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Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-16-2011, 7:36 PM Reply   
I'm looking at getting a new head unit. I've got an iPhone 4 and an original 64 GB iPad. It would be cool to be able to just hand a passenger the iPad (In an Otter Box) and tell them to play DJ without being tethered by a USB cable. So, I'd potentially be interested in getting a receiver that has USB and Bluetooth capabilities but I don't want to have to take a big sacrifice in audio quality to do it.

I've heard that with recent equipment that you don't take much of a hit in sound quality since we're already dealing with compressed audio anyway. Is it worth going for one with Bluetooth or should I just get one with an iPhone capable USB port?

My "system" is pretty basic consisting of 8 Polk DB651 speakers (4 on the tower powered by a 200 watt amp, 4 in the cabin powered by the HU). I have short term plans for anHU w/ aux input and long term plans for a 5-6 Ch amp to power everything including an Image Dynamics 10" sub that I already own. So, I never plan to go very big $$$.

For a Bluetooth capable HU I'm looking at the Sony DSX-S300BTX (I don't care about CDs):
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158DSX3...=T#details-tab

For a USB only I'm looking at the Alpine CDE-123:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500CDE1...Brand%7cAlpine

Has anyone made any direct comparisons with recent, budget equipment between interfacing with a device on USB and then on Bluetooth?
Old     (nitrousbird)      Join Date: Sep 2008       12-17-2011, 6:16 AM Reply   
A lot of head units don't have Bluetooth anymore - I find it unfortunate, as I sometimes use that feature on my Pioneer.

I would not put Sony mobile audio into anything; I've never been impressed with their stuff.

For the Alpine, I'd suggest going with a Marine unit so you can purchase the transom remote. I'd suggest this:
http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/cda-9886m/

Or this:
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_500AX10...M.html?tp=1721

I sure hope you aren't purchasing at Crutchfield, as their stuff is way overpriced. You can get both of those head units I listed for under $300 shipped if you look (I have the X100m). At that point, you can add the transom remote to either:

http://www.alpine-usa.com/product/view/mc20/

I bought the MC10 instead, as is the exact same thing but doesn't do dual zone volume (which neither of these head units listed does). I got the MC10 kit for about $90, and an additional MC1 unit (you can add up to 8 units) for $20, all brand new shipped. I have one remote in the transom, and I am going to build a pod for the dash next to the glove box for the other unit, so passengers can change volume, channels on the Sirius, or control my iPhone.

If you don't like the above advice and want to go with a non-marine head unit and no remotes, for a non-Bluetooth unit I'd suggest this:
http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-MVH-P8.../dp/B004HW6F9C
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-17-2011, 6:39 AM Reply   
Thanks but all of those are about double what I'd want to spend ($175 or less). I wasn't necessarily planning on buying from Crutchfield, they just seem to have the most detailed info. I've bought things from them in the past when they were on sale (I.e. the same price that you could get the item at other sites any day of the year) and was satisfied.

I don't care about transom remotes but wouldn't mind one with a coated board.
Old    Tyler Smith (smitty1258)      Join Date: Jun 2009       12-17-2011, 7:53 AM Reply   
I have a JVC bluetooth unit and ill never go back. Streaming bluetooth audio sounds great(im sure its not the best you could ever get) and I dont really notice any difference between the bluetooth and the aux cable that we used to use and was a pain in the ass. Bluetooth works great, phone gets passed around and everyone can do and play what they want.

Use a volume speed control program to have the sound go up and down when you go faster/slower.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-18-2011, 4:42 PM Reply   
Anything with an AUX port can stream through bluetooth with this.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/BlackBerry-R...#ht_1063wt_905

