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Saturday, September 12, 2015

How To Quickly Reconnect To CarPlay On Pioneer NEX To Fix Audio Issue

Apple CarPlay users have faced this annoying issue since the very beginning. Sometimes audio playback in CarPlay gets interrupted and fails to come through. There are quite a few possible triggers for this issue but Apple has either failed or ignored to fix the problem so far.

The only solution right now to get the audio working again is to disconnect the iPhone cable from the head unit or dashboard and reconnect it. This action restarts CarPlay and everything works fine thereafter.

However, it is never safe to be meddling around with your smartphone or its cables while driving. If you're using a Pioneer head unit for CarPlay though, there is a quicker, much safer fix for the issue that only requires tapping a few buttons.

CarPlay Audio Issue

I have been using CarPlay ever since it was released and have come across this issue many times. The audio will sometimes cutoff without warning and won't work unless your iPhone is reconnected to CarPlay. Here are a few triggers...

Triggers to audio cutting off

- Initial boot up: I have noticed the audio issue sometimes occurring if I connect my phone to the head unit before turning on the car.
- Answering a phone call: After you answer a phone call through CarPlay, the audio source you were listening to fails to come through.
- Turning on your car: If you are parked and listening to any audio source, turning on your car reboots the head unit. But when you try to launch CarPlay and play audio again, it doesn't work.
- Switching apps: Going back and forth between CarPlay-compatible apps can also trigger this issue.

There may be other triggers as well.

Not a Pioneer NEX issue

If you're wondering if the audio issue is related only to Pioneer head units, you are mistaken. I have seen this happen even on other head units that support CarPlay (Alpine iLX-007 & Kenwood DDX9702S). Users have complained about this on forum threads as well.

I was able to recreate the issue recently on the new Kenwood DDX9702S during testing on a store model. This suggests the issue is related to iOS and CarPlay itself. I have also been able to see the issue while using different iPhones so it is not an isolated device problem.

For the record, I use CarPlay with my iPhone 6 on my AppRadio 4 (SPH-DA120) and AVH-4100NEX.


Of course, you can always unplug your iPhone from the head unit or your car dashboard and reconnect it but as I've mentioned, this isn't always safe. Alternatively, this is what you can do on a Pioneer NEX receiver.

First add 'Smartphone Setup' to your 'Favorites' menu: You need to do this to reduce the number of taps you need to get to the setting. Once in the Favorites menu, you can access this setting much easily by tapping the 'star' icon in settings.

'Smartphone Setup' can be found on your NEX receiver or AppRadio 4 by clicking Setting ---> Input/Output Settings ---> Smartphone Setup. You can tap on the little 'star' next to Smartphone Setup to add it to the favorites menu.

When your audio in CarPlay fails to come through this is what you do...

1. Click the home button on the head unit
2. Tap Settings in the NEX menu
3. Tap on Favorites
4. Tap on Smartphone Setup
5. Tap on Device where it says iPhone/iPod
6. You will see a pop-up that says 'To apply this setting, all functions will need to be turned off, and all connections with your device will be ended.' Click OK.
7. The Device option in Smartphone Setup will now say Others. Click on Device again.
8. The Device option should now say iPhone/iPod again. You're done.
9. Click the 'Menu' button on the head unit to relaunch CarPlay.

The audio should now work when you launch the app you were listening to in CarPlay. Here are some screenshots...

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