iOS 4.1 causing in-car USB playback problems? | iLounge News


iOS 4.1 causing in-car USB playback problems?

According to reports in an Apple Discussions thread and in a separate but similar thread on the PriusChat forums, a number of iPhone and iPod touch users are suffering from in-car USB audio playback issues after the installation of iOS 4.1. Affected users report hearing “scratching” or “crackling” noises when playing back music from an iOS 4.1 device over a vehicle’s built-in USB interface, with one Ford Fusion owner likening the effect to listening to a “scratched CD.” The problem does not appear to be limited to any one brand or major manufacturer, and several users have noted that audio playback via the headphone port or Bluetooth works fine. Notably, one user claims that unpairing his Bluetooth connection allowed audio to play over USB without issue, suggesting the problem may be related to having Bluetooth on and or paired while attempting playback. [Thanks, Doug]

Related Stories



This isn’t a new problem.  There are a number of issues with USB playback with iPods depending on the generation of iPod that you have. 

For example, and iPod Touch 2G with a USB connection in my Subaru plays music tracks fine but experiences “scratching” on podcasts.  My iPod 5G experiences “scratching” on everything.  A newer iPod classic doesn’t experience “scratching” on any tracks.

Posted by Erik on September 10, 2010 at 2:48 PM (CDT)


My iPhone 4 just started refusing to play anything but iPod tracks when using my Honda’s USB connection. Attempts to play streaming podcasts through iTunes or any other streaming service start for a second then stop as the iPod playback resumes. This began happening immediately after upgrading to 4.1.

Posted by Seth on September 10, 2010 at 11:22 PM (CDT)


I thought it was just a problem with my phone. It is really annoying to hear this. I have a brand new iPhone 4 since my last one had problems and a brand new Toyota camry and still have these issues. My last iPhone 4 however, which was on 4.0.1, did not skip at all. They really need to fix this as It is quite irritating. Sound is much better over USB than Bluetooth.

Posted by John on September 11, 2010 at 1:44 AM (CDT)


I’ve been having problems with audio via usb since I updated to ios 4.1. Whenever I connect my 3gs to my radio I get audio for about 2 - 3 minutes then it abruptly cuts out. I’ve tried everything to fix this with no luck. I really wish I would have stayed with 4.0.2.

Posted by Josh on September 11, 2010 at 3:55 AM (CDT)


I have a 3GS and started having audio issues with my Alpine car stereo through USB connection when I updated to 4.1. I also have proximity sensor problems now. The screen doesn’t turn off when I hold the phone up to my face. The audio problem bugs me more though. I get static sounds and most of the time I have to unplug and replug my iPhone to get the audio to start playing. They should’ve taken a little bit more time working the kinks out.

Posted by Miguel on September 11, 2010 at 6:53 AM (CDT)


Yet another reason for me to remain with 3.1.3 - to have my in-car use of the iPhone borked by a supposed improvement would end up with the phone bouncing down the road….

Posted by Bob Levens on September 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM (CDT)


Has nothing to do with Bluetooth on.  2010 Lexus RX350 with 2nd gen iTouch 64gb running 4.1… getting clipping noises with bluetooth off, connected via iPod USB connector.

It has to do with a direct connetion to the playback source via USB.  C’mon apple get your shit together.

Posted by Brett on September 11, 2010 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


Same here, 4.1 made the USB connection to my AV receiver snap crackle and pop. Fix please Apple - don’t be rotten.

Posted by Drew on September 11, 2010 at 5:22 PM (CDT)


I’m having similar issues.  I’m connecting my iphone 4 with ios 4.1 to an Alpine head unit via usb.  Before it was a super clean connection; after the update to 4.1, I hear crackling.  It seems to be better when I switch the iphone to airplane mode, but I still get the occasional crackle and i obviously prefer to still be able to use the phone.

Hope Apple knows about this and is looking into it.

Posted by Thierry on September 11, 2010 at 6:32 PM (CDT)


I’ve not had a problem going from 4.0 to 4.1 (I skipped 4.0.1) on a 3rd gen iPod Touch, but I did going from 3.something to 4.0 on a 2nd gen.  This is with the USB connection on a 2009 UK Ford Fiesta.

I found that it would only work reliably if I switched the radio on before connecting the iPod.  It would randomly either work properly, say there was nothing on the iPod, or lock up the audio unit.  I still do that with 4.1, so it might be worth trying if you’re having issues.

