iPhone 4 integration with car stereo - new here

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by dfbennett, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. dfbennett macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    so I admit I am new here - and most of you guys have forgotten more about this stuff than I will ever know - so please be kind :)

    My wife is a new convert to the iPhone - she has the iPhone 4 - and now she want to be able to play her music over her car stereo - she has a 2005 BMW x5 - so unfortunately it is not set up for that out of the factory and we have to find an aftermarket solution - I want it hardwired as I have heard the FM modulators just do not perform well. I have been to the Apple site and linked over to some of the aftermarket solutions they list like Dice Electronics, etc. But for a newbie it can be a bit overwhelming.

    I'll try to describe my ideal list of requirements and see if you guys can offer some solutions or things you have done.

    1) Want it hardwired as I noted
    2) Would like to have the eventual wire coming from the radio or harness or wherever it will come from to be attached to a cradle that we can console or dash mount without drilling into the interior - that she can just drop the phone in and have it integrated with the car stereo at that point
    3) And for the cradle to accept her iPhone with the bumper case on

    I found a cradle from Dice that does almost all this (DCR50 model of the G2 mount) - BUT it can not accept the phone with the Bumper in place. Then I found a mount from Proclips that nicely mounts to the console with no drilling and WOULD accept the phone with the bumper - BUT it is not a dock - just a mount so she would be taking the cable to connect to the radio on and off and then place in the holder - not the end of the world if we have to go that way but not as clean as a cradle that she just plops the phone in when she gets in the car and off she goes with her itunes playing.

    So any help would be great - thanks!
  2. beedish macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    Just a clarification, what do you mean by hardwired? No 3.5mm jack into a radio??

    With what you want, it is going to be tough. Almost all aftermarket solutions will not fit directly into the phone with the bumper on. Looking at the DICE 2point5 spec.dock it looks like you can switch out the adapters to make your iPod/iPhone fit properly. I find alot of times on docks, that I can take the adapters out completely and it will fit most of my cases. All my Bose docks, I just rip out the adapters and my phone fits nice and snug. The only problem I can see with doing that is it won't be as secure while driving, but with how DICE set it up, that doesn't look like it will have a lot of room to flail around. The DICE integration set up is probably as clean as you're going to find, since it is specific to your vehicle. All the others won't compare.

    If you're open to installing a new head unit, however, you open up a new can of worms as there are countless options nearly. But they will be significantly more expensive than the DICE offerings.
  3. Rooskibar03 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    State of Denial
    I work with Audi but in the world of German Luxury its all about the same.

    To answer your questions,

    1) Call dealer first. Chances are they have an iPod connection kit. Keep in mind though in 2005, an iPod in your car wasn't on BMW radar. The new BWM has half arse integration so I wouldn't expect more then a glorified aux input through the dock connection.

    2) Probably not going to happen. Most of these kits dump the wire into the glovebox and anything mounted on the inside of the car without drilling probably will either A) Be in a terrible spot, B) look like crap

    3) You can almost forget this. Very few 30 pin cables will fit with the bumper on. I've tried mine in everything and it doesn't happen.

    Now the advice I would give you. I know she just got her iPhone and is all excited to have it but here is what I would suggest. Buy her a secondhand iPod. 4th or 5th generation Nano. Put it in the glovebox with the iPod connection and leave the phone in her purse.

    There is nothing more of a PITA then getting your phone out of your pocket or purse every time you get into the car. And it never fails, you go back into the home or office just to remember you left your phone in the car.

    Trust me, its better to have a dedicated car iPod.
  4. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    1) Check out Crutchfield, as they sell what your after. A quick search shows they offer a hideaway DICE box that integrates with various BMW factory systems.

    2) As far as not drilling or seeing the wires a professional installer should be able to pull it off. I cut one tiny notch to install such a setup in my VW Passat. The notch went thru an unused switch on the dash, but I could have routed the wire neatly under the center console for a completely hidden install if I used a longer USB cable.

