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X5 E70 (2007 - 2013)
E70 BMW X5 produced between 2007 and 2013. Discuss the E70 X5 with other BMW owners here.

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  #1  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:46 PM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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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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  #2  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:40 PM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Yup, I was just going to say that you can use an A2DP audio gateway.

It's a shame that A2DP came to the X5 so late
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  #3  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:06 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoUnion View Post
Yup, I was just going to say that you can use an A2DP audio gateway.
Any recommendations on which to purchase, besides the BlackBerry one?
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  #4  
Old 11-15-2012, 07:08 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyles View Post
Any recommendations on which to purchase, besides the BlackBerry one?
Nope. Everywhere I look, they suggest the BB one because it's sold at a good price and of high quality. The MB, VW, and Audis used the same gateway before A2DP was introduced.

I looked on Amazon, and there are tons of them from Belkin, Sony, etc.
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  #5  
Old 11-15-2012, 08:18 AM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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+1

I personally don't like BB, so looked to see if others made similar devices . . . everything I read pointed to this BB device.

Sound quality is very subjective - unless one has a very keen ear, one may not notice the difference - i.e. spend money on audio to match your hearing ability.

For talk shows, news programs and podcast I can barely tell the difference between using this BB device and plugging the iPhone straight into the audio jack. Sound quality is impacted more by poor cell coverage than by this device.

I don't know how well this BB Gateway compares to the built-in A2DP in newer cars . . . if I get a loaner that has A2DP I will report back.
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  #6  
Old 01-04-2013, 11:48 PM
bimmerdude7 bimmerdude7 is offline
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Sound quality is very impressive compare to 2-3 other devices i tried. The only problem with all of them is that iphone starts playing automatically when the car starts.

Thanks for the tips.
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  #7  
Old 01-07-2013, 08:32 AM
onebadgix onebadgix is offline
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Thanks!
__________________
2009 X5 3.0si - Sapphire Black/Cinnamon Brown
1998 Corvette - Silver/Black
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  #8  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:13 AM
Jarockster Jarockster is offline
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I use this BT receiver with my iPhone / iPad / Android and it works great. Very slim profile too!
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  #9  
Old 01-09-2013, 07:37 AM
gregsX5 gregsX5 is offline
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A coworker just installed this, and works great. You can't beat it for 15 bucks!
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

(Just be sure to order a male-to-male USB cable with it, for power.)
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  #10  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:12 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsX5 View Post
A coworker just installed this, and works great. You can't beat it for 15 bucks!
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
From user reviews, you have to manually connect to it every time you get in your car. Not very convenient (I know I know, 1st world problem, but still).
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  #11  
Old 01-09-2013, 08:14 AM
gregsX5 gregsX5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smyles View Post
From user reviews, you have to manually connect to it every time you get in your car. Not very convenient (I know I know, 1st world problem, but still).
Not true. It connects automatically when you power it up (i.e. turn on the ignition).
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  #12  
Old 01-09-2013, 09:33 AM
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AutoUnion AutoUnion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsX5 View Post
A coworker just installed this, and works great. You can't beat it for 15 bucks!
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2

(Just be sure to order a male-to-male USB cable with it, for power.)
I think the RIM one might be better. I don't trust monoprice's quality.
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  #13  
Old 01-19-2013, 10:29 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregsX5 View Post
A coworker just installed this, and works great. You can't beat it for 15 bucks!
http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...seq=1&format=2
Ok, I got this unit and after few days of use I can definitely recommend it. It's not pretty and rather bulky - I assume it's due to AC adapter inside, - but the sound quality is surprisingly good, it remembers multiple devices and does connect automatically, although the latter is not 100% as when tested on a blackberry the phone prompted for connect manually... maybe there's a setting somewhere to address it, dunno, let blackberry fans deal with it...
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  #14  
Old 01-20-2013, 09:58 AM
skiier3_9 skiier3_9 is offline
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With the monoprice or other BT audio devices, does it let you control the phone via the BMW radio/steering wheel? For example - can can you skip tracks, go back/forth, see the album art, etc. or does that all have to happen via the phone?

I'm looking at a 2010 X5 and if the BT audio stuff is limited until the MY11 models (after the date above) - I may hold off...
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2013, 03:50 AM
smyles smyles is offline
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No, it's just for audio transmittal.
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2013, 09:24 AM
RPsX5d RPsX5d is offline
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+1 . . . only volume control can be done via the steering controls, everything else via the iPhone.

An interesting feature - my iPhone 5 establishes two BT connections - one with BB Music Gateway for music and the other with the car's BT (X5 MY2011, June 2010 build) for telephone. When a call comes in it does the right thing - mutes the music BT and the phone works like it always did via the car's speaker/microphone and you can hang up using iDrive, etc. Once the call is completed it flips back to the BB Music BT and resumes the song.

I suspect this switching back and forth feature between two BT channels is phone specific . . . may not work the same on older phones.
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  #17  
Old 04-13-2013, 05:15 PM
philooo philooo is offline
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Is there any hack that can be done via BMW coding or other 3rd party reseller to retrofit the A2DP blue tooth streaming to early build 2010 X5 ?

I'd love to avoid using all these small gizmos if I can...
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  #18  
Old 04-17-2014, 10:28 PM
Bmiah05 Bmiah05 is online now
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Is there way of having BMW changing the radio unit it self ??
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