BlueTooth and iPod for 5 Series iDrive

ownerof525xiownerof525xi Member Posts: 12
edited August 2014 in BMW
Can all othe owners of 5 Series share their experiences with how their bluetooh phones integrated with BMW's? Are you able to copy phonebook entries into Car's phone book, Voice Activation is working with phone book entries? Is Navigation System necessary to make Voice Activation Work?

I heard they have new iPod integration kit for 5 Series and it costs $299 and another couple of hundred dollars to install it. There is a limitation that it won't work if you have 6CD Changer. Have any of the owners had it done and tell me is $500 really worth integrating iPod into the car or be happy with Auxilary kit?


  • brodskybrodsky Member Posts: 14
    Great questions. I'm taking delivery of a 530xi in two weeks, so I'd like feedback too on Bluetooth and the optional armrest cradles that you can buy for Bluetooth phones. To those who know, please reply!
  • cassidymcassidym Member Posts: 108
    I've got a 2005 545I which I have been able to pair my Bluetooth equipped cell phone with. Phone is a Motorola that was on the Compatible list ( they are no longer made. Think its a V600. Anyway, you have to switch on the Bluetooth every time you get in the car. This takes about four or five key strokes. Once the phone pairs, it does automatically download the phonebook. And the voice activation works fine. Understandably, you do have to speak very clearly. Anyway, I use it a lot and it is very handy.

    I also have a Blackberry which, although it pairs easily with the car, it is not totally compatible in that it does not download the phonebook. You can set the Blackberry to automatically pair with the car when you start the engine.

    Another feature I like is that, if you switch off the engine, the phone will stay paired with the car for several minutes. This is handy if you're just running into a shop to pick something up. As long as you leave the phone in the car, and you're quick about it, it'll still be paired when you restart the engine.
  • rrusso1rrusso1 Member Posts: 23
    I originally used the Motorola V600 in my 2005 BMW 530 and then switched to the Motorola RAZR V3. Both work very well with my car. I never had to do any keystrokes to switch on the Bluetooth when I get in the car. If the phone is on when you get in it links up automatically up and if you turn the phone on while the car is already running it also links up automatically. I do not understand the need for any keystrokes. Are you sure your phone is set up properly for automatic linkage to your car?
  • cassidymcassidym Member Posts: 108
    Apparently not. Is there a setting on the V600 that will allow it to automatically pair with the car like there is on the Blackberry?
  • rrusso1rrusso1 Member Posts: 23
    I do not know of any such setting, although it could be a part of the Bluetooth setup on your phone. As I said once I paired the phone and the car the first time it continued to pair automatically. The RAZR works the same way. I looked in the instruction manual for the V600 and couldn't find anything that addresses this issue. I would recommend that you call Motorola customer service or stop by your BMW dealer to help you with the issue. My BMW dealer was very helpful in setting up my phone initially. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help.
  • brodskybrodsky Member Posts: 14
    Does anyone know what would happen if you bring a Bluetooth phone, that is NOT on the compatible phone list on the BMWUSA website, i.e., a Sony Ericsson w810 or a Nextel i870? I am so frustrated by the antiquated (except for the RAZR, which I'm not crazy about) phones that BMW says are compatible. I love my brand new 530xi, but I need to buy a Bluetooth phone, would like to buy a state-of-the-art phone, but I'm not sure if a state-of-the-art phone will pair up and be compatible. Advice please.
  • mukvijmukvij Member Posts: 15
    I have a TMobile SDA.. works fine.
  • tinocotinoco Member Posts: 18
    I am getting a new 530i and would like to know what the approximate cost is for installing an iPod hook up.

    Also, would I be able to view and change songs through the car computer.

    Any guidence would be greatly appreciated!
  • jabroltajabrolta Member Posts: 32
    I have a 2005 545i. I recently got a T-mobile dash. Even though it is not on the list of compatible phones, it works well in my car. It downloads my phonebook and it is completely functional with the idrive and steering wheel buttons. All I have to do is have my bluetooth settings on my phone and the car recognizes my phone. My wife has a Razr and it works the same way.

