2019+ Acura RDX: ELS 3D Studio 5.1 Surround Audio System

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JonUrban

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No, and they probably never will, as it's a function of the car, not the ELS system. However, the time between tracks is very fast, but still noticeable.

What I will do is put multiple tracks into a single file when needed. It works fairly well as many albums that blend tracks into each other usually have moments of silence here and there.
 

tonyE

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So, time to swap the Passport Elite. I've been playing Tidal Hifi hi rez (24/96) stereo files via USB, sort of using the Android Auto interface but using my android phone's Tidal app. Since I got a 512GB flash chip in my phone, I find it more complete and better searching.

I've had Acuras since '87, we had a number of TLs, RDXs, TSXs and a TLX with ELS. I love the sound of ELS, even in stereo. It sounds really good. I used to take my recorded LPs at 24/96 and burn them into CDRs. They always played fantastic.

So, my questions are, with the current ELS in the MDX:

(1) How easy is it to use the default head end software to search through the stored music? Say I had an external 1TB drive with dual USB, one for power one for the audio nterface.
(2) Does the audio USB provide enough power to run an external hard drive?
(3) SDD?
(4) Can you have the smart phone and the external USB audio storage running at the same time?
(5) How good is the simulated surround sound from stereo sources?

We have to place the order for the replacement car very soon.
 
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teedup

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Hello everyone, new to the forum, and I recently purchased a 2021 RDX A-spec. My question pertains to the load times for an external USB storage device. I have a little over 300GB of music in .m4a and/or .flac which can take up to 30 minutes to load in order to browse the artists. This seems excessive. I have tried an external SSD and USB 3.2 flash drive but have the same problems. I have had/and still have vehicles that have no problem with this task. Right now I'm not much into the 5.1 aspect of the system just yet, just 2 channel stereo sound. And also my iPod is a nightmare and I've pretty much gave up using it.
Does this load time seem normal or is it the amount of data causing this? HELP!
 

Bob Romano

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I have (as does Jon I believe) a Samsung T5 SSD (1TB) that is a little more than half full- maybe about 600GB- and I know when I add new titles it always takes a bit for the refresh of titles. It can definitely take 15 minutes sometimes. These are all 5.1 FLAC files at 48/24 with zero compression so they are pretty big in some cases. My guess is it would depend on how many files your 300GB actually is. Also, usually, if I have added no new titles and just start playing from the start of the car, there really is no extra load time and it just stats playing.
 

JonUrban

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So, time to swap the Passport Elite. I've been playing Tidal Hifi hi rez (24/96) stereo files via USB, sort of using the Android Auto interface but using my android phone's Tidal app. Since I got a 512GB flash chip in my phone, I find it more complete and better searching.

I've had Acuras since '87, we had a number of TLs, RDXs, TSXs and a TLX with ELS. I love the sound of ELS, even in stereo. It sounds really good. I used to take my recorded LPs at 24/96 and burn them into CDRs. They always played fantastic.

So, my questions are, with the current ELS in the MDX:

(1) How easy is it to use the default head end software to search through the stored music? Say I had an external 1TB drive with dual USB, one for power one for the audio nterface.
(2) Does the audio USB provide enough power to run an external hard drive?
(3) SDD?
(4) Can you have the smart phone and the external USB audio storage running at the same time?
(5) How good is the simulated surround sound from stereo sources?

We have to place the order for the replacement car very soon.

Sorry I missed this post back when you posted. For archive sake, here goes:

1) Once the drive in indexed, it's pretty quick. I have about 300Gb on a 500Gb Samsung T5 SSD that is powered through its USB port (one connector) and it doesn't take too long to rescan after I swap it with another if I do
2) Not sure if there is enough power to use a non-SSD drive
3) SSD for sure
4) NO. There is only one port to the MOST Bus, and it's either your phone for Android or Car Play, or your USB
5) The simulated surround is that DTS Neo or whatever, I hate it. I leave it off. It does not even come close to the older Dolby system they had in the earlier ELS systems (IMHO)
 

JonUrban

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Hello everyone, new to the forum, and I recently purchased a 2021 RDX A-spec. My question pertains to the load times for an external USB storage device. I have a little over 300GB of music in .m4a and/or .flac which can take up to 30 minutes to load in order to browse the artists. This seems excessive. I have tried an external SSD and USB 3.2 flash drive but have the same problems. I have had/and still have vehicles that have no problem with this task. Right now I'm not much into the 5.1 aspect of the system just yet, just 2 channel stereo sound. And also my iPod is a nightmare and I've pretty much gave up using it.
Does this load time seem normal or is it the amount of data causing this? HELP!

