Riding the Gauntlet of Driving Music

My choice in vehicles over the last twenty years has reflected changes in my personality. The first car I bought on my own was a small green Toyota Tacoma, extended cab. It was neither flashy nor bulky. It served two specific purposes — hauling cargo and getting around economically. Besides general maintenance, I never had to take it in for repairs. It was compact, practical, and humble. I liked to call it “the Little Green Man.”  After eleven years of faithful service, I discovered from my mechanic that it had developed a terminal malfunction — transmission failure.

I decided then that it was time to move on. My next choice was a bit different. I purchased a 2011, 3.2 liter, 6-cylinder, silver Ford Mustang — certified pre-owned. It is hot, fast, and hugs the road at high speeds. This served a different purpose than my first car — entice highway gravitas and move quickly. It was a big, sleek, silver muscle car; and my then girlfriend loved Mustangs.

Choices and the Selections

Looking back, I think I went through a personality change during that period. Occasionally, when I was behind the wheel and on the road, I felt different. I seemed like someone I wanted to be or thought I was.

Car Personality Choice Vehicles


An article in More.com titled “What Your Car Choice says about You” discusses a 2004 study by two professors, working for the University of California Transportation Center. The study was based on a 1998 survey of 1,904 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area and explored the relationship between people’s personality traits and their choice in vehicles.

Here are some examples of what they concluded based on the survey:

  • Small car drivers are pro-environment and live in dense urban areas. They have the tendency to be loners and do not put a high priority on work or status. They generally live in the northern part of San Francisco, are 40 years old or younger, have a four-year college degree and a professional job with lower incomes.
    Car Personality Small Car
  • Luxury car drivers are status seekers who tend to travel frequently via airplane. They also generally live in the northern part of San Francisco, are older than 40 or retired and are over-represented by highly educated people with greater than normal incomes.
    Car Personality Luxury Vehicle
  • Sports car drivers seek adventure and are less calm than other drivers — more aggressive that patient. They are over-represented in households consisting of two workers and young adults. They generally have a four-year college degree but lower incomes.
    Car Personality Sports Car
  • SUV drivers tend to hold travel freedom as an important value—road trips. They live more often in the East Bay in towns such as Pleasant Hill and are 40 years old or younger. They are more patient, tend to be highly educated and have higher incomes.
    Car Personality Sports Utilities Vehicle

These, of course, are merely preferential generalities of what people might drive as reflected in their personalities. There are always exceptions. It certainly did not mean that when I went from a small truck to a sports car that I all of sudden turned into a suburban adrenaline junky as opposed to a tree-hugging slacker urbanite.

In another blog article by LittleThings.com titled “What the Color of Your Car Says about Your Personality” the writer explored how the color of your car may reflect upon your personality. Taking into account that there are times when choosing a color of a vehicle is not a viable option — for instance, my certified pre-owned Mustang came in the color silver — from what color we do select can possibly say much about our personality.

Car Personality Color Choices


Here are several possible personality traits that LittleThings.com considered as a reflection of car consumers’ choice in colors:

  • Red mirrors someone who is outgoing and aggressive. These are impulsive personalities who have a zest for life and are determined to get what they want.
  • Silver mirrors someone who is practical and business-savvy. These are sophisticated personalities who work hard and enjoy a swanky, techno-savvy lifestyle.
  • Green mirrors someone who has a strong self-identity and is disinterested in what others think. These individualistic personalities enjoy the outdoors and are environmentally conscious.
  • Blue mirrors someone who is compassionate, honest, and optimistic. These are introspective personalities who are passionate about honesty, family, and community.

Riding the Gauntlet of Driving Music

In addition to the aforementioned, driving was only half of the experience.  The other half  of our experience and personality tend toward car audio and music.

During the same period of time of choosing my car, there also were changes in the driving music I was listening to. Car audio was a major part of my life cycle behind the wheel. From Classical to Metal, I ran the gauntlet in styles and intensity. In the beginning there was classic rock that included AC/CD, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Led Zeppelin. Then there was a period of Classical music that included Bach, Ravel, Mozart, and Schumann; then on to Indie Rock with Pavement, Wilco, and Sleater Kinney; then on to R&B with Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, and Al Green. These different styles I explored throughout my life may reflect specific personalities at those times.

