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TrM5

E39 Latest Multimedia Head Unit Options....

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I've been out the loop on these for a few years now, I had a Dynavin in my previous E39 purchased probably about 2014 I think. Anyway - what are the latest/best offerings? I have seen adverts for "Pumpkin" units? Dynavin are still there....not sure on others but there seem to be many now.?

 

Dennis? Is this your forte?

 

Any guidance / up to date advice - much appreciated!

 

Thanks

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Hi TrM5,

 

This is my area of interest yes!

 

For the Chinese route, the 'best' of them is the recently announced Avin Avant 3 unit. It has much better OEM look aesthetics, promises OBC and DSP support and is also a mechless unit so shallow and easy to fit. It's only available from Avin in the USA and it's pricey once you add in the various import costs - 

https://avinusa.com/avant-3-for-bmw-5-series-e39-m5-android-multimedia-navigation-system.html

 

The next best unit would be the Dynavin N7, but it doesn't have all the features of the Avant 3. The best support for these units is only with the USA based importer/reseller and for that market mainly. The UK importer/distributors have changed recently so maybe they'll offer the same level of knowledge and after sales care.

 

Overall, with the  rest of the 'Chinese' route of replacement head units, the situation is pretty much the same as previously, in so much that the units awash all over ebay and with 'brand' names like pumpkin, secaine, erisin, xtrons, eonon etc it's buyer beware as there's very little good support and after sales care. If you get a fully working one that stays working longer term, you'll be one of the few lucky ones. 'Some' purchasers are happy, the majority aren't. Over the years, some of those brands have been mentioned a lot on many BMW forums and after a short while, the problems begin to be mentioned. Some have even sponsored forums and again, threads have started off well and then within a few months problems arise and little support for purchasers and then removal from the forum by the owners as they then don't wish their forums to be associated with them (Eonon!) From a 'functions' perspective, then they have the latest technologies but given their low quality/generic quality, reliability and performance/Sound Quality etc are low.

 

There's a 'new' UK based company now that sells a number of these 'clone' type replacement units and are the latest company here attempting to retail them in accordance with UK retail law. The ones previously who did the same now no longer exist and/or decided to stop selling chinese head units, so 'hopefully' these guys will support/warrant these units properly and for the long term. They're called Audio tech direct - https://audiotechdirect.com/

 

For the high quality, premium recognised and established brand route, you can choose from Pioneer, Alpine, Parrot, Kenwood, Sony, JVC. Out of the box, none have 'oem ish' aesthetics about them as they're all the standard DIN or Double DIN sizing (they do offer specific fit units for certain cars but not the E39). I personally prefer this route given I prefer all the reliability, much better performance/SQ, proper after sales care and support if needed from local UK independent car audio dealers etc. 

 

Ideally, what solution are you looking for to have installed in your car?

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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Dennis you are a gent and a goldmine of information!

 

I personally prefer the OEM look items. I installed Dynavin previously and found it a reliable system. Satnav was excellent, the amp was plausible and genuinely did improve sound quality, but the interfaces were clunky and the telephone integration poor. OBC interaction was good. Overall I was happy enough with it as I don't tend to make too many calls on the move. However I also recall it costing circa £1k all paid for and installed inc reversing camera. I dont want to spend that again.

 

I hoped that in the 4-5 years since, there had been a step change in user interaction and bluetooth capability, plus an expected price drop. 

 

I def wont go pioneer JVC etc route - I'd rather keep oem system in place with a bolt on USB thing via the old CD changer comms.

 

I shall look at the options you list above - your insights are invaluable and have saved me time and effort running down blind alleys - so are much appreciated!

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Hi,

 

Assuming an exchange rate of £1 = $1.40 (current rates are fluctuating between around $1.38 - $1.42) & import duty being 5% then;

 

1. If it's 'just' the unit itself with no options and assuming $50 worth of credit is given back by Avin if Import Duty is charged (around £35), then I'd estimate the landed cost would be 'around' £615-625.

2. If ALL the options are ticked, including the Euro/UK GPS maps and the two harnesses & assuming the $50 worth of credit given back (depends on if you need both or not) then I'd estimate the land cost would be 'around' £1195-1215. 

