2016 CRV Touring AWD
there are plenty of 3.5 mm to USB adapters out there if you shop around on Bezostore or flea bay.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.