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Old 12-27-2010, 11:26 PM   #26
thehiredgun21
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The best I've been able to come up with so far is to just turn the mic gain down as low as is can go, aka 1. From my guitar nerd-dome if you have issues with a cluttered sound usually it can be fixed by lowering the gain. I might be looking into some sound deadening soon though...
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:45 PM   #27
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Would love to have a solution to this.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:46 PM   #28
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I would suspect you'd want to turn DOWN the mic gain, so it won't be so sensitive as to pickup road noise. Only sensitive enough to pick up voices.

edit: Whoops, didn't see two posts above.
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Old 01-03-2011, 12:59 PM   #29
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Sorry I didn't post sooner -- I removed the mic / map light assembly from the headliner yesterday and cut some sound insulation foam I had lying around (part no. 5692T13 from McMaster-Carr). I used the plastic assembly and made a T-shaped template and cut the foam then reinstalled with the foam in place. I haven't had a chance to test yet, but will test it this afternoon (have a 3-4 hr drive). I'll post back tonight as to if this makes a difference. If not, I suspect it's the omnidirectional mic picking up all the ambient road noise in the car.

The microphone itself is a small package, but there is a significant amount of space between the microphone and the car skin -- I feel confident a directional mic could be placed in there if need be. The microphone is wired exactly as I suspected, 3 wires -- I'm guessin a power (probably 14.4V, but I didn't check), a ground, and a signal -- it shouldn't be too difficult to find a replacement mic to wire in.
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Old 01-03-2011, 03:06 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101101 View Post
Sorry I didn't post sooner -- I removed the mic / map light assembly from the headliner yesterday and cut some sound insulation foam I had lying around (part no. 5692T13 from McMaster-Carr). I used the plastic assembly and made a T-shaped template and cut the foam then reinstalled with the foam in place. I haven't had a chance to test yet, but will test it this afternoon (have a 3-4 hr drive). I'll post back tonight as to if this makes a difference. If not, I suspect it's the omnidirectional mic picking up all the ambient road noise in the car.

The microphone itself is a small package, but there is a significant amount of space between the microphone and the car skin -- I feel confident a directional mic could be placed in there if need be. The microphone is wired exactly as I suspected, 3 wires -- I'm guessin a power (probably 14.4V, but I didn't check), a ground, and a signal -- it shouldn't be too difficult to find a replacement mic to wire in.
Great, keep us posted!
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:14 PM   #31
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Tested the new setup today by calling my mom on the drive. According to her, "it's better, but still not great." She had difficulty understanding me at points and I ended up finishing the phone call using the phone itself. I'm not pleased with this; I think a directional mic replacement is the only real solution. I'm going to play with the existing mic / wiring to check the pinout of those wires and look into a replacement. It may be up to a week or two before I complete this part of testing, but I'll post up after I do.
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Old 01-03-2011, 11:02 PM   #32
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the mic is horrible, I cannot dial by number with this thing. It never gets the number right.
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:03 PM   #33
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More investigation reveals that there are two problems with the 2011 Bluetooth mic. First, cellular interference depending on phone position, depending on where the phone is, loud buzzing. Second, if you find a no buzzing position, driving the car will cause road noise in the car to drown out your voice.

Next problem, non-replaceable microphone. If you take the mic down and pop off the small clip on the cover, you will find a small circuit board which is connected to the mic. This might be some kind of attempt to implement hardware noise deduction, or digital signal conversion. Either way we lose.

To fix bluetooth audio, stereo head replacement, with standard noise cancelling Bluetooth mic.

Pretty sad...
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:53 PM   #34
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Interesting. I haven't tried different phone positions - I usually put it in the cup holder or the cubby under the HVAC controls in front of the shifter when I get in the car. What position have you found gives the least BT noise?

As to the mic issue -- I had planned to simply replace the whole thing with my own mic / board. I haven't gotten around to this because the foam seemed to make the mic much better in my car on the roads I drive on my daily commute. My family no longer complains when I drive to / from work and call them. I strongly believe this noise is largely caused by the road noise and a unidirectional mic would fix most of this. Now that it's bearable for my family with the foam in place I'm not as motivated to replace the mic. When I convince myself to do it, I'll post up.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:30 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 101101 View Post
Interesting. I haven't tried different phone positions - I usually put it in the cup holder or the cubby under the HVAC controls in front of the shifter when I get in the car. What position have you found gives the least BT noise?
The cupholder was high buzzing for me. Lowest buzzing for me was with the phone on top of the dash on the ledge in front of the clock. Also high buzzing if the phone was anywhere near the left front pillar.

Unless you can figure out and rebuild the circuit board above the mic, I think you are stuck with the stock mic. This thing isn't like normal BT mics.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:57 PM   #36
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I just leave the phone in my pocket.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:12 AM   #37
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I'm gonna try what 101101 did...and pack in whatever empty space there is around the mic, but no between me and the mic, obviously. I'll post before and after results...and I'll try to keep the variables the same.

And yeah...this BT issue is bs.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:23 AM   #38
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I can't stand the BT at this point. It's a pain in the ass. Sound quality is awful and I have to YELL to get anyone to hear me. I thought about taking it into the dealership but what could they possibly do about it other than tell me it is what it is?
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #39
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BT seems to work fine for me...I leave my (iphone 3gs) in my pocket and speak normally. So far no complaints for the other end, but I have noticed that dialing by number is completely futile.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #40
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oh, I also found a strange and very annoying problem with mine the other day.

I hit the speak button and said a name wrong which translated to the BT as "callback". I immediately cancelled and then tried to dial the right number again.

It would pick the right person I wanted to call so I'd hit the offhook button and then it would revert back to 'callback' and dial another number. Repeated this over and over until I finally had to pull over and use the speed dial option.

