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Thread: Bluetooth Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Cape Town, South Africa
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    Bluetooth Questions

    Dear Zhp friends,

    I am aware that this is quite a well discussed topic and have done quite a bit of searching and reading across a few forums as to what the options are for bluetooth calls as well as A2DP streaming. My questions are about the nuances of some the avialable options which aren't always specifically referred to in the existing threads and reviews.

    Having seen how nice it can be to have both bluetooth calls and A2DP streaming in a newer vehicle of mine, I'd really like to have bluetooth in my recently acquired E46.

    My car is a 2004 european spec 330i M-sport which is not prewired for bluetooth as far as I can tell. Unlucky. I currently have a connects2 device that allows me to plug in my iPhone to play music, and the volume and track skipping buttons work on both the steering wheel and headunit. Brilliant.

    I am fine with the wired solution that I currently have to play music from my phone, so my priority is mostly on getting bluetooth phone call support.

    My research indicated the following are options:

    1) OEM Bluetooth retrofit (bimmernav).
    This would be great in that if would give perfect OEM integration, where the radio automatically mutes, the caller shows on teh radio screen and the call quality is good. For a car that is not prewired, it is something like 800USD though from bimmernav.

    2) Parrot CK3000 + connects steering wheel control
    This seemed like the perfect option as it looks like it behaves almost identically to the OEM system where the radio automatically mutes when you get a phone call, and the steering wheel buttons work, etc. I've been a bit put off by reading that the call quality is not great though. It also doesnt support A2DP streaming, but that is not the end of the world for me.

    Questions:
    Would this work in addition to my connects2 ipod connection?
    How bad is the call quality while driving? Maybe if I mount the microphone on the steering column the quality will be better?

    3) Connects2 CTABMBT007
    Again I thought this would be the perfect device to replace my existing ipod connection. It supports A2DP streaming, and you can skip tracks on your phone using the steering wheel/headunit track up/down buttons while it is streaming, so quite OEM-like. It also supports bluetooth phone calls. The only problem is that when you get a phonecall, if you are listening to the radio, then you would need to manually change the source to the device (cd changer) to take the call. That kind of ruins it for me.. i want the system to handle a call automatically. If only it behaved like the parrot systems in this case.

    4) Parrot MKi9000
    Again, I thought I had found the perfect solution where the call quality is improved over the CK3000, and unit automatically takes over when you receive a call, and the UNIKA for steering wheel controls and supports A2DP streaming as an added benefit. That is until I read the following from this thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1102103

    "Note: When you´re streaming music from your phone, your radio basically locks out, you cannot control music volume using the knob, only the steering wheel buttons work, also you cannot access audio options, change audio source etc. but there is a solution for this if you want the MKi9000 to route the music through the standard bmw aux in port (speed vol enabled) and handle calls as usual. (i will post that later). "

    He never did post what the solution to that was, and i dont like the fact that when im streaming music or on the phone, the radio locks out and only the steering wheel controls work (which then control the parrot device). I want to be able to cycle between sources and change volume on the headunit always.

    5) GROM, Dice, etc.. I have not looked into these in great detail but my understanding is that you have to manually switch the source to them if you want to take a phone call over bluetooth, so similar constraint to the Connects2 device.

    It seems that only teh parrot systems can mute / take control of the system when a phone call comes through.

    I know I am being fanatical about the details, but these little things really matter to me and attribute the overall experience. I dont like these systems (like the parrot 9000) which where they are almost their own system on their own, and you can wade through their own menus and things are complicated. I really just want an OEM-like solution where if im listening to the Radio, and a phone call comes through, it mutes and allows me to answer using one easy button. And the radio volume can still be controlled while in bluetooth mode etc.

    A2DP streaming is really nice, but I can live without it as the options which support it all have some kind of compromise in the details (Connects2, parrot 9000).

    So, advice?
    2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Helena, AL
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    633
    another option: replacing the headunit with an aftermarket unit with BT & A2DP. This can vary from your normal Pioneer/Alpine/JVC/Kenwood/etc. type of headunits to an Eonon/Dynavin/etc. Android/WindowCE based E46 specific unit

    Frank W.

    Present
    2003 BMW 530iA Saphirschwarz Metallic

    Past
    2006 BMW 330ci ZHP 6MT Silbergrau Metallic
    2014 BMW X1 xDrive35i ///M-Sport Mineralgrau Metallic
    2011 BMW 328i 6MT ///M-Sport Alpenweiss
    1999 BMW ///M Roadster Estorilblau Metallic


    plus an assortment of VW, Honda, Mazda, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, and others over the years


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Picton, ON
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adi View Post
    3) Connects2 CTABMBT007
    Again I thought this would be the perfect device to replace my existing ipod connection. It supports A2DP streaming, and you can skip tracks on your phone using the steering wheel/headunit track up/down buttons while it is streaming, so quite OEM-like. It also supports bluetooth phone calls. The only problem is that when you get a phonecall, if you are listening to the radio, then you would need to manually change the source to the device (cd changer) to take the call. That kind of ruins it for me.. i want the system to handle a call automatically. If only it behaved like the parrot systems in this case.
    first off, thanks for taking the effort to post all of this info - it sounds awesome, and i really like the sound of the Connects2 unit you mentioned above - personally, i never listen to the radio so that bit above doesn't bother me.

    one unit that someone here mentioned a while back, is this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181863204665...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    i haven't bought one yet, but it appears to do everything the Connects2 unit does, and perhaps it's the one you're looking for?


