bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

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bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby matt » 19 May 2014, 23:59

HI all,
My car has bluetooth audio built in which is great for phone calls but does not do audio mp3 from spotify / itunes etc. BOO :(

I have a spare cigarette lighter in my arm rest that I can use to power a bluetooth to 3.5mm adapter (also in arm rest as long as it is slim line, ideally will just have it plugged in and tucked away, or I could go an fm transmitter route.

I think either solution would have a pairing conflict as if I paired it to the adapter, it would no longer then pair with the car for audio, or can I have two bluetooth devices paired at the same time?

Phone is the iphone 5c.

car is 2008 320d.

the arm rest has a space for a phone connecter in it, but assume that would be expensive and then ends up locking my phone in the arm rest, no good for music etc
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby Johnmcl7 » 20 May 2014, 01:14

I'm not sure what the Iphone 5c can do pairing wise as Apple's bluetooth implementation can be limited, what you're proposing is certainly possible within the bluetooth specification - it's worth having a look what options you have when your Iphone is paired with a device, on my phone for each paired device I can configure it for phone, media or both. So for my bluetooth headset I have it configured for phone only which means if it's the only BT device, the media will play through the phone speakers. The car is configured for both but if there's an existing connection that takes precedence so if I start up the car with the BT headset active, the car will only handle media but if I power the headset off before starting the car, both calls and media will go through the car stereo.

The FM transmitter is nothing like BT, there's no pairing - it simply broadcasts a short range radio wave which the head unit can pick up. I went this route with the Octavia as there was no aux in on my model but it was generally pretty crap, the quality at best wasn't great and the quality could drop considerably as the connection was subject to a lot of interference. I never found a completely unique frequency which meant when I was travelling any distance I'd need to re-adjust the frequency to avoid other broadcasts.

I haven't used BT for a wireless line-in, obviously BT can be a bit fiddly and it depends on how good the phone implementation is whether it's going to be workable or not.

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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby robbo » 20 May 2014, 01:44

I'll second John's FM transmitter comment: they're crap. Not used bluetooth myself so could only recommend some sort of cable aux-in.
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby Tappy » 20 May 2014, 09:35

I think everyone is looking at this from the wrong perspective... have you considered getting a new car?
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby matt » 20 May 2014, 10:56

NO! Bimmer is staying.

Someone did say putting in a headunit from a new model but that just sounded drastic.

can't see an obvious option to replace the headunit with aftermarket either and want to avoid a parrot kit as I already have bluetooth phone audio built in... Quite like the stock look...
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby EviL Ras » 20 May 2014, 13:18

If its like our Audi TT then you cant stream music via bluetooth, only calls. you have to buy the big £1000 system to do the full phone thingy!

Better off with an AUX plug!
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby matt » 20 May 2014, 22:16

EviL Ras wrote:If its like our Audi TT then you cant stream music via bluetooth, only calls. you have to buy the big £1000 system to do the full phone thingy!

Better off with an AUX plug!


yep, looks like cars are still 5 years behind the times...

I can shut the armrest with the 3.5mm cable sticking out the side so tempted to go super cheap and just use that as you guys suggest.

it is messy having the cable run up the front of the unit, but its really only long journeys that I use music for and in that case I have the phone charger cable and screen mount set up anyways so it's just a case of one extra wire tucked to the side.

Next time I'll have to get the bmw xdrive or whatever they call it!

Edit: the really annoying thing is that google maps sat nav app gets around it by setting up a temporary call so the bluetooth audio kicks in for each time a direction is needed, it still comest through the main speakers. Gutted spotify Et al can't do the same.
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby Southwestwall » 20 May 2014, 22:42

I bit the bullet some time ago and installed an after-market head unit with aux and USB. All those plug-in-tacky-extra-widget and unreliable-bluetooth-from-device solutions didn't seem worth the hassle, just to maintain the appearance of a small rectangular panel in the dash.

Never had any truck with bluetooth for anything other than ad-hoc short term connection. A compact USB pen drive is permanently resident in the head unit with far more music than I can listen to on any journey. Much simpler.
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby robbo » 21 May 2014, 22:10

It's been nearly 4 years with my Swift now but I still miss the easiness of the after-market head unit I had in my old 106. The aux-in was great (I have an aux-in now plugged into the then empty cd changer connection) but it's the usb playback that I've missed the most. Never had nor used bluetooth in a car.
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby EviL Ras » 22 May 2014, 12:11

Audi gave us the hands free for free. but charged £125 for the 30 pin apple connector in the TT. you can only skip tracks. you cant select music! that is the £1200 package!! crazy money! When will Google make cars where this stuff just works!
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby matt » 22 May 2014, 12:26

All my music is on spotify too which doesn't help....
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Re: bluetooth car, callls only not music. Optoins?

Postby Johnmcl7 » 23 May 2014, 01:41

As I've mentioned many times, car stereos annoy me for being comparatively poor to other much cheaper off the shelf devices with inferior hardware, poor software design and high cost even for basic items like bluetooth that cost pennies...I think the BT module for the VW audio system for the Golf V/VI based cars was two to three hundred pounds. What's particularly daft is that if you buy a cheap Dacia you get a cheap single DIN off the shelf stereo with mp3 CD, bluetooth, aux in and USB.

It's certainly worth looking into whether there's another head unit that will drop straight in although I think for that era of BMW the better units had a separate screen so they wouldn't be a drop in upgrade. There's possibly some decent third party options like Zenec:

http://www.zenec.com/en/products/ego/bmw/z-e3215/

There seem to be plenty of bluetooth 3.5mm adapters and they're cheap as well so certainly worth a shot if the phone can handle multiple bluetooth devices ok.

It is a frustration I have with the Mazda, it does have full bluetooth support but even though the original car revision is fairly recent (2008, my car is a 60 plate) and has the upgraded model the stereo is completely laughable - no USB support at all and the only display is a basic one line display shared with other data. I've looked into upgrading it but there's no better unit available and there's no third party models by the likes of Kenwood or Zenec (the one I put in the Skoda was a VW specific one that Kenwood produced) to give an easy drop in upgrade that would fit in with the rest of the car.

I've had a look at standard double din stereos but aside from looking a bit out of place, you need to dismantle half the interior trim to get to the stereo (I'm not joking, I thought I had the wrong video when a video guide started with removing the cup holder behind the gear lever but it was the correct one) and the electronics that drive the display including the other functions (temperature, mpg, clock etc.) are integrated into the original stereo. There's also the steering wheel controls as well, I've seen some wiring adapters but a lot of them don't seem to work with the upgraded stereo. I think I need to have a look for a decent stereo fitter who has experience with the Mazda6, all I want is a proper display and USB :(

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