Car Personality and Music


The Independent.co.uk published an article titled “Music taste linked to personality traits by Cambridge psychologists” last April suggests that, like car buyers, the selection of music one chooses to enjoy can also say something about their personality. The article cites a test as developed by Cambridge University psychologists to identify personality traits that are common amongst some listeners of specific music genres. The article presents two specific types of personalities: empathizers and systemizers. While empathizers are better able to understand others’ thoughts and emotions, systemizers are more adept at mathematics and science concepts. The empathizers are attuned to romantic and relaxed music like R&B, while systemizers are keener on structures within music and tends to listen to jazz and classical

Readers’ Digest published an article titled “7 Things Your Favorite Type of Music Can Predict About Your Personality,” which is based on a three-year study by  Adrian North, PhD, a music psychologist and scholar. Prof. North’s study correlates more than 36,000 participants’ musical tastes and personality characteristics. The study discovers common traits between listeners of classical music and heavy metal.  Listeners of either genre tend to be sensitive and fascinated by theatrical grandiose experiences in music.  However, classical listeners tend towards mental intelligence and have higher income according to the article:

“Heavy metal fans “are quite delicate things” who are “basically the same kind of person” as classical music lovers, only younger… classical lovers are creative, introverted, and show high self-esteem; they see listening as a theatrical experience and share a mutual “love of the grandiose” with metal fans, though they tend to be older and make more money.”

Where I Have Gone, Where I Am Going

There is truth in car purchasing as a reflection of who I was when I bought my vehicles. When I had purchased the truck, I was in a dire situation. My other car that my father had handed down to me was dead. I had spent money over time to keep the beater car running. Purchasing the Tacoma truck was an important milestone. Though I was forever thankful for my parents helping me with transportation up until that time, the moment marked a turning point when I was able to purchase a vehicle with my own earnings.  I did not want to spend money worrying about whether my car was breaking down. I needed something reasonably priced that would pay massive dividends in usability and longevity. That was my Tacoma. Eleven years later, I was a different person. I was moving further along in my career. I had some major changes in my life. I felt more tied down to the world and life that I had built around me. I was sure of who I was and what I was not. I needed a small change in my life that would give my disposition uplift. That was the Mustang.


GROM Audio Driving Happy Couple

I have the Mustang for around five years now and much has changed. I sometimes ponder who I will be in six years and whether I will decide it is time for another change. I wonder who that version of me will be and how priorities might change. The one thing that has tied together these different shades of me over the years has been my choice in music. Sometimes I play something I have not listened to for a while — music I bought when I was still in my twenties — and I wonder if buying a small truck new is such a great idea. I can listen to music and reflect on that guy, what he is like now, and who he will be in the future.


Read Further:

Music Tribute: Prince

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

Prince Rogers Nelson–an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and record producer from Minneapolis, Minnesota – was a music genius and pop icon. Known simply as “Prince,” he was a virtuoso who could play over 24 instruments including guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, and variety of brass. His style of music varied from R&B, Funk, Soul, Rock, Jazz, and many other forms.

Prince released his first album “For You” in 1978 and became pop success with the release of forth album “1999.” By 1984, Prince released an album and movie, both titled “Purple Rain,” that turned a mild music star into a music and pop legend. He followed this success with his backup band, which he called The Revolution, with series of major hit albums that included “Around the World in a Day” and “Parade.”  Prince then released “Sign o’ the Times” solo after disbanding The Revolution. But afterwards in 1991, he formed a new band called The New Power Generation and recorded with them the soundtrack album for his second film “Graffiti Bridge.”

Prince change his name to an unpronounceable symbol, which became known as the “Love Symbol,” and would release several albums until 2000 when he began identifying himself as Prince again.  He would go on to release 16 more albums from 2000. His last album “Hit n Run Phase One” was released into two separate parts on the music site “Tidal” and was his final exploration of dance and R&B music. By the end of his career, Prince released 39 studio albums, 5 soundtrack albums, 4 live albums, 5 compilation albums, 17 video albums, and 12 extended plays.

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

His personality, hubris, and gravitas became one of his greatest creations. He died an untimely death due to medication that had been prescribed to him to handle chronic pain issues he suffered the last years of his life. His legacy remains immortal through the audacity of music, persona, and creative vision.

While we cannot stream Prince’s music via Spotify, here are places where you can listen to his music: http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/7341641/listen-prince-music-online

Legacies of Music 2016

Legends of 2016

Legends never really die, they only transform from their physical lives into their personal legacy. Now, in the beginning of the New Year, it is great time to begin to reflect on several artists whose souls have moved on in the next phase of their journey, but who left us with musical legacy that will continue to make an impact on generations to come.

We at GROM Audio have dedicated a blog for each artist to recount their contributions to the music industry and the world alike.  See links below for respective pages of these amazing artists:

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

In their own rights, they each have lived and created art that will endure as their souls move forward through eternity. The sadness of their passing is surpassed by the remarkable achievements that will continue to inspire and entertain for endless generations to come. Other influential music artists who had left us last year include, Phife Dawge, Tom Fekete, Leon Russel, Keith Emerson, Greg Lake, and rising star Christina Grimmie.

