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BMW hobbyist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone have a recommendation for a new radio for this model, that would feature a Bluetooth setup that would allow radio phone connection, and iPhone music play ability, like you can get on most new cars today? I'm satisfied with the speakers and amp.
 

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You are going to have to be more specific.
Do you have DSP? If yes options are limited without larger changes.
Do you want the OEM head unit? Yes. Search grom or dice. No, whatever you want/afford that will fit the space (double din iirc).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This car has the original radio so I'm guessing I don''t have DSP, whatever that is. I want something to just fill the space.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is really embarrassing, don't laugh. What is the MID?
 

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Hi,

You can either;

1. Buy a premium quality brand like Pioneer, Alpine, Sony, Kenwood, Parrot, Clarion, JVC etc, be it a double or single DIN and install that, using the respective fascia's, install/wiring harnesses etc. Going this route will provide you with modern technology like bluetooth mobile phone calls and audio streaming, GPS, much improved sound quality, SD card or iPod control and playback of music files, proper build quality and after sales care and support should you need it from local, reputable car audio dealers/installers. Downsides are that you don't get 100% oem looks in the dash and the On Board Computer functions aren't retained/can't be shown on the head unit's display.

2. Buy one of the cheap chinese all in one replacement type units awash all over ebay. These are the opposite of the above, with everything about them being low grade/quality. Many examples over multiple forums where owners have purchased and experienced problems and little or no support after the sale. There is a relative 'handful' of owners who purchased and got a fully working unit which then continued to work long term. It's up to you if you take the gamble on one of these. The 'best' choice out of them all is the Dynavin N6 unit and as you are in the USA you should only buy from Jeff at J&T Distributing in Fresno CA as he's the only reseller who offers proper after sales care and support. It's priced at $599 USD. https://www.jandtdistributing.com/c...s-system-97-03-bmw-5-series?variant=779425481. The N6 is able to show a couple of OBC paremeters only, not the full complement.

3. Fit a Tablet/Car PC - More of a project and hobbyist route. You can use a tablet or make a small car PC and even the Raspberry Pi to run software and provide the extra functionality you'd want. You can install software that'll be able to show the full OBC functions on the display.

The oem amplifier is feeble and the oem speakers were medicore when new and if you still have them now, will be well past their best. 'IF' you do have DSP, then the Dynavin N6 is the only aftermarket head unit which can connect to the oem DSP amp albeit it's a bit 'clunky' to do. You'll need to keep the OEM DSP amp if you wish to use the DSP speakers and they're getting old now and failing more often.

Given all the potential routes you could take, then the 'best' in terms of modern features, money Vs performance and reliability gained, Sound Quality increase, after sales care and support, high quality products would be option 2.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I was hoping for some simpler instruction, since I don't want to tamper with the amp or speakers. I still don't know what a DNI, or an MID are. I guess I don't have DSP because I don't have navigation. I do not want to spend anymore money than necessary, the vehicle is only worth $2500 private party on Bluebook. I am mainly interested in getting the Bluetooth phone setup for safety purposes, and still having a radio.
 

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... I still don't know what a DNI (DIN?), or an MID are. I guess I don't have DSP because I don't have navigation. ...
Just for educational purposes...so you (or anyone else that doesn't know) will be on the same page when these topics are mentioned/discussed. :)

The MID (multi-informational display) is the component below that allows you to control your Audio, Phone, Clock, OBC (if so equipped)...and if you have DSP (digital sound processing) option...then there's an additional icon on the top button (same button as AUDIO):


DIN...in regards to audio components refers to size.

Single DIN is a standard that was created by the German standards body Deutsches Institut für Normung (hence the "DIN"), and it specifies a height and width (but not length) for car head units.​

When "single DIN" or "1 DIN" is mentioned...it refers to the common size one usually sees for normal/regular sized radios. When you see "double DIN" mentioned...then it will be twice the size of a single DIN component...usually to accommodate a larger screen or interface surface:

{1 DIN or single DIN}



{Double DIN}

 

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Hi,

Rick - 2 potential routes forward for you;

1. Cheapest - Get a Supertooth sun visor bluetooth speaker. This just clips to your sunvisor and you pair with your phone. When a call comes through the unit has a microphone and a speaker built in. Advantages are you can take it from vehicle to vehicle and there's zero installation. Cost is about $30-50 USD. There's other 'sunvisor' bluetooth units and the Parrot Neo 2 is another good one.

2. If you want to 'add' bluetooth to the existing oem setup, then once you confirm which setup your car has, then look at solutions from GROM, DICE, Dension and mObridge. They provide interfaces to do this and extra's like BT audio streaming and SD card music files playback. They'll need a bit more installation work but nothing overly complex. Typically these are around $200+ to buy and install costs will be extra if you feel you need to get that done.

