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I just got a 2006 HL and Im thinking of getting one of the old wired cassette aux cables so I can play music from my phone via 3.5mm. I also have a BT one as a backup but I want a cassette one also.

Anyone have any recommendations of some that worked well for you? Preferably with Amazon links? Thanks!
 

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I just installed a Pioneer double-DIN flatscreen unit from Crutchfield. Set me back 350, but I now have CarPlay, bluetooth calls, and phone recharging. Took a day to do, but only because I cleaned as I went along. Not too hard to do, worst part was running a splice to the emergency brake.
 

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I just installed a Pioneer double-DIN flatscreen unit from Crutchfield. Set me back 350, but I now have CarPlay, bluetooth calls, and phone recharging. Took a day to do, but only because I cleaned as I went along. Not too hard to do, worst part was running a splice to the emergency brake.
I too was looking at making that modification. I saw that that was a necessary mod. You say it was the most difficult part of the install. May I ask how you did it? Any suggestions?
 

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I bought the Pioneer AVH-1550NEX with the Metra installation kit and wiring harness. I went with Pioneer because I've had 2 other Pioneer units and they all work well with iPhones. I was uncertain about this unit because it can play DVD's, however I only wanted the CD option (call me a dinosaur, I have a rather extensive CD collection). I love the touchscreen, Carplay and the ability to play SiriusXM through my phone [completely side comment, satellite radio may be better on the phone than a satellite receiver because you can download control the quality of the downloads through the app]. Maps work well and I still need to try out Waze. However the big caveat is that it needs to be wired into the emergency brake to enable the video option and also the "control settings" for the head unit. Kind of annoying, but I understand their reasoning.

So, the installation is fairly straightforward, pull the existing head unit out of your car. I removed both the environmental controls and the radio for ease of installation. I installed the new Metra Dash kit brackets (I needed to use a Dremel to cut notches into the support arms), and soldered the harness according to the directions from Crutchfield. Basically wire color to wire color. You don't need to use the cassette wires, and I didn't use the steering wheel wires either. The wire for the emergency brake, I ran behind the dash and tapped it into the wire above the emergency brake pedal. You need to be a bit of a contortionist to do this part. Although I soldered everything else, I used a plastic wire tap to make this connection. The attached image is an example of the type of wire tap I refer to...you need to use the correct size for the wire gauge. I think I used a red one.

Then I ran the microphone wire through the dash to the drivers door, under the vinyl molding near the drivers weather-stripping, and brought it up through the plastic windshield pillar on the drivers side. It comes out near the sun visor. My next project is to get a clip to mount to the sunvisor. Nobody seems to make clips that fit our sun visors, so I may need to make a 3D printed clip. In the interim, my microphone is mounted on the plastic window pillar.
 

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14 Highlander AWD, 04 Highlander AWD, 02 4Runner SR5
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My son did the cassette plug to phone and the sound quality was poor and I now have at least three lying around. I installed a new stereo eventually. On my 2004 Highlander I just bought an adapter that looks very easy to install, but its a BT adapter that also has a 3.5mm jack available. The unit is from Amazon and I think the company was Komikoo or something like that - $56. Note that this unit works only if your Highlander does NOT have navigation in the factory JBL as it plugs into an unused port on the back of the unit. Hope this helps.
 

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My son did the cassette plug to phone and the sound quality was poor and I now have at least three lying around. I installed a new stereo eventually. On my 2004 Highlander I just bought an adapter that looks very easy to install, but its a BT adapter that also has a 3.5mm jack available. The unit is from Amazon and I think the company was Komikoo or something like that - $56. Note that this unit works only if your Highlander does NOT have navigation in the factory JBL as it plugs into an unused port on the back of the unit. Hope this helps.

Yep I went out and bought a random cassette aux yesterday at walmart and compared it with my existing bluetooth receiver that plugs into a power port. The Audio was absolutely TERRIBLE. Bluetooth unit or a new radio is the way to go. Theres no way using a cassette aux in the HL is a decent option.
 

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14 Highlander AWD, 04 Highlander AWD, 02 4Runner SR5
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So now you just have to weigh a new head unit with HD radio (non-subscription) which, BTW sounds really good, or adapting your current HU to accept blue-tooth. Since my kids are driving my cars, I chose. The BT hookup is "near" CD quality BTW, regular radio is a step below HD radio. $350 or $60 its your choice, my kids will survive this decision.
 

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2002 Camry XLE, 2006 Highlander Limited, 2013 RX350
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I used the BT45-TOY in my 06 Highlander and the 02 Camry that my daughter drives. I also installed one in the MIL's 05 Highlander.

I've been very happy with the purchase. Kept the stock look but added the modern convenience of BT audio. It automatically pairs, CD quality sound, integrates with the steering wheel controls, 2.1 Amp USB Charging Port and the hands free phone is clear and easy to use.

I also removed the cigarette lighter and installed this in its place. It made for a nice, clean install.

I see the price has went up from around $130 when I purchased to $164.
 

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14 Highlander AWD, 04 Highlander AWD, 02 4Runner SR5
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I'd only add that (without having installed mine yet) my understanding is that if your HL has Navigation, some BT units will not be plug and play i.e. without Nav its a "simple" open port install. YMMV
 
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