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      12-08-2011, 06:59 AM   #1
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Exclamation mObridge vs Dension MOST systems

Hey guys,

I’m looking to fit one of these systems into my 1 series. And wanted to know which is the better one to go with...I looking at the Mobridge ABT2010 BMW (all-in-one Bluetooth and iPod system) and the Dension Gateway 500 (this is just an iPod, AUX, and USB unit, I would need to buy the optional Dension BTA1500 to add Bluetooth control, that’s not cool ).

They both cost about -/+ £500 ($900)

Both units are MOST integrated and would do a similar job, I wanted to know what’s the easiest to install, most reliable and functional.

Tom@EAS does not do mObridge anymore, so not too sure now... Also, someone may know a better option out there.
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      12-12-2011, 01:58 AM   #2
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I would also love to hear opinions on these.
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      12-12-2011, 12:57 PM   #3
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I do not know of a reliability difference. I think that the Mobridge is a little better in that it does A2DP streaming Bluetooth audio also.

Mobridge has a better rep in the States. Dension has a lot of bad blood over the old Icelink days, and their US distribution has been lousy.

The hardware is not the big deal. The firmware is where any bugs come from. You have to make SURE that there is a firmware load tested and verified for your exact model year and equipment level. The firmware always lags behind vehicle introduction.

You also need to be certain that your head unit (your sig says you have a 1-series) HAS MOST. We have seen some 1-series vehicles in the States with a "Professional"-labeled head unit, but without a MOST port in the Quadlock.

Your best bet is to find someone in the UK who has done these actual fitments. Trying to do this the way Tom at EAS did would be pretty tricky. We do these a lot for Mercedes (no BMWs yet, oddly) and there are more firmware updates needed in the install bay than I would prefer. That's true for the category of product, not for one brand or the other.

That said, the one Dension iPod device we put into a 2010 135i worked great once we got the updated FW into it. He had to buy a MOST-equipped Pre HU from Germany on eBay, though.
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      12-13-2011, 11:31 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
I do not know of a reliability difference. I think that the Mobridge is a little better in that it does A2DP streaming Bluetooth audio also.

Mobridge has a better rep in the States. Dension has a lot of bad blood over the old Icelink days, and their US distribution has been lousy.

The hardware is not the big deal. The firmware is where any bugs come from. You have to make SURE that there is a firmware load tested and verified for your exact model year and equipment level. The firmware always lags behind vehicle introduction.

You also need to be certain that your head unit (your sig says you have a 1-series) HAS MOST. We have seen some 1-series vehicles in the States with a "Professional"-labeled head unit, but without a MOST port in the Quadlock.

Your best bet is to find someone in the UK who has done these actual fitments. Trying to do this the way Tom at EAS did would be pretty tricky. We do these a lot for Mercedes (no BMWs yet, oddly) and there are more firmware updates needed in the install bay than I would prefer. That's true for the category of product, not for one brand or the other.

That said, the one Dension iPod device we put into a 2010 135i worked great once we got the updated FW into it. He had to buy a MOST-equipped Pre HU from Germany on eBay, though.



Could you expand about what MOST is, what it does, and how we can tell if our HU has it?
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      12-13-2011, 11:41 AM   #5
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FYI

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=352586

http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1266451970

http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1260829447

read these as a starter.(the last one in particular)

http://bmwcoders.com/forum/attachmen...supply-bus-pdf page 26

For the first time in this vehicle class, a fibre optics-based bus is used for data transmission
in information and communication applications (IKT). This bus is the so-called
MOST (Media Orientated Systems Transport) bus as already used on the E65, E60 and
E63/4.

If you have a US e9x from 06 to late 09 they all had MOST issued with the Hi Fi or logic 7
system .

Last edited by ctuna; 12-13-2011 at 12:12 PM.
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      12-13-2011, 07:26 PM   #6
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MOST is a multimedia data bus. It's now used in BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and many more. It is usually used with fiber-optics, but Toyota has announced that they will use MOST on copper wire (they may be already).

Like most in-vehicle tech, there are standards for the physical layer, but the message set definitions are different from OEM to OEM. So a MOST device may have the same hardware from Mercedes to BMW, but the firmware to support the different message sets is different.

Bluetooth handsfree, CD changers, 6FL/6FN iPod interfaces, pre-2010 Sirius SAT tuners, PDC parking sensors, and ASSIST are all on the MOST bus. When Top HiFi is the audio system (Logic 7, harman/kardon, Individual, Enhanced Premium), then that amp receives a MOST input and no analog input (the HU disables its analog inputs when it is coded for Top HiFi).

There have been some 1-series Professional CD players in base-level 128i and 135i for the US market without any of the above devices from the factory - and with a head unit which could not support them. Leaving the MOST fiber-optic hardware out of the Pro CD player would definitely be a cost-saving move.

For an aftermarket MOST device to work, it has to interact properly with everything else on the bus, and the head unit has to be coded to enable said device (BMW, unlike other OEMS, has been disabling anything that wasn't installed from the factory. Mercedes doesn't - everything is enabled whether present or not.)

