Car Tech

General discussion

Car stereo connection : USB vs. auxiliary input

by Archangeldawn / November 9, 2006 9:51 AM PST

I'm looking to purchase a new car stereo and use my mp3 player (non-ipod) and I see some brands offer the USB connection in the front of the stereo. So I was wondering if any of you know if the USB brings a better audio quality over an auxiliary input connection or if they're the same.

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You won't notice a difference
by wcunning CNET staff / November 10, 2006 7:06 AM PST

Technically, the USB systems will produce a better sound because there are fewer connections on the way to the speakers. Stereos with a USB connector let you plug in a USB key filled with MP3 files, and the stereo will use the key as an audio source, just like a CD. With an auxiliary input, you are playing the music on your MP3 player, then running its output into the stereo where it gets amplified again, as opposed to the single amplification step it goes through with the USB key. In reality, you probably won't notice a difference in audio quality because it will be minimal. You may need to adjust the volume up heavily on your MP3 player to hear it through the auxiliary jack.

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readjusting the volume on the mp3 player
by Archangeldawn / November 10, 2006 2:46 PM PST

Thanks! and yeah I played an mp3 player on my friend's stereo aux-in port and I had to adjust the volume all the way up to get it to come up as the same level as the stereo's volume. I haven't had the chance to see if the USB connection has this issue as well, but by your post it doesn't.

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(NT) USB is better.
by Ryo Hazuki / November 17, 2006 12:58 AM PST
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