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Old 11-26-2010, 04:40 PM   #1
101101
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Default 2011 Stock Bluetooth road noise

I've got a 2011 (STi, but I doubt that makes a difference for this). When I use the Bluetooth the people I talk to complain that it sounds like I'm driving with the windows down or that there's a lot of wind noise. When I call them I have the windows up and of course the radio turns off music. I've noticed this only happens at speed (when I come to a stop at traffic lights they say it's better but not great). I tried searching the forums, but there's no input as to how to improve this issue. Does anyone have an idea of how to improve the microphone's reception or decrease the amount of noise it picks up?
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Old 11-27-2010, 01:52 AM   #2
Geerolla
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My personal experience is that this is a problem with the technology, not necessarily your individual unit. I've had a few Bluetooth earpieces and always gotten the same reports from those I talk to. Sometimes when I'm on the freeway it sounds like I'm in a wind tunnel or the bathroom with the water running and sometimes it doesn't. I've had these same reports already with the Subaru hands-free, but... I don't know, it might just be me. The only other thing I can think of is to see if the owner's manual has anything to say about it.
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Old 11-27-2010, 10:47 AM   #3
Brock
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My wife mentioned that when on the other end of BT conversations while i was in the STI.
Now I've done some deadening to the front doors and rear shelf and that helped with road noise. I also installed a Kenwood HU with it's own BT mic and that probably helped too.
No easy answer for you but a good first step would be some sound deadening to reduce noise.
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Old 11-27-2010, 03:22 PM   #4
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Where is the mic integrated? most people complain from the integrated mics and the ones you mount yourself (ie: alpine) tend to have the least background noise.
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Old 11-27-2010, 06:06 PM   #5
subie_o
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I've been having the same issue with my 2011 WRX Bluetooth. I've also had issues hearing other people at speed. You can switch to "speaker" mode and adjust the volume but I've been told that makes it sound worse for the person on the other end of the call :/
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Old 11-27-2010, 07:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalwrxx View Post
Where is the mic integrated? most people complain from the integrated mics and the ones you mount yourself (ie: alpine) tend to have the least background noise.
I have an 07 WRX + Alpine IVA-W205 + Alpine KCE-400BT. I have my doors soundproofed and I did the tar on the wheel well trick too. I still get complaints that I have bad road noise when I'm on the freeway with BT on.

From what I've read, my HU + BT won't activate the noise cancellation. I need to get a newer HU that can utilize the KCE-400BT's noise cancellation. I should just go back to my Aliph Jawbone.
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Old 11-29-2010, 04:47 PM   #7
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Not sure if you can swap the stock mic on your 2011 since its part of the map light....but the stock mic is terrible and most of the problem.

If Subaru would have spent a few extra bucks on a decent directional mic it wouldn't be an issue.

Swapping the factory mic for a nicer one would defintely help...but I am not sure if its possible for 2011.
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Old 12-01-2010, 11:21 PM   #8
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anyone else have a problem with their phone connecting to the 2011 STi? i synced it properly and it worked for a while (2+ weeksish) but it won't seem to connect anymore and as far as I know nothing has changed...it connected once about 3 days ago and i haven't had any luck since.

phone is a samsung rogue about a yr old now..hoping its just the phone
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Old 12-15-2010, 02:29 PM   #9
Killculture
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Anybody ever solve this? Will simply a replacement mic do the trick?
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Old 12-15-2010, 06:34 PM   #10
101101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geddesk2 View Post
Not sure if you can swap the stock mic on your 2011 since its part of the map light....but the stock mic is terrible and most of the problem.

If Subaru would have spent a few extra bucks on a decent directional mic it wouldn't be an issue.

Swapping the factory mic for a nicer one would defintely help...but I am not sure if its possible for 2011.
With enough determination I'm sure it can be done. I'm probably going to attempt this -- does anyone know how the wiring on the stock mic is setup? I guess a better question is what aftermarket mic can I splice into the stock harness?
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:30 PM   #11
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I'm convinced that a bluetooth mic volume setting is there but hidden.
2007-2009 Toyota's with almost the exact stereo have a TSB which describe how to access the secret menu. I tried the steps on my non-navi 2011 WRX, and never got there.
I've been complaining about this for a few months now to my dealer service guys and they suggested calling Subaru directly. I spent half an hour today waiting on hold for the privilege of receiving customer support. They took down my info, and said they would look into it. I would hope that enough complaints come in that Subaru would go back to Clarion and get the codes to access BT mic volume.
I don't know if changing the mic would do any good, but it is simple enough to access in the overhead console.
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:48 PM   #12
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With regards to the mic volume, on my '11 WRX, if you press the track up/down button on the left side steering wheel controls (not the volume button) that controls the bluetooth mic gain. I believe it would be a safe assumption that it is the same on the STi
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:51 PM   #13
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However, it should be mentioned that even with the mic gain turned all the way up, I still get complaints from people on the other end of the call about not being able to understand what I'm saying...
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Old 12-21-2010, 11:59 PM   #14
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Good to know about the gain. I didn't know that.