 

Cost would vary in between those two prices depending on which options are ticked. 

 

Cheers, Dennis!

Edited by DennisCooper

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thanks dennis round about what i thought

incidentally how much better quality wise are they than the chinese ones are they do you reccon

 

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Hi,

 

These unit's are pretty much the same in terms of quality, i.e they're low/generic grade electronics internally. These Avin Avant 3's are the only chinese units currently with this slim chassis and to achieve that, they've used different electronics internally, so in that regard only, they're better than all the other chinese clone units all over ebay etc but I'd say marginally. On the spec list on the Avin website, they use various descriptors that are technical and other's which are vague - classic diversion marketing where the quality is low/generic to make it sound 'good', I mean what's 'Hifi Class' meant to be? and the overly technical jargon in the Radio/Tuner section?!

 

The Apple CarPlay bit - it's not Genuine Apple CarPlay that you get in factory fit new cars nor the licensed version that brands like Alpine, Pioneer, Kenwood, JVC etc have. 

 

Are you thinking of going for one ?!

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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thanks dennis  (don't know about you dennis  but i DON'T do apple ) so that part not fussed about :D

i have had my xtron unit (pf7539bap)  coming up for 2 y now and no real problems apart from lousey fm/am reception ( got a dab usb unit conected as well so not all bad on the radio front) also slow responce from the volume etc for the first few mins of turning on ( i posted a queston a few days ago in audio and 39 sections about the powered antenna amp in d piller  but no answers as yet :(

 

i'am not  looking to sell car  if ever :D just had this years mot all good etc.

 

i like the look of the units but is it  £ 300 + better than what i paid for the xtron iam not sure .

 to go to the next level in audio world i need to amp up the focal speakers i fitted along with the above unit

and get a sub in there someware 

so yes iam am thinking if i go  dsp + amp + sub i might as well have a real good looking head unit, it just weighing up the pro and cons of an extra outlay  at

that time .

 

as iam having the interior out this summer to finish the reversing cam, headlight washer's, proper headlight selflevel sensors ,i might as well do all the wiring for the audio

in one go

also i need to get some paint done  and fit the boot spoiler i have had in shed for last 4 years :lol: remember the group buy

so shapeing up to be a bisy summer

 

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My take on it is that the E39 is not really a car that's worth an investment of £1200 on a bespoke head unit. Spending that much on better quality/brand kit that can be moved (head unit/amp as opposed to speakers/enclosures) to the next car makes some sense of course. Sadly the double din fascia adapters are either poor and/or expensive!

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Hi,

 

Supertramp - There's usually always some niggle/issue/problem(s) with the cheap chinese units that overall do manage to work longer term. For every owner/unit like that, there's plenty more that have had more issues/problems or has failed completely - consider yourself one of the 'luckier' ones ! Not sure on the Antenna question, I personally stream via Bluetooth from my phone using the free TuneIn app for when I want to listen to UK radio stations. I don't need to worry/troubleshoot antenna issues/digital radio boxes and installations etc. The Avin Avant 3 is perhaps the best on paper currently for the chinese head unit option, but watch out for the increased costs if you tick more of the 'option' boxes ! As you have a Touring, there's good ways of upgrading the audio and keeping things stealthily mounted/installed, it all depends on what you want and the level of 'hiding' you'd want. If you go with a aftermarket unit, then you'd simplify things a bit as it'd be 'Head unit to aftermarket Amplifier' directly via RCA leads - you wouldn't need to keep any of the OEM audio modules. I've done a  full install in my Touring, zero oem audio aspects involved! Later in the summer if you do 'prepare' your car for future audio upgrades, it'll give you some time to evaluate what you'd like as well as buy the products needed over time. Let me know if you wish to discuss any aspects - more than happy to help/advise :)

 

Adamhearn - I agree with you for the most extent. There are 'some' owners who will get a high quality, reputable and well regarded head unit at £750-1000 and also £1000-1350 or so and then have them fitted with one of the current fascia adapters etc along with a well installed rest of setup. Granted, overall there's not many of these such owners but you'd be surprised !  What would the ideal D/Din adapter be ?

 

Cheers, Dennis!

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