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      01-16-2011, 11:44 PM   #1
Milk Run
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Belkin Aircast Review

Belkin Aircast Review

Hey Folks,

My new M3 has very few options, I was tempted by the tech packages, bluetooth, iPhone integration, etc but in the end I decided that I could just get by with my iPhone and an auxiliary jack.

The first big annoyance in the transition from the E46 to the e92 M3 was the auxiliary jack is in the center console.
In the E46 it was in the glovebox, so I just ran a wire from my iPhone to the glovebox. This was ugly but it worked -- every time.

However the auxiliary jack in the E92 is in the center console. It would be too ugly to run a wire from the dash to the center console.

So, I started looking for a solution. There are several, but I decided to try the Belkin Aircast.

here it is in the Apple Store.
http://store.apple.com/us/product/H2652LL/A

here it is at the belkin website
http://www.belkin.com/IWCatProductPa...duct_Id=530115

This thing is slick and couldnt be more simple.



You plug one part into the cigarette lighter outlet in the console then you plug the 3.5mm plug into the auxiliary input.
You pair it with your phone by pressing and holding the giant button.

You switch your car audio over to auxiliary, startup Pandora, etc on your iPhone and BAM, you are listening to music wirelessly.

It also works great for phone calls. I have stopped using my bluetooth headset.

In my opinion, it sounds great and is super convenient.

I recommend it.
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      01-17-2011, 04:49 PM   #2
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That's a good workaround.

I admire your minimalistic take on your order. I have grown used to my iDrive and enjoy the tech, but it can be a distraction at times.

I take it you went with 6MT?
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      01-17-2011, 05:54 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James T. Kirk View Post

I take it you went with 6MT?
I enjoy 3 pedal cars and my wife was confused by the DCT.
She has no trouble with 3 pedals, so I went with 6MT.

I was ok with the speed penalty.
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      01-17-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Wow very nice. Didn't get the Premium package and I think this will come in handy.

Good find.
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      01-17-2011, 07:31 PM   #5
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Nice, I don't have the Premium Package either. I like how they added a USB power slot too. Might have to try this!
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      01-18-2011, 03:22 AM   #6
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Phone Calls

I expected the music to work. I was really surprised how well the phone calls work. With bluetooth headsets, I struggled to hear the call over the sound of the engine and road noise. Now, you can crank up the caller and hear everything.
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      01-21-2011, 02:23 AM   #7
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For streaming audio only, I got the Blackberry Stereo Bluetooth Gateway and it's absolutely awesome. Same straightforward setup as the Belkin you describe, but the Belkin's wiring looks better since it's self-contained and has the USB port.

My e90 has bluetooth but no wait to play music from my phone (which I use for music, podcasts, and Pandora). Since everything is contained in the armrest, everything is neatly tucked away. I just get in the car and start playing music from the phone. If a call comes in, the music stops and the car's bluetooth takes over the call. When I hang up, the music comes right back.
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      01-24-2011, 07:41 PM   #8
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I intend to purchase the blackberry music gateway unless BMW figures out for me how to enable blue tooth streaming on my combox equipped M3.
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      02-04-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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Keeping Blackberry Gateway Charged

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdblue View Post
For streaming audio only, I got the Blackberry Stereo Bluetooth Gateway and it's absolutely awesome. Same straightforward setup as the Belkin you describe, but the Belkin's wiring looks better since it's self-contained and has the USB port.

My e90 has bluetooth but no wait to play music from my phone (which I use for music, podcasts, and Pandora). Since everything is contained in the armrest, everything is neatly tucked away. I just get in the car and start playing music from the phone. If a call comes in, the music stops and the car's bluetooth takes over the call. When I hang up, the music comes right back.
Is this the device you have?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...VHAB85C4WRGQTR

And how do you keep it charged? Do you have it plugged into the USB port? Also, just to confirm, does this work with non-Blackberry bluetooth smartphones (audio source) as well? It seems like it will but I was wondering if you're using it with a Blackberry or another phone.

My car (08) has the premium package (USB port and bluetooth integration) but it does not have bluetooth streaming...

Thanks!
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      02-04-2011, 01:57 PM   #10
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That's the one. It doesn't have a battery--it needs to be plugged in all the time. My car doesn't have USB, but I have a low-profile USB adapter in the cig lighter in the armrest. When I turn on the car, the power comes up and the gateway pairs immediately. Only bummer is that the power turns off when the engine turns off, so you can only listen when the engine is running. I don't know if the integrated USB behaves differently.

I'm using a Blackberry 9700... haven't tried any other phones with it.
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      02-04-2011, 02:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdblue View Post
That's the one. It doesn't have a battery--it needs to be plugged in all the time. My car doesn't have USB, but I have a low-profile USB adapter in the cig lighter in the armrest. When I turn on the car, the power comes up and the gateway pairs immediately. Only bummer is that the power turns off when the engine turns off, so you can only listen when the engine is running. I don't know if the integrated USB behaves differently.