As for me, I really only talk with my wife and she's says she can hear me fine. Although I'm not sure what "fine" means. I have AT&T and have bad reception a lot so noisy BT may be better than the usual. I dunno...but so far no complaints.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:52 AM   #15
daverup
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehymel View Post
With regards to the mic volume, on my '11 WRX, if you press the track up/down button on the left side steering wheel controls (not the volume button) that controls the bluetooth mic gain. I believe it would be a safe assumption that it is the same on the STi
Thanks!
All that time I was looking for a secret control, and it was the track buttons...
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:39 AM   #16
xluben
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehymel View Post
With regards to the mic volume, on my '11 WRX, if you press the track up/down button on the left side steering wheel controls (not the volume button) that controls the bluetooth mic gain. I believe it would be a safe assumption that it is the same on the STi
Didn't know this. I will have to try it out.

I also get complaints from people saying the sound quality is terrible when I am talking via BT.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:00 AM   #17
Spoolsample
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I didn't have any complaints on my bluetooth. My wife can understand what I am saying on it. Maybe it's the phone? I know some phone have a better noise cancellation than others. I got a Verizon Casio Gz One phone and it's pretty clear to the person I am calling to from a noisy environment.
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Old 12-22-2010, 10:19 AM   #18
jonklein611
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I've had similar issues, but I just talk a bit louder. I'll try the gain setting and see if that helps.

BTW SPT exhaust package doesn't help the matter either...
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:21 AM   #19
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Now that I can turn up the mic gain, I have found that the other end of a call hears lots of loud static. It sounds like cellular interference, so the BT mic wiring is probably to blame.
Now all we need is for some electronics genius to figure out how the wiring can be modified to eliminate the static from the cell phone.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:03 PM   #20
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The problem with gain is that it boosts the entire frequency spectrum, not just your voice. This results in the road/exhaust noise being amplified at the same level as your voice, so it is in effect just turning the volume "up" for the person on the other end of the line.
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Old 12-22-2010, 05:40 PM   #21
101101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jehymel View Post
The problem with gain is that it boosts the entire frequency spectrum, not just your voice. This results in the road/exhaust noise being amplified at the same level as your voice, so it is in effect just turning the volume "up" for the person on the other end of the line.
This gives me an idea: would it possible to put in a high / low pass filter to allow only human voice to pass through? I'm not a DSP guy, but maybe I can talk to some of the electrical engineers I work with and see if this is possible.

Edit: Oh, I tried adjusting the gain on the way home from work and my sister claims it didn't make any change.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:42 AM   #22
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I've been told there is off and on buzzing on the other end with the stock HU Bluetooth too.

I have a 2011 non turbo (but model doesn't seem to matter). I got the impression that when I was stopped, it was better, but with the engine rev'ing it was worse.

It isn't my phone, because a stand alone Parrot bluetooth speaker that I used to have attached to the visor in the old car sounded good. I'll either live with it (I only call family from the car and not for a long time), or I'll go back to the dedicate Parrot BT unit clipped on the visor.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:18 PM   #23
101101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101101 View Post
This gives me an idea: would it possible to put in a high / low pass filter to allow only human voice to pass through? I'm not a DSP guy, but maybe I can talk to some of the electrical engineers I work with and see if this is possible.

Edit: Oh, I tried adjusting the gain on the way home from work and my sister claims it didn't make any change.
Tried a little analysis this afternoon while visiting my parents. I had my sister plug her phone (headphone jeack) into my computer (audio line in) and record a phone call when I called her while driving. Loaded the .wav file into MATLAB and tried lowpass and bandpass filters in MATLAB at varying frequency cutoffs and basically came to the conclusion such an approach wouldn't work. Maybe I didn't find the right frequencies to make my high / low cutoffs, but I couldn't get a clear sound. This basically translates into not being able to use an inline bandpass filter like I'd hoped to.

If it's not raining tomorrow (forecast claims it will) I'm going to look closer at the car and see if there's some mechanical fix to this.
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Old 12-25-2010, 11:25 PM   #24
thehiredgun21
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If someone could figure this out, that'd be great. I've been having the exact same problem with my STi's BT system ever since I picked it up.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:40 PM   #25
ITW2
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Great so it's not only my car.
Have complained to the seller all time about this, I'm driving an 2010 impreza diesel prem.
I have had plans opening the map light and have an look but haven goten there yet.

Hope somone makes an easy fix.
Was new to me about the gain so thx
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