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Well this isn't super deep but after using the headphone jack to play music off my smart phone for the past week I just tested the USB connection for the heck of it. I assumed it would only charge but it does play audio. It also brings up some controls on the infotainment screen, Play, pause, skip track and shuffle. The skip buttons on the perimeter of the screen also function in this mode. If the music has images they are displayed on screen.

When playing music from the headphone jack you get only the audio. There are no images on screen, no controls on screen and the buttons on the perimeter dont function. You must control it using your phone.

Anyway I didn't realize USB would be so much more functional than the headphone jack and thought I'd pass it along. I need to pick up an extra cable tomorrow as this will be the way I do it from now on.
 

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I've found the usb connection to be quite unreliable - disconnects very easily if you bump the phone slightly, won't reconnect unless you re-plug the cable. This is with a new cable and phone as well for android auto.
 

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You could also connect your phone using Bluetooth; getting all the benefits of the USB connection (controls etc) but without any cables.
Bluetooth audio quality blows chunks, the lossy compression is nasty. Of course depending on the quality of the twins' audio system, that may not matter.
 

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Bluetooth audio quality blows chunks, the lossy compression is nasty. Of course depending on the quality of the twins' audio system, that may not matter.
This simply hasn't been the case for many years. More recent revisions of Bluetooth have made big strides in upping transfer rates and connectivity - both of which result in higher quality audio. You only need to look at the domination of bluetooth speakers/headphones/headsets on the market to see this. There are hundreds upon hundreds of reviews that compare equivalent wired vs wireless headphones, and the differences are slim.
I'm not going to get in to an argument about audiophile-level qualities - this isn't the space for it; but for music, being listened to in a sports car, with all the engine and road noise that entails, I don't think this quality difference is as significant as you're making it out to be. Especially if people are running on stock speakers.

Except you don't get the 2 biggest benefits of using USB: charging your phone and using Android Auto/Apple Carplay.
As I'm in the JDM, I don't know what features your USDM stock head units have by default, but Wireless Android Auto and Wireless Carplay are technologies that exist. Whether they're present in your cars is another thing. Certainly in some/many cases the wireless functionality can be retrofitted with a USB device that plugs in to the rear of the head unit. My JDM car didn't come with a head unit, so I installed an Android system which has both wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
As for charging, you can still do that via the USB ports found in the center console when needed, and at the very least it means you don't have the clutter of a cable dangling out from the head unit to the phone.
 

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This simply hasn't been the case for many years. More recent revisions of Bluetooth have made big strides in upping transfer rates and connectivity - both of which result in higher quality audio. You only need to look at the domination of bluetooth speakers/headphones/headsets on the market to see this. There are hundreds upon hundreds of reviews that compare equivalent wired vs wireless headphones, and the differences are slim.
I'm not going to get in to an argument about audiophile-level qualities - this isn't the space for it; but for music, being listened to in a sports car, with all the engine and road noise that entails, I don't think this quality difference is as significant as you're making it out to be. Especially if people are running on stock speakers.



As I'm in the JDM, I don't know what features your USDM stock head units have by default, but Wireless Android Auto and Wireless Carplay are technologies that exist. Whether they're present in your cars is another thing. Certainly in some/many cases the wireless functionality can be retrofitted with a USB device that plugs in to the rear of the head unit. My JDM car didn't come with a head unit, so I installed an Android system which has both wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
As for charging, you can still do that via the USB ports found in the center console when needed, and at the very least it means you don't have the clutter of a cable dangling out from the head unit to the phone.
True, wireless AA/CP exists, but I was only referring to what the stock system can do. In the US all BRZ/GR86 trims come with the 8" infotainment screen and only include wired AA/CP capability. I wasn't considering aftermarket stuff since the OP was only posting about stock connections.

I agree about the Bluetooth though. Especially in a relatively noisy car like the BRZ/GR86 that doesn't have a great stereo system anyway, any difference in audio quality versus a wired connection won't be noticed.
 

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This simply hasn't been the case for many years. More recent revisions of Bluetooth have made big strides in upping transfer rates and connectivity - both of which result in higher quality audio. You only need to look at the domination of bluetooth speakers/headphones/headsets on the market to see this. There are hundreds upon hundreds of reviews that compare equivalent wired vs wireless headphones, and the differences are slim.
I'm not going to get in to an argument about audiophile-level qualities - this isn't the space for it; but for music, being listened to in a sports car, with all the engine and road noise that entails, I don't think this quality difference is as significant as you're making it out to be. Especially if people are running on stock speakers.



