View Single Post
      11-02-2020, 12:03 PM   #1373
brettcp
Lieutenant
United_States
229
Rep
596
Posts

Drives: 2012 E93 M3
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: So Cal

iTrader: (2)

After getting fed up with the factory BMW BT audio quality getting worse and worse with every new iPhone and iOS update, I installed the Kremersino “V3” unit in my 2012 E93 M3 (CIC with EPS audio, with a backup camera via an emulator). Got it on sale, but it looks like they raised the price recently. Installation was straight-forward, nothing out of the ordinary. Here’s my initial feedback and comparison to the V2 box I had.

Audio Quality:
They have improved the AUX audio quality issue with this box. No significant difference between BT combox audio quality and the V3 AUX audio quality. With my V2 unit (and my E93 EPS factory sound), carplay AUX audio quality was nearly identical to combox BT quality after adjusting the V2 carplay’s built in EQ settings. The V3 audio quality is what you’d expect, and it’s good that they’ve addressed this because the V3 does NOT have an EQ (at least not that I can find). So if you wanted to make any adjustments to the V3 sound settings, you’re limited to the BMW factory EQ settings. I do get an occasional momentary cut-out or hiccup in the audio, will have to troubleshoot this further, could just be a poor wireless connection between my phone and the carplay box.

Connection Speed:
I do not notice any difference in connection speed between the V2 and V3 box. They advertise that the V3 box is “5G” connection speed, but I believe the V2 was 5G as well as I remember the physical V2 carplay box is labeled “5G” at the antenna port. So far it has auto-connected to my phone every time I’ve got into the car. I’m using an iPhone 11 Pro Max with iOS 14.1.

Microphone:
The V3 uses a secondary (included) microphone and does NOT tap into the factory mic as the V2 does. It works, and sounds fine. The person on the other end hears an occasional blip of a garble sound - will need to troubleshoot this further. I called my wife a couple of times, and my brother a couple of times, both who claim that while my voice is clear, they do think the background noise comes through a bit louder than the factory microphone does. I tried wiring it to the factory BMW mic, but this produced horrible audio quality. Maybe somebody smarter than I am with electronics can provide some input on how to adapt this to use the factory mic, as it would provide a much cleaner look without having a secondary mic.

Backup Camera:
It works with my Amazon $30 backup camera ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01GE7NQH6/ ), no emulator needed. Parking lines and PDC sensor alerts work. What I don’t really like is that the picture is stretched across the entire width of the screen, so you lose a bit of clarity (compared to when using an emulator or factory BMW backup which uses 2/3rds of the screen for the camera). Takes a bit of getting used to I suppose. I do notice that when the backup video comes on, it quickly flickers just once or twice within the first second or so before becoming a clear image. All my wiring is clean, could be my camera. Not sure if I'll stick with this or go back to my factory BMW/emulator setup. Overall the wiring is a bit cleaner when wiring the camera to the carplay box as there’s no longer a need to use an emulator.

Misc:
The V3 brain is Limcet, where the V2 was GPLink. The V2 definitely had more advanced options to configure throughout its menus (the V2 is also more expensive than the V3). The lack of EQ on the V3 is a bit disappointing. The wifi antenna included is on the end of a long wire on the V3, so you could relocate the wifi antenna if needed.

I haven't spent a lot of time with it yet but overall I'm happy with it so far, especially given the lower price than the V2. I haven’t been using my car lately nearly as much as I used to, but the factory BMW Bluetooth quality with newer iPhones/iOS was so bad that I was fed up with it. The carplay box resolves this. What's odd is that with the carplay box intsalled, even if I switch over to the factory BMW Bluetooth for a call, the BT phone audio quality is back to normal. So just having the carplay box installed seems to resolve whatever is causing the factory BMW Bluetooth to sound terrible with newer iPhones/iOS versions.
Appreciate 3