    Regarding the ipod intergration, it would cost between $500-600 according to my dealership. I don't think it is worth the money, unless you are frequently on the road. What I did was I went to my ipod store and got a fm transmitter. The sound quality is ok and only cost $50. You still have to use the ipod to change songs or playlists, but is better than spending $500. Might was well install the sirius sat radio for that kind of money. Just my 2c.
  • uglybearuglybear Member Posts: 26
    Full iPod integration sounds an order of magnitude better than FM transmitter. If you have Logic7 sound using FM trasmitter wastes all the money you have spent on the BMW audio system. You also get charging. FM trasmitter consumes battery quite quickly. For Sirius you'll be paying ~$15 a months. I had XM for two years and canceled it - quality is not good. Satellite radio roughly equivalent to 96KBps MP3.
  • ownerof525xiownerof525xi Member Posts: 12
    I recently bought Sony Ericson 810i and integrated to my 2006 525xi and it works perfectly. It automatically downloaded the Phone book connects automatically everytime I am in the car. Basically we need Bluetooth 2.0 capable phones to fully integrate. One more thing to note is, your Voice Activation is useful only if have Navigation, even for using with your cell phone.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    My local dealer Parts guy said there was no iPOD kit available for the 2003 5-Series. Love the concept of the iPOD Nano, as I just have the single slot CD in the dash - no changer.

    Does anyone have a different experience? I have the upgraded DSP sound system and DO NOT want the FM transmitter. Any guidance appreciated!

    Thank you...
  • sls1sls1 Member Posts: 45
    Does anyone know how to disable the bluetooth when a call comes in and you want to use the phone for privacy?
  • warthogwarthog Member Posts: 216
    I have a 2003 530i. Dension ( makes an iPod adapter that works. You'll probably have to have it professionally installed as it connect in the trunk to the wiring harness for the 6-CD changer.

    It works fine, although the radio treats the iPod as a 6-CD changer and all you can do is scroll through the list of music one by one. Alternatively, you can unplug the iPod, select your song or albm or playlist, start it playing and then re-connect the iPod. It's a bit awkward while driving.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    Thanks for the link and info! My research also turned this up...

    Can you take a look and compare with the Denison solution you have? Agree that my local installer will need to do this work. Interested in a cost comparison between the Denison and DICE iPOD kit for the e39.

    Many thanks!
  • warthogwarthog Member Posts: 216
    The info on the website is limited, but it seems as if the Bavariansoundwerks unit is superior to the Dension. Because the radio head unit can only display one line at a time, I think it would still be preferable to operate the iPod directly, rather than scrolling through a long list one line at a time.