2016 Top Charts

While 2016 was a hard year for both music artists and celebrities in general, the year also hallmarked the rise of many new artists and the resilience of a myriad of veteran performers. Billboard recently released their chart toppers of 2016. Among the categories that were covered were the major hitters in various genres.

Below is a recap of the number ones in several categories, demonstrating the best by success.

Adele was number one in top artist overall.

GROM Newsletter Music Artist

Adele has been around for many years and has maintained her staying power with her listeners. She found immediate success with her first album titled “19” in 2008. Last year she released “Adele Live 2016” and was able to have continued success by scoring a major hit with “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)”

Adele was able to mix simple urgent beats In “Send My Love,”  complementing them with her smooth vocal melodies, and  crowned sudden explosions of soft pop chores. The song demonstrates her ability to record tracks that balance competing musical elements to create a symmetrically harmonious pop hit.

Drake was number for Top R&B/Hip-Hop Artists.

GROM Newsletter Music Artist

A Canadian rapper and singer-songwriter, Drake initially found success as an actor on “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” a dramatic television series for teens in the early 2000s. Drake’s debut studio album “Thank Me Later in 2010,” reached number one on the U.S. Billboard 200.  Drake released “Views” in 2016 and had a hit with the single “One Dance.”

The album offers a swanky vibe that verges on machine efficiency but is balanced by the humanity in Drake’s singing and lyrics. This is perfectly represented in the first track on “Views” titled “Keep the Family Close.” In that track, the steely production is countered by the pleading melody of Drake’s voice as he reflects on an unsettled relationship.

Twenty Øne Piløts is a duo that made number one in Top Rock.

GROM Audio Newsletter Music

The members come from Columbus, Ohio and self-released their first album in 2009 titled “Twenty One Pilots.”  Their album “Blurryface,” which was released in 2015 and scored them two hit singles in 2016: “Stressed Out” and “Ride.”

Though riding number one in the Rock charts of 2016, this group’s sound focuses more on pop sampling and vocals with elements of rap. Both songs center on the energy and stress of everyday life, while accompanied by the musical energy of pop techno arrangements that blend in a hip-hop bounce.

Chris Stapleton made number one as Top Country Artist.

GROM Newsletter Music Artist

A singer-songwriter from Lexington, Kentucky; Stapleton started his musical career with the country band The SteelDrivers. He released his debut album in 2015 titled “Traveler” and had a hit single from the album in 2016 called “Parachute.”

“Parachute” is a staple of the kind of song that Stapleton has crafted over the years, focusing on his strong melodic vocals and centered on a traditional arrangement of country and blue-grass elements that includes guitar and banjo.

Joe Bonamassa was number as Blues Album Artist. 

GROM Newsletter Music Artist

A blues rock guitarist and singer-songwriter, Bonamessa opened for B.B. King when he was 12 years old. Since then, he has put out 15 solo albums. His latest album in 2016 “Blues of Desperation” reached number one on the Billboards Blues Albums of 2016. His latest album focuses on guitar riffs and blues vocals that sound like if AC/DC had joined forces with Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Lindsey Webster reached number one for Smooth Jazz Artist.

Webster grew up in Woodstock, NY where she developed her love of the arts and became an accomplished cellist.  Webster released her second album “Back to Your Heart” in 2016 and quickly reached number one on Billboard’s Smooth Jazz Songs. The album features smooth Jazz arrangements followed by Webster silky smooth R&B vocals.

The success of these artist and many others last year demonstrate both their passion and skills in music that enabled them to reach to the top. For more on Billboards records for 2016, please visit their year-end page at http://www.billboard.com/charts/year-end

Here is a compilation of our playlist featuring these artist on Spotify2016 Playlist


Musical Tribute: David Bowie

David Bowie Music Tribute

David Bowie was a singer, songwriter and actor who was born in England.  He was widely consider as prolific and innovative for his pop compositions and performances. His recording legacy spans across five decades and encompasses several personas, pop music styles, arrangements, and sub-matter. With his first major hit in 1968 called “Major Tom,” which chronicled the travels of an astronaut leaving earth, Bowie was able to gain his first major achievement with third album called “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars.” The album would include many songs that would inconify him as a songwriter, including “Starman,” Ziggy Stardust,” and “Suffragette City.” The album became an icon for Bowie in that it featured his focus on concept albums, art rock, and glam rock. It would also introduce one of his most famous personas in Ziggy Stardust that eventually led him to the filming of a movie based on the album, and in its namesake.

