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Old 11-14-2012, 01:46 PM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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Location: Bay Area California
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 1,043
Mein Auto: X5 Diesel xDrive35d
iPhone 5 - Streaming Bluetooth (BT) Audio In a X5 Without BT Enabled CIC / Combox

Thought this post might help folks who are trying to stream music via Bluetooth (BT) in a X5 that is *not* equipped with a BT audio enabled CIC/Combox (i.e. no built-in A2DP).

My objective:
  • Stream audio from my iPhone 5 without having to connect any cables each time I step into the car AND use the phone like I always did via iDrive and steering controls. (Yes iPhone 5 can connect to two BT devices simultaneously)
  • Use devices I already own and keep the cost down to the barest minimum.

What I already had:
  • 2011 MY X5, June 2010 build, came with this Y-cable. My June 2010 built X5 does not have BT audio . . . BT audio started showing up after October 2010 build date
  • iPhone 5 - it has the lightening connector, does not fit the Y cable.
  • An old iPod from the junk pile whose battery is shot

What I had to buy:
  • Scosche USB charger that plugs into the cigarette lighter This is a low profile USB charger - if you use it in the socket next to the ashtray the sliding cover will *not* slide shut.
  • Note - not all USB chargers are the same - read this. Your choice will depend on whether you have an Android device or an Apple device and whether you want to charge at full power.
  • Blackberry Music Gateway - I was very surprised with the sound quality - I was expecting BT to degrade the sound quality.
  • Yes I could have used the lightening to 30-pin connector adapter to connect my iPhone 5 to the existing Y-cable . . . but that still meant I have to manually connect my iPhone 5 each time I stepped into the car.
To avoid any sound quality degradation I still have my iPod inside the armrest compartment.

If I didn't want to switch back and forth between the audio outputs from the BB Music Gateway and the iPod, I could use a switch like this one. Not sure whether using this switch will degrade the sound quality . . . . or if there is a better solution to plug two audio devices to the same 3.5mm audio jack inside the armrest compartment. I didn't want to try a simple splitter (like this one used to share an iPad) . . . I will be using it in reverse - instead of splitting one source into two listening devices, I am connecting two devices to one listening device. Not sure whether this will damage the car and/or the connected audio devices, hence did not try it. Comments anyone?

If others have other solutions or ideas to further improve the set up I describe above, please chime in.

PS: I listen to NPR all the time - NPR has a great iPhone app . . . I load the playlist before I get to the car . . . this way I can easily time-shift my favorite shows.

Last edited by RPsX5d; 11-14-2012 at 10:15 PM.
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