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      09-17-2020, 08:23 PM   #1
Mr. Monday
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Question GROM BT3 alternatives?

I'm wondering if there are any other options for Bluetooth audio for the E86 Z4. I found this one that has good reviews but it's only available in the UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-M...-1&tag=z4fo-21

I have DSP and Bluetooth calling options so it would be nice if it worked with the steering wheel controls and the built in mics.

Edit: Just saw the Bluebus. I guess I need to decide if being able to use the OEM mic for calls is worth the extra $100.

Last edited by Mr. Monday; 09-17-2020 at 08:48 PM..
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      09-18-2020, 10:13 PM   #2
miscbrah
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Can I ask why you want an alternative to the GROM? I had nothing but great luck with it
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      09-19-2020, 03:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Monday View Post
I'm wondering if there are any other options for Bluetooth audio for the E86 Z4. I found this one that has good reviews but it's only available in the UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluetooth-M...-1&tag=z4fo-21

I have DSP and Bluetooth calling options so it would be nice if it worked with the steering wheel controls and the built in mics.

Edit: Just saw the Bluebus. I guess I need to decide if being able to use the OEM mic for calls is worth the extra $100.
So you cannot use the factory Mic with this module?
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      09-19-2020, 09:20 PM   #4
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I ordered a bluebus. It’s coming in October.
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      09-20-2020, 07:27 AM   #5
maupineda
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I have mine too coming next month. Everyone loves it, though there has been some issues on E46 users with top notch support. We should get a more polished version 😬
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      09-20-2020, 02:27 PM   #6
Mr. Monday
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miscbrah View Post
Can I ask why you want an alternative to the GROM? I had nothing but great luck with it
At first I was looking for something cheaper, but then I decided it was worth the money. I am now trying to decide if the factory mic support is worth the extra $100 for the bluebus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by c41250n View Post
So you cannot use the factory Mic with this module?
I don't believe the GROM uses the factory mic.
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      09-20-2020, 03:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Monday View Post
At first I was looking for something cheaper, but then I decided it was worth the money. I am now trying to decide if the factory mic support is worth the extra $100 for the bluebus.


I don't believe the GROM uses the factory mic.
I have the factory mic and phone kit in my current car (and previous one) - the two systems work together seamlessly. Music plays through the GROM Bluetooth connection and the phone hands over the call to the factory Bluetooth module without issue. Once you hang up, the radio goes back to the GROM input and resume playing music.

Never had an issue and did not run the GROM microphone. I know bluebus has a bunch of other features, what exactly I’m not sure lol, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the GROM again or to recommend it to friends.

On the other hand, I had a Tune2Air in my Audi that was pure junk - constantly dropped connection and had to be unplugged.
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      09-20-2020, 03:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miscbrah View Post
I know bluebus has a bunch of other features, what exactly I’m not sure lol, but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy the GROM again or to recommend it to friends.
A bunch of comfort features that are usually also codeable options, but I've made them work at the touch of a button. I also have a bunch of extra features planned, like being able to see phone notifications on your radio screen, so you can decide if you need to pull over and look at your phone, etc.

Having tried the GROM and having developed the BlueBus, I can tell you that the biggest feature is how much better the BlueBus sounds than the GROM.

Thanks!
-Ted
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      09-20-2020, 07:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t3ddftw View Post
A bunch of comfort features that are usually also codeable options, but I've made them work at the touch of a button. I also have a bunch of extra features planned, like being able to see phone notifications on your radio screen, so you can decide if you need to pull over and look at your phone, etc.

Having tried the GROM and having developed the BlueBus, I can tell you that the biggest feature is how much better the BlueBus sounds than the GROM.

Thanks!
-Ted
Awesome that you jumped in Ted! Would you mind sharing the other features that the BlueBus enables? I didn't see it listed on the ECS page or your site.

Last edited by miscbrah; 09-21-2020 at 09:17 AM..
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      09-21-2020, 04:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miscbrah View Post
Awesome that you jumped in Ted! Would you mind sharing the other features that the BlueBus enables? I didn't see it listed on the ECS page or your site.
They aren't listed because I don't want them to be the main selling point and I know for a fact that some vehicles aren't supported yet (late model X5s, for example).

* 3 / 5 Comfort Blinkers
* Unlocking of the vehicle when the engine is turned off
* Locking of the vehicle at a certain speed (10km/h or 20km/h)

Thanks!
-Ted
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      11-13-2020, 09:25 AM   #11
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I see the BlueBus uses BT 5.0 which should help with range and quality. Does anyone know what standard the Grom uses? I see it's called BT3 so I assume BT 3.0, but the specs page doesn't say.
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      11-16-2020, 02:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by westunion2007 View Post
I see the BlueBus uses BT 5.0 which should help with range and quality. Does anyone know what standard the Grom uses? I see it's called BT3 so I assume BT 3.0, but the specs page doesn't say.
The GROM uses some really cheap CSR8670-based module. I would guess it's BT 4.2 compliant, though.

