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I bought and installed a Xcarlink in my 2008 hatchback. I bought it from this store because it was cheaper than on the xcarlink.co.uk site: Honda Wireless Bluetooth Streaming Handsfree Interface. The site seems legit so I assume it's a genuine Xcarlink unit.

Being able to control Spotify from the steering wheel controls is nice and all but I have some issues with the sound quality. So far I have tried both Bluetooth (this model uses A2DP streaming) and the aux-to-aux connection. In both case the sound quality is mediocre at best. The FM radio sounds way better which is quite disappointing. Now, I'm wondering if I'm the only one with this issue or are my standards just too high? I'm almost certain that both end of the cable are properly connected. The quality when paired with my iPhone4 is better than with my Nexus 5 but still not "CD quality" in my opinion. It's not a volume issue like I read in a few other thread; it just sounds like its played in a can or from very cheap speakers, you know? I also adjusted the phone equaliser and the car stereo settings but to no avail.

Could the USB-to-AUX connection deliver better results? Thanks!
 

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I find the sound quality of the previous generation xcarlink Bluetooth adapter to be pretty poor as well. I have the USB / sd card unit with the optional Bluetooth module.

Sound quality of sd card / USB interface is far superior.
 

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Bluetooth, even A2DP, doesn't have the bandwidth to replicate CD quality sound (it will have tinny treble, weak bass and some artifacting).

However, properly wired AUX hooked to a genuine system should be perfect quality. Compare a CD in the head unit to lossless audio files on the N5/IP4 to rule out encoding problems.

NOTE: If not properly wired you may hear hissing/a ground loop hum etc. No on-board amplification or a improperly wired/soldered unit (aka a fake/defective unit) may cause a tinny/weak sound.

If I were you, I would contact xcarlink to check to ask them to verify the authenticity of the unit (usually via serial number/uploading pics). They will normally be happy to do this as it allows them to prevent fraud. If it is authentic then I would suggest checking the hookup and, if needed, RMAing it.

Hope this helps
 

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I returned my xcarlink as I was getting a grounding issue when I had my iPhone plugged in, I bought a honda music link2.0 from America for a third of the price (£35) , sound quality is now perfect
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Bluetooth, even A2DP, doesn't have the bandwidth to replicate CD quality sound (it will have tinny treble, weak bass and some artifacting).

However, properly wired AUX hooked to a genuine system should be perfect quality. Compare a CD in the head unit to lossless audio files on the N5/IP4 to rule out encoding problems.

NOTE: If not properly wired you may hear hissing/a ground loop hum etc. No on-board amplification or a improperly wired/soldered unit (aka a fake/defective unit) may cause a tinny/weak sound.

If I were you, I would contact xcarlink to check to ask them to verify the authenticity of the unit (usually via serial number/uploading pics). They will normally be happy to do this as it allows them to prevent fraud. If it is authentic then I would suggest checking the hookup and, if needed, RMAing it.

Hope this helps
Thanks for the advice. I will contact xcarlink to authenticate the unit. My guess is that it's genuine since the store seems to be a recognised reseller of car audio equipment, but who knows. In any cases, the Nexus 5 has legendary poor audio output so I will do more testing with my iphone 4. By "genuine system" do you mean the stock car audio system/speakers?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I returned my xcarlink as I was getting a grounding issue when I had my iPhone plugged in, I bought a honda music link2.0 from America for a third of the price (£35) , sound quality is now perfect
Hey that's cool. If I can't solve my problems with the xcarlink I will order that. I'm just dreading the fact that I have to take the car apart again :facepalm:
 

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I returned my xcarlink as I was getting a grounding issue when I had my iPhone plugged in, I bought a honda music link2.0 from America for a third of the price (£35) , sound quality is now perfect
Bench, can you briefly describe the interface of the music link and what/how it connects to?
 

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The honda music link 2.0 connects exactly the same as the xcarlink, the only connection is the old ipod connection, but you can connect to newer iPhones with a lightning cable adapter.

I've routed the cable into a active brodit holder, perfect for my phone
 

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Can Honda Music link 2 be plugged into a sat nav model using a y-cable?
 

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I use the Aux coming out of my Xcarlink and the sound quality is perfect, there was the odd crackle but that my aux cable rather than the unit itself!
 

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Would have been nice to find a solution here, or some feedback...

I Have just purchased one and sound quality is on par with FM transmitter. :/

I have emailed them so will reply with something as soon as they get back to me
 
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