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Best iPOD Kit - Mercedes E-Class


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#1 of 5 Chuck Schmidt

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Posted June 07 2006 - 03:48 AM

I need some help.

I just picked up a 2006 E-Class and am looking to be able to play MP3s in the car. I do know that Benz has their own "iPOD Integration Kit" however there is VERY little information available on it. The dealership doesn't have any brochures, nor do they have any cars with it installed to show me how it functions.

Obviously functionality is critical to me. I've been told that you can view what's playing in the Multi-Function Display on the speedometer, but I can't imagine that it would be easy to use if that was my ONLY way to view iPOD music.

The display area is small --- great for showing whats playing --- but I could never be able to scroll, select artists, or playlists from that little window.

So here is what I'm asking since there isn't much info available to me:

1) Does anyone have this Mercedes iPOD kit and how does it work? Is there a good place to get solid info on it?

2) What other options are out there (not by Mercedes) that might work better? I've heard of Dension, but haven't found much specifically for my car that might work.

Need some advise here. I'm a huge MP3 user and would love to get this working in my car...if I can find something thats functional and easy to use.

Thanks!

#2 of 5 Scott L

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Posted June 07 2006 - 06:23 AM

I know most expensive luxury sedans integrate all the technology together, and that means the head unit as well so I'm not sure how this may factor in:

http://www.alpinefullspeed.com/

#3 of 5 Chuck Schmidt

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Posted June 08 2006 - 03:11 AM

Yes they do have an intergrated system for all of the devices in the car, so something like an alpine-made unit which requires installation of their player isn't really an option. I have heard of units that plug into open ports on cars like this though that do integrate well. That is what Im trying to find out about.

#4 of 5 Chad_K

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Posted July 07 2006 - 02:12 AM

The best way to run an Ipod in your car is to find an Auxillary adaptor to input sound from the Ipod into the head unit directly. This will allow you to control the Ipod from the Ipod. Most adaptors for stereos that work with the Ipod locks up the Ipod and you have to control it through the radio which does not have a very good display and controls of the Ipod are usually limited this way also.
Chad Kemp
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A/V Connections Inc
Little Rock, ARchadkemp@sbcglobal.net

#5 of 5 alexatlanta

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Posted September 18 2008 - 08:14 AM

I got one of these for my car (2006 E-350) last week. I had the dealer put the unit in during a service visit and paid the over the top $700 price for the install and kit.

I had read that the unit only goes through the dash, you have to use the steering wheel to adjust the settings, and that the sound was woefully under powered compared to the radio. All this is true. However, I read the manual and fixed many issues.

First, a run down of the good and bad:
1. The unit fits in the glove box and replaces the aux jack. You no longer get the aux jack, but instead have a ipod link. The link provides power and charges the ipod, something the aux jack did not do. I love this.
2. The interface is purely through the steering wheel. It uses the phone buttons in a very unintuitive manner, but you get used to it. It uses the general ipod interface via the speedometer screen, but will not scroll, nor show extra information such as artist in shuffle mode. It really should have gone through the Command system, but does not. The only functions of the Command system are to adjust sound settings.
3. At install, the sound is very soft compared to the radio. If you switch to the radio from the ipod/aux, you will be startled by the loudness of the radio. Having read the manual (people do that sometimes), I found a couple good ways to balance the sound and make it much better. For me, this made changing from the ipod to radio very smooth and not jarring.
a. first, adjust your itunes to edit/preferences/playback. Select Sound Check and Sound Enhancer. Set Sound Enhancer to 75%high (between the middle and high). This makes the sounds fuller and less variable between recordings.
b. Second, on the ipod, set your Equalizer to POP. This makes the sound more rich on the Mercedes speakers. The no EQ setting seemed flat. This is in the manual and seems a good idea.

Now that I have had the unit for some time (a week of rush hour traffic), I do like sound quality, the benefit of having 1000 songs at my fingertips, and the overall quality is good enough for me. I have never felt that ipod tunes are up to CD or DVD recorded music, but having done the above adjustments, I can barely tell the difference between a CD and the ipod songs.

I hate the price tag and I really don't like the interface, but it is livable since I generally use a playlist or shuffle and just forget about fiddling with the unit. I do get lots of "Who is playing now?" questions from passengers and I have no idea since the display does not tell me... but this is livable for me.

Good luck.