Volume Control while listening to XM and Navigating in Android Auto

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by vicw, Oct 20, 2018.

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  1. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    While traveling yesterday, listening to XM Radio, and Navigating with Android Auto, I found that changing either volume control affected only the navigation messaging loudness, not the XM programming. The top of the screen showed "Guidance Volume" while I was trying to change the loudness, and I was unable to find a way to change the XM volume without interrupting the Navigation activity, so I finally just shut off Audio until we arrived at our destination.

    I've been digging through the Owner's Manual to try to find a way to switch the XM volume without success. I'm hoping someone else has found a solution, assuming there is one.
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  3. Numbernine

    Numbernine Member

    Funny, I had this exact same question the either day. What I've noticed so far is this: if Android Auto navigation is running, then:
    • The steering wheel volume controls will control the navigation volume.
    • The volume controls on the touch screen will control music volume (XM, FM, etc.)
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  4. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    I could be wrong, but it seemed that the touch screen control acted the same as the steering wheel control. I'll try it again tomorrow with the car in the garage. It's really hard to troubleshoot those problems while driving. My passenger was complaining about it being too loud, and I just gave up by turning it off.
  5. begranter

    begranter New Member

    I've experienced this as well with fm and Bluetooth as well, which is frustrating because I never use the voice directions anyway. I asked the dealer service guy and he said it was a known issue and to keep an eye out for an update in the future, they might address it.
  6. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    It makes sense that it would affect any Audio program source - XM, bluetooth, FM, etc.

    I guess it's a good thing that it's apparently a known problem, but a bit troubling that he said that they "might" address it. While it's not a problem that shows up every driving day, being unable to adjust programming volume while navigating on a long road trip is a pretty annoying failure.
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  8. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    It's worse than I thought. I confirmed that Android Auto doesn't have to be actively navigating to disable control of audio volume from the entertainment group. Android Auto can be in any mode, it just has to be plugged in. The steering wheel and screen volume controls affect only the Android input.

    Unless Honda comes up with a fix, I will first need to find an acceptable volume level for my XM or other source. then plug in my phone to also use Android Auto. I wonder if the Clarity has the same issue with Apple Car Play.
  9. Numbernine

    Numbernine Member

    Well, ignore everything I wrote in my previous comment - I thought I had it figured out, but I guess it was a fluke. I haven't been able to reproduce what my original instructions were.

    So, as others have mentioned... yeah, this seems bad. :(

    [Sidenote: is it possible to edit posts? I'd love to strikethrough my entire initial comment up near the top...]
  10. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    You might see an edit option for your own posts, in the lower, right hand corner, next to Quote, Reply, etc. I wouldn't worry about it, though - it was an honest recollection of a prior experience, and it's possible it may have worked that way under the right circumstance - I appreciate the feedback on the issue. It's funny that I never noticed the problem in my first 9+ months of ownership, but this was my first long road trip, using Navigation via Android Auto with XM playing. Had my daughter not complained about the loudness, I never would have noticed it.

    Correction - Edit is in the lower left corner, next to Delete and Report
  11. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    After more experimenting, I found that I could have Android Auto active, and still have the volume controls work properly with the other audio input sources, XM, bluetooth, FM, AM, etc - up until the point that I started an active navigation session in Android Auto.

    After that, it didn't matter what I did with Android Auto. I could terminate the nav session, or switch to other functions, but it didn't release the Volume Control back to the other inputs, so I could no longer change volume on the other inputs.
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  13. KevinW

    KevinW New Member

    I will need to do more testing, but I am pretty sure mine works as expected - Android Auto doing navigation and still able to control radio volume. One factor may be that I have the navigation on my phone on mute (using the speaker icon on the map screen during navigation).
  14. Reissc

    Reissc New Member

    I believe this is it. Mine works as it should as well, but I only have the nav set to make sounds with special alerts, traffic, etc. The turn by turn audio is turned off, and the volume controls the radio.

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
  15. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Thanks for the detail, Reissc and KevinW. I'll try it out in the morning to make sure I can do the same on mine. Either way, though, we have to give up something, either the turn by turn instructions, or the ability to turn the program volume up or down. I suspect I would opt to set the program volume to an acceptable level prior to starting a navigation cycle, and utilize the turn by turn stuff.
  16. Mark W

    Mark W Active Member

    I have been very frustrated with trying to use Android Auto. Very sluggish reactions to everything, the type of cord that needs to be used is very finicky. I was hoping that when I get a new phone it would help. This volume issue seems like it should be a simple issue for Honda to resolve.
  17. Rajiv Vaidyanathan

    Rajiv Vaidyanathan Active Member

    This is definitely a new problem that has appeared after a software update. I have used Android Auto a lot in my car and even when navigating, the volume controls have controlled the music volume in the past (I know - I've always used Sirius XM during Android Auto Navigation).