This is why I say that if you get a MOST device, you want to ensure that there is a firmware version that is tested and approved for your specific model year and equipment list.
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      12-22-2011, 11:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
We have seen some 1-series vehicles in the States with a "Professional"-labeled head unit, but without a MOST port in the Quadlock.
How and where can I confirm if I has MOST or CAN, do I just check the Quadlock behind the HU for Fiber Optic Light when the car is turn on...
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      12-22-2011, 01:03 PM   #8
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All the cars have CAN. The way that I would check for MOST if your car was here is:

- Ask if your car has any of the following factory options: CD changer, 6FL iPod interface, Bluetooth handsfree. (In the US, I would also include Sirius sat radio in pre-2010 cars, and I don't know if the Euro DTV tuner should be on the list).

If you have any of the above, then you HAVE to have MOST.

But if you lack them all, then pulling the head unit and looking at the back of the plug is the way to do it. You don't need to look for light. Unplug the head unit. The Quadlock has a smooth black blank section where the MOST would go (you can look at the MOST connector and see where the two cylindrical holes are for the two cables).
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      12-28-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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KOS-A300??

Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
Unplug the head unit. The Quadlock has a smooth black blank section where the MOST would go (you can look at the MOST connector and see where the two cylindrical holes are for the two cables).
Ok I will be posting up the photo of the Quadlock, but in the mean time I was going to ask VP... I saw this old post

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=201607

About the KOS-A300 I've just read the info on it now never seen it before but it looks super, soo simple and cheap the wholse system including BT is like $200 thats amazing? You said you were doing an install, did you end up doing it? How did it go? How did it sound? As I dont know if the AUX will produce good sound...?

This is a much much cheaper and easier to install system then the Dension or mObridge...
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      12-28-2011, 09:11 PM   #10
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The aux input isn't that good

At least that has been my expierence . Part of the problem could be the source device since its analog . If you normaly listen to 128k mp3 source material and you consider that OK maybe you won't notice it.
Part of the problem comes from the fact the stereo and Hi Fi system in the BMW
is just not that good to start with.
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      12-29-2011, 06:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctuna View Post
At least that has been my expierence . Part of the problem could be the source device since its analog . If you normaly listen to 128k mp3 source material and you consider that OK maybe you won't notice it.
Part of the problem comes from the fact the stereo and Hi Fi system in the BMW
is just not that good to start with.
Hmmm... Yee that's not the case fortunately! Because there is a difference between an analog recording and an analog input/output... Without giving lessons, but seeing alot of people have a little miss conception on here about an AUX connection. I think researching about it would be the best for most. But, Just a quick break down, As I’ve seen a lot of people guess about this and it’s just not true:

First the recording – You have analog or digital recording, the analog is a wave recorded sound through say a microphone, whereas digital is converting these physical properties of sound into the more commonly known digital sequence of numbers e.g. 10001100. Now, not to pull on hairs, the majority of music (e.g. MP3, WAV, WMA etc…) would be digitally recorded and stored digitally. The issue with analog is the "noise" added to the signal. e.g. magnetic fields, type and length of wire etc… But is very rare, little and mostly inaudible as majority of concerts or shows are still set-up in an “analog” state.

The output and connection – Now, the majority of sound connections are what we would call analog e.g. RCA, 3.5mm Jack, Component etc… There is only a hand full of true digital connections that can transfer “real digital” sound data, like HDMI or Optic Fibre, even digital coax isn’t “digital” as it relies on the amp to reassemble the code it sent via pulse. Most of the home cinema system I install or used to install as more and more are now using full digital connectivity were “stereo analog with multi-channel” And is something we do with the amps, as I’m currently running RCA sound input into my AMP (RCA Input A/B). So the only thing that the AUX could be hindering is the fact that it is connected to that annoying BMW factory preset EQ curve, and that I don’t know. If someone could confirm that it would be great…. So if you have an iPod with a HQ song and connect it through the AUX or RCA and play the same song from a CD it is very unlikely you would be able to tell the difference, especially since majority of songs unless it’s been recorded in 5.1 + and you’ve kept the original state as in it hasn’t been converted into MP3 or compressed, you would have a standard stereo mp3 anyway, so digital defeats the original purpose as one of the reasons it was introduced was to solve the issue of carrying 5.1/7.1 channel signal in one cable with 100% accurate deliverability.

So once again if someone could confirm the AUX having any unusual effects or interferences from the way BMW set the car audio up that would help a lot…

And VP, did you do that install that you were talking about for this system (KOS-A300)?

Last edited by Pavlo; 12-29-2011 at 06:57 PM.
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      12-29-2011, 07:32 PM   #12
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Comapring the same tunes from and mp3 at 320 and an HTC

The stuff of the HTC(using the same sound files) through a mini stereo jack going into the AUX input results in a thinner sound and less lows and highs . I don't know if this is because of a weak preamp on the HTC or the cheapness of the HTC's ability to convert digital to analog or the Input Circuitry on the Aux Input on the Head Unit. But other people using other devices on this board have commented that the Aux isn't as good with the sources they have used as the CD with good quality bit rates. For some this is not an issue as they are used to 128k and under mp3.
I wish somebody would test this.
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      12-29-2011, 08:35 PM   #13
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Yes. Very true, from my experience different MP3 and Phones have a different sound signature, even if they are set on flat they each still seem to have a signature sound I guess it’s similar to what the BMW has with its preset EQ.

