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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

We've had our Ascent since September and wanted to see if any of you are experiencing problems with the clarity of your phone calls. I've tried everything from going through CarPlay, direct connect, plain Bluetooth to making sure no windows or even ventilation is on, etc and nothing seems to improve the clarity. Those on the other end all say that it is horrendous sound quality.

When I've asked my dealership, the service guy said it is a 'known Suburu problem' and that I should go get an aftermarket visor Bluetooth speaker. I couldn't believe that I was going to have to do this, but I did and purchased a $90 Jabra Freeway speaker which ended up being better at clarity but terrible speaker for me to hear the call.

Anyone have any experience? I'm thinking there is possibly something wrong and the service guy just passed it off. Also, the speaker that is by the rear view mirror comes on every once in a while but it is intermittent. I understand that should be on during phone calls?

Thanks for your input in advance!
 

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So far, I've not experienced any such issues, though, I use Android Auto.

There is an update for the Infotainment system, as well as a somewhat recent Carplay update, which may help.
 

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So far, I've not experienced any such issues, though, I use Android Auto.

There is an update for the Infotainment system, as well as a somewhat recent Carplay update, which may help.
Are updates to Car Play & infotainment system pushed automatically or do they require a visit to the dealer?
 

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Updates.

Thanks @Robert.Mauro. When you say there are updates, do I download them through WiFi like I do maps and such?
Are updates to Car Play & infotainment system pushed automatically or do they require a visit to the dealer?
There's now a total of TWO updates to the infotainment system. They don't need to be installed in order. One only installs the latest one. The latest one is only a few days old - released 02/19/2019. The new version numbers is Rel_UA.19.01.70 NA.

SO, if your version number is not the one above, I'd update.
  • Navigation units can be updated by:
    • the vehicle owner going to subaru-maps.com and following the instructions (instructions on link at bottom of page, "User Manual" link)
    • the vehicle owner going to the dealership and asking them to install the update
  • Non-Navigation units can be updated by:
    • the vehicle owner going to the dealership and asking them to install the update

If you plan on going to a dealer, make sure you call them and have them download the updates so they're ready for you.

As for the phone, just make sure you've updated everything.
 

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So the non-nav units can not be updated via WiFi? I just tried that and the display read “software up to date”.
 

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No wifi firmware updates... yet.

So the non-nav units can not be updated via WiFi? I just tried that and the display read “software up to date”.
NO units currently get firmware updates via wifi. Only maps updates are via wifi at the moment. Currently, all firmware updates need to be installed via a USB stick, and apparently, only owners of Nav systems can do that themselves.
 

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I haven’t had any call clarity issues using Apple CarPlay or Bluetooth. In fact when I talk to my wife when she’s driving, I can’t even tell she’s on a speakerphone, the clarity is excellent. I can even hear my kids in the back seat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
So a little update after the input from you all: I took it (Ascent Touring) to the dealership today (different service guy as the one guy again said to me, "yeah it's a known Suburu problem" and again suggested I buy an aftermarket Bluetooth speaker.) They claimed that they thought the clarity of the call on the recipient's side from the car was great but admitted that there are some issues with my unit as they couldn't get it to update firmware and said that something was "off".

Seriously, I'm going crazy because NO ONE can hear me when I use Bluetooth, CarPlay or direct connect with the front USB ports! Everyone tells me it sounds like I have all the windows and sunroof open--and that's when I'm at a dead stop with all fans turned off, entire temperature control OFF, and even if I turn the car completely off. It cannot just be an iPhone issue! We also own a new Crosstrek and it is perfectly fine in clarity with my phone or anyone else's phone.

In today's driving laws, with limits of handsfree driving, this is ridiculous that I'm having all these issues. I do hope installing a whole new system will solve this and will keep you posted. If not, I'm going to have to go directly to Subaru and you can be sure I'll be calling them from my crappy Bluetooth car connection!

Thanks for letting me rant...
 

