Jump to content
Do Not Sell My Personal Information


Mp3 Addition To Stereo


pero2
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi,

does anyone have experience with XCAR link mp3 interface on Avensis? It is connected as a CD changer and can be fixed inside the glove compartment and is supposed to work normally with the steering wheel commands just as a regular CD changer. However, I heard that the sound quality is not really great- lots of noise. I am thinking about getting something as the missing of possibility to listen to mp3 files is really bugging me. Anyone with the experience of other products?

Grateful for advice!

Cheers,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Hi,

does anyone have experience with XCAR link mp3 interface on Avensis? It is connected as a CD changer and can be fixed inside the glove compartment and is supposed to work normally with the steering wheel commands just as a regular CD changer. However, I heard that the sound quality is not really great- lots of noise. I am thinking about getting something as the missing of possibility to listen to mp3 files is really bugging me. Anyone with the experience of other products?

Grateful for advice!

Cheers,

Peter

I haven't heard of the product you describe, but you did ask about other products, so here is my opinion.

I have a Harman Kardon Drive and Play for my iPod, and it's fantastic. I needed an interface unit to plug it into the CD changer socket on the back of the Avensis stereo, but it sounds brilliant and looks really neat. You can control the volume using the steering wheel controls, and you get a job wheel for track control. Obviously this is only if you have an iPod, but if you do I think it's a great solution. They are going cheap on eBay at the moment too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have used the x car link ipod adaptor and it works fine you plug it into the cd multi changer port and you get full control of the ipod from the steering wheel.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i have used the x car link ipod adaptor and it works fine you plug it into the cd multi changer port and you get full control of the ipod from the steering wheel.

How about the sound quality? There's rumours about high noise levels...

cheers

peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought one of these, was a bit of an adventure getting it to work (In some Toyotas, you need a Y-splitter cable for the CD changer port or the entire console stops working when you plug the XCL in (Thankfully they now sell them on their website!), and the SD card slot only supports SD cards, not SDHC!), but I'm pretty happy with my one.

The sound quality is okay; I doubt it's up to audiophile levels, but it's much better than an FM transmitter adaptor (And doesn't go nuts everytime you pass a pirate radio station :P).

The thing that hurts its quality most is that the unit doesn't have any sort of automatic gain control or dynamic channel compression or even EQ to compensate for engine noise, so when you're moving you have to turn the volume up yourself and some stuff sounds really bad because you're loosing so much of the low end. (Like all you can hear is crash cymbols :P)

It's a bit annoying actually, since the CD player and radio seem to, so when you're at motorway speeds they still sound better than the XCL, but I've been re-encoding all my MP3s to compensate and it sounds a lot better now :)

IMHO it is a bit pricey since you could probably get a replacement headunit for the price some places are charging for it, but then you'd loose the steering controls with those, whereas you don't with this :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought one of these, was a bit of an adventure getting it to work (In some Toyotas, you need a Y-splitter cable for the CD changer port or the entire console stops working when you plug the XCL in (Thankfully they now sell them on their website!), and the SD card slot only supports SD cards, not SDHC!), but I'm pretty happy with my one.

The sound quality is okay; I doubt it's up to audiophile levels, but it's much better than an FM transmitter adaptor (And doesn't go nuts everytime you pass a pirate radio station :P).

The thing that hurts its quality most is that the unit doesn't have any sort of automatic gain control or dynamic channel compression or even EQ to compensate for engine noise, so when you're moving you have to turn the volume up yourself and some stuff sounds really bad because you're loosing so much of the low end. (Like all you can hear is crash cymbols :P)

It's a bit annoying actually, since the CD player and radio seem to, so when you're at motorway speeds they still sound better than the XCL, but I've been re-encoding all my MP3s to compensate and it sounds a lot better now :)

IMHO it is a bit pricey since you could probably get a replacement headunit for the price some places are charging for it, but then you'd loose the steering controls with those, whereas you don't with this :)

Thanks for your thoughts on that. I'm not really looking for audiophile quality in my car, it's just that I have some quite bad experience with such china made additions. Remember the cassete type adapter- that was really really bad sound quality. You said you reecoded your mp3s to compensate- how did you do that?

Thanks for your answer .

PS I dont find xcar link terribly expensive- mp3 CD changer costs much more (and takes up some space)- but if I tear up the car to install and then find that it is really dodgy would not be nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a new product that I found, the GROM adapter; anyone having experience with that?

Peter

'fraid not :(

It seems like a very similar thing (I suspect it is actually the same thing in a different box :lol: )

That said, it supports AAC and the documentation is a lot better (The docs that come with the XCL are borderline useless!), and it's nice that the Grom apparently has some aftersales support in the form of firmware upgrades. It looks like they bundle a Y-cable as well, rather than requiring you to get it separately.

re. compensating MP3's, well some MP3 encoders have an option for Dynamic Range Compression or RMS Normalize, both which (In different ways) boost quiet bits which makes it easier to hear in the car.

If you already have the MP3 like me 'tho, you can still process them. I just ran all mine through SOX using a Linux bash script I found somewhere, but you can do similar things in Windows with programs like foobar2000+vlevel plugin, and I think there is a proggy called mp3gain as well.

It is not a perfect solutions (I'm noticing some of my stuff sounds really bad when it is compressed like this, but generally rock and metal can be compressed to hell and you can't tell the difference half the time :lol: )

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I bought the GROM USB adapter some year ago.

It is the "older" type with usb, aux and ipod inputs

My impressions:

very good sound quality, supports mp3, wma and ogg (although ogg's tags aren't supported yet)

I am mainly using it with a 8gb usb stick although I sometimes stream lastfm to the grom via their proprietary bluetooth adapter (which plugs into the ipod port).

I can skip songs and folders back and forth using both the radio and steering wheel controls. bluetooth supports streaming, headset profile and controls so I can control any streaming player via the car controls too.

Firmware updates are very regular and improvements they bring are welcome (bluetooth control was the most recent addition)

Issues:

sometimes the grom box isn't recognised by the radio but that's easily fixable.

Folders: I never tried more than 15 ROOT folders and mp3 tags are displayed only if the current song is in the first 12.

You can have unlimited (well...) number of nested folders but you have to keep eye on the file naming. Grom have a gromsrt.exe utility to aid the renaming but I found it doesn't work under certain conditions (e.g. when only some of the file names start with number).

I have written a small java program which, onece run in the root of the drive, renames all files to "N-%filename_here%.ext" where N is a counter starting from 1.

When run with parameters eg. sortAll _-() , it removes the chars fed in the parameter string from all file names.

thats it, very good product , cannot recommend it more

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is a new product that I found, the GROM adapter; anyone having experience with that?

Peter

I had a Grom adapter in my Skoda Superb, and it was an excellent bit of kit, it just plugged into the CD Changer socket in the stereo and I could control the iPod with the stereo controls, sound quality was as good as an iPod gets :)

Over the last couple of years I have fitted / used (PS I Am not a fitter or trader, just handy with my spanners so to speak)

X-Car Link

DICE (My personal favourite, excellent quality and retains steering wheel control functionality for the ipod)

Dension iCE link (again, very good quality with options to retain steering controls for iPod functions)

Parrot MKi9000 (ok, good solution if you want hands free bluetooth as well as iPod)

Here are some links to suppliers for the above

http://www.incaripod.com/

http://www.ipodcarkitdirect.co.uk/Dice

Dice is my personal favourite at the moment, with Dension bring it in at a close second. I have a good friend who is an auto-electrician and he gives the DICE equipment his vote to :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share





×
×
  • Create New...




Forums


News


Membership