Bob is correct. My T5 only has about 300Gb on it, and once the car indexes it, it's quick. What's amazing is if I pull the drive out, add stuff to it, then put it back in, sometimes it won't miss a beat and just start playing right where it left off, and the new additions will be in there where they're supposed to be.

Other times when I reconnect the drive, it goes through and initializes the whole thing again. I cannot figure out when it decided to rescan or not, it's basically a crap shoot
 

teedup

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Had to run some errands and when I checked the flash drive after I left all the artist showed up fairly quickly. I don't get it, LOL. The whole iPod thing I don't understand, what a mess that is. Guess I'll stick to the flash drive or put the T5 back. Thanks for all the comments, I don't feel so alone anymore with this.
 

tonyE

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Sorry I missed this post back when you posted. For archive sake, here goes:

1) Once the drive in indexed, it's pretty quick. I have about 300Gb on a 500Gb Samsung T5 SSD that is powered through its USB port (one connector) and it doesn't take too long to rescan after I swap it with another if I do
2) Not sure if there is enough power to use a non-SSD drive
3) SSD for sure
4) NO. There is only one port to the MOST Bus, and it's either your phone for Android or Car Play, or your USB
5) The simulated surround is that DTS Neo or whatever, I hate it. I leave it off. It does not even come close to the older Dolby system they had in the earlier ELS systems (IMHO)

Thanks

How about USB playback using Android Auto? Does it keep the 24/96 or does it down-rez it?

You can get Android to play full 24/96 if you install the UAPP driver. I use it with my headphone (portable) and home DACs but I haven't bothered to see if it's doing anything when hooked up to our Honda's (PP and Clarity) USB Android Auto set up.

Oh, btw, about your initial comments on ELS. A while back I wanted to buy the RLX with the Krell set up.

I figure I'd seldom drive it, but for $60K I would have an awesome audio system in the garage. Two awesome seats, great audio and, if I got the battery hooked up to a charger, it would get clean sound. Heck, it was a steal when you compare it to the cost of the stuff in my living room. ;-)
 

Bob Romano

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I have a Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G and as far as I can tell it is whatever resolution the file (even 192) is what is playing from the phone. I have been playing Apple Music as well as FLAC files using USB Player Pro and it all sounds fab though Android Auto.
 

tonyE

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I have a Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G and as far as I can tell it is whatever resolution the file (even 192) is what is playing from the phone. I have been playing Apple Music as well as FLAC files using USB Player Pro and it all sounds fab though Android Auto.


Android downrez's the audio to 48hz via USB so you need an upgrade third party USB driver to bypass it.

Recently, Tidal released a fix for some Android phones that allows "bit perfect" USB audio, but it's not commonly available. And that only applies to DACs hooked up to the phone.


As an experiment, get an Audioquest Dragonfly and check out the color of the decoding LED. Without the UAPP driver, it never hits 24/96.


This of course may all be negated by running Android Auto... which since it runs all the way from High End audio system to the most cheapskate systems. I'm afraid that it might be limited to 16/48.
 

Bob Romano

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I have a Dragonfly Cobalt and each different resolution changes the color. The only thing the Dragonfly down-res'es is 192kHz to 96kHz. This is using Qobuz or Apple Music.

According to the Samsung website.

I don't believe this phone does the down-res. USB Audio Player Pro or Neutron Player are great players for bit perfect file playback as well.

Audio
Stereo speakers and Earphones sound by AKG
  • Surround sound with Dolby Atmos technology (Dolby Digital, Dolby Digital Plus included.)
Ultra high quality audio playback
  • UHQ 32-bit & DSD64/128 support
  • PCM: Up to 32 bits, DSD: DSD64/128
    *DSD64 and DSD128 playback can be limited depending on the file format.
Audio playback format
  • MP3, M4A, 3GA, AAC, OGG, OGA, WAV, WMA, AMR, AWB, FLAC, MID, MIDI, XMF, MXMF, IMY, RTTTL, RTX, OTA, APE, DSF, DFF
Bluetooth
  • Dual Audio: connect two Bluetooth devices to the Galaxy Note20 or Note20 Ultra to play audio through the two devices simultaneously.
    *The two connected devices may exhibit a slight difference in sound output.
  • Scalable Codec: Enhanced Bluetooth connection under ambient radio frequency interference.
    *Available only for certain accessories made by Samsung.
Recording
  • Recording quality is improved with the High AOP Mic that minimizes distortion in noisy environments.
    *AOP: Acoustic Overload Point
 

tonyE

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So, your Samsung Note20 plays bit perfect 24/96 to the Dragonfly Cobalt?

