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-   -   Aftermarket Stereo in X3 (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=369106)

loci 05-16-2009 04:56 PM

Aftermarket Stereo in X3
 
I am thinking of installing an aftermarket stereo in my '07 X3.

I am looking for a stereo with bluetooth, usb, ipod connector.

Pros:
- I don't have bluetooth and buying a bluetooth module costs more than an advanced stereo /w bluetooth.
- The aux connector is in the back of the center console. With a new stereo with Aux/Ipod connector on the unit will be more convenient.

Cons:
- An aftermarket stereo will most likely be a DIN size that won't look as nice as the BMW unit.
- The audio controls or bluetooth steering wheel controls might not work
- RDS might not work with the aftermarket unit

Any ideas on what I should do? Basically, I am deciding to do this because of the bluetooth connectivity in the car. I feel around ~$1000.00 CDN for an OEM bluetooth module is really not worth the price. I can spend $500-600 on a decent unit that can provide everything I want.

Any recommendations and pictures of what others have done? I would like to see what an aftermarket unit in the X3 will look like.

Thanks!

Evlengr 05-16-2009 06:45 PM

3 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by loci (Post 4187928)
I am thinking of installing an aftermarket stereo in my '07 X3.

I am looking for a stereo with bluetooth, usb, ipod connector.

Pros:
- I don't have bluetooth and buying a bluetooth module costs more than an advanced stereo /w bluetooth.
- The aux connector is in the back of the center console. With a new stereo with Aux/Ipod connector on the unit will be more convenient.

Cons:
- An aftermarket stereo will most likely be a DIN size that won't look as nice as the BMW unit.
- The audio controls or bluetooth steering wheel controls might not work
- RDS might not work with the aftermarket unit

Any ideas on what I should do? Basically, I am deciding to do this because of the bluetooth connectivity in the car. I feel around ~$1000.00 CDN for an OEM bluetooth module is really not worth the price. I can spend $500-600 on a decent unit that can provide everything I want.

Any recommendations and pictures of what others have done? I would like to see what an aftermarket unit in the X3 will look like.

Thanks!


All of the above can be done for the price listed. In your case I recommend the Alpine CDA-9886 http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500CDA9...6.html?tp=5684

It will do everything you are talking about minus RDS. The steering control interface costs an additional $80 and much can be added later on. The face plate I chose was for the Z4 which is off center since I later placed cradle to hold my phone on the right hand side.

This is my second install in an X3 (the first an AT 07 X3, and the second an MT 08 X3).

The sound will be ten times better than what you currently have (even if its the premium set up).

Here are three pictures: Two are my installed HU's, the other what is in your vehicle now.

The installation kits cost all of $20.00 faceplate and $40 wiring harness (all numbers in US currency).


Please feel free to PM.

EE

mybavauto 05-16-2009 08:02 PM

if u want to still use single DIN, get one of the alpines. for double DIN, eclipse makes the best sh!t. their expensive but its worth it. a good deck results in a good stereo. the double DIN's have EVERYTHING. you can still get alot from a single DIN as well. the double DIN eclipse's have bluetooth, backup camera, ipod, xm/sirus, navigation, usb, hd radio, etc!

loci 05-16-2009 10:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evlengr (Post 4188120)
All of the above can be done for the price listed. In your case I recommend the Alpine CDA-9886 http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500CDA9...6.html?tp=5684

It will do everything you are talking about minus RDS. The steering control interface costs an additional $80 and much can be added later on. The face plate I chose was for the Z4 which is off center since I later placed cradle to hold my phone on the right hand side.

This is my second install in an X3 (the first an AT 07 X3, and the second an MT 08 X3).

The sound will be ten times better than what you currently have (even if its the premium set up).

Here are three pictures: Two are my installed HU's, the other what is in your vehicle now.

The installation kits cost all of $20.00 faceplate and $40 wiring harness (all numbers in US currency).


Please feel free to PM.

EE

Thanks for the pics and recommendation Evlengr! The Alpine unit seems impressive although it would have been nice to see the display in red to match the X3's back-lights.

How difficult was it to bring the usb/ipod wire up to the storage bin? That would be very nice. With the alpine unit in the specs it states Apline bluetooth adapter for bluetooth connectivity, not sure what that means but can I simple connect my phone to the unit and expect my contacts to sync and caller-id to work?

loci 05-16-2009 10:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mybavauto (Post 4188318)
if u want to still use single DIN, get one of the alpines. for double DIN, eclipse makes the best sh!t. their expensive but its worth it. a good deck results in a good stereo. the double DIN's have EVERYTHING. you can still get alot from a single DIN as well. the double DIN eclipse's have bluetooth, backup camera, ipod, xm/sirus, navigation, usb, hd radio, etc!

