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DIY: Add Apple AirPlay to Your Car
Published by kenbrinkman
04-11-2014
DIY: Add Apple AirPlay to Your Car

Hey guys, just finished installing the AirEnabler Adapter Kit that arrived this morning from Amazon. The box was smaller than I expected so I was hopeful that I could find a spot to hide as much of it away as possible. I decided to pull up the center trim to have a look at any potential spots and there's the perfect one in between the rear edge of the center trim and the front edge of the glove box.

1. Purchase the AirEnabler Adapter Kit from Amazon. It comes with everything you need: 12v power adapter, USB to USB micro cord, USB DAC (Digital to Analog Controller), and 3.5 mm audio cable.



2. Pry up your center trim. First remove the shift boot by pulling one of the corners away and out, working your way around the boot. Then, grab the rearward edge of the storage binnacle (iDrive is different) and just pull up. Should pop out relatively easily. You don't need to remove the whole thing, just enough to provide space to maneuver in.



3. Here's the location of the perfect spot to hide the box.



4. Pull up the rubber mat that lines the bottom of the glove box. Arrange the box and wires so that it's seated nice and securely inside the area of dead space. Tuck the wires through to the glovebox, underneath the plastic bottom of the glove box. It'll be obvious when you see it what to do. There's plenty of space to hide everything.



5. Plug in the 12v adapter, usb power, and 3.5 mm audio jack.



6. Replace the rubber mat, pop the trim back in, reseat the shift boot and you should be left with a reliable and clean airplay installation.



7. When starting the car, the box takes about 15-20 seconds to boot (not nearly as long as an AirPort Express) so you don't really notice it. Join the AirEnabler_XXX wifi network. The box is preconfigured to send all data from the phone to your cellular network, not wifi. It's pretty smart. You'll notice that I'm connected to the wifi network, but there's still the LTE logo in the corner, letting you know it's still connected to the cell network as well.



8. Set the car's input to AUX. If you're on iOS 7, swipe up from the bottom, hit airplay, choose the box (I named mine something different, the default is the same as the wifi network) and enjoy high quality, wireless music.



TIPS:

- Turn down the volume on the car's head unit all the way, set the iPhone's volume to 80-90%, then readjust the car's volume. This will ensure the best sound quality.

- This is a good guide on the box from the manufacturer. It has everything you need to know about setup, advanced settings, etc.

- The box is plug and play out of the box, but any advanced configurations require Telnet it access the box. It's still pretty simple. The guide above has more info.

- Because this interfaces with the car solely with the AUX IN, there's no control from the steering wheel or head unit. Only volume. This is essentially the same as a wireless AUX IN.
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  #1  
By deeLow on 04-12-2014, 04:40 AM
Looks simple enough.

So you have the typical USB slot in addition to the AUX IN, but you are NOT using it and only using the AUX?

My car did not come with the standard USB slot so the way I connect my phone is plugging in the headphone jack. Looks like this AirPlay solution is what us guys without that slot need.
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  #2  
By kenbrinkman on 04-12-2014, 10:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kingdLo
Looks simple enough.

So you have the typical USB slot in addition to the AUX IN, but you are NOT using it and only using the AUX?

My car did not come with the standard USB slot so the way I connect my phone is plugging in the headphone jack. Looks like this AirPlay solution is what us guys without that slot need.
The only reason I'm not using the USB port next to the AUX in is because the car will attempt to recognize whatever is plugged in as an iPod. That's why I needed to use the 12v socket next to the USB for power only.

AirPlay works great though. I drive a lot with friends in the car and we love the ability to play music wirelessly. Really convenient for people sitting in the back for example.
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  #3  
By mg4734 on 04-15-2014, 09:55 AM
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Ordered the kit, got an 8 hour drive on thursday and have been searching for a good wireless audio solution. This looks simple and awesome, hopefully the equipment is reliable and quality
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  #4  
By shwinturbo on 04-15-2014, 03:37 PM
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nice product find...i have a similar setup, I was able to modify apple's airport express to be powered via 3.3v USB this is neat too
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  #5  
By tman on 04-15-2014, 04:42 PM
This thing is awesome. Drove from VA to Toronto and played music via Airplay all the way up. No probs!!!
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  #6  
By Hokie_BMW on 04-16-2014, 02:20 PM
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Is that the only product that enables airplay? I love the idea but have a long trip tomorrow and would like to get one locally if possible (Best Buy, etc)


