Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Hey guys,


ive got the poverty system in my 520d I'm looking to install a secondary head unit into the recess just above the ashtray (see pic) the reason for this is I don't want to mess with the original stuff and loose any of the systems like nav Bluetooth etc has anyone done this and are there pros and cons or pointers you can give me please 



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites



What are you trying to achieve by adding a secondary head unit? are you looking for specific features? better audio quality? both? 


An aftermarket head unit won't 'connect' with the BMW audio system and features, so you'd need to run new power/ground cables, speaker cables, an antenna etc. The oem speakers are driven by the oem amplifier or the amplifier that's built into the setup and the aftermarket head unit won't connect with the oem amplifier. The oem speakers aren't really all that good, so the full upgrade kits which have much better drivers start from around £300 for the MTX kit which has 2xtweeters, 2x midrange and 2x under seat subwoofers and dedicated crossovers for each. You could connect the head unit you buy to the crossovers and then swap in the upgraded speakers. Those speakers would sound and play even better if you run them with a dedicated small footprint amplifier. 


The above is assuming that a shallow depth single DIN head unit will fit and won't need any or just a little bit of modification to fit in that area pictured.


Ultimately, the choice is yours, but overall there's hardly any owners who've gone this route, so as per the question above, what's the kind of upgrade are you looking for ?


Cheers, Dennis!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dennis,


The system I am looking to introduce has potential to add screens to it which I'm looking to put in the front headrests, 

but I don't want to touch the existing setup as I don't want to loose any of the functions,


I am lookimg at a full custom install of the additional bits 


2 x tv screens

door pods front with 2 components 

shelf pods with 2 components 

tweeters dash mounted or A pillar 



1 x 4ch amplifier 

1 x mono

2 x 12" subwoofers 

maybe a power cap to assist 


I am happy to wire this all in myself as I've done it many many times I would simply switch volume down on the existing so I still have all functions i.e. Phone nav etc 

amd the use the other for when it's alone time or family travel with me 


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jongriff,


Thanks for the update!


Initial impressions of what you mention are that it's of course possible, but means more time/effort/faff spent on installing it as well as fabrication work which will increase costs/make it less worthwhile than perhaps a more 'streamlined' approach. 


From what you've mentioned, you want Sound Quality increases so I'd say that 'streamlined' approach would be;


Upgrade the front stage to one of the dedicated E60/1 speaker kits. The MTX kit is £300 or so, and you've got similar choices from Gladen, Rockford Fosgate, Focal, MB Quart etc. These will provide an immediate increase in SQ as they're impedance matched and direct drop in fitment. Later, you could get a sound processor that takes all the outputs from the OEM amp (or head unit) on board and it'll cleverly provide a clean, voltage boosted, non distorted signal via RCA's. You'd then get that 4 channel or 5 channel (even a 6 channel) amplifier, and then you'd run the front upgraded stage with more power that's also cleaner. Another pair of channels for some 5.25 or 6.5 inch co-axials on the rear deck (not 100% sure on the E60 the spec there) and then either a single subwoofer channel (if a 5 channel amp is chosen) or a bridged subwoofer channel (where a 6 channel amp with the ability to bridge channels 5&6) to drive then a 8/10/12 inch subwoofer in the boot of the car. 


A few years ago, one of the enthusiasts seen often at some local events had a fantastic setup like above his E60;





This sounded clean and smooth, very well installed and setup to provide efficient delivery without ever sounding strained. This was prior to those full matched speaker kits were around and it was the Sound Processor route but via a special OEM interface which connected via the Fibre Optics and extracted a pure optical audio output, then analysed and converted to RCA before being fed to the amps and thus speakers. It's still possible to go this route where then the amplifiers and speakers may be of a higher class/grade where even better audio performance is required. When you mention door pods and fabricated speaker builds, then to do these well and properly does push the price up significantly, when you then use suitable higher performing speakers, you could be looking at £750-1000 per door. A more wallet friendly option would be the unpopulated Jenhert E60/1 door builds at around £335/pr or the same items but populated with their choice speakers at £535/pr (this option contains 2x Woofers, 1 x midrage and 1x Tweeter)


The easy way for the headrests is to use headrest pillar mounts which then hold a tablet securely. Instead of cutting up the leather and having to feed wiring for the power as well as then also fitting a video source and having that connected to perhaps a TV tuner, games Console, DVD player etc, you get a much more versatile and cheaper setup. The headrest tablet holders can be had for between £10-25 and then you use whichever tablets you have, another benefit is that you simply unhook the holders and take the tablets with you when arriving at your destination.


Lastly, if you purchase excellent quality amplifiers and install them well and sensibly, there's no need for a power capacitor. The internal Power Supplies of such amplifiers are more efficient and thus, convert more of the electrical power to audio signals for a given current requirement of the amplification stage. Cheaper, less efficient car amplifiers have internal PSU's that simply aren't capable enough, and it's those where a Power Cap is often suggested to use. This is still not quite the way to go as instead, an upgrade to the car's electrical system then provides more current for those more inefficient PSU's. 


The above would be my suggestion to you. If you wish to go with a separate setup, then look to single DIN units, a 5/6 inch screen and remote mounted control units, a car PC again with a dedicated screen to mount. It sounds as though you are confident with running wires and connecting them up, so if you like to tinker around and create your own, then do consider the 'separate' system install. 


Cheers, Dennis!

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now