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Connecting DAC to AUX Input on 2008 EX-L I4

  #1  
Old 06-01-2015, 02:19 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
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Question Connecting DAC to AUX Input on 2008 EX-L I4

Hi all,

I think I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to cars and audio equipment so I hope you bear with me.

I currently have a Honda Accord 2008 I4 EX-L. It has the "premium" factory audio system with navigation and 6-CD changer. It has the AUX INPUT in the center console of the car.

I currently listen to music using my smartphone with 320Kbps bit rate or higher (e.g. FLAC). The smartphone is connected via a 3.5mm audio cable that goes into the AUX IN of the car. It is also connected via a USB cable for charging. Setup works but the audio quality is questionable. Mainly due to the poor DAC on my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone.

I would like to get rid of one of the audio wires and switch it with a Bluetooth connection. I am planning on buying the Audioengine B1 and use it in the car. This will essentially offload the D-to-A conversion from the smartphone to this dedicated Bluetooth device. It does support aptX which is cool. (My phone doesn't but in a couple of months I shall buy a new phone that supports aptX).

The B1 has RCA output and as far as I know it does not have an amp. My question is: If I connect the B1 to the car's factory AUX IN via an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter, will I get decent volume levels without hiss/distortion? I assume the AUX IN signal goes through a factory amp, right?
 
  #2  
Old 06-08-2015, 12:22 AM
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Location: Quad Cities, IL
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Originally Posted by dashrendar View Post
Hi all,

I think I'm a bit of a noob when it comes to cars and audio equipment so I hope you bear with me.

I currently have a Honda Accord 2008 I4 EX-L. It has the "premium" factory audio system with navigation and 6-CD changer. It has the AUX INPUT in the center console of the car.

I currently listen to music using my smartphone with 320Kbps bit rate or higher (e.g. FLAC). The smartphone is connected via a 3.5mm audio cable that goes into the AUX IN of the car. It is also connected via a USB cable for charging. Setup works but the audio quality is questionable. Mainly due to the poor DAC on my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone.

I would like to get rid of one of the audio wires and switch it with a Bluetooth connection. I am planning on buying the Audioengine B1 and use it in the car. This will essentially offload the D-to-A conversion from the smartphone to this dedicated Bluetooth device. It does support aptX which is cool. (My phone doesn't but in a couple of months I shall buy a new phone that supports aptX).

The B1 has RCA output and as far as I know it does not have an amp. My question is: If I connect the B1 to the car's factory AUX IN via an RCA-to-3.5mm adapter, will I get decent volume levels without hiss/distortion? I assume the AUX IN signal goes through a factory amp, right?
Bluetooth is commonly 128kbps, despite having a theoretical maximum of ~350kbps - so you are losing by moving to a wireless signal. AptX is still no better than 352kbps. considering a CD is 1411kbps, that's a substantial reduction in the number of samples.

keep in mind the effort for BT is convenience, not sound quality. the question is how much sound quality do you want to sacrifice for convenience.

several modern Alpine head units will bypass the DAC in an iPod and use the 24bit DAC inside the HU. this makes near-lossless files a reality.
 
  #3  
Old 06-08-2015, 04:56 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 6
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Hi keep_hope_alive,

Thanks for the info. My decision to go with BT was for convenience with minimal compromise to audio quality. I went by the following articles plus numerous reviews on the Audioengine B1 on both the web and YouTube:
Bluetooth audio quality - A2DP
Audio quality of bluetooth aptX

By the way, I had already received the B1 toward the end of last week and I hooked it up in my car. There is a definite increase in quality and the volume is even higher than before.
 
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