CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX - Club Crosstrek | Subaru XV Crosstrek Forums
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:37 AM   #1
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Default CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

In the past week of Crosstrek ownership, I have been playing around a lot with the different inputs available on the stock, non-nav, stereo head unit. Everything I did was just based off of opinion of what I liked better, nothing technical about it at all.

What I found is that, for me, Bluetooth Audio is the way to go. CD and USB both sounded better overall -- deeper bass, cleaner mids, crisper trebel -- but there were problems with using both.

With CDs it comes down to variety for me. I listen to a lot of types of music and having a one-disc CD changer is just not convenient for someone who listens to something different about every time I sit in the car. A six-disc changer would be another story as not only do CDs sound great ("great" being relative to the other inputs), but they are also easy to navigate through songs with both the dash and steering wheel controls.

USB has two great qualities going for it: the sound was on par with CDs and with a 32gb+ USB drive you have the option of a huge variety of music available to you. However, the navigation of a USB device is absolutely dismal. Even if the sound quality was twice as good as anything else it would take a lot of convincing for me to use USB for audio. When navigating, you can only view ONE folder at a time so you have to scroll one-by-one to find what you're looking for. Secondly, it doesn't recognize folder structure. Let's say you have two Beatles albums, Abbey Road and Rubber Soul. Instead of having a folder labeled 'Beatles' with the two albums inside that you could navigate to, the Crosstrek USB interface reads it as three different folders, not two folders inside a master artist folder. This means that every album you put on the USB device will be seen as its own folder and you would have to scroll through them all, rather than just artist folders, to find what you're looking for. This makes it extremely difficult if you aren't sure exactly what an album is titled or if you just want to listen to the entire discography of a certain artist. That, along with the excruciatingly slow navigation (i.e. scrolling folder by folder and waiting for it to load the folder title) make USB unusable for me.

Though CD and USB sound best, AUX and Bluetooth don't sound bad and with the convenience of having a large selection of music along with a navigable interface (on your phone/MP3 player), either one of these is definitely the way to go IMO. I prefer Bluetooth just because all of my music is on my phone so I don't have to plug anything in -- I just get in and the phone connects with the car and starts playing whatever I want.

Overall I guess it comes down to what you're looking for and different sources will work for different people. That said, don't get me started on how bad the radio sounds...

I'd like to hear everyone else's opinions and preferences!

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Old 12-24-2012, 02:31 PM   #2
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

I had a 6 disc CD changer in my SUV that I traded in for the XV. As I was taking them out I was saying I might as well just throw all of you out. I have yet to put on the radio or throw a CD in. Having the bluetooth audio is one of the coolest features in the car. My friend with a new Caddy CTS-V was going biking with me and he was jealous of the fact I was streaming Pandora radio from my phone though the car stereo. Also if you are using your phone for GPS it lowers the music volume and gives you the verbal directions through the speakers. The bluetooth audio very cool feature that I think I will find myself liking more and more. I have my Ipod plugged into the USB and have a few playlists of 80+ songs each I listen to for different things(snowboarding, mountain biking....etc). I always leave these playlists on the shuffle setting so I just pick what playlist I want and connect it to the car. I think both sound great once switching the EQ to through mode. I have found I like loudness on. I also have the upgraded 4 speaker Kicker set.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tech707
I had a 6 disc CD changer in my SUV that I traded in for the XV. As I was taking them out I was saying I might as well just throw all of you out. I have yet to put on the radio or throw a CD in. Having the bluetooth audio is one of the coolest features in the car. My friend with a new Caddy CTS-V was going biking with me and he was jealous of the fact I was streaming Pandora radio from my phone though the car stereo. Also if you are using your phone for GPS it lowers the music volume and gives you the verbal directions through the speakers. The bluetooth audio very cool feature that I think I will find myself liking more and more. I have my Ipod plugged into the USB and have a few playlists of 80+ songs each I listen to for different things(snowboarding, mountain biking....etc). I always leave these playlists on the shuffle setting so I just pick what playlist I want and connect it to the car. I think both sound great once switching the EQ to through mode. I have found I like loudness on. I also have the upgraded 4 speaker Kicker set.
Yeah, the bluetooth feature is great, but I do think that CDs sound a bit better. I forgot about switching to through mode, I'm going to go do that now!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

Anyone find that others that call into the hands free Bluetooth system hear more than static on their end than normal? I haven't yet tried to delete the connection and set it back up, that's my next action item. Anyone have an idea why this could be happening?
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:40 AM   #5
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

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Originally Posted by Melonid1
Anyone find that others that call into the hands free Bluetooth system hear more than static on their end than normal? I haven't yet tried to delete the connection and set it back up, that's my next action item. Anyone have an idea why this could be happening?
Hmm, interesting. I drive and talk via Bluetooth a lot out of necessity for work and have never had any issues. Yesterday I was on a call and they were hearing a weird noise on their end, described as a chainsaw sound, but it ended up being on their end...that's all that has happened to me!
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

Quote:
Originally Posted by Melonid1
Anyone find that others that call into the hands free Bluetooth system hear more than static on their end than normal? I haven't yet tried to delete the connection and set it back up, that's my next action item. Anyone have an idea why this could be happening?
I use it daily and no one has said anything about having issues. I have even asked a few people if they can hear me OK because I read people were having problems with the placement of the mic. I guess being tall with a relaxed seating position I am in a good spot for the mic.
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Old 01-18-2013, 04:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

Where is the mic, exactly?
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:22 PM   #8
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

I'm 99% sure it is right above the rear view mirror where the front seat lights are.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:42 AM   #9
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Default Re: CD vs USB vs Bluetooth vs AUX

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Originally Posted by Tech707
I'm 99% sure it is right above the rear view mirror where the front seat lights are.
Copy that, good to know.
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