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Old Sat, Jan-24-2009, 03:38:34 AM   #1
jmciver
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Default Bluetooth w/Audio Streaming Option: Parrot MK6000 w/OEM Steering Wheel Control

I just finished installing a Parrot MK6000 Bluetooth kit with steering wheel control adapter in my 05 E46 M3 so I thought I would post my impressions about it.

First, the hardware: The Parrot MK6000 is a full function BT handsfree kit that also alows you to stream audio from BT capable MP3 players, which includes many cell phones. I also used the Audicom SW101C steering wheel adapter to make use of the buttons on the steering wheel.

Install was very straight forward. I actually already had the MK6000 installed in the car previously (I used it as the audio interface between the car's speakers and my CarPC). The MK6000 uses a plug-n-play harness to connect to the radio so no wire splicing was necessary. The wire harness fit behind the radio and the MK6000 brain was installed behind the glove box. Installing the steering wheel adapter also did not require any splicing. The SW101C pluged directly into the MK6000 brain (replacing the original MK6000 control knob) and also the PnP harness for the MK6000 mentioned above. Unfortunatley, I could not figure a way to install the MK6000 microphone in the stock microphone location due to the shape of the microphone. But I was able to install the microphone under the rear view mirror so that it is hardly visible to the driver and from outside the car (but still performs very well).

Performance. The steering wheel adapter performed all the functions of the MK6000, including the voice dialing capabilities and streaming MP3s from the phone to the speakers. When using the MK6000 you have two options for accessing your phone book, depending on the capability of your phone. 1) The MK6000 will download your phone book and you can access your phonebook in the MK6000 memory via the steering wheel controls. 2) If your phone is voice activation capable (like iPhone, Blackberry, LG Dare, etc), then you can access your phone's voice recognition features via the MK6000. Option 2 is an upgrade over the BMW BT system since the BMW BT system can't use the voice recognition built into your phone if your phone has that capability nor can the BMW BT system stream audio from your phone or other BT capable MP3 players.

So why did I go this route and not BMW BT? I actually did a BMW BT retrofit approx 3 yrs ago, using the most currentt ULF at the time. Very recently I upgraded my phone to the LG Dare from Verizon and was very pissed when my phone didn't pair with the car. My only option was to buy the latest ULF (at $500+) or the latest TCU (at $300+). Or, buy the steering wheel adapter for $130 and use the MK6000 already installed in the car. The choice was simple for me.

Performance is execellent. Reception is crystal clear on both ends. I also really like being able to access the features on my phone via the phone's voice recognition capablities (again, something you can't do with BMW BT). Although I don't play MP3s from my phone that often, it is a very nice touch and streams CD quality audio.

It seems a good price for retrofitting BMW BT is around $350-$400, which assumes your car is pre-wired and you can use the TCU (which are cheaper than ULFs). This setup, with the Parrot MK6000, PnP harness and Audicom steering wheel adapter should be cheaper depending on where you get your components (eBay, etc), but you get a more capable BT system over the BMW BT system. It can even be cheaper if you don't want to use a Parrot kit with audio streaming capability (such as the Parrot CK3000 for example). I would say installation difficulty for both options is very similar.
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Last edited by jmciver; Sat, Jan-24-2009 at 01:26:23 PM.
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Discussing Bluetooth w/Audio Streaming Option: Parrot MK6000 w/OEM Steering Wheel Control in the Audio/In Car Entertainment (I.C.E.) Forum - Place to discuss sights and sounds. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)