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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > AUDIO/VIDEO + BLUETOOTH + Electronics/Alarm/Software > A2DP Aftermarket Opinions



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      10-07-2012, 04:33 AM   #1
alexwhittemore
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A2DP Aftermarket Opinions

I'm trying to figure out all my options for phone integration, since my car as it stands has USB+Aux, but no bluetooth, and I'm using an iPhone 5 so at least for now the USB+Aux integration is halfhearted (no headunit control).

I've seen a couple of aftermarket bluetooth systems, particularly the Parrot MKi9000 and FISCON Pro for BMW E-Series, which have headunit integration and will handle phone calls as WELL as audio streaming via A2DP. I know the Fiscon does the audio in to the headunit by emulating a CD Changer, I can only assume the Parrot does something similar.

My goals are A. integrate phone calls and B. integrate audio. As it stands, I'm just using aux-in since I've got an iPhone 5. Not so hot. Presumably once Apple actually SHIPS the damn lightning to 3o pin adapter, I'll be able to use that and a y-cable for full headunit audio integration with song browsing and whatnot. On the bluetooth side, I'm working on a factory bluetooth retrofit, which, since I've already got 6FL, should basically be add an antenna and mic and code it. I can deal with that.

But at the same time, if I can kill two birds with one stone, it might be kind of nice to only need the wire if I legitimately need power. Headunit audio integration might not be AS good, but I don't REALLY care about library browsing on there, it's easier to do that on the phone anyway. Mostly just track skip functions.

TL;DR: Have you used any aftermarket bluetooth unit that offered audio streaming and good integration (parrot's steering wheel strap-on controller I think counts), and if so, was the streaming music quality good enough that you'd use it primarily in preference to a normal aux-in?
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      10-07-2012, 11:42 AM   #2
ctuna
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FYI

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=754329

almost gets you to a2dp in a non idrive car I guess.
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      10-07-2012, 07:04 PM   #3
alexwhittemore
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Unless I'm missing something, that thread basically outlines my current situation - there is no factory bluetooth streaming. Is there an aftermarket wireless solution that's good, or is the factory calling support plus factory wired audio support best?
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      10-07-2012, 07:10 PM   #4
ctuna
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The older solution was

A dension gateway 500 with a2dp adapter or Mobridge unit.
I think the BMW combox may have some option for this but if you have an older car (meaning older than 2011) the things you have to do are pretty extensive and expensive for a factory solution if its even possible.

There are some cheap adapters that go through the aux but the aux
is generally regarded as a low fi input.

I'm not clear if anybody makes something that goes in through the USB input that's any good, but it seem like it would be a better way to go.

This is the combo box thread
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=537592
but its only for idrive I think.

Last edited by ctuna; 10-07-2012 at 07:25 PM.
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      10-08-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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I had these same requirments, and found all sorts of options which replace the CD changer and present via the head unit.
The problem I found with them all is that none support address book properly, voice commands or mute radio when a call comes in. (Needs to be on CDC)

To top all that off, they where very expensive and difficult to find. Cheapest I found was a 300 unit, and that had no address book of any kind.

In the end, I went with a Parrot MKi9100.
Now that covers ALL the Bluetooth options in terms of radio mute, voice reco and quality.
On the A2DP side, it normally just mutes the radio and uses its own amp, which results in terrible quality sound.
However it does have a line out, and I soldered a 3.5mm jack to this and just plug it into the AUX socket.

The down side is its a 2 step process starting BT A2DP music. 1- start it on the MKi9100 and 2- select AUX in.
Still a LOT quicker than fiddling with any cables.

It works very very well with my Galaxy S3, and I hardly ever listen to the radio now.
Jump in the car, hit "Bluetooth audio" (leave the radio on Aux all the time) and drive off.
Tunes start playing straight away.

All that for just 120. (And that was on the high street. Im sure online you can find it for less)

I didn't choose this option, but you can also buy a unit (Unkia I think its called) which will use the steering wheel controls. However I found the included remote to be more than enough.