I really like the double DIN units, but I don't think I can install it in the X3, there just isn't space. So i guess for single DIN units, you can't beat Alpines?

bettnugs 05-17-2009 08:03 AM

Thumbs up on Evlengr's assessment.

I've got the Alpine 9884. Very happy with the sound and the ipod integration. Didn't attempt to do the install myself however. Left that to the professionals. True, the unit looks a bit out of place in the dash compared to the stock unit, but the sound more than makes up for it.

minicrazy592 05-17-2009 11:43 AM

Aftermarkets are not for me. I like my factory look where everything matches. I won't even buy a car with it done to it. Imagine how hard its been to find an E30 with its factory radio intact:rofl:

JVergence 05-17-2009 12:33 PM

Does an after market installation impact either the 4/50 or CPO warranties???

Thanks for the feedback.

JV

Evlengr 05-17-2009 03:55 PM

Nope.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by JVergence (Post 4189638)
Does an after market installation impact either the 4/50 or CPO warranties???

Thanks for the feedback.

JV

No they don't in the US. They will tell you they do but the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act protects you from that. The only thing that it may void is the audio components.

They tried that on me when I confronted them with the AT issues a while back until I let them know they were misinformed. They immediately apologized and backed off.

As long as you don't short out the wiring or hack anything your are safe.

If youare unsure, have an insured professional do it. That way if something goes wrong they pay for it.

EE

JVergence 05-18-2009 12:53 PM

Does anyone have any experience or opinions to share about the Pioneer DEH-P6100BT???

Thanks.

JV

Evlengr 05-18-2009 01:22 PM

The model I had prior to my current Alpine was a Pioneer. Very nice HU. In fact it is now being installed to a third owner.

In my personal and professional experience I have had great experiences with Pioneer electronics.

They are built well and offer good functionality.

I am very impressed that they have incorporated RDS into an after-market radio.

It's only drawback for me would be that it only has 2 and not 3 RCA inputs.

How much are they asking for it?

JVergence 05-18-2009 01:40 PM

How much are they asking for it?

The average price appears to be $260-.

JV

shamernj 05-18-2009 01:48 PM

I have a Pioneer HU installed on my boat - the DEH-P6900UB which requires a BT adapter. Nice HU and integrates with the Ipod well although with 500+ albums on my Ipod it takes a long time to scroll. The sound is good but not great - I also have a Mac Mini with external DAC that sound much better in the Aux port than the Ipod connected through the USB port (both using the same Apple Lossless audio files). The pioneer takes the sound out of the Ipod as digital and uses the internal DAC in the HU. Maybe not fair to compare it to a dedicated external DAC though.

Another option would be this Alpine unit:

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500EX10...ne-eX-10.html?

It can use FM transmission for the signal but you'd need the minijack to an Aux in for better quality. The page in Crutchfield even says this - "You can select either blue or red for the background color - the red option makes the eX-10 look right at home on the dash of an Audi or BMW". Don't know how good the DAC is on this though. I imagine the interface is similar to Evlengr's Alpine but this uses a remote control as opposed to controls on an HU. Could be good if it can be installed in the tray above the dash like a lot have done with navigation units - giving you all the Ipod integration and sound quality without affecting the aesthetics.

Stuart

JVergence 05-18-2009 10:47 PM

And what is the consensus regarding built-in or visor mounted mics for BT??? I'm slightly apprehensive about fishing a mic cable through the A pillar to the driver visor. On the other hand, the pickup quality has to be superior with the visor mounting.

BTW, where does BMW locate the mic in their option package??

Thanks again.

JV

Evlengr 05-18-2009 10:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVergence (Post 4193931)
And what is the consensus regarding built-in or visor mounted mics for BT??? I'm slightly apprehensive about fishing a mic cable through the A pillar to the driver visor. On the other hand, the pickup quality has to be superior with the visor mounting.

BTW, where does BMW locate the mic in their option package??

Thanks again.

