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I'm in the market for an E61, and right now I'm mostly dismissing cars with CCC iDrive because I think it's significantly more dated looking than CIC. The CIC retrofit is too expensive to be worth doing imo, but I'm wondering if an android head unit could improve things for less money. My main concern is audio quality, as I've read several threads talking about how the audio quality isn't that good, since it piggybacks off the car's aux input. Are there any good head units that don't have this problem? Thanks!
 

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2006 530xi 6 MT
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IMO, forget about an Android head unit. You must have a working CCC or CIC for many of the car's functions. These functions, like TPMS, A/C, etc are not replaced with equivalent functionality in the Android head unit. That means you need both the CCC/CIC and the Android head unit is just a fancy radio/GPS on the side. That's also why it comes in through the Aux. The amplifier and so many parts of the car's electronics are very integrated, which also makes adding or swapping out something very difficult. Further, these Android head units are loaded with software and not sold in large enough numbers for them to be rock solid. If you are looking for Bluetooth audio streaming, there are much easier options.
 

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Depending on your uses for the Android units they can work well. I am fairly happy with mine. It’s easy to switch between Android and CCC by holding the menu button on the idrive controller for a few seconds. I got mine because I wanted to use Wireless CarPlay and i have it in that mode 95% of the time that I’m driving. The idrive controller works inside CarPlay which is a plus. I’m no audiophile but the audio sounds fine to me and yes, it uses aux-in. I programmed one of my memory buttons for aux so that it is easy to switch to that audio source.
 

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Why would you dismiss anything with CCC when CIC was only in 2010...Honestly, the headunit should be the least of your worries when buying a 10+ year old BMW...
 

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Depending on your uses for the Android units they can work well. I am fairly happy with mine. It’s easy to switch between Android and CCC by holding the menu button on the idrive controller for a few seconds. I got mine because I wanted to use Wireless CarPlay and i have it in that mode 95% of the time that I’m driving. The idrive controller works inside CarPlay which is a plus. I’m no audiophile but the audio sounds fine to me and yes, it uses aux-in. I programmed one of my memory buttons for aux so that it is easy to switch to that audio source.
I'll concur on everything here. For under $600 you get Carplay/Android Auto retrofitted into a 15 year old car. And as stated earlier, it just replaces the existing display. You still need the working CIC/CCC for it to work. And I am no audiophile either, but the sound is fine. It splices right into the aux audio on the cable for the head unit so it doesn't need to passed out to the physical aux on the car. Is it a little wonky? Yes. I have a 2013 X3 w/ Nav and all the bells and whistles. The Nav on that is wretched compared to Google nav. Frankly, anything today w/o Carplay or Android Auto is simply going to feel like a trash UI.
 

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All you really need is a Bluetooth audio streaming device hooked to the Aux input and a smartphone with Google maps talking to the phone Bluetooth. I have a small mount that is hooked to my center left vent. All that will run you less than $100 and very little hassle.
 

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I just did some work on the '06 530xiT. I bought the cable from technicpnp. It runs everything from the dash to the trunk and back again. I added a 3 channel equalizer and used 3 ancient a/d/s amps I had. I am still tweaking but the sound is greatly improved. I left the factory speakers as they are pretty good. It's not quite where I want it but it will get there.
My aux in sounds awful compared to CD. I still haven't quite figured that part out.
 
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