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4/14/19
Very bad sound quality 0 Recommended Answers 30 Replies 86 Upvotes
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I'm encountering very bad audio quality, the same issue that many others have reported over the years.  For example, when I ask Google what the weather is, the voice response sounds just like how ultra compressed, low bit rate audio would sound.  It's embarrassingly bad, like 64 kbit/s bad.

It's not just the Google Assistant voice that's bad, but all audio being piped over Android Auto, including all music and navigation apps.

2019 Hyundai Kona
2017 Chevy Equinox
2019 Hyundai Santa Fe

OnePlus 5 Oreo
Pixel 2 XL Pie
Pixel 3 XL Pie
Samsung Note 8 (don't know OS version)

The same bad audio quality occurs on all transmit/receive combinations above.  This suggests that the problem lies in how the Android Auto software encodes audio, or how it decodes on/communicates with a host device.

Different cables were tried, no help there.  Over Bluetooth, the audio sounds as good as expected.  Equalizer settings on both the phones/apps and cars were either flat or off.

Attempted Apple CarPlay on the two above Hyundai's.  Siri sounded pristine, which is the exact opposite of Google Assistant over Android Auto.  Gut punch there.

Please, I need help and I'm willing to work.  Let's see if we can't put an end to this embarrassing issue once and for all.

Error message
None

Are you using Android Auto on your phone screen or car’s display?
All stock car head units

Car / head unit make & model: if you use Android Auto on your car display
See message body above

Phone make & model:
See message body above

Android OS version:
See message body above

Android Auto app version:
4.1.590944

Google Play services version: (Settings > Apps (or Apps & notifications > App info) > Google Play services)
16.0.89 (040400-239467275)
May vary by phone listed above. All I know right now is that they're all in active use and should be up to date.

Media apps:
Google Assistant's voice
All music and navigation apps, equalizer flat or off
All Replies (30)
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5/18/19
Please, all, I and many others need help with this. It's a real struggle.
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5/26/19
I may not have soloution but I do have the same problem as you. (I checked a reddit post and no soloution.)
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6/6/19
Same problem of low bitrate audio using Android Auto on 2018 Chrysler Pacifica and Uconnect  8.4.  It sounds like the audio is 8khz sample rate
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6/8/19
Why is google not taking any effort to resolve android auto issues..apple car play works wonderfully well. Sound quality is great compared to android auto.
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6/12/19
Just like to say i have the same issue. 
Pixel 3
Kenwood DMX7017DABS head unit

Everything running their max available update/firmware. 

Music via bluetooth sounds great. The moment i plug the phone into the head unit there is a difference in music quality. Although thats not as bad as the google assistant voice prompts/guidance. 
That sounds like its coming through a 2G phone connection. Almost cant hear what it is saying.
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7/17/19
I have the 2019 Hybrid Pacifica. It's something with how Uconnect and Android Auto work together because on Bluetooth I don't have this issue.
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Sadly I don't have a solution for you guys, all I can say this indeed been reported by some users, but to the best of my knowledge it's not clear if it's a bug or a hardware error somewhere. Or it can be a software bug in some other underlying component, which can cause this.
 
I can only tell you for fact that AA uses multiple audio channels, each one for  a different purpose. The one used for media is actually a PCM stream at 44.1Khz, 16 bit, stereo channel, in other words it's CD quality with no compression, so it should NOT sound as horrible as you describe it, but I'm sure you won't be here in that case.
 
OP, can you please confirm that media apps (music) sounds bad with all 3 cars and all the 4 phones which you mentioned, because that does seems a bit odd. 
 
For others any chance you can try another Android phone and see if the problem persist, to eliminate the potential cause of the phone?
 
 
 
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7/17/19
"I can only tell you for fact that AA uses multiple audio channels, each one for a different purpose. The one used for media is actually a PCM stream at 44.1Khz, 16 bit, stereo channel..." So, does that mean that if you are using navigation (e.g. Waze) and the nav voice speaks, that audio is mixed into the media stream at the same resolution? That is, 20-20kHz, 44.1 kHz, 16-bit stereo? Because it sure doesn't sound like it's even close on my vehicle.
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7/17/19
Music (various apps) sounds great, navigation (Google maps/Waze) seems slightly worse, Google assistant sounds awful.
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6 days
I have a similar issue, latest software and astra k 2019 r4 - maps sounds okay, music fine but assistant sounds slightly phased.
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