Fix for Audio Noise

For me at least, nothing passes the time on the daily commute or road trip better than listening to podcasts and music. My droid phone doubles as my MP3 player, and nothing sounds better than hooking it directly into the audio system. My previous car had no such luxury – requiring a small FM transmitter to get the audio through the car’s radio on an empty station. It was a rudimentary hack at most, since audio was so-so, finding an empty frequency was difficult, and power was limited to 13.3 milliwatts per the FCC – pitiful compared to the massive 10,000 watt transmitters of most radio stations.

The 2007 Mazda includes an aux-in jack hidden in the arm rest. All you need is a standard cable with a 3.5mm jack on one end and a 2.5mm or 3.5mm on the other (depending on what your phone has). There’s a specifically-designed hole to route it out from inside the armrest and to your phone – sitting in the cup holder or attached to the dash.

But one thing Mazda cheaped out a bit on is the quality of the audio connections. The audio sounded great alone, but if any device was plugged into the cigarette-lighter, electrical noise ruined it all. Which of course is a problem if you want to charge and use your device at the same time. Turns out I was not alone, and a little goggling found that most people solved the problem with a ground loop isolator.

This little thing plugs in-line with the audio connection you would normally make between the jack and the phone/mp3-player. It’s simple, easy and no power needed. I keep it tucked away in the console and routed the cable out to a phone mount on the dash.

I picked up the Peripheral PGLI35 from one of Amazon’s merchants. It’s still sold there as of Spring 2011 if you need one yourself.

 

 

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