This link talks about VW owners who have problems syncing the Bluetooth on the iPhone to their VW. I helped a friend with this yesterday and we had problems as well. The first time that we tried to sync, the iPhone wouldn’t see the Bluetooth of the car. So I rebooted the iPhone but when we tried again it didn’t show the number code on the phone.
Normally when you connect a smart phone to a car you will be asked to verify that the number shown on your iPhone matches the number that is shown on the dash screen. In this case the VW didn’t properly send that number to the phone, but it did identify the phone by the name of the Phone. So my friend answered “yes” when it said is this the number displaying on the phone. Then there were two choices. One was just to sync with the phone calling capacity, and the other was to use the AD2P profile which allows things like music to sync to the phone. I had her choose the AD2P profile. If you have a choice this should be the one that you use in a car.
In other cars they don’t allow you to choose the profile, but always select the most featured one for you. Cars that are pre-2010 seem to not have AD2P as a common functionality. So many cars have Bluetooth but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can sync your iPhone and listen to music in your car. However every car that has Bluetooth that I’ve experienced will let you play your smartphone through it. Some cars are not good at dealing with the newest iPhone’s which have a newer Bluetooth, but when I suggested for a friend to go to the dealer and get a firmware update it seemed to solve the issue.
Bluetooth in cars works pretty well. The biggest problems are just interference that rarely happens when other Bluetooth devices like other iPhone’s are in the car. More common is the problem of having multiple iPhone’s in the same car. Some cars do not deal well with multiple Bluetooth connections. For example a friends Lexus doesn’t seem to want to connect to a second Bluetooth profile from a second iPhone. This is a 2010 Lexus so the dealer doesn’t have any additional updates. My friend has to connect his iPhone through a USB cable which is fine but not all systems have the capability. Many car models only have a Bluetooth connection so YMMV.
The other thing that is helpful to know is that the quality of the sound from a Bluetooth connection is better than the old tape adapters that directly connect to the sound out. I used to use a tape adapter when I listened in friends cars but now that they have Bluetooth and USB they are better connections. The tape adapter introduces a very faint hiss and reduces the quality somewhat. It is really remarkable as technology progresses how you find the limitations in the old way of doing things. I have been amazed as I have listened to music that I have listened to for years in basic sound systems sound completely different in high-end systems. It is humbling when you help someone who is rich and the experience of music is that it comes to life. Now even economy cars have great sound. Isn’t technology wonderful?