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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I've had my V90CC for just over a year.
I don't have a data plan for the vehicle, so I had been using Pandora
on my phone and playing it via Bluetooth.

I finally decided to download the Pandora app for the V90
and then tether the WIFI conncection from my phone.

Holy crap, what a difference in audio quality!
It is night and day, especially in high quality mode. While this isn't a
long term solution (due to Verizon tethered data limits), it is making me
rethink a data plan for the V90CC.

Only strange thing is I have a Pandora subscription with unlimited skips
on my phone. When I use the V90 App it limits my skips. Thoughts?
 

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You might have to adjust the equalizer/sound options on your cellphone to come close to quality when direct listening through your vehicle's on-board app but I can hear the improvement in the audio quality with Spotify vs Bluetooth.

Have you signed in with your account in your car? Unless it is a bug, your account should operate the same regardless of device.
 

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wait...so you can't use the native app on the V90 with the V90's data plan? That seems odd.

Sorry...not a current owner....just a perspective buyer, so I can't check myself.
 

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I'll ask (repeat) the question asked above. Are you not able to use Volvo's internal Internet connection for Pandora? I do not use Pandora. I use Spotify almost always for Music and Podcasts. If you have a Spotify Premium account you have to initially pair your account to the Volvo Spotify app and once done, you can use Spotify Sensus app as a standalone app and the music quality/clarity/volume is much better than streaming it via carplay from my phone. I hope you can do similar stuff with pandora as well.
 

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So I've had my V90CC for just over a year.
I don't have a data plan for the vehicle, so I had been using Pandora
on my phone and playing it via Bluetooth.

I finally decided to download the Pandora app for the V90
and then tether the WIFI conncection from my phone.

Holy crap, what a difference in audio quality!
It is night and day, especially in high quality mode. While this isn't a
long term solution (due to Verizon tethered data limits), it is making me
rethink a data plan for the V90CC.

Only strange thing is I have a Pandora subscription with unlimited skips
on my phone. When I use the V90 App it limits my skips. Thoughts?
I experienced something similar today.

Thus far most of my listening has been via Android Auto from my phone, mostly Spotify and I was rather disappointed with the sound quality.

Today I accidentally tested the free SiriusXM trial. I have no interest in satellite radio, but boy was I impressed with the sound quality improvement.

I am going to have to try with the Volvo Spotify app and see if it sounds better than via my phone.

wait...so you can't use the native app on the V90 with the V90's data plan? That seems odd.

Sorry...not a current owner....just a perspective buyer, so I can't check myself.
I'll ask (repeat) the question asked above. Are you not able to use Volvo's internal Internet connection for Pandora? I do not use Pandora. I use Spotify almost always for Music and Podcasts. If you have a Spotify Premium account you have to initially pair your account to the Volvo Spotify app and once done, you can use Spotify Sensus app as a standalone app and the music quality/clarity/volume is much better than streaming it via carplay from my phone. I hope you can do similar stuff with pandora as well.

I haven't used Pandora in almost 10 years, but all combinations should work. You should be able to play the Volvo Sensus apps via the car modem, or via your phone tethering its internet signal via either bluetooth or wifi.

likewise you should be able to play your Phone apps via either your phone internet, or the car modem shared via Wifi.
 

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wait...so you can't use the native app on the V90 with the V90's data plan? That seems odd.

Sorry...not a current owner....just a perspective buyer, so I can't check myself.
You CAN use the native app on the V90, he doesn't have a data plan in his car, that's why he was using Bluetooth...and now he's tethering from his phone.
 

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Today I accidentally tested the free SiriusXM trial. I have no interest in satellite radio, but boy was I impressed with the sound quality improvement.

I am going to have to try with the Volvo Spotify app and see if it sounds better than via my phone.
Once you try Spotify from your in-car app you will realize how crappy SiriusXM sounds, everything sounds highly metallic...I did not renew because I cannot stand the downgraded sound quality.
 

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Once you try Spotify from your in-car app you will realize how crappy SiriusXM sounds, everything sounds highly metallic...I did not renew because I cannot stand the downgraded sound quality.

Good to know. I wonder why it sounds like ass via Android Auto...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You CAN use the native app on the V90, he doesn't have a data plan in his car, that's why he was using Bluetooth...and now he's tethering from his phone.

Pocholin is correct. Tethering via phone and using the native app yields far superior sound quality vs running the app on your phone and connecting via Bluetooth. I totally agree on the SXM sound quality too, it’s compressed and awful.

Can you get a Verizon data plan for the car or is it only ATT? And like $15 per month?? Thanks.

Anthony
 

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Pocholin is correct. Tethering via phone and using the native app yields far superior sound quality vs running the app on your phone and connecting via Bluetooth. I totally agree on the SXM sound quality too, it’s compressed and awful.

Can you get a Verizon data plan for the car or is it only ATT? And like $15 per month?? Thanks.

Anthony
Anthony, AT&T and Verizon use 2 different technologies. Can’t put Verizon in the car. I wish we could. I’m not a big fan of AT&T.

If you you want high quality audio tether your phone. Check out Tidal. It is not cheap but works great for me. I have unlimited data with Verizon and the Tidal app works in CarPlay.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I'll add my $0.02 as a tech geek. It is well known that BT audio sucks @$$ versus, ok, just about anything else, ok, an FM transmitter is worse. Thats why AptX and other BT protocols are coming, to up the bandwidth for BT audio. Early BT earbuds were just that, buds for making calls, and people would stream to them, but never judged them for quality. Now that we have quality BT headphones and cars, you can see the effects of the BT compression and low bandwidth, and yeah, it sucks. even with AA, only the track information goes over the USB cable, the audio is still BT. So the onboard apps will beat it every time. Just the way it is in BT land for now. That's why I loaded up a 256gb USB stick with my high bitrate mp3's and put it in the usb port in the car, for decent music capability. It's not random streaming, so that sucks, but at least it sounds nice.
 