JV

9 out of 10 engineers agree the visor mount are better, lol. Seriously, an external mic will be superior in noise rejection and pick up.

leeor 05-18-2009 11:04 PM

PM me, i sell car stereo, and i ship. Let me know what you need.

legalfee 05-19-2009 07:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JVergence (Post 4193931)
And what is the consensus regarding built-in or visor mounted mics for BT??? I'm slightly apprehensive about fishing a mic cable through the A pillar to the driver visor. On the other hand, the pickup quality has to be superior with the visor mounting.

BTW, where does BMW locate the mic in their option package??

Thanks again.

JV

The built in mic is in the overhead (or 3 pin connector if you don't have a mic).
http://forum.scbar.org/family/mic.jpg

loci 05-19-2009 11:33 AM

With the alpine unit in the specs it states Apline bluetooth adapter for bluetooth connectivity is required, does that mean I need another wire hanging out from the back of the unit? In that case, a ~$300 parrot system just for bluetooth seems like a better option.

loci 05-19-2009 01:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loci (Post 4195189)
With the alpine unit in the specs it states Apline bluetooth adapter for bluetooth connectivity is required, does that mean I need another wire hanging out from the back of the unit? In that case, a ~$300 parrot system just for bluetooth seems like a better option.

The bluetooth adapter for that Alpine is an additional $170.

I was just told by my SA that the warranty on any audio equipment will no longer be covered if I modify anything. That includes the Parrot bluetooth module. In that case, I will probably just go with some external bluetooth speaker/car kit for now and when my warranty is done, I will install an after-market unit for sure.

Evlengr 05-19-2009 03:37 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by loci (Post 4195612)
The bluetooth adapter for that Alpine is an additional $170.

I was just told by my SA that the warranty on any audio equipment will no longer be covered if I modify anything. That includes the Parrot bluetooth module. In that case, I will probably just go with some external bluetooth speaker/car kit for now and when my warranty is done, I will install an after-market unit for sure.

He is correct. They can void the warranty on your audio system, but if you look at the pictures of who makes it, who really cares, Lol.:rofl:

loci 05-20-2009 07:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evlengr (Post 4195929)
He is correct. They can void the warranty on your audio system, but if you look at the pictures of who makes it, who really cares, Lol.:rofl:

LOL!! :rofl: :rofl:

skitime 05-20-2009 08:00 PM

After reading this thread, I'm starting to think of changing out the head unit, mainly for a decent Ipod control. I looked at some of the Pioneer and Alpine units, and had a question. I guess they both can use the steeering wheel controls, but what happens with bluetooth? I have it in the car already, would the info still display on the new head unit? Any preferences between Pioneer or Alpine? Thanks!

Evlengr 05-20-2009 10:57 PM

Fab
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by skitime (Post 4199927)
After reading this thread, I'm starting to think of changing out the head unit, mainly for a decent Ipod control. I looked at some of the Pioneer and Alpine units, and had a question. I guess they both can use the steeering wheel controls, but what happens with bluetooth? I have it in the car already, would the info still display on the new head unit? Any preferences between Pioneer or Alpine? Thanks!

I like and have used both. Most of the H/U have "cafeteria" type add on features.

SatRad is a module--Bluetooth is a module -- steering control is a module. Don't let this scare you since these modules are plug and play and about the size of box matches.

It comes down to features when you are in the $300 price point between the two.

The specs are so close it is almost imperceptible.

For instance Pioneer offers RDS whereas the Alpine has a large display that shows the same thing your iPod reads out.

Alpine offers a special featureI really like that will acoustically test the interior of your car and compensate for poor speaker placement and iPods high compression.

Pioneer offers great controls for tone for the personal touch.

If you like pick some models and I will give you features advantages and benefits explantions--aka FAB

EE:)

JVergence 05-24-2009 03:07 PM

Are there any strong opinions about the best way to route/run an external microphone??? Some apparently go inside the A pillar; others route in the gap without removing the A pillar cover. And in either case, does any special consideration need to be given to air bags??

Also, some prefer to mount the mic on the mirror; some on the visor. Has anyone had the opportunity to compare the two for pickup quality???

Thanks again for all the feedback!!

JV

sna77 05-25-2009 07:10 AM

I'll be the lone voice and say it...

I think aftermarket decks look really bad in the X3... I hate how they aren't centered, and there is a big stretch of black plastic that doesn't match anything else in the interior...

- You can route an aux cable wherever you want in the car.
- Adding OEM Bluetooth is $250. It works much better than the Parrot system, and the steering wheel integration / voice recognition is fantastic.


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