Adding USB Audio to stock head unit - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Avalon 2nd Generation (2000-2004) Specific discussion of the second generation Toyota Avalon

 
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-21-2019, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Adding USB Audio to stock head unit

Hey guys, I'm hopeful someone might have some insight into adding USB audio to an old avalon:

I inherited a 2004 Toyota Avalon XLS with the JBL premium sound package about a year ago. I've been using a cassette->Aux->iPhone dongle adapter mess for about a year and it sounds like trash compared to even FM. I'd like to use some sort of adapter with my factory head unit (JBL Model AD6901) so that I can use USB Audio with my iPhone XS. I don't care about using bluetooth - I just want digital audio and charging through one USB cable and I don't want a new head unit.

I found this adapter that looks like it might fit the bill but the reviews aren't great. (Says it doesn't work with Delphi AD6900 but mine is a JBL AD6901 - will it work with mine?)

Amazon Amazon

I found this other adapter for half the price, and it says it supports USB audio from a phone in the description. The reviews state otherwise though.

Amazon Amazon

Any ideas how I can add USB audio (from my iPhone) to my stock head unit for the lowest price possible? Bonus points if I can use the buttons on the head unit to skip to next track.

Thanks!!
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-22-2019, 07:54 AM
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In the Q/A section of the one linked above your "I found this other adapter....", there's this:
Quote:
Question: Does it work on 2004 Toyota Camry?
Answer: Didn't work on my 2003 Avalon. Everything plugged in and it connected to my phone,but nothing played through speakers. Sent it back.
By Todd Hudson on October 31, 2018
I don't see a link prior to that, though from the context, there's supposed to be one above "I found this adapter that looks like it might fit the bill..."

Also, again in the Q/A for the last link you provide:

Quote:
Question: does it work on 2002 Camry LE?
Answer: I cannot tell you if it works on a Camry but i can say i had to return it because it did not work. The power light did not ever turn on so i had to return it. I originally bought it for my 2003 Avalon
By tee on October 5, 2018
I don't know enough to reverse engineer the head unit, but this should be a simple matter of adding an external input that breaks into the amplifier circuitry. It appears as though us 2018 denizens no longer grab soldering guns, rip into feature-sparse electronics, and create do-it-yourself nirvana...

A great loss to people like me (and possibly you) who are terminally cheap.

Meanwhile, I'm using the Anker Roav SmartChargeF3.
Amazon Amazon

It has downsides. First, the readout is pretty useless, being too small to read in the dark and too dim to read in daylight. It also uses local FM transmission from the Roav to the head unit. This means that I can set it up for reliable use locally, but when traveling, I would have to stop, let the Roav find a suitable (empty) FM channel, then manually tune the head unit to that newly found channel.

Other than that, it offers USB input, bluetooth connectivity to phones, and micro SD card sourcing. I'm too backward to get my phone to play through it, so I use the micro SD disk for my playlists.

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Last edited by OleAvalon; 04-22-2019 at 08:04 AM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-23-2019, 11:50 PM
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Pretty interesting that I just registered on this forum to see if I could get help regarding this exact same issue. Small world, huh? I also have a 2004 Avalon XLS with JBL with the same AD6901 stereo head-unit. I'm also just looking to keep the stock stereo but add an aux input.

I was looking at that Yomikoo adapter too and also this adapter by Yatour but the documentation for both adapters show that they are not compatible with the Delco AD6901 (a variation of ADXXXX). I don't think it will work, but I can't be too sure.

Another solution I've found is this aux input kit by GROM. According to the compatibility guide on their website, our car is compatible, but there is nothing to specify that it will work with the Delco ADXXXX head-unit. I've sent an email to their support team asking if it should work and I will update thread when I get a response from them. (Update: They have replied to my email and told me that "It should work without a problem.")