The BlueBus uses a Sierra Wireless BC127 which is also CSR8670-based, but for the price premium, Sierra has kept on top of keeping the BT stack of the unit up to date.

Thanks!
-Ted
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      11-16-2020, 06:01 PM   #13
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what I noticed is that the phone connects to the BB very quickly, in a matter of seconds, my 2020 Ford Ranger takes considerably more... this was a nice surprise...
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      05-05-2021, 08:32 AM   #14
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I installed a GROM in my '08 and just can't get it to work longer than 2 minutes. The sound randomly switches to radio from Bluetooth while the screen is still on the CD track. It's not a range issue as I laid my phone directly on the unit in the trunk with no change in behavior. GROM sent me a jumper which didn't do anything but remove the ability to see what track is playing.

It sounds like BlueBus is the only other option out there even though it appears to be overkill for my model with no nav screen.
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      05-05-2021, 01:08 PM   #15
t3ddftw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mothy5000 View Post
I installed a GROM in my '08 and just can't get it to work longer than 2 minutes. The sound randomly switches to radio from Bluetooth while the screen is still on the CD track. It's not a range issue as I laid my phone directly on the unit in the trunk with no change in behavior. GROM sent me a jumper which didn't do anything but remove the ability to see what track is playing.

It sounds like BlueBus is the only other option out there even though it appears to be overkill for my model with no nav screen.
It sounds like your GROM is faulty. Did you try applying the firmware again via an SD Card?

In any case, I'm happy to take another customer from GROM

-Ted
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      05-05-2021, 06:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mothy5000 View Post
It sounds like BlueBus is the only other option out there even though it appears to be overkill for my model with no nav screen.
My car doesn't have nav and BlueBus has been a game changer for me. Having wireless audio and integration with the steering wheel controls is much better than just using the aux input.
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      10-13-2021, 05:20 AM   #17
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This is what I purchased and it works great. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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      10-13-2021, 06:27 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 20_bmwz4_20 View Post
This is what I purchased and it works great. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
My 996 targa came with one of those. Uses FM signal to integrate with the radio. Sound quality is pretty poor. Maybe yours is better, but the FM transmitter solutions tend not to sound great.
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      10-15-2021, 05:26 AM   #19
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The sound with the FM transmitter sounds great at any volume. Best low cost alternative in opinion.
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      11-28-2021, 07:56 AM   #20
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So I've been looking for another alternative, I want something cheaper and ready to ship asap which rules out the BlueBus. Has anyone used these before? https://www.germanaudiotech.com/prod...d-player-radio

I am linking to this website which charges $75, because it has a lot more detail. However if you google you can find them on Aliexpress or even Walmart for $12-16 and they appear to be identical. E.g. here is the Walmart one I just bought: https://www.walmart.com/ip/For-BMW-E...othe/206930146

Apparently it installs in the back of the Business CD player. I can't really find much more detail than that and I am not sure if it works with DSP or not, if it installs in the trunk or behind the CD player, etc.

Anyone have experience with these or have a hunch? The reddit comment which led me down this rabbit hole says he pulled his CD player and installed it there.

edit: for reference, my car is a 2008 3.0si without DSP or Nav.
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      12-20-2021, 01:26 AM   #21
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So I've been looking for another alternative, I want something cheaper and ready to ship asap which rules out the BlueBus. Has anyone used these before? https://www.germanaudiotech.com/prod...d-player-radio

I am linking to this website which charges $75, because it has a lot more detail. However if you google you can find them on Aliexpress or even Walmart for $12-16 and they appear to be identical. E.g. here is the Walmart one I just bought: https://www.walmart.com/ip/For-BMW-E...othe/206930146

Apparently it installs in the back of the Business CD player. I can't really find much more detail than that and I am not sure if it works with DSP or not, if it installs in the trunk or behind the CD player, etc.

Anyone have experience with these or have a hunch? The reddit comment which led me down this rabbit hole says he pulled his CD player and installed it there.

edit: for reference, my car is a 2008 3.0si without DSP or Nav.
————————
westunion2007, LMK if this works. Would love to do this on the cheap. I'm driving a 2007 3.0i without DSP or nav.
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      12-20-2021, 06:22 PM   #22
maupineda
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More than a year after and I still love the BB. Is has really brought the car to today’s convenience. It was not cheap, but typically good things cost a bit more.
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