Later, in the 1970s, Bowie would team up with Brian Eno to create three albums that featured a major shift in Bowie’s musical style to electronic music. Beginning with “Low,” then “Heroes,” and ending with “Lodger;” these albums would be known collectively as the “Berlin Trilogy.” These recordings started when Bowie became a resident in West Berlin in late 1976. Together with producer Tony Visconti and musician Brian Eno, these albums would include a variety of prolific singles including “Heroes,” “Sound and Vision,” and “Boys Keep Swinging.” Bowie credited these albums as his “DNA.” This period would see him taking on another famous persona as “The Thin White Duke,” which first became the preceding alum titled “Young Americans.”

During the eighties, Bowie focused more on commercial visions of his pop style, having his most success with his album titled “Let’s Dance.” The album would feature his most famous songs of the era including “Modern Love,” “China Girl,” and “Let’s Dance.” The album included a cover of Iggy Pop’s “China Girl,” which Bowie co-wrote, and “Cat People (Putting Out Fire),” which was released by Bowie previous but was re-recorded for this album. The album was nominated for a Grammy but lost to Michael Jackson’s album “Thriller.”

David Bowie Music Tribute

Bowie continued to jump from style and persona. Moving from his leading of the art rock group Tin Machine to an era of electronic focus music in the late 1990s to a neo-classical period and onward until his final recordings.

Bowie became inspired by listening to his father’s collection of earlier Rock & Roll artist like Little Richard and Elvis Presley. He began performing music with rock groups in 1962, originally using the name Davy Jones (his real name his David Jones), Bowie would eventually change his stage name after being confused by the television character in the show “The Monkees.” He took the name Bowie in honor of the famous American pioneer James Bowie, who would die in the famous last stand at the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.

David Bowie Music Tribute

On January 2016, two days after turning 69 and releasing his last album “Blackstar,” Bowie passed away from liver cancer in his New York City apartment. His contribution to music and pop culture will endure eternally.

Listen to David Bowie on Spotify

Photo Sources:

Musical Tribute: Leonard Cohen

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

Leonard Cohen is a singer songwriter from Canada who launched his career in 1967 with his debut album “Songs of Leonard Cohen.” The album included classics like “Suzanne,” “So Long, Marianne,” and “The Stranger Song.” In 1977, he released his album “Death of a Ladies’ Man,” which was co-wrote by Phil Spector.  During the 1960s and 1970s, Cohen focused on creating some of the finest acoustic folk compositions in the genre, emplacing melody and mellow tempos. In the 1980s, Cohen would reinvent himself and his craft, setting aside his remarkable acoustic center compositions for modern sounds. Beginning with “Various Positions,” he began to introduce elements of soft rock into his music. The said album would introduce the world to his most famous song “Hallelujah,” a song that has been covered by myriad of different recording artist. His next album “I’m Your Man,” which was released in 1988, would lean to his final transformation into a new form or folk singer-songwriter that replaced acoustics with synthesizers and drum machines. This album would offer classics like “First We Take Manhattan,” “I’m Your Man,” and the often covered “Everybody Knows.”

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

Cohen was born and grew up in an Orthodox Jewish family in the outer Montreal, Quebec area. He grew up reading the poetry of Federico García Lorca and study classical guitar. Before starting his career as a musician, he spent most of the 1960s writing novels and poetry. He published a two book of poems titled “Flowers for Hitler” and Parasites of Heaven” along with several novels, including “The Favourite Game”  and “Beautiful Losers.” The latter book garner controversy for Cohen because of many sexual explicit passages. Eventually, Cohen would find his way in music and draw out a legacy of songwriting composition and performance that create signature identity in popular music.

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

Cohen passed away the beginning of November 2016 in his home in Los Angeles. He was 82 years old and left a legacy that will carry on him memory for centuries to come.

Listen to Leonard Cohen on Spotify

Photo Sources:

Musical Tribute: George Michael


GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

George Michael began his career in music as half a musical duo knows as Wham!. For anyone who grew up in the 1980s, songs like “Last Christmas,” “Wake Me Up Before You Go Go,” and “Careless Whispers” would be instantly recognizable upon hearing. But that was just the beginning because when he finally released his solo album, George Michael’s legacy began. His debut solo album titled “Faith,” was an instant classic bestseller. With hit singles like “Faith,” “Father Figure,” and “Monkey;” Faith propelled George Michael to another realm of success and would define a sound for male pop singers for decades.

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

George Michael was born in in East Finchley, London to a Greek father from Cyprus and English mother of Jewish ancestry. While attending Bushley Meads School he met and became good friends with Andew Ridgeley. They both shared a dream to become music stars and love for music. Michael became involved in the London Underground and began performing regularly.