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I'd try an Android phone or take it to a different dealer.

This is not a known problem. And if it's having problems updating and exhibiting other issues, then the solution is for them to replace it, and NOT for you to buy something else.

I've went over 18,000 miles of driving and making calls without experiencing this "known problem".



So a little update after the input from you all: I took it (Ascent Touring) to the dealership today (different service guy as the one guy again said to me, "yeah it's a known Suburu problem" and again suggested I buy an aftermarket Bluetooth speaker.) They claimed that they thought the clarity of the call on the recipient's side from the car was great but admitted that there are some issues with my unit as they couldn't get it to update firmware and said that something was "off".

Seriously, I'm going crazy because NO ONE can hear me when I use Bluetooth, CarPlay or direct connect with the front USB ports! Everyone tells me it sounds like I have all the windows and sunroof open--and that's when I'm at a dead stop with all fans turned off, entire temperature control OFF, and even if I turn the car completely off. It cannot just be an iPhone issue! We also own a new Crosstrek and it is perfectly fine in clarity with my phone or anyone else's phone.

In today's driving laws, with limits of handsfree driving, this is ridiculous that I'm having all these issues. I do hope installing a whole new system will solve this and will keep you posted. If not, I'm going to have to go directly to Subaru and you can be sure I'll be calling them from my crappy Bluetooth car connection!

Thanks for letting me rant...
 

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Does anyone know if the non-HK stereo systems have a center speaker under the grill in the middle of the dash? Or is the grill just a blank?
 

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Does anyone know if the non-HK stereo systems have a center speaker under the grill in the middle of the dash? Or is the grill just a blank?
It was my impression that the "grill" is actually just a textured surface you can put stuff on and hopefully have it be less likely to slide around while driving. I hadn't even thought it might be any kind of speaker.
 

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It was my impression that the "grill" is actually just a textured surface you can put stuff on and hopefully have it be less likely to slide around while driving. I hadn't even thought it might be any kind of speaker.
There's the textured surface, where, ironically, nothing should be put, but behind the display, there's a speaker (the 2nd grill).
 

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There's the textured surface, where, ironically, nothing should be put, but behind the display, there's a speaker (the 2nd grill).
So is there indeed a center channel speaker on the non-HK system cars?

I ask because when I do my audio upgrade, this has to be taken into consideration.
 

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Not sure.

So is there indeed a center channel speaker on the non-HK system cars?

I ask because when I do my audio upgrade, this has to be taken into consideration.
I'm not sure. I just know that from the windshield outward, there's:
  • speaker grille (most trims?)->rubber tray in front of the hood/LCD->top LCD hood & LCD

parts.subaru.com has been recently updated to include sound system parts. If it's been fully updated (seemed to be, but I didn't check all trims), you can check your trim level to see if the speaker is under the grille.

(FIXED ORDER)
 

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I'm not sure. I just know that from the windshield inward, there's:
  • speaker grille (most trims?)->top LCD hood & LCD->rubber tray in front of the hood/LCD

parts.subaru.com has been recently updated to include sound system parts. If it's been fully updated (seemed to be, but I didn't check all trims), you can check your trim level to see if the speaker is under the grille.
Thanks for the link.

Well, according to the exploded diagram for the Premium 7 passenger Eyesight, there is indeed a center channel speaker. It lists for $31. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to incorporate that thing into my audio system upgrade.

 

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Mic location...

Where is the mic located for phone calls? My voice quality to listeners is a s good as being directly on the phone.
Overhead center control panel near glasses holder.

Though, there seems like there may be a secondary one near the pushbutton-start or keyed ignition switch.
 

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Thanks for the link.

Well, according to the exploded diagram for the Premium 7 passenger Eyesight, there is indeed a center channel speaker. It lists for $31. Now I'm going to have to figure out how to incorporate that thing into my audio system upgrade.

The diagram probably covers all trims. I have a Limited non-NAV and there is no center speaker - just a grill and an empty hole.
 
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