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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How does the USB streaming work for Android devices with Jelly Bean software?

While Android users eagerly await the release of Google's next operating system update, KitKat 4.4, they can rest assured that the current OS, Jelly Bean 4.3, is working with flawless functionality. After the announcement that the current 4.3 version is now compatible with older phone models, GROM Audio wanted to ensure drivers could utilize their Android device for USB audio streaming.

To guarantee the best sound quality possible, GROM Audio's technical support suggests to use the USB cables provided with your car audio adapter kit. Drivers have two choices–use the GROM kit with the AALinQ media player to be able to control media playback from the car stereo or steering wheel buttons, or use USB audio streaming with every music app.

Today we will describe how drivers can enable the USB audio steaming to utilize the media apps on their mobile devices. Before starting, Android users must make sure the operating system on their device is at least 4.1 or higher. (Please note, most but not all phones with 4.1+, support USB streaming, due to some providers do not support this feature)

In order to receive high-quality sound through USB streaming, drivers must enable this feature on the GROM USB Android kit using a configuration  file—please see the GROM forum for instructions on config files. Once the file is loaded, drivers can listen to media through any app stored on their Android phone or tablet. Applications such as Pandora, Spotify, Youtube and even navigation apps, will then be redirected through the GROM audio adapter, creating clean sound quality for daily driving.

Although USB streaming functionality allows drivers to use more media applications on their device, these applications do not allow track control and song information (ie, title, artist, length, etc) will not be displayed. If used with GROM's AALinQ application through USB streaming, AALinQ will act as the regular media player, and the car stereo and steering wheel buttons with not function.

To receive the full functionality of the AALinQ app, to control tracks and see song information displayed on your stereo, drivers must reset their GROM audio interface or load another config file to turn it back on, which would be the config file with gromusb2.cfg with a=1 instead.

To reset the GROM module, you can simply disconnect it from the vehicle specific harness, and reconnect it back.

Note: Known limitations of USB audio streaming include, HTC phones and some Samsung and Nexus Android phones 

Please see the demo video for USB audio streaming below:


  1. Would it work on a Nexus 5 running Kitkat 4.4.2?

  2. I have a Galaxy S3 w/Android version 4.4.2. Would USB streaming work on my phone?

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  4. Tried the config file with a=0 and USB streaming worked with my GROM HON1U3 in a 2005 Odyssey. I used a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0 loaded with the carbon mod version of android KitKat. In my case, I was able to control track changes using steering wheel controls however the track information is not displayed. It just displays "USB Streaming". The track information would be nice to have but at least this now allows anfroid devices to stream audio directly through USB (just like the iphone can). I used it with both power amp and the SiriusXM app.