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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > Bought 6FL cable ... sound quality horrible



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      11-18-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
1997gtx
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Bought 6FL cable ... sound quality horrible

I have an e90 with no i-drive and I am pre-wired for ipod, but the car didn't come with an adapter. I bought a new OEM y-cable, and with it, the sound quality is horrible. Sounds more staticy than a bad FM signal.

The car recognizes the ipod and I have full control over it with the non idrive radio, but I can't get the sound quality any better. I do find that if I jostle around the part of the adapter that is going into the aux headphone jack the sound will get better and worse as I move it around. But never even close to digital quality.

Is it possible that the jack I bought just isn't good/not OEM?

A link to the cable I got from ebay is here.

Thanks all~
--Adam
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      11-18-2010, 04:05 PM   #2
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Hummmm

It may be that the cable you got off of ebay is counterfeit. The bag in the picture looks OEM (as does the cable from what I can tell from the picture), but the price is about 1/3 of what dealers charge....so that's a bit suspect. I donno....

But if the cable is ok, your problem may be a bad or dirty dock connector on your iPod. Use some canned air to blow that out and see if you can get a better connection?

edit - a more careful reading of your post says that the problem is with the Aux connection to the car. So, try using just a regular miniplug cable (you can get one at radio shack if you don't have one laying around) and see if you get the same kind of flakey connection when just plugging between your iPod's headphone jack and the car's AUX port. If so, then maybe the problem is with the AUX port in your console. Fixing that would probably be a dealer issue unless you're into pulling apart your center console yourself.
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      11-18-2010, 05:24 PM   #3
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^ Thanks. I think it's the aux that is causing the issues, as I can hear sound, just very faintly and very very staticy. When I move around the part of the cable that goes in to the aux jack, I can hear the sound crackling, etc... That just lead me to believe it was the aux port. I really have no way of knowing if it's the usb side that's faulty.

I am not thinking it's the ipod, since I listen to music all day long from it, and the sound quality is great. No matter if I'm using head phones or plugging into my stereo at home. I'll try the compressed air anyway, though.

how does a new miniplug help? How do I use that with the ipod and the y-adapter? Or, are you saying to just go from the headphone port out of the ipod to aux-in for the car? If so, aren't those both 'audio in' jacks?

thanks for the tips.
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      11-18-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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It's not the USB side that's bad, it's the fit for the audio 3.5mm jack. Common problem, some cables make it worse. I got mine oriented so it sounds fine unless it gets moved. Not sure how to repair it - if it was a bigger problem for me, I'd take my console apart and replace it with something better than the stock aux jack.

Newest cars have USB-only iPod capability - don't need the AUX cable.
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      11-18-2010, 06:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997gtx View Post
how does a new miniplug help? How do I use that with the ipod and the y-adapter? Or, are you saying to just go from the headphone port out of the ipod to aux-in for the car? If so, aren't those both 'audio in' jacks?
I was just suggesting that as a way to test if the problem was in the AUX port on the car (as VP suggests...and I think he's right). If you get the same problem with just the miniplug cable, then you know you've isolated the problem to the port (and not the cable you bought).
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      11-18-2010, 11:06 PM   #6
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Makes sense - thanks guys. I wonder if I complain to the dealer enough they'll look into it?
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      11-19-2010, 05:28 AM   #7
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They certainly will if you're still under warranty.
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      11-19-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1997gtx View Post
Makes sense - thanks guys. I wonder if I complain to the dealer enough they'll look into it?
My dealer replaced the "aux" part of my 6fl on on '07 when I had this same issue. I even bought a new Y-cable from them thinking that was the problem, but over bumps it would turn to static. I don't think it was as simple as just replacing the port because they took my WHOLE console apart and took a few gouges out in the process. If you can replicate the problem for them, I am sure they'll cover yours too

good luck
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      11-19-2010, 01:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrickem View Post
My dealer replaced the "aux" part of my 6fl on on '07 when I had this same issue. I even bought a new Y-cable from them thinking that was the problem, but over bumps it would turn to static. I don't think it was as simple as just replacing the port because they took my WHOLE console apart and took a few gouges out in the process. If you can replicate the problem for them, I am sure they'll cover yours too

good luck
Thanks. Good info to have. The problem isn't hard to replicate because it's always static. I'll oblige them in buying a new cable as long as I can return it after it doesn't fix the problem! Hopefully my warranty will cover it.
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      11-20-2010, 10:23 AM   #10
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Here is something you can try. I do not have the USB. I only have the aux but I noticed I always had static. The problem is that I had the volume on my iPod turned all the way up and it was clipping. So I turned it down a little bit and then just turned the car's stereo volume up and there was no more static at all. Same thing happened in my girlfriend's jetta. The only thing is that I don't know if your volume control will function on your iPod if it plugs into the USB. But I figured I would at least let you know my experience so you can try.
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      11-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmo24 View Post
The problem is that I had the volume on my iPod turned all the way up and it was clipping.
The audio signal from the dock connector is a digital signal, so changing the volume on the ipod won't do anything.
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      11-20-2010, 08:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
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The audio signal from the dock connector is a digital signal, so changing the volume on the ipod won't do anything.
He's not using a dock connector, he's using the Y which uses the analog aux port for sound and the digital USB for control. I still don't know why the volume would affect it, but if he says it's fixed, it's good enough for me
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      11-20-2010, 10:48 PM   #13
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I can't do anything with the ipod once it's plugged in. Even if I have volume on the ipod all the way down or all the way up, I can only control the volume through the stereo.
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      11-20-2010, 11:03 PM   #14
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Quote:

The audio signal from the dock connector is a digital signal, so changing the volume on the ipod won't do anything.
No, it isn't. The audio output of the dock connector is an analog fixed-level preamp output. There are also data pins - with the proper hw and fw, an external device can access the files on the hard drive and convert them externally to analog.

Up until recently, the BMWs couldn't convert Apple files, so the analog out was needed to go into the headphone jack.

The dock connector audio does sound better than the iPod headphone jack audio, into a preamp input.
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      11-22-2010, 03:35 PM   #15
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[No, it isn't. The audio output of the dock connector is an analog fixed-level preamp output. There are also data pins - with the proper hw and fw, an external device can access the files on the hard drive and convert them externally to analog. ]

Yet we can plug in a memory stick, which I assume the HU decodes. If so the question would be which sounds better the Ipod thru 6FL cable or a stick??
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