OleAvalon made a good point.
Quote:
I don't know enough to reverse engineer the head unit, but this should be a simple matter of adding an external input that breaks into the amplifier circuitry. It appears as though us 2018 denizens no longer grab soldering guns, rip into feature-sparse electronics, and create do-it-yourself nirvana...

A great loss to people like me (and possibly you) who are terminally cheap.
There are some low-cost ways to add a aux input that can be done if you're willing to disassemble the head-unit and do some soldering. This YouTube video shows how you can do it by soldering the aux cable directly to the tape deck logic board but I am unsure how good the sound quality will be considering you're basically running the audio signal through the tape deck (but you do bypass the heads, so no tape hiss). Might be a worthwhile consideration for me if the GROM solution doesn't work out.

Last edited by johnnyofnm; 04-24-2019 at 11:43 AM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-26-2019, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah it looks like the GROM might be the best/only option to allow direct phone connection to the stock head units. If you pick one up, let me know how it works out!

I think I've just conceited to using my casette adapter until I decide to switch out the headunit. It's just a bummer all the single-din aftermarket stereos look like neon, glossy plastic nightmares. Might go for something with CarPlay if I can find something on sale.
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post #5 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 03:37 PM
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I'll definitely post here if I decide to shoot for the GROM option. I'm not really interested in spending money to replace a perfectly functioning head unit on a 15 year old car with over 150,000 miles.

What I've been doing since last posting is using this
ROAV Bluetooth/FM Transmitter ROAV Bluetooth/FM Transmitter
which has been working very well plugged into the cigarette lighter beneath the AC controls.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 03:49 PM
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johnnyofnm, I'm assuming you play music via your phone. Is yours an Android phone? What music app are you using, and what setup switch do you set, to allow play via the phone?

I can't get my Motorola android to play through my Roav F3 with the stock Google music on the Moto.

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Last edited by OleAvalon; 04-29-2019 at 03:51 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 03:58 PM
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OleAvalon,

I'm using totally stock head unit getting audio from FM transmitted by Roav SmartCharge F0. Roav is connected via bluetooth to my iPhone 6S using Spotify.

I have not tried pairing my Roav with a phone running Android.
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post #8 of 13 Old 04-29-2019, 04:15 PM
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Thanks. I have the same post-phone chain, Roav SmartCharge > FM > stock head unit... Android is cheaper, but like all Apple products, your phone and available apps are tested fully for compatibility... I've gained cash but it looks like I'm losing easy compatibility.

The phone pairs with my Roav SmartCharge and works fine for the phone call features of the Roav F3 - but I'm still looking to pair it for music. Meanwhile, I just use the mini-SD input on the F3.

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post #9 of 13 Old 04-30-2019, 01:33 PM
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I am using my ROAV bluetooth to FM transmitter and charger with ZERO issues with my Samsung Galaxy S8 (2018), and it worked just as well with my Galaxy S5 (2015), in my 2001 Avalon. I stream and control music from the phone's SD card using the Samsung music app and from Pandora using the buttons on the ROAV charger.

Last edited by eherlihy; 04-30-2019 at 01:36 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 04-30-2019, 01:37 PM
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Thanks, eherlihy - doubtless it's something I'm doing or not doing.

What music app are you using on the Galaxys?

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post #11 of 13 Old 04-30-2019, 01:40 PM
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The music app is probably NOT your issue. The issue is most likely in the Bluetooth Setup of your phone. Go to Settings, Connections, Bluetooth, Setup (the gear) and make sure that it allows connections for calls & audio.
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post #12 of 13 Old 05-01-2019, 06:03 AM
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My phone's bluetooth is connected for audio, and the phone portion works on the Roav. There's something else in the way, possibly the Google music app.

I'll just stick with the micro SD card... I'm not downloading the latest and greatest and trying to keep up, music-wise.

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post #13 of 13 Old 05-04-2019, 06:11 PM
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I ended up purchasing the GROM AUX 1 adapter. I made a brief video about it.


It works pretty good.
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