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BAVSOUND Mobile Electronics Forum
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Old 07-22-2016, 01:35 AM   #1
threetwentyfizzle
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Aux or DICE for best audio quality?

So as the title of the post indicates, I'm trying to gather the general consensus from everyone's experience here in what is going to yield the best audio quality for my stock HK system for my 04 M3 coupe.

Here's my current dilemma: I bought the car with an existing (and from the looks of it, prehistoric) Dice MediaBridge (maybe silverline? Idk for sure). It has what appears to be a S-Video looking connector slot for the iPod cable. I was missing the old iPod 30pin cable to make the MediaBridge work, until I recently acquired a Audiovox MediaBridge which had the same iPod cable.

Long story short, plugged the iPod cable to DICE mb in the glovebox, dug an old iPod nano out of my drawer, charged it for 30 minutes and hooked it up only to be rewarded by interference noise (hissing, and mainly clicking) when I selected the input on my stereo. Also, it displays Track 66 or something weird when I select that input, which leads me to believe that that the DICE MediaBridge is either no longer working, or I'm not doing something correctly.

I also have the Audiovox MediaBridge, but it came out of a factory nav car with the disc changer in the trunk, which takes a larger harness connector than what currently plugs to the DICE unit.

Am I waisting my time trying to get one of these units working? Or should I say f**k it and just get the factory Aux cable? I'm mainly after achieving the best possible audio quality for the HK system until I get around to upgrading to BavSound speakers or something better.

Any advice feedback or recommendations are welcome, thanks guys!

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Old 07-22-2016, 01:38 AM   #2
threetwentyfizzle
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Forgot to add, I have no desire to really use iPod/iOS device for listening to my music. That is primarily done on my android phone. Steering wheel controls are the only upside I see to trying to make one of those MediaBridge options work, but it isn't a deal breaker. Best audio signal is primary objective for me.

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Old 07-23-2016, 12:05 PM   #3
randy72877
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Replace the factory head unit with a high quality aftermarket unit and it will open up a whole new level of sound. If you want the hk system to play louder you need to block low frequency to it. This is to play louder without distortion. I have the oem hk system (subs unplugged ) with an alpine radio that has high pass crossover capability to the speaker outputs. I run 80 hz and up through the hk. Low frequency is handled by a 12" sub firing through the ski pass through hole in a custom box. The result is a system that is louder and has better sound quality too. Aftermarket radios have lots of sound tuning capability that the simple oem unit doesn't have. Buy the proper adapter harness and you don't have to cut up the factory wiring if you decide to put the stock radio back it would just plug in. Good luck.

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Old 07-23-2016, 12:22 PM   #4
threetwentyfizzle
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Thanks, but my goal is to keep the factory head unit. Just want the best direct signal for playing music from my phone. After researching a little further, the DICE unit probably isn't the route to go for me.

I think I'll go with the factory AUX adapter, and eventually down the road upgrade the speakers. BavSound speakers still a good upgrade for these cars? Haven't read anything recent on these forums lately regarding their newer speaker kits.

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Old 07-23-2016, 11:31 PM   #5
randy72877
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Factory aux connection is simple and easy cheap and a good choice if you want to use the bmw radio. I still use the steering controls with my alpine head unit. All it takes is a simple adapter that is easy to set up. Aftermarket radios don't have to be a hack job. It is a pretty basic install for e46. Buy the mounting bracket and harness adapter and you don't have to cut up anything. Plug it in and screw it in to the factory mounting points. No modification of your car is necessary. If you don't want to disrupt the look of the interior check out the dynavin head units. I almost got one but it doesn't have enough sound tuning capability for me otherwise I would have been sold. I considered a double din install but I didn't want to cut up the hvac system to make it fimot. I'm not sure why you want to use the bmw radio so much when there are so many better options out there. You can always plug it back in when you sell the car. My alpine has a selectable color that can match the orange bmw stuff.

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Old 07-24-2016, 02:17 AM   #6
threetwentyfizzle
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I guess for me, it all boils down to I just don't want to disrupt the stock look of the car. I just can't bring myself to disrupt the cohesive look of the dash with the stereo and climate controls with an Alpine or similar protruding head unit.

