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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 11-11-2010, 04:19 AM
ng247 ng247 is offline
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Location: Bournemouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 325i E90
2005 E90 Early Model Audio Headaches

Hi all, first time post so please go easy I have also spent a few hours trawling through these forums collating info but am in need of some assistance.

Firstly, let me say that I am loving these forums. Great that so many passionate and knowledgable people are helping each other out

I am in the UK and have just bought a RHD 2005 E90 325i (dealer launch car) which has iDrive, BMW Professional Navigation (CD and DVD slots in dashboard) with a 6 CD changer in the boot - all standard from new.

I have been looking into options for upgrading various components as the sound quality is poor, I have no USB or iPhone/iPod control etc and have come across the following problems:

1. MP3 playback. None of my drives will play MP3s in the car. Not the dash CD, dash DVD or 6 CD changer. I have been reading a few posts that say that an iDrive software update may fix this but when I spoke to my local dealer (who originally sold the car back in 2005) they said I have no way of doing this with the BMW hardware. They suggested I try after-market providers. Is this right?

2. Poor sound quality. I have two speakers in the front door (mids), two tweaters also in the front doors and two in the rear shelf (not sure about subs under back seat but have read on here that they should be there). The sound is poor from these and I read that I could use the Alpine speaker & Amp upgrade to make things better (two mids, two tweaters and an amp upgrade). My dealer just said that this counldn't go on my car. Is this right?

3. iPhone integration. I have the bluetooth integration installed and I love being able to make and receive calls in the car. Works a treat However, I was hoping that there was an easy solution to integrating the iPod functions into the car controls and sat nav screen etc but again the dealer said that they could install a glove-box cable that would charge the iPhone and control through the car controls but at the cost of no longer being able to use the 6 CD changer in the boot. This is again at odds with what I have read here. I was considering going with a Dension Gateway 500 to get around this as this now sounds like my best option as I only have an Aux In in the central armrest (though an iPhone charging cradle for a 3G is installed there too it doesn't work with the iPhone 4 - I know a new iPhone cradle is about to come out but again this won't help with iPod control).

Pulling my hair out a little and am hoping that a few of you can give my some guidance on one or more of the above. I would really appreciate it.

Please let me know if any more detail / part numbers / options etc are required to make things clearer and thanks in advance.

Last edited by ng247; 11-11-2010 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Tagging
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  #2  
Old 11-11-2010, 04:48 AM
Technic's Avatar
Technic Technic is offline
Test... 1, 2 ,3
Location: Florida
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 4,903
Mein Auto: 2012 M3 - 2014 528i
The answer to your 1 and 3 questions is the same... your iDrive is very "old" so the only MP3 that you can play with it is thru an iPod/AUX connection. The OEM iPod connection will display MP3 tags and Playlists in your screen, so that could take care of your iPhone integration. Unfortunately OEM iPod integration uses the same CD Changer port so it is either one or the other.

The OEM USB integration is not available for your 2005 iDrive, it is only from 2007-on.

The Dension Gateway 500 is a much better device than the OEM iPod integration.

Answer to question 2: your OEM system seems to be HiFi (OEM amp in the trunk, 10 speakers) therefore the Alpine kit is not applicable as it is for the Stereo system (no OEM amp, 6-speakers). You could directly replace the OEM amp in your car with aftermarket, especifically with the JL Audio XD600/6 and this harness without cutting, splicing, or tapping any OEM wires: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=486152

That will be enough to improve your sound quality, unless your OEM speakers are not good anymore.
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  #3  
Old 11-11-2010, 04:52 AM
ng247 ng247 is offline
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Location: Bournemouth
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 325i E90
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
The answer to your 1 and 3 questions is the same... your iDrive is very "old" so the only MP3 that you can play with it is thru an iPod/AUX connection. The OEM iPod connection will display MP3 tags and Playlists in your screen, so that could take care of your iPhone integration. Unfortunately OEM iPod integration uses the same CD Changer port so it is either one or the other.

The OEM USB integration is not available for your 2005 iDrive, it is only from 2007-on.

The Dension Gateway 500 is a much better device than the OEM iPod integration.

Answer to question 2: your OEM system seems to be HiFi (OEM amp in the trunk, 10 speakers) therefore the Alpine kit is not applicable as it is for the Stereo system (no OEM amp, 6-speakers). You could directly replace the OEM amp in your car with aftermarket, especifically with the JL Audio XD600/6 and this harness without cutting, splicing, or tapping any OEM wires: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=486152

That will be enough to improve your sound quality, unless your OEM speakers are not good anymore.
Awesome response!! Thanks Technic.

I was hoping that someone would make some sense of my ramblings

I will look at the amp upgrade and the Dension looks like a great way forward too.

I really appreciate your thoughts.

Last edited by ng247; 11-11-2010 at 04:56 AM. Reason: Tweak
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  #4  
Old 11-11-2010, 08:40 AM
floydarogers's Avatar
floydarogers floydarogers is offline
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Location: Renton, WA
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,590
Mein Auto: 335d, 328d, Toyota T100
Quote:
Originally Posted by Technic View Post
That will be enough to improve your sound quality, unless your OEM speakers are not good anymore.
The BSW speaker upgrade might add sound quality by replacing the OEM speakers with better ones, if changing the amp doesn't do the trick. That's what they say, haven't heard it myself.

This can all get quite pricey.
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