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Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-06-2011

Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Hey, I have a Sansa clip with firmware version 01.01.35A. When I try to connect it to my car stereo, the sound quality is poor. I get this echoey sound from the voices but the instruments can be heard just fine. I have an Aux In, the EQ is set to normal, the volume setting is on High, and the volume is turned all the way up. Even with both the clip's and the car's audio maxed out, I can't hear the lyrics being sung, only the instruments, and they aren't to snazzy either. Is their anything else I can do? Or do I need to try a different cable?

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 16,321
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

[ Edited ]

I would try a different cable. Sounds like 1 channel is being distorted or grounded out. You might try twisting the plug in the jack and see if the sound changes. If it does, the cable/plug is probably bad.

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Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-06-2011

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

I have tried a different cable but come up with the same result. Perhaps it is my stereo system, but I also have a Fuze which seems to work just fine with both cables. I will try twisting the plug, but I am doubtful it will fix anything.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 16,321
Registered: ‎04-17-2008

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Hmmmm . . . quite a noggin scratcher. Well, if your Fuze seems to work OK with the stereo unit, and the same 2 different cables that only leaves the files on your Clip or the Clip itself.

 

How does the Clip sound when listening through head/earphones? What type/format of files on are it? Are they a decent bit-rate? Do they play alright through your computer?

 

Wait . . . here's a thought. The Clip's cable is a short one with a in-line interference can-type capacitor thingy on it. Is this what you're using, or are you using a generic mini-USB one? If using a generic cable, this could be causing the distortion.

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Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-06-2011

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Correction to last post: I just tested it and the Fuze does NOT work. It produces the same results as the Clip.

Both the Fuze and the Clip sound great when connected through headphones, whether it be through the factory ones or the over-the-head Skullcandy ones I use.

 

The files on the Clip are:

MP3 - 128, 192, 320kbps and some variable bit-rates

WMA - 128, 320kbps

When played through the computer they sound the same as when played through headphones.

 

In reference to the cable, are you referring to using it in the car or connected to the computer? I use the Clip's supplied cable to transfer music to it from the computer. The car stereo uses a 3.5mm headphone jack-type thingy to connect my Clip to.

 

Also, I can get the audio to sound somewhat "normal" when I don't plug the cable into the Clip all the way. It has to sit loosely and just right in order for sound to come out. I would estimate it is a little less than halfway plugged in for this to work. However, this solution is less than ideal, as I can get better quality from headphones and I don't want to have to fiddle with it too much in order to keep it playing.

 

Sorry to make this a long post, but I had another Clip before this one which experienced the same problem. It would be distorted if I had just unplugged it from my Xbox via USB. But after I  plugged it into my computer and then into my car stereo, it would work just fine. I have tried this with my current Clip but no cigar.

 

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 8,152
Registered: ‎12-11-2007

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Connecting audio equipment to a car stereo system sometimes can lead to feedback and other issues.  A different cable between the Clip (or other audio equipment) and the car stereo sometimes can improve and fix matters.  Cables are available all over--online, electronics stores, big box stores, drugstores, etc.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,265
Registered: ‎04-24-2009

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

The AUX jack on your car stereo is shorted out.  You'll probably need to replace it.  

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Newbie
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎07-06-2011

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Darn. I was hoping to avoid that. I hoped it would be because of some hardware issue on the Clip or possibly the files on it. I will invest in a higher-quality audio cable (gold-plated connectors should work better, right?), but if that doesn't work then it most probably is the AUX jack itself. If it comes to that, I probably won't replace it, I see it as too much of a hassle and an unneccessary expense. I'll let you guys know how it goes with the cable.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 8,152
Registered: ‎12-11-2007

Re: Bad Sound Quality When Connected to Car Stereo... Any help?

Although a gold-plated cable won't hurt, there probably isn't a need to go that route, if you have a "plain" cable around to use and test the system with.