I love a good stereo in my car, and I’ve chased that dragon nearly as much I have with home audio. I’ve done plenty of aftermarket units where it makes sense, and upgraded speakers and amps where I didn’t want to muck with the factory headunits. And today, factory car stereos are pretty good these days, with auto manufacturers partnering with Bang & Olufsen, Mark Levinson, Bowers & Wilkins, etc…
I moved on from mp3-quality a while ago, generally playing audio from USB sticks with CD-quality FLAC files, or CD’s themselves, or my phone with Tidal downloads, etc…
But occasionally I’ll stream using Bluetooth and the sound quality is actually really good. Really good. Like, “embarrassed I can’t tell the difference between wired connection” good.
My Audi also has a couple of SD-card slots for music. So I picked up a 256GB card and transferred all my FLAC files (ripped from CD). But I quickly realize that the Audi’s SD-card size limit is 32GB, and I don’t think it can read FLAC. So I’m probably going to have to convert everything to AAC or mp3 or whatever and compress it into 64GB. At first I was, aw, crap. This isn’t gonna sound good. But I’m guessing if I pick a higher bit rate like 320k, it’ll sound just fine. I bet I won’t even be able to tell the difference in the car.
We spend so much time creating the perfect home audiophile rooms, with bass traps and noise cancelling insulation, and we remove ticking clocks, and we relegate mac mini’s to a separate room so we don’t hear their fans.
I’m just wondering, in a car, with its road and engine noise being an inherent characteristic of the listening space (even a nicer, luxury car), how good the sound quality really needs to be? Yeah, you want great speakers and a good amplifier, but what about the bit rates?From what I understand, my iPhone’s bluetooth connection certainly isn’t lossless. And not sure about the associated BT connection in my Audi.
Anyway, trying to enjoy the music and the convenience of the car’s built-in system, without rabbit-holing myself into thinking everything has to be (or can be) the same as home.