General Grom Audio Kit - Feedback

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Heckler, Sunday 13th Mar, 2016.

  1. Heckler Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Thought I'd post a little bit of feedback after a couple of weeks use of the grom audio kit (with bluetooth dongle) in my car in case anyone else was thinking of getting one.


    It's had some teething troubles, and more than a few crashes... some of which were unrelated to the actual device but with the phone.


    Issues
    1: Speed/ease of use - Was really sluggish and slow to respond (Issue was my budget phone which had a quad core 1.2ghz CPU and only 1GB ram) Since upgrading to a WileyFox Storm (8 core 1.5ghz CPU and 3GB ram) it's been responding a lot better... and multitasking is much better too.
    2: Screen staying off... everytime I docked the phone with the mount in my car the screen went off, turn it on and it goes off again... Once more this turned out to be a setting with the phone regarding auto locking when it thinks the phone has been set down. Turned of the feature and problem solved
    3: Constant crashes and failure to respond to steering wheel controls... Occasionally the device needed to be rebooted by cycling the ignition off, key out, and then restarting the car. This may have been resolved after an update to the phone app. I have no idea how to do a firmware update to the device... and seeing as it's behind the dash and not easy to access... I'm guessing some kind of Female Micro USB to female full size USB adapter would be required to make it easier.
    4: Occasionally the steering controls stutter, you want to skip a couple of tracks and nothing happens, then a delayed response occurs. As yet no resolution to this.
    5: Some icons on the Dashlinq app are not clearly labelled... so when playing music you cannot tell if it's playing over USB or over bluetooth and the icon switches between the two but doesn't say if it's to switch to that mode or if it's already IN that mode. When switching between the two however there is virtually no pause in music although there is a difference in volume of about 10-20%.
    6: Call quality over bluetooth isn't fantastic, we did mount the mic centrally at the top near the sunroof controls and point towards the driver... but this could be down to the quality of the mic that came with the kit... it just sounds a little tinny and crackly. However there seems to be no issue with feedback noise when the callers voice is piped through the speakers providing the volume isn't up to high... those of you that like your music really loud will get some really bad squeals... an option to auto reduce volume levels on calls would be nice.
    7: The music app can't handle box or multidisc sets yet... it seems that it doesn't take into account the ID3 tags of MP3's that dictate which disc it is so you get several track 1's and 2's and so forth... this has meant that I've had to go into the program I use and either change the tags to continue track numbering (IE from 1-30 instead of 3 lots of 1-10) or adjust the album name to say ALBUM TITLE - Disc 1 and Disc 2 and so forth. A minor annoyance that should not be needed and I hope is addressed in the future.
    8: The webradio side of the app works fine , but can be a bit of a pain to find local radio or even the most popular radio stations... Although you can favourite a station in the same way you would in the car radio (long press and hold)


    Positives
    The CD changer and radio are now pretty much redundant in my car and I tend to use the grom kit all the time... It's easy to use and I do really like the way you can set it up to auto unlock the phone when connected to the grom kit either by bluetooth of via the USB lead. I can mount to the magnetic mount (that @Simes showed me - He also did most of the install for me too). I also like that you can add shortcuts to your most used programs to the dashlinq screen that pops up when it's in use. Album art can be displayed and even updated from within the app. Radio suffers from very little drops but it depends on your phones signal... and so far from the little bit of testing I've done... doesn't seem to use much bandwidth at all (for those of you on limited monthly bandwidth like me).

    The OK google function on Android still works but you do need to turn the volume down first to make the phone hear you... again this does depend on your phone. My old MotoG 2nd Generation was slow to respond if using the app and then asking it to call a person or navigate somewhere. But the new phone responds so much quicker... that triple amount of ram sure does make a big difference.

    The app is decent and has 3 home screens with up to 8 icons per screen... and includes a Mic icon for voice control (if you don't have a voice activated device) as well as enbtry points for navigation, music, radio and a find my car feature... which I think only remembers where your car was last connected and won't find your car if it's moved... I've not played with that feature much so need to figure out exactly what it can do.


    I'd love to post some pictures of it in use... but I have no spare batteries for my proper camera at the moment and the camera on my old tablet is really shite, and I do mean cheap and nasty shite (original tesco Hudl). So the only one working is on the actual device I want to photograph.



    Overall... I like it... Was it worth the £140 it cost (inc all extras)... perhaps not. I think the price is what would put most people off, at less than £100 for everything I got, it's no brainer.

    Do I like it... yup... I just wish it had cost a little less, but it's ease of use and just for making my music available in high quality sound is worth it to me... everything else is a bonus.

    I've just added a 64GB mSD card to the phone's 32GB and am slowly filling it up... 25GB on there so far... Won't get it all on there as my music collection tops out at around 160GB but that's 300+ artists and multiple albums all in the best quality I can do (320kbps is the minimum I rip my CD's at)
     
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  2. qc2 Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom quince Bromley
    222
    149
    1
    i couldn't ever get on with the GROM connected via USB and using the app. Instead I use Google play music via bluetooth and it works fine. call quality and playback quality is fine also through bluetooth.

    I had the same issues with the steering controls, lags, reboots etc. Firmware update on the Grom unit made that better. Grom technical support are very helpful
     
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  3. Hawki Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United States Dave Yreka, CA
    22
    52
    I installed a Grom on my wife's 2006 Subaru and his has acted 100% so far. She drives a Tribeca and a conversion to an aftermarket head unit is all but out of the question with it's configuration. The Grom was really the only option available to us. It is important however to stay on top of the firmware levels. I had to do an update as soon as it was installed.
    Hope you fully enjoy your unit ... it really is a clever product that deserves some attention.
    Cheers ...
     
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  4. Heckler Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    Where do you get your firmware updates from?


    Incidentally, if I got one of these
    I could put any firmware files on a USB stick... access to the unit isn't easy and requires pulling half the dash and the dvd unit out.
     
    Last edited: Tuesday 15th Mar, 2016
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  5. qc2 Senior Member ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United Kingdom quince Bromley
    222
    149
    1
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  6. Heckler Top Contributor ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆

    I can't remember the model I've got... off to check my emails for it.... I've got the IPD4 one.
     
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  7. Hawki Junior Member ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

    United States Dave Yreka, CA
    22
    52
    Thanks for the response, I had to dash for a moment.
     
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