    In the last week or two, I suddenly found I no longer had volume control if I'm using Android Auto for navigation. It only controls guidance volume (both the on-unit and steering-wheel controls). I actually have to unplug the phone to restore music volume.

    Can someone please identify a way to get music volume back? This is VERY frustrating and I came to this forum to make a post and was delighted to see someone had already posted about this problem.

    I'm guessing one of the recent software updates has screwed this up.
  18. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    If I "Mute" the navigation, I am able to continue to control volume on the other sources, but if I select "Traffic Alerts Only", if it ever does a reroute during the trip, the accompanying beeping sound causes it to lock the volume control to navigation only, until I disconnect the phone.

    For my use, I plan to first set an acceptable volume level for the programming audio, prior to starting a navigation session. I don't want to miss the turn by turn instructions, or the Traffic alerts.

    I don't know when the problem started, but I've only had one software update applied to the Clarity, that being the HV Mileage Fix, some months ago. The problem is insidious, and easily missed, in that everything works fine until I do an active navigation cycle via Android Auto (with Mute not selected).
  19. Numbernine

    Numbernine Member

    Alright, I had a nice long commute tonight in traffic to play around with this problem, and here are the workarounds I found.

    • You're listening to an audio source (e.g. FM, XM), and
    • You're using Android Auto navigation, and
    • Turn-by-turn voice navigation is enabled, and
    • Pressing the volume buttons now changes navigation volume instead of music volume,
    Then try the following:
    • Long-press the voice command button so that the Google Assistant makes the 'bing!' sound and waits for your voice command, then
    • Give it a silly command, or wait for it to time out, or just say 'cancel.'
    After this, the volume buttons should now control whatever music source you have playing.

    If that doesn't work, another variation I found that works:
    • Long-press the voice command button so that the Google Assistant makes the 'bing!' sound and waits for your voice command, then
    • Ask Google, "Listen to songs by your favourite artist here"
      • TIP: Add "... from my library" when asking Google Play Music if you only want music that is associated with your Google account. Doubly useful if you choose an artist/album that's downloaded to your phone and you don't want to use mobile data.
    • After Android Auto switches to Google Play Music and starts playing audio, switch back to your previous audio source.
    Volume buttons should now control whatever music source you have playing.

    The obvious downside of these workarounds are just that - they're workarounds. As soon as navigation barks out another "in 300m, turn right" type direction, you'll lose volume control over your music again. :rolleyes:

    Give these a try and let me know if they work for you.
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  20. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    Thanks, Numbernine for your suggestions of a workaround. I appreciate your time and effort to help by sharing what you have found.

    I tried it tonight. While Navigating, I called out "OK Google", then when it responded I said "Cancel". After Google Assistant bleeped off, volume control did switch over to the normal audio source. That continued until the next navigation message, which switched control back to the Nav messaging.

    That workaround will be helpful if I ever encounter the problem again, especially if there are significant times between Nav messaging, that will allow some time, as in a long road trip, to get it to switch and for me to make the desired program volume change. I typically don't use Navigation for short trips in my area, so it should work when I will mostly likely need it, with no need for the distraction of me to be poking around on the screen.
    Numbernine likes this.
  21. mckennajp

    mckennajp New Member

  22. Numbernine

    Numbernine Member

    Good news! I took the plunge and manually installed a newer version of Google Play Services on my phone and the problem described in this thread has disappeared. I installed version 14.5.70 and it fixed my problem, though it would appear from reading that thread that others have had success with version 14.3.69. I had 14.3.67 installed on my phone prior and was experiencing the problem described here and elsewhere.

    With the newer version installed, the behaviour works as expected:
    • While Android Auto is running and using Google Maps to give turn-by-turn voice navigation instructions, pressing the volume up/down buttons changes the navigation volume only if navigation instructions are currently being spoken.
    • All other items (i.e. before or after a navigation instruction is spoken), the volume controls will change the volume of whatever audio source you are using.
    If you're comfortable manually upgrading Google Play Services on your phone, you can get this fix now (note that doing this and not knowing what you're doing may cause you a lot of grief) or you can wait patiently until the newer Google Play Services is rolled out that includes this fix.
  23. vicw

    vicw Active Member

    That's great news, Numbernine. Following your lead, I took an easy way to update the app and signed up for the Google Play Services beta: <https://developers.google.com/android/guides/beta-program>, using the recommended opt-in URL. It looks like it's easy to opt-out later, if I encounter any problems with it. There were no warnings about opting-out resulting in anything like a Factory Data Reset, so I expect it will be transparent, if I do.

    It hasn't started downloading yet, but I'll check it out on my phone as soon as possible. Thankful that this turned out to be an Android problem, rather than Honda, and we don't have to wait for a Service Bulletin for a fix.
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