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Degraded Sound Quality on CarPlay When Using Waze

Waze, a Sad Face Emoji, CarPlay, and Music

Waze recently updated its app with several new features including a nice new feature where you can get the app’s attention by saying “Okay, Waze.” But it might have a downside.

I have a car stereo with Apple CarPlay, but I still prefer to use Waze rather than Apple Maps. Unfortunately, Apple does not allow third-party apps to draw graphics on the stereo’s screen via CarPlay. So I have a setup that allows me to see Waze on my phone while playing music or podcasts over CarPlay.

One day, I noticed that when I switched the phone to Waze, the music sound quality tanked. If I switched back to any CarPlay-enabled app, the sound became noticeably better. Finally, it occurred to me that I had updated Waze and enabled it to listen for “Okay, Waze.”

I turned off that feature, and the sound degradation issue ceased. I could switch to and from Waze without the sound quality suffering.

Granted, this is a fairly unique circumstance, but it might save someone somewhere a frustrating headache.

5 thoughts on “Degraded Sound Quality on CarPlay When Using Waze

  1. That was driving me up the wall. Couldn’t figure out a solution, but never tried that! Thank you so much. I’m surprised Waze has not addressed the issue.

  2. Cheers for the tip – it’s been annoying me for the last two weeks and I couldn’t find a fix online until I came across your post. I’m surprised it’s not a more common problem among users…

  3. I’ve experienced the same annoying problem. Go figure why Waze listening on the microphone degrades the audio quality output for other applications in the background. Thanks for the workaround.

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