I’ve never had any sound quality problems. 

Sounds like it might be a digital audio issue, which might explain why I’m OK.  The Fiesta cable only uses the USB port for charging and control, it has an analogue connection to the 3.5mm input for audio.

Posted by Alan Edwards on September 12, 2010 at 6:04 AM (CDT)


I have an iPod touch 2nd generation with 4.1 software… I have a USB accessory part # PXAMG by Peripheral Technology, purchased to install in my 2007 Corvette Z06.. My older 60gb ipod video works fine, as does my daughter’s 3rd gen iPod touch with 3.1.3 software… my iTouch would not work at all with 4.0.x, but now will hook up with full control from the radio, EXCEPT the audio plays through the speaker of the touch, not the radio! I get an error message on the touch saying “this accessory not supported by iPod touch”... my daughter’s does not have this message and works great! Seems like 4.0-4.1 is the issue here too?

Posted by DAVE Weckl on September 12, 2010 at 8:44 PM (CDT)


I have the same “crackling” noise with my iPhone 3GS playback through my Pioneer headset via USB after upgrading to iOS 4.1. Playback on 4.0 and 4.0.x were fine and clean.

Didn’t help even after killing every other app off the “multitasker”.

Posted by h.b. (SG) on September 13, 2010 at 6:22 AM (CDT)


Same here. Same awful crackling sound after the iOS 4.1 update on my 3G iTouch. 3.1.3 worked flawlessly. I hope they put a rush on fixing this problem.

Posted by thebalkan on September 13, 2010 at 11:52 AM (CDT)


Apple, please please please fix this. iOS4.1 was not good and we want our audio to function as it did before. If I could downgrade back to 4.0.2 I would not be so upset, but once you update you are STUCK!


Posted by andrew on September 13, 2010 at 3:59 PM (CDT)


I have the same problem.  I’m very unhappy with my iPhone 4 with 4.1 iOS.  I too can’t get a downgrade (which is an upgrade at this point) to 4.01 or 4.02 to work.

So far I can’t find any solution and am starting to get angry.  I had spent a lot of money on iTunes for songs before going on vacation only to discover my iPhone can’t do a basic function (yet again).

Posted by Andy on September 13, 2010 at 11:56 PM (CDT)


I have a same problem Ipod Touch 3nd generation with Onkyo ND-S1 terrible crackling noise after 4.1.Impossible downgrade 4.1 back 4.02.

Posted by Tarmo on September 14, 2010 at 7:46 AM (CDT)


Uhm. I think the crackling sound is lame stock decks. I don’t get any kind of crackling/static sounds with my Clarion VX400. But I am experiencing since updating to 4.1 on the iphone 3g I use solely for song storage now flat out stops playback and seems to disconnect entirely. Need to have it out of glove box so I can see if it actually randomly rebooting or what is going on. On the bright side since I save my hashes I can downgrade the software pretty much as far as I want to :).

Posted by Demon5 on September 15, 2010 at 11:40 AM (CDT)


Beyond a poor quality problem here. No audio through USB car stereo connection after 1 minute, although the iTunes selection continues playing in iPhone. This is in a 2011 Chevrolet Malibu LTZ where the USB into a Bose system worked fine until 4.1. Advanced to a Senior Advisor at Apple because of continuing Bluetooth headset issues after 4.1, who said he had spoken with GM dealer yesterday and was told GM knows about the issue and is working on fix in affected vehicles.

Posted by PDM on September 15, 2010 at 9:36 PM (CDT)


Well, this is kind of neat. I just received an e-mail from Apple stating that my thread on regarding this issue, even though “These areas are intended to address technical issues about Apple products.”

I’m sure we’ll all have to live with this for the next couple of weeks until 4.2 comes out.

This is my first and last Apple product.

Posted by thebalkan on September 16, 2010 at 1:54 PM (CDT)



Well, this is kind of neat. I just received an e-mail from Apple stating that my thread on regarding this issue was deleted, even though “These areas are intended to address technical issues about Apple products.”

I’m sure we’ll all have to live with this for the next couple of weeks until 4.2 comes out.

This is my first and last Apple product.

Posted by thebalkan on September 16, 2010 at 1:55 PM (CDT)

Subscribe to iLounge Weekly

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy