Wireless Carplay Audio Quality – Is the sound quality great?

Wireless Carplay Audio Quality Featured Image

Carplay technology allows drivers to access their phone’s content on their car stereo using a cord. However, with the recent upgrade, drivers can now access their phone’s audio and other content on their stereo without a wire connection. 

Here, you connect your phone to your stereo via Bluetooth or a combination of Bluetooth and Wifi. Now, talking about the wireless CarPlay audio quality, is the sound quality great?

The wireless carplay audio quality is great, but not like the wired carplay audio. When transferring sound to your car stereo over a wireless connection, audios are compressed, leading to certain losses in sound quality.

Differences Between Wired & Wireless CarPlay Audio Quality

While either method allows you to access your phone’s audio on your stereo, the sound quality is not the same.

Wireless carplay audio Wired carplay audio
Uses a Bluetooth or wifi connection (or both) Uses a cord connection 
Sound quality is reduced due to compression Sound quality is the same

Wireless Carplay Audio Quality

A wireless carplay connects your phone to your stereo using Bluetooth or wifi (sometimes both) or another wireless network entirely. Most times, Bluetooth isn’t robust to transfer a large amount of data. 

Remember, while in your head you want just audio, CarPlay transmits all the data it finds on your phone to your stereo. So even if the Bluetooth does transmit the data, the audio quality will be very low. 

True, combining Bluetooth and wifi to establish a connection won’t give you the exact sound of the source file. But it does improve sound quality. See how it works.

A wireless carplay utilizes the ACC-LC format when sending audio from your phone to your stereo. This advanced audio coding (ACC) helps compress sound into smaller bytes. When this happens, sound quality is lost. It becomes worse when you use just Bluetooth.

But this is only possible if the wireless carplay is compatible with the wireless android receiver. This video is a practical guide to how it works.

Wired Carplay Audio

On the other hand, a wired carplay like the HDMI port in a car uses a cord to connect the phone and stereo. It Utilizes an LPCM audio format when transferring sound. The LPCM is a digitization technology that helps produce the original sound.

Here, audio is not compressed; as such, it retains sound quality. In other words, the excellent quality of the source file and the stereo are the same.

Does Wireless CarPlay Support Lossless Audio?

No, the wireless carplay does not support lossless audio. The algorithm a wireless CarPlay uses ensures that audio is compressed. Thereby reducing sound quality.

Most stereos with wireless and wired carplay options have it this way. The minute you unplug the cord, it switches to wireless, and lossless audio goes out.

If you want lossless (high-definition) audio, create a connection using a cord or a lossless capable device via Bluetooth. 

Issues with Wireless CarPlay Audio Quality?

Aside from the reduction in audio quality, other issues that prop up when using the wireless car play includes:

Phone Charging

While you may not need to plug your phone on short trips, it may not be the same for long trips. Longer trips would mean your phone is working for longer. 

As your phone transfers data to your stereo via wifi, Bluetooth or data, it consumes power. This means it may even be more beneficial to keep it plugged in.  

Phone Malfunctions

Since you’re doing wireless, you may plug your phone on a wireless charger. But it won’t be long before your phone overheats, depending on the weather. As your phone gets hot, phone apps start lagging, CPU throttles, you may even experience music dropout.

In other cases, as it gets hot, it switches into a cool down mode, which automatically stops all connections. So you can’t use your phone on your stereo till the phone cools.

This, however, differs from vehicle to vehicle. Cars like BMW places their wireless charger in their armrest without airflow. So it’s not surprising for the phone to overheat.

Conclusion

Wireless carplay sound quality might be great. But wait until you hear that same audio via a wired carplay. As your phone transfers music via wireless network to your stereo, it compresses the audio first. Audio compression can cause the carplay audio to lose quality.

Alex
Alex

I loved my car but was frustrated with my media system. So I upgraded my stereo, making silly wires and precarious phone mounts a thing of the past. The Apple Car Play stereo was so good I wanted to show more people how this could be done and truly upgrade their cars multimedia system!

Founder
StereoUpgrade.com

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