After roaming through several music groups, he formed Wham! with Andre Ridgeley. The duo’s first album Fantastic became reach number one in the UK in 1983, with several major singles released from the album. By 1984, Michael joined the ensemble known as BandAid to release the charitable funding single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” The ensemble included Bono, Sting, and members of Duran Duran. Eventually, this success would lead to his solo breakout.

GROM Audio Newsletter Music Artist

Michael began having health problems in 2011 and would eventually suffer a fatal heart attack. His partner Fadi Fawaz said he found him deceased in his bed on Christmas day. Michael leaves behind a legacy of musical success that has been mimicked and recreated over many years since he release “Faith,” as well as a legacy of philanthropy through music and example.

Listen to George Michael on Spotify

Photo Sources:


How GROM’s Innovations Offer Safety and Congruence with California’s New Ban on Distracted Driving


Hands Free Car Safety

California has made it clear. If you drive with a steering wheel in one hand and your mobile device in another, you’re breaking the law. Last September, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-1785. On January 1st, it became the law. This new law, also known as California Vehicle Code Sect. 23123.5, mandates that people may only use their mobile phones while driving if those devices are mounted on their dashboards while set up for voice activation or hands-free use. Aside from an exception for Emergency personnel, violators will be fined $20 for the first offence and increased fines for consecutive violations.

“The whole idea is you don’t have the phone in your hand, period,” said Bill Quirk, the California Assemblyman from Hayward. He believes the law will make it easier for police officers to discourage drivers from dangerous phone use.

Luckily, many manufacturers and retailers have already been designing technology and phone dashboard mounts to prevent distracted driving accidents. These devices ensure drivers are able to access their mobile devices without losing focus on the road.

GROM Audio, in particular as a company, has devoted their mission to offering smarter and safer integration of mobile technology to vehicles. Additionally, they spent time ensuring driver safety is number one in regards to accessing mobile technology. In particular, two ideas they have developed over the last several years have been key in making them innovation leaders in car audio.

After spending years developing their car kits that integrate mobile devices with car stereo systems and allow owners to use their stereos to control their smart phones, GROM looked for new opportunities to develop car tech for driver safety. One of their ideas was DashLinQ.

Hands Free Bluetooth Dashlinq


DashLinQ is an app that could be used to access audio, GPS, and other mobile apps while driving. If offers voice activation controls that allow owners to get what they need from their phone—whether music, navigation, phone, or texting functionality. The visual interface offers large icons and a simple display layout, suited for car mounted devices and quick referencing.

GROM also offers car mount solutions, which had been tested and approved.  They work for all smartphones, providing quick and hassle-free mounting to the car.

Hands Free Bluetooth Smartphone Car Mount


There are already 14 states that prohibit the use of mobile devices when driving and 46 states along with the District of Columbia that prohibit texting while driving. It’s not surprising.

The New York Times cited a National Highway Safety report that stated that 272 teenagers were killed in 2015 due to distracted driving. Additionally, the study reported that 3,263 of the 3,477 people who died in crashes were distracted while they drove.

GROM Audio has been concerned about distracted driving for years. They have realized that there needs to be solution that allows drivers to access mobile technology not just for entertainment, but also to utilize relevant apps like GPS navigation and road safety alert systems.

One key component in DashLinQ is an integrated Google maps feature that allows users to quickly get where they need to go through simple voice activation commands. Additionally, DashLinQ optimizes Google Maps for drivers using their phone from a dashboard mount.

Through the mount’s magnet system, Xway enables users to quickly and easily attach and remove their device from their dashboard, ensuring that there is no time wasted adjusting their phone while driving.

A recent California Office of Traffic Safety study, cited The Sacramento Bee, reported that one of eight California drivers focuses as much attention on their mobile device as they do on the road. State Road Safety officials have estimated the 80% of all crashes in California involve some kind of distracted driving. Now it is completely against the law.

This makes GROM’s goal to help eliminate distracted driving through tech innovations more urgent and relevant than before. GROM will continue to refine and develop their ideas to make life safer for drivers, passengers, and everyone else on the road.

Bluetooth Car Safety Hands free

Read more here:

Christmas Story Series – Featuring Wirelinq

An Unexpected Present

It all began days before. Mia’s mom called just to say hi and ask about Mia’s week. Eventually, the conversation drifted to how nice it was to see Brian and her for Thanksgiving, but ended with Mia’s mom admitting that her plans fell through with Mia’s aunt in Carson City. She was alone for the holidays. Brian was not prepared to take another trip up to South Lake Tahoe, especially when the snow was falling hard—but now it wasn’t an option. Mia wasn’t going to leave her mom alone during Christmas. They were going and needed to be ready in three days.

