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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do I connect my iPod to its best accessory: a BMW 1 series :lol:

To assist forum users identify useful information on the board, here is a summary aimed at covering how to iPod your 1er.

Basically you have 4 options depending on budget, desired functionality and whether you have a facelifted model or not.

  • 1. Single connection to "Aux In" port under the centre armrest.

    Use a standard stereo audio cable with 2 male to male 3.5mm audio jacks. Connect one end to the "Aux In" under the centre armrest. Connect the other end to either (a) the headphone output of the iPod to access it's amplified signal OR (b) the docking port using an adapter to access the line out signal of the iPod. Although an extra adapter is needed, sound quality through the line out will be better than the amplified headphone signal. See . As connection is ultimately to the 1er Aux In port, your 1er controls will only effect the volume- all iPod functions will need to be selected through your iPod. However, there are some adapters that provide an extra controller and display which can be mounted to the dashboard that replicate your ipod controls and screen to make it easier to select and view your music choices, see
    2. Double connection to "Aux In" and "USB" ports under the centre armrest (facelifted models only- ).

    Use BMW's double cable that connects to the "USB" and "aux in" ports on your 1er to the docking port on your iPod. As with option 1, iPod output will be through the "aux in" port plus, the additional USB connection will allow control and display of your iPod functions by your 1er. See together with the link to .

    3. Replace CD changer connection (pre facelift models)

    Use BMW's special iPod kit that lets your iPod replace the CD changer connection to your radio. While this means you will lose your CD changer, the kit uses the iPod's line out signal and you can control and display your iPod functions through your 1er. Beware, there are 2 BMW kits- be sure to get the right one. See
    4. Wireless connection using FM modulator

    Use a FM modulator connected to your iPod like an iTrip or get a kit which can also bring up the song names via RDS on the dash display- see . As connection is ultimately through the FM receiver of your radio, your 1er controls will only effect the volume- all iPod functions will need to be selected through your iPod. However, there are some adapters that provide an extra controller and display which can be mounted to the dashboard that replicate your ipod controls and screen to make it easier to select and view your music choices, see There maybe some sound quality with this method.

Any questions or wish to share your experiences with what adapters you used, prices or mounting suggestions? Please feel free to post below.

Please note, all care has been taken to prepare the above summary of the posts on BabyBMW but it is a guide only. No responsibility is accepted for inaccuracies but if you spot one, please let me know and I will amend accordingly.

130girl :)
 

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How abouts an FM modulator kit from ?

Thats what i have in my works car, it communicates via FM station on Radio, and brings up the song names via RDS on the dash display, and you change sons on the ipod.

You ipod plugs into the ipod lead/socket on the kit wherever you fit it, or in an optional cradle.

About £60-£80 GBP

Alternative a Dension IceLink for a bit more money connects into the CD port i think
 

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Just plug the iPod into the audio-in slot. it works perfectly and you don't have to re-arrange the audio system. the only thing to take care about is not to look at the ipod when you skip through the songs...it's dangerous, especially in a congestion.
 

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Pilsbury said:
Dension Gateway 500 is listed as E87 compatible and allows you to retain the CD changer, have your iPod and use a USB stick as well...
I've spoken to some of the UK suppliers and according to them it is not compatible. I was going to buy one myself but am a bit concerned. I've contacted Dension but they haven't bothered replying which is really handy and there is no way I am prepared to fork out £300 to find out it will not work and the supplier will not take it back as the kit has been installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pilsbury said:
Dension Gateway 500 is listed as E87 compatible and allows you to retain the CD changer, have your iPod and use a USB stick as well...
Hi Pilsbury
Looks like an excellent option :thumbs:
I haven't been able to find anyone who has tried it though.
Has anyone tried this option and done a write up?
130girl :)
 

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I had a Dension in my 7, and it gave me nothing but problems until I got it replaced.
The exact unit you get seems to be an issue, as other people with identical setups had theirs working perfectly from day 1.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi Pilsbury and Slackworth,

Hmmm... as there seems to be some question over compatibility and reliability, I will leave it off the list until at least one member can come back with a positive experience to recommend it.

In the meantime, forum users can read your posts above if they want to pursue this kind of aftermarket BUS connection further and hopefully, let us know how it goes!!!

130girl :)
 

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Another option is the Harmon Kardon iDrice kit.

I have this in my car and it works great.
It consists of a "Brain", controller which mimics the iPod wheel and screen.

The good thing about this system is that you can hide the Ipod in the glovebox or centre console as you dont need it to control the Ipod.
The songs are displayed on a separata LCD screen similar to a small sat-nav display.
The whole system is plug and play and works very well.
I have this fitted to my car as i didn't want to have the Ipod out or control the music from it whilst driving.
Cost me £90......fitted myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
120deman said:
Another option is the Harmon Kardon iDrice kit.
Thanks 120deman :thumbs:

I just did a quick google. Is it this that connects to the headunit unit using an FM transmitter but also has a seperate screen and controller? I couldn't find an "HK iDrive kit" but this looks like it but called "Harmon Kardon Drive + Play"??

In that case, it would be sort of a deluxe version of option 4 but with extra display and controller? Looks cool and I see they have a version 2 as well.

130girl :)
 

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Hi 130 girl

That'll be the one.
You have 2 options of connecting it.
1. Aux input
2 FM Transmitter.

I've used the Aux input to avoid any outside / radio interference.

I've got version 1. Version 2 wasn't around when i got mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi plb67,

Yep, a good suggestion- this is like an aftermarket version of the OEM bmw connection in option#3 with some of these aftermarket versions also allowing the cd changer to be kept and other media like usb stick to be used.

However, have you tried it? It appears that no one on the forum has posted a review on their installation of this option in a 1er so I do not want to add it to the summary until we have some comments.

In the meantime, people can read your suggestion above if they want to try it.

130girl :)
 

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Dension compatibility on the 1 Series seems to be a bit flakey at the moment. The French site definitely has a BMW version but UK suppliers seem to think otherwise and Dension's English website couldn't be bothered to reply. :roll: :evil:
 

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130girl, please move this if you don't think it belongs here. I've just found a really cheap and effective solution to positioning the iPod in my 1er. It's really made for mobile phones, but works equally well for the iPod. It's a dimpled silicone "patch" with an adhesive backing. The adhesive side is stuck to the back of the iPod, and the silicone side gives a non-skid interface to almost any surface. I now keep my iPod in the center armrest (out of sight) when I'm not in the car, and remove it and place it on the closed center armrest when driving. It's handy there, and I can manipulate the iPod controls by touch with my left hand. The silicone pad is very effective - the iPod "jiggles" a bit on the move, but will maintain its position, even through roundabouts at (ahem) speed. Cost me $5. I wish I could tell you the make, etc, but the guy in the shop tore the packet up when I bought it , so I don't have any details. The "patch" is about 3.5cm x 1.5cm in size.

I used to place my iPod in the cup holders, but it rattled, was difficult to access the controls, and looked kinda sad sitting upside down with the dock connector standing out like the proverbial. Now it looks good, is handy, easy to control without distraction, and I did it without any invasive surgery on the car. Which can only be seen as a "good thing".

Dave.
 

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I haven't got any pictures yet, but the patch thingy is made by egrips. See:


The one I used is a "Phone Tredz" I think, but they make stuff which is designed for the iPod specifically. I suspect this would be overkill for my application, though.

Dave.
 
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