• Quick summary: Called Mike, got retrofitted, love it, and if you have a CIC and/or combox DO IT NOW! I’m serious especially with iOS6 making office usable for us iPhone folk. Better audio, faster syncing, WAY more features, and of course AMAZING service from Mike.
• Intro: I’ve been a Benvo fan for along time ever since he tuned, coded, and retrofitted my car with a full U.S. Spec CIC. Now I’ve got my end user tuning cable
but more on that later. I called up Mike and decided to get my combox retrofit going. Mike had everything available on the spot and as always made it dead simple. Sunday morning I was having breakfast with him which has become customary before any retrofit I’ve had with Mike. Once again Mike proved to me again why I trust him with my car and how knowledgeable he truly is.
• Install: It’s ridiculous to think that in 30 minutes Mike had the entire thing done but it’s true. Mike showed me his new documentation on how to do the actual retrofit and I have to say the documentation is easy to follow and simple. Mike had custom made retrofit harnesses which made the installation in the trunk plug and play. Out came the floor lining of my trunk, my tcu, mulf, and center console USB connector. In went my combox, harness, new USB cable, and new USB connector and back went my trunk floor.
• Coding: Mike worked his magic and coded my CIC to know my combox was there, next he coded my combox and updated it to the most recent firmware, and worked even more magic to enable BMW LIVE and Internet access which I elected to also do. It works faster than in my friends car - and he pays for the BMW convenience plan from BMW, and still doesn't have all of the features I do. In fact it almost angers me that BMW deprives people of this feature. Deprive might be a bit strong say that BMW owes use something but it is a great feature.
• Audio: I’ve been astounded by the quality that the CIC puts out. My Enhanced Premium Sound system has always been great with my CCC but it was leaps and bounds better with my CIC. I thought this might have been the best I could do audio wise (except with a few tweaks I’ve seen around the forum). The combox took it to the next level and I can say that the Bluetooth streaming is incredible. Pandora, Grooveshark html5, and Spotify are great to have. It sounds way…way.. better. It feels like the difference between analog and digital which is very well is with my old iPod using my AUX + USB.
• Office: How has this been in BMW cars since 2010 and now only our iPhone works with it? I know that it’s Apple’s fault for not including a MAP Profile but I think I’m just in awe of how great it really is (and will be after a few bugs are worked out of ios 6 and the combox). SMS works, and contacts are a given but it looks and operates great.
• Live: Wiki local, street view, weather, web browser, RSS ect.. It’s awesome. If you’re doing the combox already or already have one you need to unlock this feature. Seeing where you need to go via street view has honestly saved me from hunting around trying to find destinations
• In sum: The retrofit is completely worth the money. I‘m still astounded by the quality of the sound and I’m also lucky to have gone to BPMSport (Benvo & co.) to have everything done.
P.S. Looking forward to seeing what Mike comes up with next.