Enjoy our MMB Wireless Apple CarPlay Dongle Plus Install and Review. You can buy the MMB Dongle Plus directly from JoyeAuto and use coupon code ‘CARPLAYLIFE‘ for FREE shipping with your order.
[Update: Check out my latest update which addresses and fixes the audio sync issues I found in this review]
This is a wireless CarPlay dongle that has a few additional extras over the other wireless CarPlay dongles that you can buy today, in that you can AirPlay to the dongle itself, which means you can use the screen mirroring functionality to cast video from apps like YouTube or Tick-Tock from your iOS or Android device, straight to your CarPlay display.
We’ve seen this in a recent review of the MMB Android box from JoyeAuto, but with this dongle it will give you wireless Apple CarPlay functionality and there is no Android OS functionality. It is purely Apple CarPlay with the addition of the screen-mirroring and also the ability to plug in a USB stick into the bottom of the device and play music and video files directly to your CarPlay screen as well.
In the box you get the MMB Wireless CarPlay Dongle Plus itself. It’s quite small in size, which makes it easy to stow away in a center console or glove box. Its plastic casing only comes in this gloss black colour, and there are grills around the sides of its casing to keep its internal circuitry cool.
On one end of the dongle it has a USB A port, which is used to access media files that are stored on a USB drive, and you can also use this port to power your iPhone from it too. Sadly, it doesn’t offer wired CarPlay through this port.
On the opposite side you will find the dongle’s USB C port. This port is used to attach its 8-inch (or 20 cm) USB C to USB A braided cable into, to connect the dongle to your CarPlay stereo system.
Just like all the other dongles on the market, you will need a wired CarPlay system to use this dongle, it will not give a non-carplay enabled vehicle, CarPlay.
Overall, I think it’s a decent product that has great potential, but there are a few issues that prevent it from being truly great! The physical hardware is fine. It’s not all that different to the other wireless dongles on the market right now. It’s certainly an improvement on its size, over the first CarPlay dongle from JoyeAuto.
I would have liked to see a better placement for its status light. The blue LED is located inside the case, on the USB C end of the dongle. This end usually faces away from you, so you can’t really see it that clearly. A status light on the top would have been a better location to easily see if the dongle is powered and operating.
I liked the custom boot menu. It’s big, bold and colourful. It is easy to access its various modes. Just like the MMB Android Box I reviewed, there is an issue of it showing hidden file formats. So files on a USB stick from a Mac will have double the icons, which can make it confusing to operate and select music tracks or videos.
I find the all important feature of screencasting a bit of hit and miss. It is dependent on your mobile or Wi-Fi hotspot connection, which for me isn’t always that stable on iOS. It’s a little bit better on Android but I found it suffered with lower image quality and it was more prone to buffering the cast also. Whichever platform you cast from, you still get at least a 2 to 3 second audio delay in the mirrored video content on your CarPlay display. So because of this, it makes this feature not that fit for purpose. It is nice to have the ability to cast YouTube videos on your CarPlay display, but when casting the phone’s 16:9 screen ratio on a 4:3 CarPlay display, there will always be some black borders around your video, so to compare this with your own phone screen, the size difference isn’t that marginal – You might as well watch the video off your phone screen instead, and that way you wouldn’t get any of the audio lag issues either.
Finally, the biggest issue I had with the MMB Dongle Plus is how it actually handles CarPlay. If you want to enter into the multimedia area of the dongle, you will always have to reboot the dongle to enter into CarPlay mode. I also struggled to get the dongle to show up on my CarPlay list on my iPhone, and still to this day it fails to appear in the menu. If you use this dongle mostly for wireless CarPlay, then the dongle can be left in that mode and it will boot back into CarPlay when you next fire up your car, but as soon as you tap the media cast option to enter its main menu interface, you know you will have to reboot the dongle once again to get back into CarPlay. Unfortunately it is not a fast seamless experience.
Hopefully JoyeAuto can fix this issue. For me, the dongle should really operate in CarPlay mode every time, and just allow you the ability to leave it to enter into its Media Cast hub to mirror video content whenever you like. Right now, it is trying to lay up both options and that requires rebooting the dongle every time you want to jump back into CarPlay.
If you can look past these concerns I have mentioned, then the MMB Wireless CarPlay Dongle Plus offers features such as video streaming that no other CarPlay dongle can currently do.
The MMB Wireless Apple CarPlay Dongle Plus currently retails for $175 directly from JoyeAuto website, and you can use our coupon code ‘CARPLAYLIFE‘ to get yourself FREE shipping with your order.
00:00 – Intro
00:20 – What does it do?
01:08 – What’s in the box
02:34 – Install
04:25 – CarPlay
08:08 – Settings menu
09:23 – Mirror YouTube iOS
12:20 – USB Audio & Video
14:27 – Bluetooth Audio & Calling
15:45 – Mirror YouTube Android
18:09 – Wrap up of features
18:40 – My Impressions