What are you using to play it? Tidal? Did you install addtional USB drivers?

But, you see, that's not my question, really. We know that an Android phone can and will do high bit rates into an external USB DAC, both of us are doing that.

My question is Android Auto... specifically into a Honda and Acura audio system. Do the Honda implementations of Android Auto play high bit rates with an Android phone?

I drive Hondas and I have an Android phone ( Note 8 ) with about 400 LPs, many of them in high bit rates, with Tidal.
 

Bob Romano

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I use Apple Music, Qobuz and FLAC files with no additional drivers. If you're using Tidal to play your "hi-rez" files with MQA (and I'm not going to get into bashing MQA) technically I believe those files are actually lossy.

I have an Acura RDX and I can only tell you that, using Android Auto, the files coming off my phone appear to playback at what ever the resolution of the file is. In any case, anything I play in the car sounds excellent regardless of resolution.

I also believe that, using a USB drive with 96/24 FLAC files you also get audio at 96/24.
 

tonyE

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I use Apple Music, Qobuz and FLAC files with no additional drivers. If you're using Tidal to play your "hi-rez" files with MQA (and I'm not going to get into bashing MQA) technically I believe those files are actually lossy.

I have an Acura RDX and I can only tell you that, using Android Auto, the files coming off my phone appear to playback at what ever the resolution of the file is. In any case, anything I play in the car sounds excellent regardless of resolution.

I also believe that, using a USB drive with 96/24 FLAC files you also get audio at 96/24.


OK, so we really don't know, I mean it does sound much better than XM or the radio.

BTW, not all files are MQA, many are just 24/96. When I play them using my PCs the computer does the first unfolding and then the second, to 192Khz is done by the DAC. I doubt that Honda's Android Auto does any kind of MQA unfolding. I haven't bother to check with my phone/tablets... but in my living room I got an RME ADI2PRO (AD/DAC) and Nuforce HDP-4 (DAC) and those don't not do any kind of MQA... just awesome sound.

( Your Audioquest does, huh? ).

So, we do know that ELS sounds very good, and even the system in my Passport and Clarity sound pretty good when I drive them with Tidal masters off my Android phone. So even if the phone and Android Auto are reclocking it still sounds very good.

Also, which RDX do you have? The ones I had, all Tech AWD, 13, 14 and 15 did not have Android Auto, so I assume you got the current gen.

Still, I pine for the days when our TSX Sport Wagons had the DVD-A. On the same day I borrowed a couple of surround DVD-As, the freeway got completely shutdown ( 100 foot crane across all lanes ) and it took me like an hour and a half to crawl a mile to the nearest exit. However, I didn't care as I was immersed in the music. ;-)

Oh, speaking of RME ADI2PRO, I got that to record my LPs to 24/96 which I save in WAV files. I suppose I could store them into an SDD... but I tried that with the Passport and Clarity ( USB stick) and the Honda head unit does NOT recognize it... So, we might have to get an Acura.. even though currently they are too small for our needs. ( I wanted the MDX SH-SH-AWD hybrid but they stopped making it ).

We're changing our '18 PP for a '21 soon so perhaps they've changed that, who knows?
 
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Bob Romano

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OK, so we really don't know, I mean it does sound much better than XM or the radio.

We do know that ELS sounds very good, and even the system in my Passport and Clarity sound pretty good when I drive them with Tidal masters off my Android phone.

Also, which RDX do you have, the ones I had, all Tech AWD, 13, 14 and 15 did not have Android Auto, so I assume you got the current gen.

Still, I pine for the days when our TSX Sport Wagons had the DVD-A. On the same day I borrowed a couple of surround DVD-As, the freeway got completely shutdown ( 100 foot crane across all lanes ) and it took me like an hour and a half to crawl a mile to the nearest exit. However, I didn't care as I was immersed in the music. ;-)
I have the 2020 RDX with an ELS system and Android Auto. I had Carplay with my Apple iPhone but I switched to Android because of increased capacity (512GB internal) and the SD Card eternal storage with another 512GB. I am currently running out my Qobuz subscription because their app is so buggy and hard to use (and it's really unstable with Android Auto). Apple music is less expensive at $9.99/month and you get up to 192/24 on some titles. In any case, everything is lossless now.
 

tonyE

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Android Auto itself is not a piece of cake either. IMHO, it's not really ready for Prime Time.

I've had to re-enable my phone (in the head unit) and twice reinstall Android Auto in my phone because for whatever reason they decided to ignore each other.

This is in the Passport Elite.

In the Clarity PHEV I have had no such problems. Knock on wood.
 
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