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Best way to play audio in the car?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Taiwwa

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Posted 20 September 2016 - 09:56 PM

So I have a conundrum. 

 

The aux input requires RCA-3.5mm cables, and they keep on breaking on me. Besides that, I can't use the center console controls for them.

 

The bluetooth audio sometimes stutters, and I can tell the audio quality difference. And I tend to have a separate audio player than my phone for music since google Nav will interrupt the music playback.

 

when connecting via USB disc mode, it will reindex the music files every time I start up.

 

Music CD's tend to get scratched and take up lots of space.

 

What's the best way to play music in this car?

 

SEL model, sony audio fwiw. 









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#2 OFFLINE   Kelleytoons

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 06:08 AM

Don't have the SEL (only SE) but I can tell you that BT works just fine and the quality is fine as well (and I'm kind of an audio snob). 

 

Like anything else, it's garbage in garbage out.  If your BT source is fine, your audio will be fine.  All my MP3s are 320CBR played by my iPhone via BT and the audio is on par with a CD (not *quite* as good but so close as to be indistinguisable in all but the very softest music, like perhaps quiet piano).

 

I've also used a USB stick and it will NOT reindex if you set it up properly (you need to turn off the two music match systems -- can't remember offhand what they are called but they don't really work anyway and yet are on by default).  Quality is fine but selection for me isn't nearly as easy (I can just invoke Siri by holding down the steering wheel paddle and then say "Play female jazz vocalists" or some such, whereas with the USB it's a PITA to get a particular selection).  Then again, I have a LARGE amount of music on my phone (128gb).


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#3 OFFLINE   jestevens

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 08:31 AM

The SEL with the upgraded Sony system and MFT has the most audio input types I've ever seen on a production car  - the only one you haven't mentioned is the composite A/V Line in which is also inside the storage for the center armrest. 

 

My USB stick was never indexed more than once for each device, are you sure you are using a FAT32 formatted stick?  Admittedly I haven't added new content to the USB in a while.

 

The Bluetooth client implementation in the audio playback app you are using can make a serious difference.  Bluetooth playback in Spotify was horrible - it would stutter or track commands would cease to function, the audio would switch from stereo to mono for no reason,   Google Play Music worked a lot better.  Model of Phone also makes a difference, if you have a phone with a small amount of RAM (e.g. 512MB) for example it can have trouble with playback sometimes.

 

SD Card is usually used by the GPS for Nav data so that's probably out.

 

The only other inputs I know about in general that the car does not have are optical or HDMI and neither of those would seem to get you any better improvement over the others in terms of what you'd normally be doing with it. 

 

Maybe you can find a 3.5" jack at 90 degrees or something?  When you close the center armrest you are routing the cable through the little holes so it doesn't get pinched?

 

Is it a CD drive or a DVD drive?  Probably CD.  I just wonder because of the A/V composite inputs.  I never tried this but if it's a DVD you could store significantly more data.


Edited by jestevens, 21 September 2016 - 08:36 AM.


#4 OFFLINE   scottwood2

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 08:39 AM

So I have a conundrum. 

 

The aux input requires RCA-3.5mm cables, and they keep on breaking on me. Besides that, I can't use the center console controls for them.

 

The bluetooth audio sometimes stutters, and I can tell the audio quality difference. And I tend to have a separate audio player than my phone for music since google Nav will interrupt the music playback.

 

when connecting via USB disc mode, it will reindex the music files every time I start up.

 

Music CD's tend to get scratched and take up lots of space.

 

What's the best way to play music in this car?

 

SEL model, sony audio fwiw. 

I use bluetooth and I like the quality.  Audio playback has been good but I also have been getting stuttering sometime in recent months.  I was hoping that the update would take care of that.   Some days are good, others not so much.   I can sometimes just pause the program on my MFT for a few seconds and then it is OK.  Sometime not though.   I removed the SD card and dumped my contacts on the MFT but the issue is still there sometimes.   I found a post that stated that the contacts can sometimes cause memory issues. 

 

Lately it has been OK. 

 

I don't use the SD card much for music but that seemed to work fine too.   I don't remember it trying to reindex.  

 

My last car did not have bluetooth.  I used a bluetooth to FM convertor which worked but the quality was not the best.  It was fine for Podcasts but music was just OK. 



#5 OFFLINE   raadsel

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 02:19 PM

On my SEL with the Sony sound system, I haven't had an issue with Bluetooth streaming. Though I also had an older iPod that was no longer being used, and now keep it in the center console storage plugged into the USB port. It has worked well for me.



#6 OFFLINE   obob

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Posted 21 September 2016 - 10:29 PM

...

 

The aux input requires RCA-3.5mm cables, and they keep on breaking on me. Besides that, I can't use the center console controls for them.

 

... 

 

I use the RCA plug frequently.  I haven't had a problem with breaking cables, though I try to be careful when putting a cable in or taking it out mostly out of concern for the socket for replacing a cable is really cheap relative to a broken socket on a phone or some other device.



#7 OFFLINE   HotPotato

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Posted 23 September 2016 - 01:02 AM

The Bluetooth client implementation in the audio playback app you are using can make a serious difference.  Bluetooth playback in Spotify was horrible - it would stutter or track commands would cease to function, the audio would switch from stereo to mono for no reason,   Google Play Music worked a lot better.  Model of Phone also makes a difference, if you have a phone with a small amount of RAM (e.g. 512MB) for example it can have trouble with playback sometimes.

 

 

Bluetooth gives a little less bass vs. USB, but is otherwise just fine, and certainly louder than the 3.5" jack input.

 

The main thing that affects audio quality in Spotify isn't Bluetooth -- it's the audio quality you have your Spotify app set to. If you let it default to 96kBps, it will sound, to put it politely, sub-optimal. At max quality (320?) it will sound quite good but it will eat up your cell plan's data MB. So, if you're a paying Spotify customer, take advantage of the option to download the actual music files to your phone while you're at home on wi-fi.

 

Similarly, I've never had stuttering as a result of Bluetooth itself, only due to a poor data connection. 

 

YMMV.








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