Don't pay that much though, I bought mine for $20
I run this in my car just like this:
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-18-2011, 5:49 PM Reply   
I bought a Yamaha home amp from Crutchfield recently... that has Bluetooth connectivity. We're finding it pretty convenient for Ipods & Droids. It sounds as good as if it was hard wired. And easy to change from one to the other quickly.
Old    Hate N Pain (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-19-2011, 12:16 PM Reply   
I'm not sure how my experience wil relate but I'll share it anyway. I have the Microsft Sync system in my truck and use the BTST feature all the time and always felt that it offered very good audio quality. I decided to test it against using a 3.5 plug and found that I actually got a better audio signal with the BTST. I'm not sure if as to why but I've theorized that the signal is pumped up some how. It's certainly nice to be able to control the audio from a distance. For instance you could be 20-30' away and still control everything from the music being played to the volume level from your phone/iPad.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-19-2011, 5:05 PM Reply   
Pretty good feedback so far. I guess I'll spring for a bluetooth receiver and see how it goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hatepain View Post
I'm not sure if as to why but I've theorized that the signal is pumped up some how.
I'm betting it's actually the opposite. My theory is that the internal amplification circuit of the MP3 Player/Phone is introducing some noise into the signal. Bluetooth is eliminating the internal amplification and sending a clean signal straight to the receiver for processing.
Old    Jman (jmanolinsky)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-19-2011, 5:18 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by smitty1258 View Post
I have a JVC bluetooth unit and ill never go back. Streaming bluetooth audio sounds great(im sure its not the best you could ever get) and I dont really notice any difference between the bluetooth and the aux cable that we used to use and was a pain in the ass. Bluetooth works great, phone gets passed around and everyone can do and play what they want.

Use a volume speed control program to have the sound go up and down when you go faster/slower.
Smitty,
Which JVC unit do you have? I have the KD-R900 and other than the display not being great in direct sun, I love it! It has bluetooth, USB, aux input, 3 sets of 5V preouts and uses burr-brown DACs and to top it off, I picked it up for around $150.
Old    Hate N Pain (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-19-2011, 5:38 PM Reply   
Quote:
I'm betting it's actually the opposite. My theory is that the internal amplification circuit of the MP3 Player/Phone is introducing some noise into the signal. Bluetooth is eliminating the internal amplification and sending a clean signal straight to the receiver for processing.
I was thinking in terms of the receiver.
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-19-2011, 7:51 PM Reply   
Hey does anyone know if a 2006 Moomba Mobius LSV has bluetooth capabilites? I assume not. How do you install bluetooth? Do you need a whole new head unit or something? I want to be able to play my iPod through the boat's speakers somehow but the stock stereo doesn't have an iPod input.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-20-2011, 4:01 AM Reply   
Quote:
Hey does anyone know if a 2006 Moomba Mobius LSV has bluetooth capabilites? I assume not. How do you install bluetooth? Do you need a whole new head unit or something? I want to be able to play my iPod through the boat's speakers somehow but the stock stereo doesn't have an iPod input.
Do you have a CD changer?
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-20-2011, 5:02 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidekicknicholas View Post
Do you have a CD changer?
I don't think so. It has a CD player, but I don't think it can't hold more than one.
Old    Tyler Smith (smitty1258)      Join Date: Jun 2009       12-20-2011, 6:02 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmanolinsky View Post
Smitty,
Which JVC unit do you have? I have the KD-R900 and other than the display not being great in direct sun, I love it! It has bluetooth, USB, aux input, 3 sets of 5V preouts and uses burr-brown DACs and to top it off, I picked it up for around $150.
I also have the KD-R900. Has been a champ. I do agree with the direct sunlight problem but I can count on one hand how many times this past summer it was an issue. I throw my droidx into the window dock, and stream away all day and hardly use the actual radio controls except to mute. Speed control volume is a great asset!
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       12-20-2011, 8:43 AM Reply   
Kyle
If your moomba has the same Kenwood that my 06 supra has, It has the opion to have one. Right now I have my Ipod hooked up through the headphone pluge using the CD changer input. If you hit the AUX input button on the front it will change the screen to say CD changer and that where I get the music from my Ipod.
Old    Alex Sy (asdfgboy)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-20-2011, 8:46 AM Reply   
I think yamaha is good! Btw nice itouch:0
Old    Bill K (bill_airjunky)      Join Date: Apr 2002       12-20-2011, 3:20 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by generalkyle View Post
Hey does anyone know if a 2006 Moomba Mobius LSV has bluetooth capabilites? I assume not. How do you install bluetooth? Do you need a whole new head unit or something? I want to be able to play my iPod through the boat's speakers somehow but the stock stereo doesn't have an iPod input.
I added bluetooth to my stock Chevy truck stereo with the Belkin Aircast device..... frequently sold at Frys for around $40. My Droid sounds great. An my buddies' Ipod too.

Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       12-20-2011, 5:49 PM Reply   
this is good stuff, but the major issue we had last year was battery life. it kills the ipod battery 2x as fast. so if you are plugged in to charge, why not just be plugged in to listen. i like the idea, just seams like we get about 2hrs of play time with bluetooth.
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-20-2011, 8:57 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonblarc7 View Post
Kyle
If your moomba has the same Kenwood that my 06 supra has, It has the opion to have one. Right now I have my Ipod hooked up through the headphone pluge using the CD changer input. If you hit the AUX input button on the front it will change the screen to say CD changer and that where I get the music from my Ipod.
It looks like the stock stereo in it is a Kenwood KDC-225MR and it looks like the specifications for it says that it should have a CD changer but I don't think ours has a CD changer. I could be wrong, but I don't think it does.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-21-2011, 5:20 AM Reply   
Quote:
It looks like the stock stereo in it is a Kenwood KDC-225MR and it looks like the specifications for it says that it should have a CD changer but I don't think ours has a CD changer. I could be wrong, but I don't think it does.
If it does about 99% of players have a kit that will use your CD changer input as AUX... did this on my fiance's Honda Accord - they made the stock head-unit and heating/cooling controls all one piece so removing is a huge PITA.... I bought a simple cord that turns the CD changer to a "Y" .... one end goes back to the CD changer, the other to a RCA connection (just used an RCA to Mini cord)..... her changer works fine still CDs 1-5, and CD 6 is the Aux input
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-21-2011, 7:28 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidekicknicholas View Post
If it does about 99% of players have a kit that will use your CD changer input as AUX... did this on my fiance's Honda Accord - they made the stock head-unit and heating/cooling controls all one piece so removing is a huge PITA.... I bought a simple cord that turns the CD changer to a "Y" .... one end goes back to the CD changer, the other to a RCA connection (just used an RCA to Mini cord)..... her changer works fine still CDs 1-5, and CD 6 is the Aux input

This looks like it would work. It's not bluetooth or wireless so will the sound quality be worse? I'll just use this as an alternative if bluetooth doesn't work anyway.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       12-21-2011, 9:33 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bill_airjunky View Post
I added bluetooth to my stock Chevy truck stereo with the Belkin Aircast device..... frequently sold at Frys for around $40. My Droid sounds great. An my buddies' Ipod too.

For a $50 hard wired solution, the clarion blt 370 is pretty sweet too.

Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-21-2011, 10:21 AM Reply   
Wouldn't it be sweet if the amps could talk to the head unit via bluetooth too? No more RCA cables? Not sure that the spec for Bluetooth allows that though, may only allow a single device to hook up.
Old    vision (bobenglish)      Join Date: Mar 2008       12-21-2011, 5:58 PM Reply   
With the cost of copper, I am waiting for wireless, self powered tower speakers with removable rechargeable battery packs. No more running wire. Power requirements of modern boat speakers currently make this impractical. But if the cost of copper keeps going up, perhaps some day.
Old     (Bakes)      Join Date: Mar 2010       12-21-2011, 6:11 PM Reply   
The harsh reality is that even though the bluetooth is cool and all, it kills your battery in short order so you end up running bluetooth and also having it plugged into the charger. Also, I am always losing my iphone when it is running of the bluetooth. I usually find it somewhere on the dash or behind my seat or something. Lots easier to find with the cord.

I have the Bluetrip receiver. Just need a 12 power outlet and a 1/8" cord that goes to the stereo. Works fine but then again my stereo setup sucks
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-21-2011, 6:33 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakes View Post
The harsh reality is that even though the bluetooth is cool and all, it kills your battery in short order so you end up running bluetooth and also having it plugged into the charger. Also, I am always losing my iphone when it is running of the bluetooth. I usually find it somewhere on the dash or behind my seat or something. Lots easier to find with the cord.

I have the Bluetrip receiver. Just need a 12 power outlet and a 1/8" cord that goes to the stereo. Works fine but then again my stereo setup sucks

Isn't the audio quality output from the cord hookup worse than bluetooth audio quality? That's what it seems like people say anyway.

What stereo do you have?
Old    - (Txjole)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-22-2011, 6:13 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by generalkyle View Post
Isn't the audio quality output from the cord hookup worse than bluetooth audio quality? That's what it seems like people say anyway.

