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2016 CRV Touring AWD
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Why don’t
I bought a new Honda CRV 2018 a couple of years ago. I want to explain a couple of things to help future customers avoid what I’ve gone through with it.

So… there’s no CD player. Now, I understand technology well enough, and I get that CD players are becoming less and less useful these days. That said, I believe that since so many people still do use them, any salesman should tell you before you buy a new vehicle that there isn’t one there. It’s not something everyone thinks to check. I hadn’t bought a vehicle in over 10 years, and I didn’t think to look for this on the test drive.

But let’s move on from that… without a CD player, how are we expected to listen to music? Well, Honda certainly has an idea… you can simply pay Sirius XM $10 or more a month ($120/yr) and hear the styles of music you want, although not the exact songs you want. They encourage this by giving you 3 free months of Sirius when you buy the car. But I don’t really want to spend that much money on stations that don’t even play the exact songs I want to hear, and plus I already own most of the songs I want to listen to, and I like to listen to full albums the way they were created to be heard, not jump from album to album.

Another option is to listen to music using your cell data… this is lower audio quality, plus it uses up your cell data (for those of us who don’t have unlimited plans). So I didn’t really like that option. In most cases, that also leads to listening to various songs rather than specific songs as well.

But here’s what really, really gets me. Honda didn’t include a 3.5mm jack. That might have cost… I don’t know, $5 to put in there? Maybe $10? And that would allow anyone to physically hook up whatever they wanted to, such as a CD player, and mp3 player, or literally any kind of audio source that they chose.

These 3.5mm inputs were standard on cars for many years. And they are still obviously extremely useful, especially considering the benefit-to-cost ratio. The huge benefits to customers for spending maybe $10 adding a little audio jack to a car would surely be worth it for a company that cares about its customers.

So why would Honda remove this? I can only think of one reason… they have a relationship with Sirius, and they benefit financially every time someone pays Sirius through a Honda account. Someone please correct me if you can think of any other reason that the 3.5mm input is not included on this vehicle.

So to me, this is just one more example of corporations caring about dollars far more than they care about customers. A quick Google search will show you how much frustration this issue has caused customers, and I would say it has caused me huge amounts of frustration as well. Including a 3.5mm input would have solved this problem for countless people. The fact that they removed it makes me feel that they care about me for one reason: my pocketbook. And spending $30,000 isn’t enough. They want to keep taking money from me as much as possible.

I did come back and ask my salesman about this issue. He said, “Oh, it’s no problem. You just put all your songs on your phone and tell your phone which songs to play.” Sounds easy, right? Again, I work with technology pretty extensively in my field, so I tried this, and found it very, very frustrating. First of all, Google doesn’t find the song half the time you ask for it. For another thing, apparently Hondas have some limitation so that they don’t play files that are higher quality than 192kbps. Or something like that, I don’t even remember now. The point is, I tried it, and it wouldn’t play half of my library because of this limitation. So I might be able to hear songs from one album I loaded onto my phone, but not another album.

So… yeah, I guess I could go in and reformat my entire mp3 library. Or I could pay for a service I don’t want like Sirius and still not hear the songs I want to hear. Or I could use my cellular data, which is limited, and end up paying my cell company more. OR Honda could have spent $10 to include a 3.5mm audio input and made me and countless other customers happy.

But they didn’t. Which makes me wonder how many other things they approach from that mentality.

Frankly, the listening experience in every previous vehicle has been far superior to this one. Remember when there was that other knob on the right so that you could adjust bass, treble, and put the music in the front or back to your taste? Yeah, that’s gone too. You have to physically touch through several menus to find this every single time. And the touch screen isn’t very sensitive. They just took that knob off.

I have owned Hondas since 2000, but this may be my last one.
there are plenty of 3.5 mm to USB adapters out there if you shop around on Bezostore or flea bay.
 
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2017 CRV Touring - Pearl White w Black Interior
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It works with a phone but not a laptop. Give it a try.
Bluetooth is a transmission protocol for short range low power exchange of data. Two devices being of different OS and hardware should have zero effect on pairing devices.

Much like WiFi..... Bluetooth is a standardized transmit/receive low power RF protocol. As such... devices with bluetooth hardware/software embedded are able to communicate with each other, even though they may be completely different devices entirely. It simply has a more limited range and lower bandwidth than WiFi. If your laptop has hardware/software for Blutooth, then it can talk with ANY other Bluetooth enabled device.

If your laptop won't Bluetooth pair with your vehicle, there is something wrong with the laptop. Your vehicle only knows that another Bluetooth enabled device wants to pair with it. It has no idea what the device is, what OS it is running on, etc. etc.

The most common failure to pair via Bluetooth is 1) that one device demands a pairing code from the other, which should be completely unnecessary and something you can solve in most cases via settings. OR 2) one device or the other is set to not broadcast it's presence via Bluetooth.
 

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2017 CRV Touring - Pearl White w Black Interior
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..or 3.5 mm to Bluetooth.
(y)

This is actually the most common solution used to pair two devices with dissimilar methods of audio data, and not just for pairing old clunker hardware with a modern motor vehicle.
 

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2017 CRV Touring - Pearl White w Black Interior
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The discussion seems to be kind of meandering now. :)

The question posed in the topic has been asked and answered. Multiple valid methods of pairing non-Blutetooth enabled devices to your CRV have been offered by other members. a 3.5mm hardwire port is simply not required to overcome the challenge here. Desired, maybe.... required... no.

To folks lamenting no 3.5mm port on many modern vehicles, I encourage you to upgrade your thinking and adapt. Things change over time, particularly where interconnection between dissimilar devices is concerned. There is no stopping it, and if you dig in and refuse to adapt to change then an older non-Bluetooth device will become an orphan and unusable.

The fact is the need for 3.5mm ports in anything electronic is fast falling out of use by consumers... and quickly. The smart phone market is leading the charge in this regard, and everything else will eventually follow due to volume of momentum in the industry. For those who cherish holding on to their music collections and playing them in their vehicle you have options, so I encourage you to embrace them and move forward. You kicked your old tube TVs to the curb by now I am sure, and this is really no different.

In my view... put the 3.5mm port right next to the CD player and CDs in the box of extinct and no longer required (or wanted by a majority of consumers) technology and move forward. :) For those that insist on holding on, that is fine too.. but that means you also need to step up and overcome any challenges it presents, and multiple viable solutions do exist in this thread.
 

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2018 CR-V EX-L FWD Modern Steel Metallic
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EDIT: I have an old LC portable CD/DVD drive that I use with my laptops that no longer include an optical drive. I just tried it in my CR-V, it works. It is similar to the one I linked here. I cannot confirm that this one will work in your car, but worth a try? Amazon has free returns on most things.
you and Rocky both talking about the same thing?
So I had a thought....and promptly discovered it wouldn't work. That was using a computer external CD drive plugged into the USB port.
 

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2007 Accord EX 2020 CR-V Hybrid EX
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you and Rocky both talking about the same thing?
So I had a thought....and promptly discovered it wouldn't work. That was using a computer external CD drive plugged into the USB port.
It depends on a LOT of things to work. The firmware in the optical drive, the OS version of the head unit, loaded drivers in the HU.
Most CAN be made to work, but only with some serious hacking of the HU's OS and firmware.
Something like Honda Hack won't do it for example.
Simpler to just put what you want on a flash drive.
 
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