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Hi all,

After driving a Ford Fusion with Microsoft SYNC system this past week, I've come to realize that the MB Factory iPod solution falls short in the areas of sound quality and usability.

I don't really mind the usability part (only able to control iPod from the instrument cluster), but what really stinks is the crap sound quality. I've tried the secret menu to increase the iPod loudness level, as well as installed the in-line amp. The noise floor (background hiss) is terrible, and the audio signal sounds like it's getting pushed through some sort of EQ filter that makes everything sound artificially flat. I listen to all sorts of music, from King's College Choir to Paul van Dyk - and they all sound disappointing on the Ipod. Burning the same MP3s as a data disc to a CD however results in very good audio quality.

One of my hypothesis, is that the MB iPod adapter uses the traditional "Line Out" on the Ipod connector, which then goes through a analog to digital conversion in the head unit (via the canabilized Aux-in line). This probably isn't ideally implemented, and there's alot of electrical noise in the car anyway which causes endless issues with noise.

My question is, do any of the aftermarket adapters (Dension, NavTV, iTronic) improve on the overall sound quality vs. factory iPod adapter? The iPod connector itself does not appear to be able to output digital (PCM) audio - so I'm thinking that even these other aftermarket units may suffer similar issues. The Ford SYNC system seems to get around this by playing all the files digitally - it treats the iPod as a big hard drive, and even manages to playback the protected iTunes files.

Thanks,
-Alex
'07 E320 Blue(tec)
 

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W212 M276 DELA 30 ; W211 OM642 ; R107 M117, W163 M112 E32
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Everything I've read puts the Dension above the mercedes factory cable. I'm going to be purchasing one in the near future...
 
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