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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I'm hoping someone will have some insight into a longstanding audio issue with my second-gen Kia Soul Mixx (bought new in 2015). It had the large colour screen with everything built in, not the smaller monochrome one.

From day one, the Soul's (otherwise excellent) audio system always manifested an audio "clipping" issue when playing content from my Android phone. The first fraction of a second of any track was removed. This wasn't a big problem with music, but for audio books it made listening a frustrating experience. It always turned things like "Chapter 2" into "Apter 2" and "she left the house" to "ee left the house". I originally thought this was a one-clip-per track issue, but it seemed linked to do with the sound level coming up from zero. So, any significant pause in the reading (such as between paragraphs) produced the same thing.

This was the case over both Bluetooth and earphone cable. (I believe it was the same over USB, too).
Changing the phone made no difference; it was the same from my partner's Samsung.
If I tried the same experiment in a different car, the problem did not occur. So it did seem to be Kia-specific issue.
I mostly experience this on AUDIBLE's app, but the same issue exists for music playback.

I reported all this to KIA, but there was no resolution.

Browsing various forums at the time, it was suggested to me that the "clipping" might be a side effect of "noise reduction" software on the Soul's HiFi. Armed with this thought, I attempted to add some constant low-level noise into the audio signal, so that there would be no "zero" sound level to come up from. The easiest way to achieve this was to use a very cheap (unshielded) audio cable and to power the mobile phone at the same over an equally cheap power cable. This (in theory) would add some electromagnetic interference onto the audio cable. And magically, the problem was solved! To listen to audiobooks, I "simply" had to have the phone connected over the two cables.

I've been doing this for three years, and it works fine.

I've since replaced the manual 2015 Soul Mixx with an otherwise-identical automatic Mixx with lower mileage. At the same time, I hoped this might resolve the issue - it might have been a hardware glitch on my old Mixx's HiFi?

No such luck. Absolutely identical problem, the same "clipping".

Not a problem, I just continued to use the same solution.

HOWEVER, I've now changed my phone to one that does not have an earphone socket.

So, I'm no longer able to use my two-cable solution. I'm stuck with the "clipping".

Does anyone else have experience with this "clipping" on one of the big KIA audio/nav systems, please?

And (better yet) have you found a solution?

Thanks, John
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Shaggy, thanks for the reply. If you found the same problem as me, I've just discovered a (slightly uneven) solution. I've installed an "audio booster" on my phone, which I only switch on when I'm listening to AUDIBLE in the car. If I boost the audio to normal + 10% and run on full volume, there's JUST enough distortion to eliminate the problem and not interfere with listening. I found a couple of books it doesn't work for, but the others are now fine. So, an answer of sorts. I'm still interested in any other folk who've found the same problems, and their own solutions.
 

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I don't have a clipping issue when listening to audio from my phone though I don't do that all that often. I do have the high volume limiter on my phone off. And depending on the sophistication of your phone there may be options of sending audio out, like what version of bluetooth to use, or send audio only to bluetooth etc. You could try those options if they exist on your phone.
 

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I'm sorry @tampa8, I thought I'd replied to this. Thanks for your message. These are things I'd already investigated. I have now returned to a variant of my original solution. I bought a USB C --> USB C / Audio splitter. (see picture) This enables me to use an audio cable on the device, plus I can charge the device. The subtle audio interference resulting from my (deliberately) cheap cables once again prevents the problem - the sound is no longer subject to clipping. Much better than the software "audio booster" solution described to @Shaggy Wierdo above. Job done!

132219
 
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