I'm using a Blackberry 9700... haven't tried any other phones with it.
Thanks!
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      02-04-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ForumUser3 View Post
Is this the device you have?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...VHAB85C4WRGQTR

And how do you keep it charged? Do you have it plugged into the USB port? Also, just to confirm, does this work with non-Blackberry bluetooth smartphones (audio source) as well? It seems like it will but I was wondering if you're using it with a Blackberry or another phone.

My car (08) has the premium package (USB port and bluetooth integration) but it does not have bluetooth streaming...

Thanks!
It will work with any handset that supports A2DP/AVRCP BT streaming.

Works perfectly with the iPhone.

If you do have a USB port, you can use that to power the device, otherwise as the other poster says, just use a cigarette USB adapter
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      02-04-2011, 03:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607 View Post
It will work with any handset that supports A2DP/AVRCP BT streaming.

Works perfectly with the iPhone.

If you do have a USB port, you can use that to power the device, otherwise as the other poster says, just use a cigarette USB adapter
Perfect! This is exactly what I was hoping for... Thanks.
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      02-05-2011, 11:15 PM   #14
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Just set this up with the blackberry stereo gateway as well and it's great!

One thing I noticed is the USB power is still on after the car is off.

Anyone know if there's a way to turn the USB power off so it doesn't drain the car battery?
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      02-11-2011, 01:04 PM   #15
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I just did the same with my Blackberry Gateway. Works great!
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      02-11-2011, 01:14 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3 bud View Post
Just set this up with the blackberry stereo gateway as well and it's great!

One thing I noticed is the USB power is still on after the car is off.

Anyone know if there's a way to turn the USB power off so it doesn't drain the car battery?
That must be a difference between the iPod adapter and the non-iPod aux.

The bluetooth gateway draws something less than 100mA, so your 45Ah car battery, even with the overhead of voltage regulation would power it for well over a month.
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      02-11-2011, 01:31 PM   #17
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Yup! Won't suck your battery down at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdblue View Post
That must be a difference between the iPod adapter and the non-iPod aux.

The bluetooth gateway draws something less than 100mA, so your 45Ah car battery, even with the overhead of voltage regulation would power it for well over a month.
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      02-14-2011, 12:30 PM   #18
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Guys,

For the solutions listed in this thread for A2DP Blutooth streaming, will the song titles show up on the Nav screeen and be selectable from the iDrive controls, or will you have to select songs, etc directly from your iPhone?

If the songs aren't selectable from iDrvie, is there a solution that will allow for this?

Not really interested in album art, etc, I just want to be able to stream music from my iPhone in my pocket and have it integreated with iDrive without having to connect to anything.

Thanks,

Asheesh
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      02-14-2011, 01:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MORELAP View Post
I intend to purchase the blackberry music gateway unless BMW figures out for me how to enable blue tooth streaming on my combox equipped M3.
I apologize if I'm misunderstanding this, but I already can stream my music via bluetooth from my iphone on my combox-equipped M3 (Nov 2010 build). I don't need any additional equipment (i.e. Aircast or BB Gateway). Looks like you too have a 2011.5 with the new combox, 1MORELAP.

However, I trick I read somewhere else on here... I did need to add my phone twice via bluetooth - once for my phone, and once for the audio feed. In the audio idrive menu, there's a bluetooth setup option. Just add the device again, and then the music note icon lit up to indicate an audio connection.

As an aside, when I connect my iphone via the standard USB cable, I lose my bluetooth audio connection (not my phone connection), and have to re-sync the bluetooth audio the next time I get in the car. Strange.
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      04-22-2011, 06:20 AM   #20
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Does it pair automatically when powered on ?

Hello,

the aircast auto seem to be a great device. Can you tell me if it connects automatically to your phone when you start up the car ? or do you need to push the button to get the phone connected to it ?

Thanks in advance for your response.
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      11-28-2012, 01:01 AM   #21
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How do you feel about the output of bass using it in your car?

I just got it (the belkin unit) and have been using it the last few days and to me there is a NOTICIBLE difference in the amount of bass that comes through my speakers when using it.

I have an 'MP3 CD' that I played the same exact file through the CD player and compared it to the same exact file that was transfered to my phone and there was a noticeable difference in lows.

I thought, perhaps I've got some kind of loss through the iphone and so I tried playing pandora and iheartradio apps to see how they work... and still had the same loss of bass.

To confirm it I used a standard auxillary cable and 'hardwired it' to the audio in port on my e90 and noticed better quality with the lows doing it this way too.

I then thought perhaps its how the iphone transmits over bluetooth... but even that didnt' pan out beacuse my parents have a Jaguar that i connect bluetooth audio all the time with and it sounds just fine, as it did with the stock bluetooth audio streaming in my last car, a Mustang with the Shaker 500 and factory bluetooth streaming.

Doing all this I've narrowed it down I THINK to this unit just not being as good as I expected with the bass levels.

Anyone that also have one can give it a shot comparing side by side and see if you have the same results??? Any comments on this anyone? Would the Blackberry one presumably have better results?
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