2010 Suzuki Kizashi GTS: USB or Bluetooth?
October 08, 2010
Just like our Mitsubishi Outlander, our Kizashi features Bluetooth streaming audio with skip/pause control. Unlike the Outlander, the Suzuki was also able to connect to my iPhone via the USB port, which is generally the method I prefer. I put both connections to the test and here's what I decided...
With the USB connection, you gain the ability to search for music and the song info is also displayed on screen. But as a compulsive song shuffler, I rarely go searching. I usually find the USB's sound quality superior to Bluetooth, but that's not the case with the Kizashi.
I played my standard test song, "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" by John Williams using both connections. I found this a great song to use as a test since it has a wide dynamic range that exposes flaws in lesser sound systems. Plus, it takes me back to the 1984 L.A. Olympics and the dazzling opening ceremony. The sound quality was a dead heat to my ears, with the speakers able to handle the screaming highs of the trumpet fanfare and booming timpani bass.
The USB lost out, though, because there were some intermittent skips and gaps in the playback. Initially, that skipping was quite frequent, but it tapered off as the iPhone kept playing. The Bluetooth connection had no such problem.
Of course, there are plenty of variables in this very informal test. My ears are not what they used to be after decades of abuse from motorcycles, racecars and recreational shooting. Caroline had problems connecting her iPhone, but I had no problem (I'm using an iPhone 3G running iOS 4.1). Heck, even the cord itself may play a part. But at least for my listening preferences, I'll stick to streaming Bluetooth in the Takizashi. I do, however, use the USB port to charge the device.
Mark Takahashi, Associate Editor