But the difference is in this case is the Kenwood takes the iPod/iPhone signal song as “raw” mp3 through the OEM cable and then out outputs it… Sound I guess the big question is how good is the output on theKenwood…?
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      01-01-2012, 08:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
The Quadlock has a smooth black blank section where the MOST would go (you can look at the MOST connector and see where the two cylindrical holes are for the two cables).
Ok I have checked and it looks like I have NO MOST Im not sure if thats a good thing or not...
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      01-01-2012, 02:37 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavlo View Post
There is only a hand full of true digital connections that can transfer “real digital” sound data, like HDMI or Optic Fibre, even digital coax isn’t “digital” as it relies on the amp to reassemble the code it sent via pulse.

So once again if someone could confirm the AUX having any unusual effects or interferences from the way BMW set the car audio up that would help a lot…
Coax is digital. SPDIF is a digital standard be it over coax or optical.

As for the AUX inputs keep in mind there are three D/A / A/D conversions taking place where playing a CD will just have one.
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      01-01-2012, 03:36 PM   #16
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You're looking at the wrong end.

You car won't have a Most network if you lack all the below items:

- top HiFi
- Pre-2011 SAT radio
-6FL/6FN iPod
- CD changer
- Bluetooth HF
- ASSIST

but we don't really care if your car has these things. We care if your HU has a port for the MOST cables on the back, WHERE THIS CONNECTOR GOES.

Since I don't want to see that pathetic "confused" emoji again, you should take this to a pro. After reading your comments about digital audio, I'm not going to try to explain this to you any more.
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      01-01-2012, 10:00 PM   #17
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^What's wrong with OP's comments on Analog v Digital?

ctuna at one point I comported my iPhone 3gs (lossless) through my aux to a CD and they sounded the same to me.

I cannot say the same for my iPhone4s, but Ive also retrofitted the bmw station for apple iPhone...havent determined the culprit yet.
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      01-02-2012, 01:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naamanf View Post
Coax is digital. SPDIF is a digital standard be it over coax or optical.

As for the AUX inputs keep in mind there are three D/A / A/D conversions taking place where playing a CD will just have one.
If you noticed I used speech marks to highlight that term, I was just highlighting an interesting point to suggest how things are can vary even within a family. In detail if you want to note this, is the fact that digital coax is affected by distance and/or RF interference, so signal can degrade. Hence these and various other discrepancies can affect the signal while it’s travelling along the cable. This is what I summarized in the above quote.
Digital is mostly recognised as losses signal and format. That is its benefit over analog.

An optical connection is not effect by distance or RF, so it’s the closer to digital and its characteristics. Short, nice and sweet answer.

S/PDIF is a certified over “short distance” (10m) digital “Branded” interconnect made by Sony/Philips partnership to comply with electronic standards with limitations, for consumers. It’s not even 24bit. Only HDMI is the standard for consumer audio and video since it supports uncompressed audio (7.1), and supports Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio otherwise you need 7.1/5.1 channel analog output to come close. Coax and optical are just audio only digital consumer cables with 2.0 LPCM. The main “standard” for transferring digital audio signals is AES3 which can be certified up to something like 1000m (unbalanced I think though). XLR on STP, It’s the professional industry.

But either way you would not be able to tell the difference between digital coax and optical or is quite unlikely. And going back to the post I think the same would apply to AUX vs RCA which is how the CD is played in my cars set-up. It’s not AUX vs CD direct to speakers, it first goes through technics harness to the amp via RCA. So I don’t think there will be difference in quality, maybe if the system was stock then yes it would play CD -> Speaker.
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      01-02-2012, 01:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VP Electricity View Post
You're looking at the wrong end.

You car won't have a Most network if you lack all the below items:


but we don't really care if your car has these things. We care if your HU has a port for the MOST cables on the back WHERE THIS CONNECTOR GOES.
Ok well I was showing and asking about the quadlock because I thought if the car hasn't got MOST and I fit a mObridge with MOST into the HU, I wont be able to control it. I thought I already posted my HU has MOST.

Did you manage to do that KOS-A300 install?

Last edited by Pavlo; 01-02-2012 at 01:32 PM.
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      11-22-2012, 10:40 PM   #20
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Pardon my ignorance

What's the difference between fitting an ipod interface or a usb interface?

I have a 08 335i sedan with just audio aux in center armrest.

Car has professional navigation/I drive. 7logic system , voice control/Bluetooth and satellite radio and preparation for CD changer (no CD changer installed).

So I know I have the MOST unit but not the MULF High (MULF2).

What would be my easiest most cost effective choice:

A) install iPod retrofit kit
B) install 6fl retrofit kit.

I want these to be as close as OEM as possible (steering wheel controls, song I'd etc)

Thanks in advance for all help and input.
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