What stereo do you have?
It is if you use the 3.5mm headphone jack, because it goes into the ipod eq and comes out 2volt. If you use the 16 pin bottom it does not use the eq and comes out 4 volt.
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-22-2011, 6:56 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Txjole View Post
It is if you use the 3.5mm headphone jack, because it goes into the ipod eq and comes out 2volt. If you use the 16 pin bottom it does not use the eq and comes out 4 volt.
This is a bit off- there is no noticeable measured difference b/t the the line out voltages on the 3.5mm jack and the 16 pin connection at the bottom. Take a look at this article.

http://beavishifi.com/articles/headphonejack/

Last edited by murphy_smith; 12-22-2011 at 6:59 AM.
Old    - (Txjole)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-22-2011, 7:17 AM Reply   
I stand corrected about the voltage but the sound quality is better so the link says.

"The good news is that Line Out jacks to sound better than headphone jacks for connecting to a stereo. First off, the line out jack addresses the impedance mismatch. And depending on your specific unit, it usually bypasses the headphone amplifier completely, thereby taking the noise, impedance and tone coloration out of the equation.

The bad news is that the Line Out jack on most portable media devices does not solve the output signal level. For example, the above tests showed us that on the Ipod, both the line out jack on the Apple Universal Dock and the Line out cables still put out a miserly signal of around 2 volts. So we still have that problem."
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-22-2011, 7:30 AM Reply   
I agree with you on the sound quality.

Here is another interesting article on Ipods. http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/whi...o-quality.html
Old    Kyle Gillen (generalkyle)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-22-2011, 7:36 AM Reply   
So the 16-pin connector has better sound quality AND it charges the iPod while playing it? Why even make an input via headphone jack? And really the only difference between 16 pin connector and bluetooth is that bluetooth is wireless?
Old    - (Txjole)      Join Date: Dec 2011       12-22-2011, 7:45 AM Reply   
I have a 16 pin on one end and usb/3.5mm male on the other. On my Nautique my 3.5 jack is right next to the 12volt power so I charge and play at the same time, right at the helm.


Last edited by Txjole; 12-22-2011 at 7:49 AM.
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-22-2011, 7:48 AM Reply   
Simply put a headphone amplifier that is intended for a low impedance termination will deliver less voltage into a much higher impedance termination. Its not a lot different than optimizing an output section of any amplifier for a particular load. Actually the headphone amplifier will have way more wattage output versus the preout when terminated into the comparably low impedance of a 100 ohm headset versus the 10 Kohm RCA input of an external amplifier.
But here is another issue. To conserve power and increase efficiency on a battery operated portable music player many headset amplifiers are simple Class B or Class AB with very little bias to correct for notch distortion. No promises but one would assume that the preout in cleaner in this sense.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Murphy Smith (murphy_smith)      Join Date: Dec 2005       12-22-2011, 8:43 AM Reply   
I prefer the peripheral IS 75 cable. It has 2 rca's on one end and a mini jack and 16 pin on the other. This allows me to go from the bottom of theipod into a set of RCA's while be able to control the music from the ipod. It also allows you to charge - but you have to hook up the power and ground on the cable.
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-22-2011, 8:51 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by murphy_smith View Post
I agree with you on the sound quality.