    Good luck. If you get the Bavarian unit, I'd like to know how you like it.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Member Posts: 351
    I'll report back after ordering and having a skilled tech install the unit. Heading out of the country for 2 weeks, so may be a bit before I can give an update on this solution. I like the docking station that fits in the ashtray - it's never used anyway!
  • rv65rv65 Member Posts: 1,076
    If you're ordering a new 5 series then get 6FL. This is the iPod/USB adaptor. It comes with a special Y cable that fully integrates the iPod. It's a $400 option but it includes everything you need. It's a factory option. There might be a retrofit kit but it works on newer 5 series' models due to wiring and software changes. Hope this helps.
  • galamagalama Member Posts: 12
    I just got 2002 530i and looks like it has Hands Free Link button. I cant get it to do anything.Hands Free Link button nor TEL button by radio. Does anyone have this option and does anyone know if this is bluetooth feature or in car phone option? I would like to set it up and use Hands Free. tx Joe
  • rnewton60rnewton60 Member Posts: 3
    The only way I know how is to look at options on your cell phone and select "activate handset" That works for me on 08 550i with Blackberry 8900.
  • mobiusf1mobiusf1 Member Posts: 15
    In terms of the bluetooth, not all phones hooked up do everything 100%. Many or most phones call receive calls and that kinda stuff, but not all of them will copy phonebook entries. My samsung doesn't copy the phonebook. If your phone does copy the phonebook, voice activation should work with it. I don't believe the Nav system is needed to make voice activation work, I wouldn't think so.
  • galamagalama Member Posts: 12
    problem i have is that it has tands free but i dont know how to set it up.i know how to set it up on Honda but no clue about BMW. Please if anyone know help.
  • mdx2008mdx2008 Member Posts: 13
    For anyone thinking that the IDRIVE system is difficult or not that good. I disagree. I have a 2009 BMW 535 X and it is amazing, it uploads all your addresses if you use a blackberry and the Ipod hookup will upload all your song titles etc. It is so easy to use and I am not all that technical, I still do not know how to download a ring tone to my Blackberry Pearl if that gives you an idea. The IDRIVE surpassed all expectations. It blows away the so called "technology package" in my 2008 Acura MDX.
  • alaskan_otteralaskan_otter Member Posts: 28
    Hi. Anyone try to connect the newest iPhone yet? My old 3G worked flawlessly with my 2008 528 sedan.

    The 3Gs phone will not.

    Any clue how to make it recognize it?
  • ddwe60ddwe60 Member Posts: 1
    Apparently the 3.0 software is not yet compatible with iDrive. The phone/bluetooth works in my 2008 528 but the itunes portion does not integrate.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWMember Posts: 3,322
    Apparently the 3.0 software is not yet compatible with iDrive.

    The 3.0 software does indeed work with my 535's iDrive. I have it installed on my 3G iPhone though so I can't comment on the 3Gs iPhone.
  • pspradleypspradley Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to override the video feature in the new BMW? You can play a DVD when in park, but I want to enable it to play while driving for my 3 year old granddaughter.
  • dpb1830dpb1830 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased an 07 530xi with nav. The overall experience with the car has been absolutely great. My only question is with the bluetooth. It works great; phone is paired and address book updates. I am often on the phone when I reach my destination. When I turn the car off, it stays connected. I can activate the handset, but then the idrive switches back to the radio. I can walk away from the car and talk on the phone, but the radio stays on. Is there a way to change the set up so that is will automatically disconnect when I turn off the car, or at least when I open the car door? This info would greatly help.
  • james27james27 Member Posts: 433
    Playing a video on the front dash video display while not in park (and some require the parking brake, too) is illegal nearly everywhere and will get you one big fat ticket if it is noticed. Playing a video is only legal for back-seat passengers, which if the child is less than 12, is where she should be sitting anyway. Better to spring for a portable player.
  • new2bmw535new2bmw535 Member Posts: 5
    I have a 2008 535i with a factory installed connector. It recognizes my nano, pulling in all the songs and playlists. When I select a song, the timer advances like it's playing, but no sound comes out. I've cycled the mute and volume with no success. It works fine with the radio and phone. Any ideas?
  • rrusso1rrusso1 Member Posts: 23
    edited March 2010
    Make sure the audio cable is plugged into the receptacle inside your console. Although there is only a single USB cable plugging in to your IPOD when the other end is plugged into your console there are 2 connections, a USB and an audio cable with an RCA plug. Since you are getting your songs and playlists the USB portion of the cable from your IPOD is properly plugged and working but it is possible that the audio cable is loose or not plugged in. It could also be defective The audio plug is right under the USB receptacle in the console. I hope that works for you.
  • new2bmw535new2bmw535 Member Posts: 5
    It worked!!! thanks so much!
  • el168el168 Member Posts: 9
    Got the new 5 series today, my razr phone worked perfectly with car. However, couldn't figure out how to connect my ipod touch without having to use cable (it should work). Will try it again tomorrow
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