I found a hint to this board at the New Zeeland Altezza board. For some years I've been surfing right now thru the online Lexus/Altezza forums but didn't no so far, that there is a special irish board on the web. Anyhow, I found something a few weeks ago, that is so cool, easy and cheap every Lexus IS/Altezza driver should know.
But let's start at the beginning. Most of my question regarding my car (Lexus IS300 Sportcross) where answered in th various lexus boards. But there is one question left which was not really answered for me so far.
Is it possible to connect an iPOD directly on the OEM stereo, without opening and modifying the radio?
And is it possible to control the iPOD over the stock headunit buttons, while the POD is remaining in the glove box?
Since last week I can say:
It is possible, the sound is great, the control works perfect and the iPod charge while connected!!!!
There is a little company in San Mateo (California) called Grom Audio. They produce like Dension (ice link) AUX and iPod adapter for OEM stereos. You can imagine that couldn’t believe my eyes when I was checking the compatibility list and found the IS300 from 1999 – 2005 on it.
I knew from former searches to find a possibility to connext external sound sources to the stock headunit that only one harness of the backside of the radio was equiped with a plug. The relevant 12 line harness where GromAudio wants to connect their interface were empty (it's marked red on the attached photos). So it was easy to plug the grom adapter inside and it just works!!!
So connection is possible Let have a look to the features:
Toyota / Scion / Lexus GROM for iPod interface(GROM-IPOD-TOY)
-Original harness to connect to iPod (dock in cable)
-Original harness to connect to the back of the stereo
-Direct connection to the car stereo. CD quality sound
-Full control from car stereo or steering wheel
-Charge iPod while operating
-Most Toyotas, Lexus and Scions supported (year 98+)
-In-dash 6-CD will remain working !
It provides direct audio interface to a car stereo via the CD changer port. GROM Audio interface insures CD quality sound from iPod to car stereo speakers. It allow to "fool" your stereo into thinking that fully featured CD changer is plugged in. This way you can have thousands of tracks divided into playlists or full shuffle mode if you wish. Endless amount of music !
- Direct connection from iPod to car stereo provides CD quality sound
- GROM Audio translates button presses from your car stereo or steering wheel to the particular command iPod can understand
- Enables easy integration into the car system. Place it anywhere, control from the car stereo
- Charges iPod while connected
Main distributor for the grom audio adapter is
where you can order the iPOD interface (Toyota / Scion / Lexus GROM for iPod interface(GROM-IPOD-TOY) for just $ 79.
The product details are as follow:
Direct audio connection will ensure the best sound quality non compromised by FM transmitter or cassette adapter. Just plug the adapter into the back of your stereo (or in the trunk), connect it to your iPod and enjoy crystal clear sound and full control ! Ultimate iPod integration solution will provide the following features:
- Integrate your iPod into car audio system easily
- Get CD quality sound from the iPod through existing car stereo
- Control and operate your iPod with car stereo buttons or steering wheel controls
- Convert iPod into virtual CD changer
- Disk 1 allow to control iPod from its clicking wheel. Select your music from iPod and have it played. Stereo will control iPod
- Disk 2-6 mapped to playlists you create on iPod. Full control from car stereo. The following information is displayed: Disk #, Track #, time etc
- MIX, REPEAT work as usual
- SCAN allow to skip +-10 tracks for faster navigation
- Playlist positions are preserved for fast operation
- Shuffle songs, switch between tracks, playlists and adjust volume - all by using head unit controls
- Have your iPod charged
My package was delivered (to Europe) about one week after ordering. For $79,99 the package contents:
- Car stereo adapter in plastic enclosure
- OEM compatible harness to connect to the back of the car stereo
- iPod dock in cable
- Installation manual
I installed it in just one hour due to the OEM compatible harness and it just works!!!!!
The OEM stereo knows right now the following things:
- FM button -> regular Radio
- Tape button -> Tape
- Disk button (first time pressing) -> internal CD-Changer (on the left side of the display you will see then “CD”)
- Disk button (second time pressing) -> external CD-Changer -> Grom Audio iPOD interface (on the left side of the display you will see then “CD1”)
If no Disc is in the internal CD changer you only need to press ONE time on the disc buton to switch from FM or tape to your iPod or other external sound source.
Even if your internal CD changer has an ERR3 fault it should run because the solution activate the EXTERNAL CD Changer control. For the electronic it's not relevant if the internal cd changer works properly or not.
One special thing is maybe interesting for people who are planning to buy an iPOD but do not own one so far. They can also order the IPOD interface from Grom Audio and and add an extra cable called (AUX RCA cable + 3.5 mm phone jack (Cable-AUX-C)) for only $4.99
This cable can be plugged into the iPOD interface box – instead of the iPod dock in cable – and allows you to listen to music from your regular mp3 player (without control from OEM stero for sure).
After I found out that the Grom box was working fine the next challenge was to find a place were I can store it.
After searching an testing a little bit I remounted the OEM stereo, lifted a little bit up and stored the box in the empty room on the right hand side inside of the middle console. The place is perfect because it's close to the glove box where the player is stored and you can grab from the passenger side behind the middle console and change the iPOD cable against the regular AUX one if needed.
Another thing is that if your using the interface in the simple mode (disk 1) – in advanced mode you can surf with your stereo thru the play lists 1-8 - you can select manually on your iPOD every other play list over #8 for example play list 18 and navigate then with your stereo controls (track back and forwards) thru the tracks.
I hope this helps you to get mp3 in you car without loosing the original design inside of the car. If you have further questions, please ask.
The best – even it’s more iPOD nano 3. Generation specific - at the end. I’m an absolute electronic music fan. Due to this reason it was always a pain to listen to gapless mixed electronic sampler in mp3, because you hear a short break after each track (file). Right now with my new nano gapless play is POSSIBLE
So electronic beats, gapless played for hours in my Lex with full control over the stock headunit with a nonvisible iPod……could it be better?
For picture please refer to the UK Lexus Owner Club at
Best Regards from Berlin – Germany
P.S. My Car has a 9 speaker Stereo with satnav and nav works with this solution a usual ) When beeing in iPod mode with satnav running, the driver side speaker fades out the music from time to time, so that you can hear the voice of the navigation lady as usual. After the orders were given the speaker switches back to the iPod music. Wonderful!!!
It works like factory build!!!