As I'm in the JDM, I don't know what features your USDM stock head units have by default, but Wireless Android Auto and Wireless Carplay are technologies that exist. Whether they're present in your cars is another thing. Certainly in some/many cases the wireless functionality can be retrofitted with a USB device that plugs in to the rear of the head unit. My JDM car didn't come with a head unit, so I installed an Android system which has both wired and wireless Android Auto and Apple Carplay.
As for charging, you can still do that via the USB ports found in the center console when needed, and at the very least it means you don't have the clutter of a cable dangling out from the head unit to the phone.
Agree on bluetooth. Depends on quality of the service and bit rates for streaming. Can be pretty damn good.
 

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Agree on bluetooth. Depends on quality of the service and bit rates for streaming. Can be pretty damn good.
"Can" being the operative word here. Low bit rates are still very common, without knowing the exact operational specs in the twins' case bluetooth is a roll of the dice. With USB lossless audio codecs can be used without any stepdown, provided the HU can work with them.
 

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True, wireless AA/CP exists, but I was only referring to what the stock system can do. In the US all BRZ/GR86 trims come with the 8" infotainment screen and only include wired AA/CP capability. I wasn't considering aftermarket stuff since the OP was only posting about stock connections.
Ah that's a bummer :( Would have thought even a stock head unit in a car released in 2022 would at the very least have wireless CP/AA.

The other aspect about the car that feels like a miss, is the fact that the USB ports located in the center console are power only and don't connect data lines to the head unit.
I did a deep investigation in to whether I could use the existing car wiring and connectors to tap in to USB data lines in the center console, so I could get a wired connection to the head unit without running extra cables. Sadly not possible, despite there being a connector that has ample conductors and pins coming out behind the USB charging ports in the center console. Maddening!

"Can" being the operative word here. Low bit rates are still very common, without knowing the exact operational specs in the twins' case bluetooth is a roll of the dice. With USB lossless audio codecs can be used without any stepdown, provided the HU can work with them.
If you're on Android it's pretty easy to find out what codec, sample rate and bitrate you're connected at. Just have to unlock Developer options.

I would still say using the stock speakers, you'd be hard-pressed to notice any difference between a wired and bluetooth setup. Especially given the proximity of the phone would result in less interference and reduced frequency hopping - which would lead to more bandwidth and therefore higher quality audio.
 

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The other aspect about the car that feels like a miss, is the fact that the USB ports located in the center console are power only and don't connect data lines to the head unit.
I did a deep investigation in to whether I could use the existing car wiring and connectors to tap in to USB data lines in the center console, so I could get a wired connection to the head unit without running extra cables. Sadly not possible, despite there being a connector that has ample conductors and pins coming out behind the USB charging ports in the center console. Maddening!
If you are referring to the USB ports in the center next to the cupholders, at least one of them does work for Android Auto (and I would assume Apple CarPlay). I'm not sure if that is what you are referring to by USB data lines or if there is some other functionality that they are lacking.
 

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Ah that's a bummer :( Would have thought even a stock head unit in a car released in 2022 would at the very least have wireless CP/AA.

The other aspect about the car that feels like a miss, is the fact that the USB ports located in the center console are power only and don't connect data lines to the head unit.
I did a deep investigation in to whether I could use the existing car wiring and connectors to tap in to USB data lines in the center console, so I could get a wired connection to the head unit without running extra cables. Sadly not possible, despite there being a connector that has ample conductors and pins coming out behind the USB charging ports in the center console. Maddening!
With the US car, you definitely can plug into those USBs for data too. As far as I know, it's the only way to run AA/CP in a US car. I don't believe there's a USB port on the back of the stock headunit. Maybe some USDM parts could work for you? Idk
 

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Plugging in the usb also gives you the bonus option of running Waze on the screen. This helps identify where the cops are and reduces the risk of getting a ticket if you choose to stretch your cars legs a bit. For me it is worth the odd disconnection issue and inconvenient placement of the usb jacks.
 

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"Can" being the operative word here. Low bit rates are still very common, without knowing the exact operational specs in the twins' case bluetooth is a roll of the dice. With USB lossless audio codecs can be used without any stepdown, provided the HU can work with them.
Font Technology Screenshot Darkness Electric blue

Capture from stream to brz audio
 
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