Also does this turn on automatically when you turn the car on? I have a bluetooth dongle now but I have to turn it on every time I get in the car.
Last edited by Hokie_BMW; 04-16-2014 at 02:26 PM.
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  #7  
By mg4734 on 04-16-2014, 03:00 PM
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Yeah, I just got mine, it turns on automatically when it gets power from the cylinder outlet. However, I have yet to test it, as my unit had a defective USB adapter and power plug, but I had a different USB car charger that works fine. so, once my new USB dad gets here tomorrow, I'll see if it works well or not
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  #8  
By mg4734 on 04-19-2014, 09:29 AM
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Tested it out on an 8hr drive, works great. Got an upgraded DAC for it, sounds very good. Only thing I'd say is a con is that it does not get as loud as just aux or satellite radio, and when switching between airplay and radio the radio comes on screaming loud
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  #9  
By kenbrinkman on 04-19-2014, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg4734 View Post
Tested it out on an 8hr drive, works great. Got an upgraded DAC for it, sounds very good. Only thing I'd say is a con is that it does not get as loud as just aux or satellite radio, and when switching between airplay and radio the radio comes on screaming loud
I've noticed this too actually. Have you played with the "set volume" option when you telnet into the box? I haven't had a chance to change it yet. Maybe if you increase it (I think the default is 70%) then when you switch inputs the volume will be more uniform.
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  #10  
By mg4734 on 04-19-2014, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbrinkman View Post
I've noticed this too actually. Have you played with the "set volume" option when you telnet into the box? I haven't had a chance to change it yet. Maybe if you increase it (I think the default is 70%) then when you switch inputs the volume will be more uniform.
haven't yet, will try. is that done by using their app?

Also going to try adjusting the AUX input level on the car.
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  #11  
By kenbrinkman on 04-19-2014, 08:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mg4734 View Post
haven't yet, will try. is that done by using their app?

Also going to try adjusting the AUX input level on the car.
You can use the app that they suggest or you can just use your laptop instead. Bring it into the car, connect to the airenabler network, run telnet from your command prompt or terminal and connect to the default 192.168.1.1 and you should see the options.
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  #12  
By Bangarang_Rufio on 04-20-2014, 09:00 AM
This is awesome! I didn't even know there was a wireless solution for this let alone this cheap. I will be ordering this today trying out you DIY steps to install. Thanks!!
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  #13  
By mg4734 on 04-20-2014, 10:40 AM
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That solved the problem, thanks! Had the wrong IP address when I tried earlier.
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  #14  
By e70msportmia on 04-21-2014, 09:12 AM
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This a bad ass solution. Placing the order with Amazon as we speak.

Thanks alot!
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  #15  
By urban335 on 04-21-2014, 01:16 PM
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This looks like a great upgrade. Thanks for this recommendation and DIY! Purchasing now ahead of roadtrip season!
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  #16  
By Dylanize on 04-22-2014, 11:30 AM
AWESOME! This may be the solution I have been looking for!!!
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  #17  
By mg4734 on 04-22-2014, 02:26 PM
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Highly recommend getting an aftermarket DAC for those who do this for two reasons: 1) my unit shipped with a defective usb dac and 2) the aftermarket one sounds wayyyyy better than the replacement one I got that came with the unit. on amazon, look for "Creative USB Soundcard" , it's around $30
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  #18  
By zero2sixtyZ on 04-22-2014, 03:25 PM
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Eager to try this. mg4734, is this the model you are referring to? http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Sound..._huc_mrai_2_dp
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  #19  
By zero2sixtyZ on 04-22-2014, 03:52 PM
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Edit: Just found this from the Amazon questions/answers section...
http://airenabler.qnology.com/compat...o-adapters-dac

So ideally, you could improve the signal with the X-Fi Go! and then have it AirPlay from the box. Hmmm...
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  #20  
By kel335i on 04-22-2014, 04:39 PM
great post! will do this myself
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  #21  
By j13jjs on 04-25-2014, 08:33 AM
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To help negate the 20 second start up time I'd suggest using the power from the glove box flashlight port if you have it. It gets power when you unlock the car or open the door and shuts off a few minutes after you exit the car.

You can either plug in with one of these

Or just splice into the wires behind it.
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