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      07-28-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
First Lieutenant

Drives: 125i
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Sydney

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Aux in cable or bluetooth for music/sound quality?

Would it be better quality to use an aux input such as the one above or bluetooth to play music with an iphone?

Now I thought for sure dock connecter input would be better but after thinking and looking at the cable, even though it uses the dock connector it seems like it still just plays music through the 3.5mm input which means it's using the DAC from the iphone right?

But at the same time I'm unsure how the bluetooth music streaming works. Does the phone transmit a digital signal to the sound system which then uses its DAC to convert the digital signal to analogue? In which case then if the amplifier (is this where the dac is lol) of the car is better than the iphone which it should be, then bluetooth would be better quality .. right?

I don't have much knowledge on these topics and haven't found much in terms of googling, any insight would be appreciated
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      08-01-2013, 03:50 AM   #2

Drives: m5
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Canada

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you can consult the salers
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      08-01-2013, 09:33 AM   #3
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Drives: 128i convertible
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Lexington, SC

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The hard wired connection will be better quality but I don't know if you would notice a difference. I don't know if the cable you linked brings the sound into the car via the usb or the headphone connection but the fact that it has both suggests it is the headphone output to the aux port of the car. If so, it is an analog signal coming out of your phone. The key reason I say wire is bandwidth, however. Bluetooth is a short range broadcast signal limited by it's bandwidth. A wired connection is not so limited. If you google something like "bluetooth music connection" you should find articles on the quality of that method of connection.

128i Convertible, MT, Alpine White, Black Top, Taupe Leatherette, Walnut, Sport
Ordered 5/22/09, Completed 6/4/09, At Port 6/9/09, On the Georgia Highway 6/13/09, Ship Arrived Charleston 6/24/09 at 10pm, PCD 7/21/09
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      08-05-2013, 12:19 AM   #4
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Drives: 128i
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Location: California

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Agreed. Although there is a new high bandwidth bluetooth audio standard on the horizon, neither your phone nor your car have this, yet. So unless the music on your phone is already poor (eg, 128 mp3 or apple files), you're going to get more of the signal into the car by using a wired connection.

I find an even better option is to put music files on a USB stick. The same files played back this way and via the 1/8" input tend to sound better in my car via the USB stick.

But note that this depends on which particular options your car has. The functionality of the USB connection has changed over the years. Some model years, you don't even need the silly BMW cable, and they can read you iphone music from a regular iphone cable connected to the phone and the car USB port. My car wouldn't, so I tried these alternatives.
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