    In the end it really depends on the mounting location of cradle, the seems between your dash parts, location of the hideaway adapter box and how much of the dash trim you (or your installer) is willing to remove. The notch required in the dash trim only needs to be size of the wire between the dock connector and the USB, which is about 3mm.

    If anyone is interested I can provide pictures of my install, the wire is barely visible and if I had a black iPod cable it would be almost impossible to see.

    3) ProClip does make what your asking for, but not for the Bumper Case. If you switch cases then model #516165 works great, I use it with my Incipio NGP Matte case and it works with other cases as well since its adjustable and the dock connector sticks up high enough.
  5. dfbennett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    sorry - "hardwired" was a bad choice of terms on my part - I just meant that it was direct connected to the stereo system in some way - not the use of an FM modulator type device
  6. dfbennett thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2010
    thanks guys - I see that Brodit has a mount with pass through connector - looks like the cable from the stereo system could connect to the cradle and that would solve the plug it in / unplug it problem - the issue is the bumper as you guys have pointed out - maybe there is some other case she can switch to that would allow that sort of set up to work - with the Brodit connected to a Proclip base - not sure - I am still reading up on all this - I have found a reputable installer in my area (at least from all the reviews) and if I can piece together what I want I get him to install it for about $85 - which from the looks of it will save some $$ - since the dealer gave me a quote of over $700 to retro-fit this! If I pair this up with the Dice box and get her a new case that may be the best solution I can piece together

    this is the cradle I found:
  7. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    Yep that's one I was referring to. Just use something other then the Bumper and you are in business. I pull my phone out of my pocket, snap it into the cradle and off I go. My phone charges, plays music and does navigation (via the TomTom app) all right on the dash. Plus by putting someone on speaker phone its an hands-free solution should I have to take a call while driving, no Bluetooth needed.

    And yes the stealer... I mean dealership is the worst place to get this stuff done. 2nd worst would be Best Buy. A local car audio shop is the best bet. Get references and check out pictures of their installs, then you'll know who does decent work in your area.
  8. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Yiur wife wants the Pioneer Premier DEH-P510UB. It is a great deck with a iPod connector and a front USB port. It's iPod navigating abilities are fairly simple and it allows an option to control from the deck or dim your iPhone. I absolutely love this deck.
  9. rust0r macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    I wouldn't mind seeing how you mounted yours up (I've got an 20th AE GTI), sounds interesting!
  10. rust0r macrumors member

    Aug 22, 2010
    Could you not use a dock extender on whatever ipod-car adapter you go with? One that has the smaller 30pin plug to accommodate the bumper ? I'm not familiar with how the dock extenders work (I would imagine it's just a cable with a female port on the one end instead of USB though)
  11. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    I'll post up some pictures tonight, but I'm running an older Pioneer DEH-P6000UB in my Passat and just bought a new MVH-P8200 for my truck. I actually prefer the older unit since it has buttons for most functions, whereas the P8200 requires you to step thru all kinds of menus which is not ideal when driving.

    I would be cool if Pioneer would write an iOS app to control the radio's basic features, they do this for their home theater systems: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HaUr5ZUGPBU

    One nice feature about Pioneers is their "Sound Retriever" setting which improves the sound of compressed iPod audio, especially with stock audio systems. Alpine was the first to market car radios that integrated really well with iPods, but now I think Pioneer has taken the lead.
  12. JM2 macrumors member

    Oct 8, 2010
    South Florida
    Attached two pictures...

    One shows an overview of the ProClip w/iPhone next to the radio as seen from the driver's seat, the other is a close up showing the mount attached to the console trim w/the cable.

    Attached Files:

  13. myMacRumors macrumors regular

    Aug 18, 2010
    USA Spec iPod/iPhone adapters for seamless CD-quality sound. Crutchfield is one of their dealers.

    Bracketron car vents and windshield mounts for $15-25 (fit any iPhone with case):

    I have excellent experiences with above products (self-installed with basic knowledge of electronics).
  14. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    my new 2010 honda cr-v has a USB port that can play from iphones, zunes and flash drives. it's even supposed to play protected content

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