Here is another interesting article on Ipods. http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/whi...o-quality.html
Thanks for that post! I always thought there was a difference between my wife's 1st Nano and her newer one that we use, now I know...and my iPhone's definitely don't sound as good as the Nano did.
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       12-22-2011, 8:56 AM Reply   
So back to the original question, given the inherent problems with the ipod's preouts/headphone amp, is there any reason to believe that transmitting the music as 1s and 0s via Bluetooth is going to result in worse sound quality?
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-22-2011, 9:10 AM Reply   
Sure, but the question is can you actually hear the difference in a boat environment as compared to an esoteric audio system in a very quiet luxury car. With good original recordings and lossless files you can hear the difference between a direct link and an RF link in that ideal vehicle scenerio. Its pretty hard or at least much harder to tell the difference with a very good Bluetooth device in a boat.
When you look at the digital medium you will find that dynamic range is determined by splitting the amplitude between zero potential and full potential, then splitting the amplitude again between half potential into another smaller increment and so on and so on. So with digital by limiting the amount of processing available or transmission availalble you are limiting the number of increments. The net affect is not much different than compressing an analog signal in both dynamic range and frequency response.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Shawndoggy (shawndoggy)      Join Date: Nov 2009       12-22-2011, 9:19 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by david_e_m View Post
Sure, but the question is can you actually hear the difference in a boat environment as compared to an esoteric audio system in a very quiet luxury car. With good original recordings and lossless files you can hear the difference between a direct link and an RF link in that ideal vehicle scenerio. Its pretty hard or at least much harder to tell the difference with a very good Bluetooth device in a boat.
When you look at the digital medium you will find that dynamic range is determined by splitting the amplitude between zero potential and full potential, then splitting the amplitude again between half potential into another smaller increment and so on and so on. So with digital by limiting the amount of processing available or transmission availalble you are limiting the number of increments. The net affect is not much different than compressing an analog signal in both dynamic range and frequency response.

David
Earmark Marine
Would it be reasonable to translate this to mean "maybe, but most people won't be able to tell the difference on a boat?"
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       12-22-2011, 9:25 AM Reply   
so, lets say it works, are you going to pass it around then plug it in to charge? we have been messing with it for 2yrs and the same issue applies. the battery in the ipod, ipad etc dies 2 to3 times faster, so you end up plugging it in anyway
Old    Timmy! (timmyb)      Join Date: Apr 2007       12-22-2011, 9:26 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
Would it be reasonable to translate this to mean "maybe, but most people won't be able to tell the difference on a boat?"
That's the simplified answer!
Old    Earmark Marine (david_e_m)      Join Date: Jul 2008       12-22-2011, 9:51 AM Reply   
"maybe" works for me. So in a quiet cove with a serious system...tough call. No way you will tell the difference while underway.

David
Earmark Marine
Old    Nu Bu (05mobiuslsv)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-22-2011, 9:59 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by shawndoggy View Post
would it be reasonable to translate this to mean "maybe, but most people won't be able to tell the difference on a boat?"
lol :d
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-23-2011, 7:45 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougr View Post
so, lets say it works, are you going to pass it around then plug it in to charge? we have been messing with it for 2yrs and the same issue applies. the battery in the ipod, ipad etc dies 2 to3 times faster, so you end up plugging it in anyway
Well, my iPad seems to have a riduculous battery life (days with casual use). So, I had hoped it would give me 3-4 hrs of Bluetooth playback on a charge. Maybe too optimistic? The way I envisioned it playing out (pun intended) was that someone could start throwing together a playlist while it's simultaneously playing. Then they'd set it aside, potentially on a charger, if it was going to be a long day on the water.

If I was in an area with good 3G service and wanted to use pandora I'd just plug the iPhone into the head unit via USB.
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-23-2011, 7:52 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by timmyb View Post
Wouldn't it be sweet if the amps could talk to the head unit via bluetooth too? No more RCA cables? Not sure that the spec for Bluetooth allows that though, may only allow a single device to hook up.
With the move to digital amps I think I might prefer to see a move to something like a toslink optical or digital via coax cable as in home theater stuff currently. I'm envisioning automotive head units with a single digital output that could transmit multiple channels (front, rear, sub) over a single cable. If it was optical it would have the added benefit of eliminating concerns of running signal cables near power.
Old    doug rose (dougr)      Join Date: Dec 2009       12-24-2011, 7:18 AM Reply   
i ran my ipad2 yesterday in the house bluetooth to the lg sound bar on the tv. I ran for 1 hour and 36min and was just about dead. its probably also picking up wifi as well. it brand new ipad so it should give max battery life. so if you are in an area where you are picking up local wifi you may loose battery life faster too,
Old    Jeff D (Jeff)      Join Date: May 2010       12-24-2011, 9:12 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougr View Post
i ran my ipad2 yesterday in the house bluetooth to the lg sound bar on the tv. I ran for 1 hour and 36min and was just about dead. its probably also picking up wifi as well. it brand new ipad so it should give max battery life. so if you are in an area where you are picking up local wifi you may loose battery life faster too,
That's not very encouraging. You'd get a little more with wifi off but probably not much.

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