I was really frustrated.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:51 AM   #41
MSMStannyl
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I've got an aftermarket Pioneer DVD/NAV headunit in the car (AVIC-Z120BT) which has it's own bluetooth mic. It's actually taped right over the stock mic location. Absolutely no problems with it working (all the steering wheel controls work with it too!). I have, however, heard others complain about the stock setup. My guess is that maybe the mic is simply bad quality. Not sure if there is a way to fix this on a stock setup tho...
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:58 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSMStannyl View Post
I've got an aftermarket Pioneer DVD/NAV headunit in the car (AVIC-Z120BT) which has it's own bluetooth mic. It's actually taped right over the stock mic location. Absolutely no problems with it working (all the steering wheel controls work with it too!). I have, however, heard others complain about the stock setup. My guess is that maybe the mic is simply bad quality. Not sure if there is a way to fix this on a stock setup tho...
Was that able to integrate the oem hookups for the ipod in the armrest?
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Old 01-22-2011, 05:17 PM   #43
daverup
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Thanks for the tips on turning the mic gain down.
So, for a mostly usable BT Mic, I make sure that the phone is not in a bad location, and if the car is moving, turn the mic gain down all the way.
The Mic gain turned up is bad when the car is moving, ok when stopped.
The sensitivity of the Mic/wiring to Cellular interference is still a pain, but at least now I can deal with it.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:37 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarTuned
I'm gonna try what 101101 did...and pack in whatever empty space there is around the mic, but no between me and the mic, obviously. I'll post before and after results...and I'll try to keep the variables the same.

And yeah...this BT issue is bs.
Ok...so I removed the map light assembly and noticed that there is a vast amount of empty space up there,which I assume contributes to the "wind noise" effect people keep telling me they hear while I am talking.

Well, I went to an arts and crafts store and bought a roll of quilt stuffing ($5). I took the roll and cut out pieces which I used to stuff the empty space between the headliner and the cars roof. After all said and done, I think I used about 2/3 of the entire roll. And when I say I stuffed, I mean I STUFFED. I left as little space uncovered as possible. I even put some directly on and around the mic itself.

Afterwards, I reconnected the mic and lights, and sealed it back up.

Obviously, the final step was a test drive. So, I called my girl and had her give me feedback as we talked. She said that whenever I spoke, she heard the "wind noise" effect but it wasn't as bad as before. She also added that she could still hear what I was saying, even at speed, which I think it's safe to say that is already an improvement.

After her, I called a friend of mine and told him to tell me if and when I was coming in clear or not. After about a 15 min conversation he said I sounded much better than previous calls.

So, in conclusion, I would suggest stuffing that empty space as much as possible, and adjust the mic gain to level one or two. Anything higher may/will allow too much ambient road noise through. Also...the phone position will make a difference. I found that placing my phone (Droid incredible) in the cubby under the ac controls gave me the best results/least interference. Normally, I have my phone on the Verizon car mount made for the incredible, which sits the phone just over the front passengers left knee, but that yielded static during calls.

I hope this helps others and photos to come.
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Old 01-22-2011, 09:55 PM   #45
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Subaru needs to not be evil and replace everybody's mics with usable mics.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:53 PM   #46
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The mic may be bad quality, but if you're surrounded by ambient noise, the mic CAN'T be smart enough to filter out the unwanted noise, and replace it with the good noise, in this case, your voice. Filling the cavity in the map light is only going to reduce the volume of all the sound that goes though it - it's not a cheap filter. The real trick is reducing the road noise in a loud car. Lets face it - the WRX is not a quite car and the mic is going to be picking up all that noise at the same time as it pics up your voice. A directional mic would help, I guess, but there's no replacement for silence to begin with.
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Old 01-24-2011, 08:59 PM   #47
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I confirmed that turning the mic gain all the way down to 1 made a big improvement to people on the other end. It was at 4 and it goes up to 5. When I told my buddy to tell me what the difference was he said it was night and day and that at 5 it was nothing but noise. At 1 it still sounded windy, but he could hear my voice through the background noise much, much easier.
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:26 PM   #48
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CarTuned and TheHiredGun got it right - down the gain - pad the empty cell behind the mic

also, i read some threads where those who didnt get factory bluetooth found a spot of pinouts to drop a proper mic in - seemed pretty plug and play...

fwiw i plan to go aftermarket - mic placement either in the stock location after padding it or above the steering column...
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Old 02-07-2011, 06:55 PM   #49
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Thanks! This is a really helpful thread. I just picked up a 2011 Outback Sport with bluetooth and it SUCKS with phone calls on the highway.

Did not realize there was a gain setting, I am going to try that.

I was also thinking of sound proofing the map light area and will do that. I did tug on that thing and it wasn't budging. Are there any screws to remove the map light or do you just yank it out? Don't want to break it, wondering how those that got it out.

Thanks! I'm going to subscribe to this thread in case someone does figure out how to use a better microphone. i love the head unit in this car but this bluetooth phone quality is pathetic!
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Old 02-07-2011, 07:56 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtt777 View Post
Thanks! This is a really helpful thread. I just picked up a 2011 Outback Sport with bluetooth and it SUCKS with phone calls on the highway.

Did not realize there was a gain setting, I am going to try that.

I was also thinking of sound proofing the map light area and will do that. I did tug on that thing and it wasn't budging. Are there any screws to remove the map light or do you just yank it out? Don't want to break it, wondering how those that got it out.

Thanks! I'm going to subscribe to this thread in case someone does figure out how to use a better microphone. i love the head unit in this car but this bluetooth phone quality is pathetic!
I'm not sure about your Outback, but in my Impreza there are screws. Use a flathead screw driver to remove the clear portion covering the light bulbs and you can see the philips head screws holding the assembly on.
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