All in all, its not quite the OEM look I was after, but for the cost and how well the solution works it cannot be beaten if you want Bluetooth calls with Voice and A2DP

EDIT: forgot to add, it also provides you with another Line-In connector (handy when my wife is in the car and wants to play music) and a USB connector for USB playback.
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      10-08-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
alexwhittemore
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That sounds darn near ideal! The extra step of flipping to aux doesn't really bother me at all - I pretty much leave the headunit on aux all the time anyway. As for wheel controls, you said you don't mind the parrot remote at all, right? My impression was that, since it has call/end/playpause/skip forward/skip back it's actually a bit more useful than the built-in controls anyway. With both on there, the only redundant buttons are the call buttons on the wheel. So whatever.

One final question: You say it includes another line in and USB - does the USB connector work with iPods? My biggest gripe with the 6FL option in my car is that iPods only work with the silly damn Y cable.

In the end, if I get the coding to work out (which at this point is a personal vendetta that only costs me time), the BT retrofit in my car will only cost the $50 for the mic (2.4ghz antennas are cheap, I'll ignore cabling cost since I need to get a spool of shielded twisted pair anyway). So I think I'm going to try to finish it and see how it is. But the MKi9100 seems like a compelling, good solution.

Thanks for the detailed experience notes!
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      10-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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No problem. Forgot to mention it also has a apple dock connector. So yes it will work for your iPod. I don't Havre one , so completely forgot it had it. The included buttons are just what you need. Like you say it just leaves 2 buttons on the wheel redundant. Given the simplicity and how well it works I can live with that.

Edit: and a last point, parrot support is fantastic. I had issues with my phone not auto reconnecting and had a reply with fix within hours.
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      10-08-2012, 04:22 PM   #8
alexwhittemore
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Excellent info! Apple dock connector: is it integrated? How easy is it to hide? I have an iPhone 5, so the dock connector isn't immediately relevant.
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      10-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #9
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The USB connector, Dock connector and AUX in are on one cable.
The wires are together, but could be pulled apart.

I feed the cable up into the armrest box. So they just sit in with where the AUX connector was anyway. (Had to run the aux cable there anyway)

I intially planed to leave a USB stick in the car with all my music on it. But given how awesome A2DP is, I dont bother.
Its no nice just getting in the car, phone in pocket and pressing "BT audio" and having your phone play on where it last left off.
The little display even shows track/artist info!
If you get the MKi 9200, it has a slightly bigger full colour screen. (I prefer the size of the MKI 9100 screen, its easier to find a place for)
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      10-08-2012, 04:38 PM   #10
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I'm considering the 9000 - no screen at all. Would that be a mistake? Do you find it to be especially useful or necessary?
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      10-08-2012, 04:51 PM   #11
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I wouldn't go without the screen.
At first I was thinking the same, as I really didnt want anything else in the car, wanted the OEM look.

In my local halfords auto shop they had the 9000, 9100 and 9200 on display. I really didn't like the 9000, as everything is done over audio commands. So it reads the menus to you.
With the 9100/9200 you can have this option, but its so much easier just using the jog wheel.
Although the Voice recognition is good, its not perfect. And some names it really struggles with.
The screen has a really great on-screen address book. Its really easy to quickly find the contact you want to call.
No way I would go without now.
It also makes caller ID better. If you have the 9000, it tries to read the names out. (again you can enable this on the 9100) and it sounds bad for some names, and takes too long if the name is long.
Even worse if you dont have the number saved as it reads it out.
If you have the screen you can just see the same and hit red/green.
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      10-09-2012, 02:04 PM   #12
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has anyone tried this to see if this works for a2dp?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/320941457312...84.m1439.l2649
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      10-09-2012, 02:08 PM   #13
alexwhittemore
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It doesn't really accomplish any of the other goals of track control or phone calls (it says "make phone calls," but using what mic? It definitely doesn't have one built in, but it'd be irrelevant if it did since in E90s it'd be plugged in under a closed armrest. And if it's using the phone's mic, it's mostly useless). But if all you want to do is cut the cord, it looks like a nice cheap option. Can't imagine the quality is all that good, but for $7 you might as well pick one up and find out
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