the system's backlit LCD display, which mounts up high on the dash for easy visibility while driving. And since it matches the display on your iPod — with the same menu style and general layout — you already know how easy it is to jump between songs and artists.

But the Drive + Play system is all about control, and its Text Commander Controller handles file navigation with ease and elegance. Shaped like an oversized mushroom, this remote mount command center works just like the click wheel on your iPod — just press the outer buttons to play, pause, fast-forward, or reverse, and twist the knob to scroll through the menus. Install it on your center console for a handy, easy-to-reach controller.

While your iPod is connected to the system, you'll be able to control every aspect of playback — from track selection to playlists. And best of all, the Drive + Play will charge your iPod battery while it's in use.

The central "brain" unit can be mounted out of the way in the glove box or under a seat, and a built-in wireless FM transmitter lets you play the iPod through your vehicle's FM radio. If your stereo has an auxiliary input, you can connect the Drive + Play's audio output to it for the best possible sound performance. The Drive + Play also offers a pass-through auxiliary input for connecting an additional component to your stereo system.

Product Highlights:

  • iPod connection system for factory and aftermarket car stereos
  • includes backlit, dash-mountable display
  • includes remote-mount control knob with five-button navigation
  • connection plug compatible with all dockable iPods (system uses the connection cable that came with your iPod)
  • system connects to any factory or aftermarket stereo via the internal wireless FM transmitter or auxiliary input connection
  • "brain" unit features AUX-IN pass-through for connecting another component to your system
  • 3-meter installation cables for display and controller included
  • universal mounting hardware included
  • controls all iPod functions from the remote controller
  • customize iPod menus on the fly
  • 12V power adapter included
  • charges iPod while connected
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

What's in the Box:

  • Hide away brain
  • Display panel with attached 10' cable
  • Control knob with attached 9.75' cable
  • 6.5' Power cord with attached cigarette lighter adapter
  • 18" Hardwired power harness
  • 5' Line output cable (stereo mini on one end and stereo RCA on the other)
  • 10' iPod cable with dock connector
  • Display base (installed)
  • 30 Degree control knob base (installed)
  • 0 Degree control knob base
  • 60 Degree control knob base
  • 2 Mounting plates (one for display/one for control knob)
  • Ten 3/4" Mounting screws
  • Six 5.5" Cable ties
  • 3mm Allen wrench
  • 1.5mm Allen wrench
  • 2 Adhesive mounting pads
  • 2 Alcohol cleaning pads
  • Owner's manual
  • Warranty/On-line registration card

Recently installed the Drive+Play in my 05 Ford Expedition with the wired FM mod. Install took about 1 hour to my factory installed stereo. The wired FM mod was a breeze. Overall sounds good and thte controller works well. Happy so far with this product.

Andrew, Minocqua, WI


Harman Kardon Drive + Play™ Reviews

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Hands-on research

Product Research



Overview: The Drive+Play iPod control system allows you to integrate a dock connector equipped iPod with any car stereo. Any iPod with a dock connector can be controlled by the system. The system includes a hide away brain, a controller knob, and a display.

Brain: The brain can be mounted nearly anywhere in the car, it doesn't need to be accessible so it can be under a seat, in the glove compartment, in the console, etc. An FM modulator is built into the brain that can be used wirelessly, or it can be wired to the tuner using an adapter plugged into the 3.5mm antenna output jack. The FM transmission can be set to any frequency from 88.1 to 107.9 MHz. The brain has a 3.5mm stereo mini-jack line output for connection to your radio's auxiliary input. There is also 3.5mm stereo mini-jack line input for connecting an additional source.

Display: The display panel shows the same information, in the same way, as your iPod's display, only bigger. The display measures 2.6" diagonally and is backlit in blue. There are three threaded inserts on the back for mounting the display base, and the base has a ball and socket joint so the display can be mounted at a wide variety of angles. All the iPod controls are on the control knob, so the display panel doesn't have to be within reach.

Control Knob: The control knob mimics the functionality of your iPod's click wheel, it has a dial that turns both clockwise and counterclockwise and five buttons in the same positions as the menu, forward, backward, play/pause, and select buttons on the iPod. The idea behind the design is that you'll be able to reach for the control knob and make changes without taking your eyes off the road. The control knob also gives you complete control over the iPod (just like the controls on the iPod). The knob's ring is backlit in blue so it's easily found in the dark.



  • Width: 6.018"
  • Height: 1.295"
  • Depth: 3.406"


  • Width: 3.721"
  • Height: 2.425"
  • Panel Depth: 0.951"
  • Mounted Depth: 2.117" (varies slightly with mounting angle)

Control Knob:

  • Diameter: 1.959"
  • Height (w/0° base): 1.519"
  • Height (w/30° base): 2.379"
  • Height (w/60° base): 2.544"


Compatibility: The Drive+Play is compatible with iPods having the dock connector and the following software versions: G3 v2.2 (buttons above the click wheel), mini v1.1 (all minis), G4 v3.0 (click wheel), Photo v1.0 (color screen), and G5 v1.0 (color screen). As new iPods are introduced this list may expand.

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