Brian was not ready for a road trip but made his best effort for his mother in law. He was able to work a half-day on the day before Christmas Eve, so they were able to leave before the rush hour traffic in Bay area.

Brian met Mia five years ago while vacationing in Lake Tahoe with his buddy Rommel. They were spending an extended weekend fishing and hanging out. Mia was there visiting her mom. They got talking about Tahoe and eventual discovered one another’s passion for skiing. Brian discovered Mia lived in and worked in Oakland, so weeks later Brian ended up calling Mia from the number she gave him. They hit it off soon afterwards. Now, Tahoe meant something special to the both of them. It wasn’t just Mia’s home; it was what brought them both together.

GROM Audio Holiday

In love pair on ski vacation

Though he really loved Mia, Brian really didn’t want to go up there without a lot of preparation. For one thing, it was snowing and he hated driving through the snow. Another thing—and most importantly—he had to cancel plans with his family in San Bruno. He understood why they were going, but it still irked him — especially since it felt so last minute.

Mia knew he would be irritated. It was obvious to her even before she said anything. He didn’t like change and hated last minute plans. It wasn’t the way his brain was wired. She learned this about him long ago. It bothered her a lot sometimes. But Mia loved him so much, she was willing to accept that was just the way he was as a person. She also could tell because he always became quieter when he was frustrated. He was really silent right before they got on the road.

Mia realized that he was making a sacrifice canceling their plans with his family during the holidays to help her and her mom out. He also knew that he got on really well with her mom, and it work out once they got there. She also knew what made Brian happy. Music—and that button was easy to push.

Brian used his Motorola G smart phone in his car to play music. He splurged and bought a massive SD card with over 80 gigabytes of RAM to store his entire music collection. Mia didn’t necessarily share his music taste for a sizable part of his collection but decided to let him choose the music on the way to Tahoe. Also, she had a surprise for him.

One of her past times was browsing through Kickstarter.com and looking at all the stuff being developed. Occasionally, she would fund some project that caught her eye, but mostly it was just to ogle all the stuff being develop. Once, she came across a company called GROM Audio and really like their idea behind Wirelinq cable, which is a USB cable with awesome technology. Not only does it charge the phone and allow users to stream content from their phone, but it also allows Android users to read meta data on their car infotainment or stereo systems — data like song title,  song track number, and so on. Wirelinq also allows owners to control functionality of their phone via their car controls.

Mia was intrigued and curious how GROM was able to develop a USB cable that seems to provide so much functionality for Android users. She read GROM’s proposal in-depth and discovered that Wirelinq has a smart chip with GROM’s proprietary algorithm inside its USB connector. Using Android Open Accessory 2.0 protocol, Wirelinq enables a phone to communicate to the car stereo easily. As a result of this “handshake”, a user’s stereo is able to play music directly from your phone, as well as display text, titles and cover art.


She eventually bought a prototype of the device for Brian and was preparing to give it to him for Christmas. Now that they were on this unexpected trip, Mia surprised him while they were getting lunch at Black Bear Diner in Davis on the way to her mother’s house.

Brian didn’t believe it. He didn’t think that Wirelinq would work.  Admittedly, he did own a GROM Audio car kit with a previous vehicle. He loved the system. It allowed his phone to become an extension of his stereo system. But that kit had to be installed behind his dashboard. He didn’t believe that some special USB cable could offer him many of the features he had available through his car kit. He was really excited about Mia’s gift but was also doubtful it would work.

When they got back in the car, he quickly hooked it up. Sure enough, he had access to the media on his phone. They got back on the highway, and he started listening Green Day.

By the time they got to the mountains, it had already begun to snow. Mia had dosed off, and Brian was trying to stay awake. He was getting bored with his music collection and decide to see if he could get Truckee radio on his stereo but there was no reception. Brian decided to just drive in silence. Mia was asleep anyways.

Slowly, the sunlight vanished as the snow continued to fall. Brian’s car was struggling a little bit and somewhere near Donner Pass, traffic started to back up. Brian made a colorful remark under his breath and began trying to get Truckee radio again on his stereo. The backup could easily be due to a wreck further down the road. There were several lanes on the highway close to the pass, but the route grew narrow further on. It could also be traffic congestion traveling into the basin area. Brian needed to know.

GROM Audio Holiday

Close-up of Snowy Highway from Above on a Cold Blizzard Day of Winter

This is when he had a thought. Maybe he could use Dashlinq Web Radio on his smart phone to access Truckee radio. He went ahead and tried it through his stereo, just to see what would happen. Sure enough, he got to his Web Radio app and was able to listen to KTKE Truckee. He was happy to just get some signal bars on his phone—that was awesome.