And unfortunately, I've experienced and witnessed a Dynavin head unit nightmare not too long ago with an X5 I was trying to resolve a bad factory nav radio unit. Build quality was pretty subpar, the radio pins and Fakra cable needed heavy modification to connect to the cars stereo harness connectors, and once we got past those hurdles, the unit's interface was very laggy and dated looking.

So basically, the only reason I prefer the stock deck is for the sole purpose of retaining the cohesive timeless look of the dash.

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Old 07-24-2016, 09:57 AM   #7
markusmarkus
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The OEM head unit has an aux input at the back. There's no need to replace anything. Just get the part # for the aux cable, pull the head unit, plug the cable into the connector at the back, route the cable and enjoy.
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:14 PM   #8
Hisdem
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I had the Aux in on my OEM CD player, which I later replaced with the Soundplicity III (aka DICE Mediabridge). Audio quality over USB is the same if not better. Over BT there is slight loss and a rather annoying buzzing when music isn't playing. My main complaint with the system is that ever so often it'll simply stop working, requiring me to take my glovebox apart, unplug it and plug it in again.
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Old 07-31-2016, 03:13 PM   #9
Dr Ed
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I'm in the same boat too. I'd like to have Bluetooth connectivity for my android, but I refuse to get an aftermarket deck that doesn't match the interior at all. Also, must have steering wheel controls.
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Old 07-31-2016, 04:49 PM   #10
Hisdem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Ed View Post
I'm in the same boat too. I'd like to have Bluetooth connectivity for my android, but I refuse to get an aftermarket deck that doesn't match the interior at all. Also, must have steering wheel controls.


The DICE works pretty well in this aspect, and is hidden from sight so your interior doesn't change at all. You can use voice commands through the steering wheel too, at least on an iPhone.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
rayzbmr
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MarkusMarkus,
Any idea what the aux cable part number is? I may like to try that. I installed a Dice Silverline DUO a few years ago. It worked good until recently. It just stops working. When it stops, it prevents the radio from working also. It does start working again if I turn the car off for a period of time and the radio starts to work as well. Weird. So I'm looking for something else so I can play my iPhone without changing the head unit.
Thanks,

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Old 08-05-2016, 08:49 AM   #12
markusmarkus
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The best thing to do is to buy the cable from the dealer. Yes, it'll be expensive but you know it'll work with your head unit.
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Old 08-05-2016, 09:19 PM   #13
threetwentyfizzle
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I bought the OEM aux cable from the dealer. Wasn't too expensive, ~$35, will be installing tomorrow. I'll try to post an update after the install. I think I want to mount the female connector plug to the ashtray (saw from another thread in this forum somewhere, and looks clean). Thanks for the suggestions guys!

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Old 08-15-2016, 02:53 PM   #14
rayzbmr
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I looked into the cable. Almost bought it until I found out that my car which was made in Oct of 2001 doesn't have the radio with the aux connection available. They started putting the aux cable in Sept of 2002.

So I'm back to needing a way to hook up my iPhone.
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Old 08-16-2016, 07:40 PM   #15
matt@bavsound
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Aux input is definitely the best way to go if you want a simple, direct path from your iPod (or whatever's) audio output to the audio input of the radio. Using a DICE, Dension, Audiovox, etc, is just adding more electronics in between the source and the head unit. No matter how any of them connect to your phone or iPod, they're still using the same audio input path to the radio - either the aux in path or the CD changer path, both of which are analog...

I totally agree with you on the look of the factory radio! Nothing looks better in the dash than that stock radio.

Let us know how it turns out. Good call on mounting a female jack as well - way cleaner look than a cable dangling out somewhere.
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Old 08-17-2016, 01:08 AM   #16
threetwentyfizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt@bavsound View Post
Aux input is definitely the best way to go if you want a simple, direct path from your iPod (or whatever's) audio output to the audio input of the radio. Using a DICE, Dension, Audiovox, etc, is just adding more electronics in between the source and the head unit. No matter how any of them connect to your phone or iPod, they're still using the same audio input path to the radio - either the aux in path or the CD changer path, both of which are analog...

I totally agree with you on the look of the factory radio! Nothing looks better in the dash than that stock radio.

Let us know how it turns out. Good call on mounting a female jack as well - way cleaner look than a cable dangling out somewhere.
Install came out great! Was able to find a perfect size washer to fill the recess in the ashtray, with the perfect size opening for a tight snug fit for the female end of the aux cord. Even sprayed the washer black to help add to the OEM look.



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