2011 Toyota Sienna SE: Redressing a Wrong
July 06, 2011
Because the Sienna did nothing to deserve running Chingy through its audio system. Rude and reckless, Al! But, I believe we've purged all trace elements through subsequent selections.
Cool thing about the Sienna's Bluetooth audio streaming: leaving the system on the Aux/streaming setting starts playback from where you left off, as soon as the system detects the last paired player. It'll start playing before you've even pulled your phone from your pocket. This isn't uncommon on newer cars, but the Sienna has it down quick and transparent.
Bad thing about the Sienna's Bluetooth audio streaming: it sounds like donkey.
Gain is about half what you get using a USB cable (although my iP3G didn't like being on the cable either, cracking and popping so as to be unlistenable). You have to crank the volume, and even then you're getting mostly crispy highs. BT streaming is slick and convenient, but it still (to me, anyway) sucks too much body and tone out of recorded music.
The standards group behind Bluetooth is more interested in 3D video, low power consumption, and the healthcare industry now, so no telling if audio quality will improve in the future. But whatever they're doing has excited Apple enough to join the Bluetooth group's board. With mobile Wi-Fi on the horizon for passenger cars (Audi and Ford already offering it), the larger question is, will we even be using Bluetooth in our cars through the next decade?
For now, BT streaming works great for sports broadcasts, audiobooks, and podcasts, but donkey for kicking out late, great Strummer jams.
Dan Frio, Automotive Editor