Cheers, Dennis!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much! You opened up a whole new world of technology for me. I found a highly rated Sound Bot for just $20 at Amazon that does the phone plus streams your iPhone for music.
 

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Thank you so much! You opened up a whole new world of technology for me. I found a highly rated Sound Bot for just $20 at Amazon that does the phone plus streams your iPhone for music.
Soundbot requires an AUX input jack, (headphone type plug) but if you have that, you are set.
Otherwise for pre 2003 cars without the aux jack the Grom is probably the easiest upgrade path without changing out the entire factory stereo.

I did mine in steps, years ago...started with factory Bluetooth back in 2004...crazy expensive back then...like $750 or so. Still works perfectly and pairs with any phone I own.

6 or 7 years ago I removed the cd changer and plugged in a USA Spec Ipod/IPhone adapter. This charges the phone and allows me to play music and audio from my phone. Works great with Waze GPS, Pandora, etc.

If I was starting over, I would get the Grom...that would be way more economical. The plus is you can connect via Bluetooth or cable. But really a cable connection is the way to go so you can be charging at the same time. Running multiple apps while driving will drain you phone down pretty quickly.
 

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ALGhoul
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Hi,

You can either;

1. Buy a premium quality brand like Pioneer, Alpine, Sony, Kenwood, Parrot, Clarion, JVC etc, be it a double or single DIN and install that, using the respective fascia's, install/wiring harnesses etc. Going this route will provide you with modern technology like bluetooth mobile phone calls and audio streaming, GPS, much improved sound quality, SD card or iPod control and playback of music files, proper build quality and after sales care and support should you need it from local, reputable car audio dealers/installers. Downsides are that you don't get 100% oem looks in the dash and the On Board Computer functions aren't retained/can't be shown on the head unit's display.

2. Buy one of the cheap chinese all in one replacement type units awash all over ebay. These are the opposite of the above, with everything about them being low grade/quality. Many examples over multiple forums where owners have purchased and experienced problems and little or no support after the sale. There is a relative 'handful' of owners who purchased and got a fully working unit which then continued to work long term. It's up to you if you take the gamble on one of these. The 'best' choice out of them all is the Dynavin N6 unit and as you are in the USA you should only buy from Jeff at J&T Distributing in Fresno CA as he's the only reseller who offers proper after sales care and support. It's priced at $599 USD. https://www.jandtdistributing.com/c...s-system-97-03-bmw-5-series?variant=779425481. The N6 is able to show a couple of OBC paremeters only, not the full complement.

3. Fit a Tablet/Car PC - More of a project and hobbyist route. You can use a tablet or make a small car PC and even the Raspberry Pi to run software and provide the extra functionality you'd want. You can install software that'll be able to show the full OBC functions on the display.

The oem amplifier is feeble and the oem speakers were medicore when new and if you still have them now, will be well past their best. 'IF' you do have DSP, then the Dynavin N6 is the only aftermarket head unit which can connect to the oem DSP amp albeit it's a bit 'clunky' to do. You'll need to keep the OEM DSP amp if you wish to use the DSP speakers and they're getting old now and failing more often.

Given all the potential routes you could take, then the 'best' in terms of modern features, money Vs performance and reliability gained, Sound Quality increase, after sales care and support, high quality products would be option 2.

Cheers, Dennis!
I have China screen and everything is nice except calling I can hear them well but the hardly can hear me may be I have to spray some electronic cleaner .

Hope it'll do the trick all other things working like a charm installed 2 years- 2 and half year
 

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ive heard that they make blue tooth dongles that can plug in to a 3.5mm aux jack...

If you want wireless, and have aux that is the cheapest easiest way
 

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Do you know what I do have? What is that "tel" button for?
ive heard that they make blue tooth dongles that can plug in to a 3.5mm aux jack...

If you want wireless, and have aux that is the cheapest easiest way
Take your MID out (what you took the picture of) and the radio/cd/tape above it. See if there is an AUX port in the back. If so then plug in your aux player and put everything back (like Burning2nd says). If not, then you either need to get a radio with aux input or one of the other solutions proposed.

The TEL is for the telephone. Likely only prepped but it might be there. Likely it doesn't work either as it uses old protocols.
 

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BMW hobbyist
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have China screen and everything is nice except calling I can hear them well but the hardly can hear me may be I have to spray some electronic cleaner .

Hope it'll do the trick all other things working like a charm installed 2 years- 2 and half year
Thanks for the detailed option list, I appreciate your experience. The $599 option is a non-starter, I know I could get a Pioneer or JVC unit with Bluetooth installed at Best Buy for about $250 to $350. No GPS is OK. You have a much more sophisticated system than I am envisioning, and I'm sure you love it.
 
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