But what wasn’t awesome was that the traffic was part of a rush to get down to the basin. Luckily, KTKE was playing Brian’s favorite program tonight, so it kept him focused and awake. Soon, Mia woke up, and Brian gave her an update. She shared some of her colorful words with him before thanking him for the news.

She was concerned that her mom might start worrying when they didn’t show up around the time Mia had mentioned. She’d called her mom when they were at the diner and said they’d be there no more than two to two and half hours. Staring down the highway with glowing headlights creating a swirling stream of illumination down the mountain slope, Mia realized they had at least four to five hours ahead of them on the road.

Brian suggested calling her since they had enough signal to get Truckee radio on his phone. Mia called her mom on her own phone and when she picked up, her mom assumed they had just parked. Mia explained they were parked—in the middle of highway traffic on the side of a Mountain. After sharing some colorful words, her mom conveyed that she would try to stay up as long as she could to wait for them.  However, if the lights in the house weren’t on, Mia could check under the welcome mat for the spare key.

It took them another three hours before passing through the South Lake Tahoe city limits. Brian decided to stop at a drive-thru before they pulled into his mother-in-law’s driveway. The both sighed in relieve when they saw the lights were still on.  Instantaneously, Brian removed his Android phone from the Wirelinq cable.  Tired yet somewhat relaxed by the music that was playing, Brian brought himself out of the car, followed by Mia who was carrying the drive-thru burgers. Brian grabbed the shakes. They walked quietly up to the front door where Mia’s mom greeted them.

Mia was relieved that not only did they made the trip safely, but Brian seemed be in good spirits still.  She sure was glad they had Wirelinq to help them through the drive.  Mia’s mom give both of them big hugs. She welcomed them inside and persistently invited them to the dining room where hot roast beef and mash potatoes awaited them. After getting inside, Mia’s mom asked what they bought. Brian softly told her it breakfast for tomorrow. She put the drive-thru in the refrigerator and everyone sat down to enjoyed a hot meal with cold milkshakes.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our latest Wirelinq smart USB cable, check out on our store: http://gromaudio.com/wirelinq/.

Christmas Story Series – Featuring VLine Infotainment System

New Year Festivities

After a long week, Bill was excited. His friend Rommel invited him for five days in the valley at his loft in Los Angeles.  New Year’s plans had been decided.  They were to meet up with Rommel’s friend and finish off the year with a final countdown in Hollywood.  It would be the time of his life.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

Bill left his apartment in San Diego, hoping to miss the traffic. But the traffic found him. He had signed up to beta test GROM’s new idea, VLine, and it was a great chance to try it out. VLine allowed the owner to  to upgrade the car’s infotainment system to the latest mobile and car technology, and get the access to Google and Waze maps for navigation, and Web Radio, Google Music, Spotify and other apps for in-car entertainment, right from his Lexus IS350 car stereo screen. . Bill had a chance to test VLine for a week already, so he became accustomed in using it.

Using Vline‘s voice control, he was able to access the latest version of Google Maps and plot the quickest route through traffic. But according to Google maps, the quickest route to Los Angeles was on Highway 5, which was clogged until he’d reached San Juan Capistrano. He could clearly see on his infotainment screen the red line reaching down to Oceanside and up into the foot of Orange County.

While puttering in traffic on the 5, Bill used his VLine infotainment system to pull up Spotify and play something relaxing. This kept him mellow for forty minutes until he decided to call Rommel and give him an update. Rommel wasn’t around so he left a message. Bill spent the rest of the time sifting through traffic as the road clog continued to maintain its lack of fluidity.


By the time Bill was able to pull free of the traffic jam, which last well pasts Capistrano and into the bowels of Orange County, he got a call back from Rommel who told him to meet him and some friends at restaurant called Cascabel in North Hollywood for dinner. Bill used VLine voice control for navigation to get directions from Google and began a journey through Highway 210 then the 134.

By the time he got there, Bill was tired and starving. Unfortunately, Rommel and group had made a change and we’re a couple of blocks away at The Eatery. Bill was a little irritated but Rommel had a beer waiting for him, and Bill was able to order a cheese burger, which is what he’d been craving all day. Afterwards, they hit a bar down the street and killed some more time and relaxed. Later, Bill headed back to Rommel’s place and got some shut eye.

The next day, they spent down in Venus Beach, cruising around and checking out the scene. The sun was raining heat on the concrete. They parked near the Santa Monica Boardwalk and hit the concrete tiles.  With the temperate climate, the beach was packed with travelers, tourists and regulars.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

They talked about plans for the next day with Rommel’s friends. Where they could go and what parties were happening on Sunset Boulevard. Rommel wanted to just cruise around  and see what was happening. Bill on the other hand wanted to check out this new gastropub that recently opened. Earlier, he had heard about something big they were doing for the final countdown. Rommel did not seem too thrilled about it.

