Because the MOST bus is now industry standard, there are more enhancements available for it than for D2B systems.
MOST System Enhancement:
Adding an iPod or other music player:
Mercedes itself offers an iPod integration kit for some MOST-equipped cars. The car must have a 3.5mm AUX input before the system can be used (this excludes
, for example, the ’04 through ’06 S-Class, and possibly other models as well). When available, the MB kit offers full integration, including display of song title, album and artist information on the instrument cluster (NOT on the COMAND display), as well as steering wheel and head unit control of the iPod. However, use of the 3.5mm jack (whether with the MB iPod system or not) can result in loss of audio quality - see http://mbworld.org/forums/audio-elec...way-500-a.html
Dension, Nav-TV, mObridge, mCar and possibly others make fiber optic gateways for full integration of iPods (including iPhones) and other music players. The Dension Gateway xxx units have provisions for iPod, for RCA, and for USB inputs. Some Gateway xxx and mObridge units have provisions for Bluetooth phone capability and A2DP (stereo music streaming over Bluetooth) as well. Similar capability is provided by mCar. Nav-TV makes a range of fiber optic gateways that range from simply adding an AUX input capability to providing full integration of music players and phones. A new product recommended by one owner is the GROM MST4 - http://gromaudio.uk/media/grom_application_guide.pdf
The benefit of using a fiber optic gateway for such integration is superior sound quality when compared to the 3.5mm stereo jack that some cars have (often located in the glove compartment), and control of the iPod or USB device from the steering wheel and head unit buttons (control via the RCA inputs is not available). For further discussion of a Dension Gateway 500 installation, see https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...ady-prime.html
. Installation instructions for mObridge units are on video, and are easier to understand than those for the Dension units. See mObridge | Bridging media, communication, and lifestyle with your vehicle
and also NAV-TV
for more. The COMAND unit for MOST bus is text-capable, and all three units will display song title, artist, and album information on a COMAND screen (I do not know if it will do so for Audio 50 or other units). Limited track information is available on the instrument cluster multifunction display.
Be sure, however, to double check vehicle compatibility before ordering or starting to install these units. The differences can be subtle – for instance, a recent note on the Dension site observes that a particular gateway unit (the GW 500S BT) is not compatible with COMAND units having red and green telephone “send” and “end” buttons. That's fairly subtle and easy to miss.
Also, until a year ago, a fourth supplier, CarTronics of Atlanta, GA also sold iPod and Bluetooth systems for Mercedes under the iTronics brand. Unfortunately, the owner passed away, and one can no longer order from them.
However, as problematic as installation can be at times, these units offer superb sound quality and are significant improvements over CD changers, mp3 DVDs, and FM radio, for music. Contributor Floobydust has written an excellent analysis of the sound quality using various audio inputs, at OEM iPod Adapter vs. In-Dash CD vs. Gateway 500 - MBWorld.org Forums
D2B system Enhancement:
Adding an iPod or other music player:
Only Dension, www.dension.com
, offers iPod integration for D2B-equipped vehicles. Unfortunately, D2B COMAND units are not text-capable, and song title, artist, and album information is not available. Limited track information is displayed on the COMAND screen. One can control volume, and can scroll through tracks using the steering wheel controls. However, the best way to set up the system is to organize the music into playlists; then, before driving, choose a playlist. Once that is done, one can scroll within the playlist. Track numbers in the system are not necessarily accurate, and mainly serve to show that the song has changed.
The Mercedes Player MP40
is an MP3 device that can replace the CD changer in D2B equipped cars, and claims it can do so in many models from 1996-2005; see Mercedes Player MP40 - Mercedes Player
. The MP40 uses solid state media cards of several different types for music storage.
For D2B AND MOST Systems:
Adding A2DP Music Streaming:
As mentioned above, some systems from Dension, mObridge and Nav-TV offer A2DP (stereo music streaming over Bluetooth) in some of their fiber optic iPod integration units. However, members have also tried adding an A2DP “dongle” to a 30-pin iPod connector in an existing system. See https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...help-what.html
and Iphone 3G using A2DP connected to Pioneer car audio deck - MBWorld.org Forums
. SkippyJasper got one to work, but the pairing of both the phone and the A2DP seems a bit of a challenge - https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...merc-s-bt.html
- and williamhop102 provided this at post#4, https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...ml#post5748683
- ViseeO has come out with the Tune2air A2DP Bluetooth dongle that plugs into a 30-pin iPod/iPhone connector - http://www.viseeostore.com/products/mercedes-benz.html/
- We could use more information on this type of device. ViseO also has a WMA-3000A device for cars having the Media Interface or Media Interface Plus that allows for Bluetooth music streaming.
Some owners have reported success adding wi-fi "hot spot" equipment to their cars and using either a USB input or the 3.5mm stereo jack, if the car has one. See http://mbworld.org/forums/audio-elec...-glovebox.html
Last, for cars having a cassette deck, see the link in post #1
for a cassette that promises Bluetooth music streaming and telephony. More at http://www.ionaudio.com/products/det...pter-bluetooth
- ION says it is available for about $30, and, Bradm says a similar item is now available from Radio Shack for $49.95 (first link).
One can use one of several software enhancements, either through an iPhone, an Android phone, or an iPod Touch. Developers such as SRS Labs, BBE, and AudioForge have offerings, and the list will likely expand. See https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...ement-app.html
for some of the software apps - also, post # 19 in that thread suggests an excellent way to transfer a custom EQ setting to an iPod, and makes a recommendation on specific settings. Yours truly is using that EQ procedure in that post right now, and it works wonderfully in the Bose audio system in my W220. And contributor poopbunny (yes, that’s his screen name) has some additional suggestions for tweaking the custom EQ settings, especially useful if the speakers have been replaced or upgraded. Mike5215 has recommended the AudioForge EQ app, at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/w22...de-4-99-a.html
If you have a 3.5mm AUX jack, you can accomplish enhancements through hardware. Mike5215 has contributed an inexpensive hardware EQ enhancement for cars that have an AUX input, at https://www.benzworld.org/forums/aud...-easy-mod.html
- his installation in a W221 is nicely documented. He uses the hardware device in combination with the AudioForge EQ app mentioned above.
One member has suggested use of a high-end digital sound processor and some (optional) speaker upgrades HERE
Mirroring iPhone and Android phone screens on COMAND
Member hilarushi has posted that link for mirroring iPhone and Android phone screens onto the later model Mercedes COMAND screen; Video In Motion is also required (I have used the NAVIKS VIM device, though separate from the video mirroring, and it worked well).