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I'll add my $0.02 as a tech geek. It is well known that BT audio sucks @$$ versus, ok, just about anything else, ok, an FM transmitter is worse. Thats why AptX and other BT protocols are coming, to up the bandwidth for BT audio. Early BT earbuds were just that, buds for making calls, and people would stream to them, but never judged them for quality. Now that we have quality BT headphones and cars, you can see the effects of the BT compression and low bandwidth, and yeah, it sucks. even with AA, only the track information goes over the USB cable, the audio is still BT. So the onboard apps will beat it every time. Just the way it is in BT land for now. That's why I loaded up a 256gb USB stick with my high bitrate mp3's and put it in the usb port in the car, for decent music capability. It's not random streaming, so that sucks, but at least it sounds nice.
wow i had no idea that was the case. I SWEAR the audio quality is better via my PowerAmp player through android auto vs bluetooth, but you're saying they both use bluetooth and are of similar audio quality? I feel bamboozled. If it matters, I have a '17 XC90 - same situation? I'm just lurking over here because I'm in the market for a S90.
 

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just a tip - when streaming from your phone via bluetooth, make sure your phone's volume is cranked.
 

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First, Pandora usually doesn't provide great audio quality. They provide varying audio quality through the mobile apps, but unless you have Pandora Premium (not Plus) you can't stream at more than 64kbps. The app in the Volvo provides a 128kbps stream instead. If you have Pandora Premium, you can manually increase the bitrate to 192kbps through the app settings, but the default is 64kbps.

Second, there's your phone. Different phones support different Bluetooth technologies which can greatly affect the quality.

If you have Pandora Premium, turn up the quality in settings and connect it to a Line Level source (CarPlay, Android Auto, or the AUX port if you have one) for the best quality, otherwise the Volvo/Sensus app is your best option.
 

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I'll add my $0.02 as a tech geek. It is well known that BT audio sucks @$$ versus, ok, just about anything else, ok, an FM transmitter is worse. Thats why AptX and other BT protocols are coming, to up the bandwidth for BT audio. Early BT earbuds were just that, buds for making calls, and people would stream to them, but never judged them for quality. Now that we have quality BT headphones and cars, you can see the effects of the BT compression and low bandwidth, and yeah, it sucks. even with AA, only the track information goes over the USB cable, the audio is still BT. So the onboard apps will beat it every time. Just the way it is in BT land for now. That's why I loaded up a 256gb USB stick with my high bitrate mp3's and put it in the usb port in the car, for decent music capability. It's not random streaming, so that sucks, but at least it sounds nice.
Are you saying that while using Android Auto and listening to my music it streams my music over BT? Or is that just the case when using Pandora or iHeart Radio for example?

btw, I use Carplay - is that happening for me as well?

(2018 S90)
 

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I'll add my $0.02 as a tech geek. It is well known that BT audio sucks @$$ versus, ok, just about anything else, ok, an FM transmitter is worse. Thats why AptX and other BT protocols are coming, to up the bandwidth for BT audio. Early BT earbuds were just that, buds for making calls, and people would stream to them, but never judged them for quality. Now that we have quality BT headphones and cars, you can see the effects of the BT compression and low bandwidth, and yeah, it sucks. even with AA, only the track information goes over the USB cable, the audio is still BT. So the onboard apps will beat it every time. Just the way it is in BT land for now. That's why I loaded up a 256gb USB stick with my high bitrate mp3's and put it in the usb port in the car, for decent music capability. It's not random streaming, so that sucks, but at least it sounds nice.
I was well aware that BT Audio uses a lossy real-time compression algorithm that runs on cheap ASIC's and has a large impact on sound quality.

What I didn't know was that Android Audio still relied on bluetooth for the Audio portion. I figured they used some proprietary standard over the USB port. That's a bit disappointing.

Thanks for the informative post.
 

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streaming, whether on board or from your phone via BT is crap. 192 at best. If you don't care about compression and lossy top end stick to that.
Otherwise, make your own USB with 320 or M4A or whatever. Much better sound.
Fast and easy from iTunes.
I have 22G of a 32G filled. 3100 cuts. Kept us groovin' from LI to Cape Breton Island with no repeats. ~ 30 hours of driving.
 

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Holy crap!!

I have been using BT since I got the car and I decided to try this. NIGHT vs DAY!
 

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I've always ripped my CD's using AAC (lossless) in iTunes. I have about 50gb of music on my iPhone 6s at any given time, and use Carplay in my 2018 S90.

Are you guys saying I'd be better off using a separate thumb drive for my music? I hope not, because I only have one port in my console, and my phone is plugged into that so I can use Waze and listen to my music at the same time.
 

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What I didn't know was that Android Audio still relied on bluetooth for the Audio portion. I figured they used some proprietary standard over the USB port.
Can anyone provide documentation confirming this is the case? I've tried some Googling but didn't find a good answer. I did see something about a developer menu option for disabling audio over USB, implying that by default audio can/does travel over USB, but I don't think that was specific to Android Auto.

I did try turning off BT and then connecting the USB cable. Oddly, it turned BT back on. So I don't know what to think about where the audio is actually travelling when playing via Android Auto.

-Brett.
 
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