    Quote Originally Posted by fw_fw View Post
    another option: replacing the headunit with an aftermarket unit with BT & A2DP. This can vary from your normal Pioneer/Alpine/JVC/Kenwood/etc. type of headunits to an Eonon/Dynavin/etc. Android/WindowCE based E46 specific unit
    yeah, i've thought about those units but some folks like the stock head unit. i do - it's simple, it works, and i personally can't stand the big screen at night. too bright. i have very light-sensitive eyes, so any light in the car at night impacts my outward visibility.
    peter



    2005 BMW 325iT M Sport 5MT | japanrot mit schwarz leder | 1/7, canadian-spec | MTechII
    future 330iT ZHP.

    2004 BMW 325iT Sport 5MT | black sapphire metallic mit schwarz leder | 1/6, canadian-spec
    the wife's new daily.

    2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited | silver on black leather with BT, 7 seats and massive rubber
    the tank.

  4. #4
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    Location
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    Quote Originally Posted by slater View Post

    yeah, i've thought about those units but some folks like the stock head unit. i do - it's simple, it works, and i personally can't stand the big screen at night. too bright. i have very light-sensitive eyes, so any light in the car at night impacts my outward visibility.
    The Dynavin has an Autodimmer that can dim the display with the headlights coming on.....

    I don't have one either, as a GROM & iPhone mount for under $200 provides the same functionality plus keeps the stock look, which I like as well

    Frank W.

    Present
    2003 BMW 530iA Saphirschwarz Metallic

    Past
    2006 BMW 330ci ZHP 6MT Silbergrau Metallic
    2014 BMW X1 xDrive35i ///M-Sport Mineralgrau Metallic
    2011 BMW 328i 6MT ///M-Sport Alpenweiss
    1999 BMW ///M Roadster Estorilblau Metallic


    plus an assortment of VW, Honda, Mazda, Chevrolet, Nissan, Toyota, and others over the years


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    15,145
    I had the Parrot 31XX and the Connects2, worked just fine but I do have a vert so it was not the best for them to hear me, but when top was up it was OK... not great, but workable. Probably if you did heavy wheel time with tons of calls, it might not be best. But for the occasional call it was fine. I also had the DICE unit with that, and mine worked fine too, again not heavy use. Selecting songs off the menu was not great, but you could do it off the iPod so that was ok. This should probably be in our ICE section but I'll leave it here for the best visibility then move it later.
    Randeaux/Rando/John/jr - '06 Cic ZHP; Southern California
    "ZHP or not, I still like you"


    ZHP Performance Package, Cold Weather Package, Leather, Jet Black/Black/BlackCube, NAV
    AA Tune, Sprint Booster, Gruppe M Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan TB & STEP S/W, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit & Spacers, UCC Sway Bars
    Dynavin D99+, Hardwire V1 (w/V1 Connection)
    BMW Performance Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan Delete

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by fw_fw View Post
    another option: replacing the headunit with an aftermarket unit with BT & A2DP. This can vary from your normal Pioneer/Alpine/JVC/Kenwood/etc. type of headunits to an Eonon/Dynavin/etc. Android/WindowCE based E46 specific unit
    Thank you for the suggestion, they are indeed an option. I must admit, all the android based units I find terrible, as the OS is just not optimized for the in-car use case. Obviously it is my opinion. The Dynavin N6 is probably teh best of the bunch because it just does a few things quite well.. the only thing that puts me off it is the cost and the awful sheen that the screen has. If the N6 had the same glare resistance and brightness as the Mk4 OEM nav, it would be prefect.
    Last edited by Adi; 09-15-2016 at 07:19 AM.
    2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT

  7. #7
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    Apr 2016
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    Oh, and I also want to keep things looking as OEM as possible, so that rules out the non-chinese aftermarket headunits.
    2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by slater View Post
    one unit that someone here mentioned a while back, is this one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/181863204665...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    i haven't bought one yet, but it appears to do everything the Connects2 unit does, and perhaps it's the one you're looking for?
    If this unit does auto muting when a phone call comes through then it would be perfect. Thank you for the suggestion.
    2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Picton, ON
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    4,655
    Quote Originally Posted by Adi View Post
    If this unit does auto muting when a phone call comes through then it would be perfect. Thank you for the suggestion.
    to clarify, the Connects2 unit does this when playing music via bluetooth, correct? just not when using the radio/CD?
    peter



    2005 BMW 325iT M Sport 5MT | japanrot mit schwarz leder | 1/7, canadian-spec | MTechII
    future 330iT ZHP.

    2004 BMW 325iT Sport 5MT | black sapphire metallic mit schwarz leder | 1/6, canadian-spec
    the wife's new daily.

    2003 Mitsubishi Montero Limited | silver on black leather with BT, 7 seats and massive rubber
    the tank.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
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    Posts
    77
    Quote Originally Posted by slater View Post
    to clarify, the Connects2 unit does this when playing music via bluetooth, correct? just not when using the radio/CD?
    I believe so, yes.
    2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW M3 Coupe 6MT
    Ex. 2004 BMW 330i M-sport 6MT

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