If you’ve got a factory 6-disc CD player in your Volvo XC90 and your car if from the mid 2000s era, I can tell you that there’s a good chance that you’ve got a very expensive piece of Japanese electronics that does not work. If you’re lucky, you got all 6 discs out before it gave out. If not, I suppose you could always go buy the MP3 version of the CD (or CDs) that you’re missing. Either way, it’s a pain to have no other choice for music other than the radio.
I can also tell you that there’s a good chance you’re tired of listening to the radio and that trying to use your phone and its tiny little speaker as an alternative music source sucks. It’s also possible that you’ve tried an FM modulator or found some insanely complicated instructions on how to risk your entire AM/FM antenna in order to hard wire a connection to your phone.
The FM modulator is something I’ve tried. Unfortunately, it seems as though the XC90 is too well-insulated for it to work at any degree of satisfaction an there’s no way I’m removing my antenna to risk ruining it just to play music from my phone. You can read the instructions on how to do it (link) but the whole idea of removing the antenna, and modifying it, doesn’t seem like a DIY option for me and I have some decent skills.
There are some other ways to get an aux connection into your sound system based on your year, CD player model and sound system. I’ve seen one that installs easily, but navigating the phone or input device using the buttons on the car radio is just a hassle. Press “1” to scroll through songs by name, “2” to scroll by artist, etc. I can’t stand that kind of UNfriendly user interface no matter how much money I’m saving.
The alternative? A GROM MST with Bluetooth connection.
It’s pricey, yes, but it may be the easiest, and possibly the best solution out there when it comes to replacing the CD changer in your XC90. It’s a direct fit to the back off your CD player and really is a DIY job even for beginners. The most difficult part is actually getting access to your CD player to make the connections. Fortunately, GROM has gone the extra step to provide a YouTube video on how to do the install. I’ve read that there are some other options out there (the GROM only works if you have the Premium Sound System in your XC90) but for my 2004 XC90, this is probably the best solution, even despite the price. I’ve looked around and there are no knockofffs available that I can see on AliExpress or similar sites.
The major upside for me is that I can use my phone for input OR I can use the skip/fast-forward buttons to actually do what I want. Plus the actual name and artist are displayed on the radio display, but if I’m using my phone for input* what do I care?
*The mere act of touching your phone while you drive may violate your local laws. Always act within the rule of law. I’m not responsible for your distracted driving ticket.