The next day, they picked up Rommel’s friends to hang out.  They drove all around Santa Monica to some local favorites.  As evening fell, they headed toward the strip and drove until dusk fell on Hollywood. Rommel was looking through Bill’s Google Play collection on his VLine infotainment system. They listened to some Trip Hop while searching the strip.  It did not take long before Bill decided to find parking a couple of blocks off the strip to continue their search by foot.  He was the designated driver for the evening and wanted to minimize cruising by car as much as possible.

They found a lounge that everyone agreed upon on Vine and Hollywood Blvd. The place was hopping, and the three friends ordered some drinks to start the night. Bill had some light snacks.  He had to be responsible after all.  After some time of hanging out and giving Bill a hard time, Rommel decided to give Bill a break.  They headed to Avenue A as Bill had suggested earlier.  By the time Bill got them there, Rommel and his friends sobered up a bit, and they were ready for round two.  The new gastropub was by the beach and with a patio to boot.  Rommel and his friends found an open table and they toasted the night away.  Bill went off on his own in search of the patio and found that it was nicely decorated with red and white lights.  There was also some light music.  Pretty soon, Bill found himself dancing and having a good time.  As midnight approached, Rommel and his friends found Bill outside and they wrapped up the year counting down together.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

The next morning back at the loft, Rommel was no where to be seen.  Bill took advantage of this opportune solo time to finish his packing. His friend, however, did not recover from the previous night’s festivities until well into the afternoon.  They spent the rest of the day chilling and chatting as they watched Hal’s Food Adventures on WebTV before Bill decided to head back.  He sure was glad to have VLine to keep him company for the long drive ahead.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our VLine infotainment system product line, check out our store: http://gromaudio.com/store/vline/.

Christmas Story Series – Featuring Dashlinq

The Road Most Traveled

The simple truth is that Anna’s mom lived five hours from San Francisco. John has taken the trip with Anna many times and now that they are getting married next spring, it was especially important to get everything right for the holidays. The packing had taken a while, especially preparing the gifts.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

By the time they got on the road, it was 10:30am. Anna had paid for a GROM car kit several months earlier so, with the use of the GROM DashLinQ app, John was able to quickly access this Google Maps and get a route to Anna’s mom’s house. Anna had staid up late the night before, so she was still exhausted and drowsy. She quickly fell asleep after John had driven across the Carquinez Bridge and into Vallejo. By the time they had driven past Fairfax, John was bored out of his mind. There was traffic on the road according to Google maps, and they would be delayed an hour.

As John sat in traffic, his mind wandered. He thought about what could go wrong. Maybe they would show late enough that Anna’s mom had to leave the house and they were stuck waiting. Maybe gridlock would get worse, and they spend the rest of the afternoon sitting in traffic and ended dragging themselves into the mom’s house in the dark—both exhausted and annoyed. Maybe after they arrive they discovered that half there presents were left behind back in San Francisco, forgotten by the rush to get on the road and to Reno.


John decided to listen to something on his cell phone. Using voice commands, he used DashLinQ to start WebRadio to access his favorite radio station from Truckee/Lake Tahoe—KTKE 101.5. He found them on their last skiing trip to Diamond Peak and fell in love. Using the WebRadio feature in DashLinQ, John would listen to Truckee radio while commuting in the Bay Area.

Regardless, KTKE kept John’s mind focused on driving and soon the traffic loosened up all the way through Sacramento. John was relieved on different levels. Just past Sacramento, Anna woke up and decided to change stations and used the DashLinQ to access her music collection she stored on Google Play. They spent the next forty minutes listening to Taylor Swift and John kept his cool the whole time, while looking for an excuse to get out of the car before he started crying.

GROM Audio Blog Holiday

He used a voice command and asked for the next restaurant, and Google Maps directed him to Dine n Dash Pub & Grill just past Colfax. Anna was game, and John was relieved. After eating and getting back on the road, John had already figure out what music to listen to so that both of them could stay sane.  They spent the rest of the trip listening to some smooth jazz on Spotify radio. Soon, they were off the highway and onto Virginia Street in Reno. The rest of the trip was quiet as they pulled into Anna’s mom’s house five and half hours since departure. But Mom wasn’t home.

They ended up using Google Maps, one more time, and had dinner at  Silver Peak Restaurant & Brewery, not too far from the house. They spent time having dinner and hanging out until Anna could get a hold of mom and head on over back to the house.

Bring us on the road with you.

For more information on our Dashlinq app and interface, check out on our store: http://gromaudio.com/dashlinq/.