How good is bluetooth audio? (re: iPhone/iPod car integration options)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by sofakng, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. sofakng macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    I'm purchasing a new 2011 Toyota RAV4 and I'd like to connect my iPhone to it...

    My options for iPhone/iPod integration are:

    1) Bluetooth via BluLogic adapter ($299)
    2) Toyota iPod Integration Kit ($299?)
    3) Use built-in auxiliary jack (free)

    I don't have a problem spending the $299 but I can't purchase BOTH the bluetooth adapter and integration kit.

    Which do you think is the best option?

    How is the iPhone bluetooth audio quality compared to direct-connection?

    The bad thing about the Toyota iPod integration is that the iPhone goes in the glove compartment so you can't really use hands-free while it's in there, etc. Also, if I ever decide to switch to an Android phone or something then the iPod kit will be worthless...
  2. icyfire macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2010
    I have a 2011 Toyota Sienna with a built in USB port (iPod compatible) and built in Bluetooth so I've used both input methods. Audio quality is pretty much identical on both (audiophiles will say that direct connect is a lot better but I've found the bluetooth was excellent as well if you're an average Joe listener). As for controlling the iPhone, the radio controls are actually kind of crappy because there is signficant lag from when info shows up on the screen after you press a button so I've not really used the built in USB that much. It's also kind of complicated to control the iPhone using the radio buttons. I'd recommend getting the bluetooth because you get the hands free option and also the audio will pause when you get a call so it will work together properly.
  3. sofakng thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Thanks for the information!

    Have you heard anything about bluetooth audio only outputting the front speakers?

    I don't know if it's a huge issue for me or not but that seems strange and is making me shy away from it...
  4. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    What did you have to do to get the BT Audio working with your iphone? We just got a 2011 Sienna and I successfully paired my iPhone4 but currently it's only working for calls. I can't play ipod music via BT into the stereo.

    I haven't had a chance to pour through the manual (stuck at work) so I thought I'd check here...

  5. TruckdriverSean macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2009
    Texas, US
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    Bluetooth audio is decent for most users, but the ease of use is its best feature. In a vehicle with a nice audio setup (surround sound, woofer, amp, etc.) you will notice the degradation a lot more, if your into very high sound quality.

    My experience is limited, using A2DP with only a Sony (aftermarket) HU in my pickup, a Kensington LiquidAux Bluetooth kit in my wife's Santa Fe, and a pair of Motorola headphones.

    The Motorola headphone's and the Kensington kit in the Santa Fe were both a bit of a let down for me. I can hear the crunchy compression of A2DP, and in the Santa Fe with its premium sound, the Kesington just doesn't have near as much ass to it as direct analog connection or thumbdrive music. In my little pickup though, the plain Jane 4 speaker setup really doesn't have much oomph to it anyway, so I haven't found anything to complain about.

    So in the end, it depends on you vehicle's sound system and you needs. The convinience of A2DP is mucho awesome, but the sound quality does get sacrificed a bit.
  6. jpetticrew macrumors 6502a


    May 13, 2009
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/8C148)

    Bluetooth is awesome. I hardly notice any difference in audio quality.
  7. Fireproof! macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2008
    Frisco, TX
    Nevermind - figured it out (after referring to the manual). You have to setup bluetooth connection for audio separately via another menu item. Anyway - it works great and the quality is awesome.
  8. wah4yourfamily macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2011
    ^v buttons do not work with blue tooth streaming in toyota sienna

    HI All

    I have a 2010 toyota sienna with blue tooth audio. First time using the blue tooth and for months I could never get the streaming audio to allow me to change songs by pressing the steering wheel controls ^ or v. These only work if I plug in my iphone via the USB plug.

    After months of never getting this to work on streaming audio, 2 weeks ago I mistakenly pressed these buttons while in streaming audio mode and it was working. That lasted 1 week and now again it doesnt work.

    HELP ME PLEASE. The Sienna manual is of no help and I have no idea what I did to get it to work to begin with.

    The ipod USB is annoying because sometimes while playing it stops working and I cannot start it playing again by using the controls on the dash. I have to unplug it and start over.

    I have an iphone 4 but even with my iphone 3G previously the bluetooth behaved the same way.

    Quite annoying that I cannot seem to get this to work
    Does anyone have any help for me???? Please...?

    Thanks in advance
  9. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    I have a 1994 Camry and I bought this head unit to replace the one I had. It has bluetooth built in with a microphone on the front of the unit. The sound comes out of the speakers and sounds great. A few people have said that I've sounded kind of far away but I learned to speak a little louder and towards the mic and haven't had any more problems.
  10. pdqgp, Jan 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2011

    pdqgp macrumors 68020


    Mar 23, 2010
    don't know about using any of the third party adapters, but in my Ford Fusion Sport with Sync and Navi, it has perfect clarity and shows zero difference between direct connection. My steering wheels controls work which is pure awesome. Auto Connect works with mine still and I'm on iOS4.x
  11. KidPub macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Near Boston MA
    The audio should sound roughly the same on most auto stereos, but a direct connection might add functionality on the steering wheel. For example, when I direct-connect my i4 to my after-market Pioneer, I'm able to use the buttons on my steering wheel to change tracks, flip through selections, and so on. Can't do that when I'm connected via BT.

    Also, make sure that your phone will function correctly with the audio component over BT...iOS4 broke a lot of BT audio systems, including mine. The symptom is that the phone won't auto-connect with the stereo, it has to be done manually each time.

    KidPub Press

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