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Master Geek
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Topic # 204623 10-Oct-2016 08:48
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Hi.

 

Sorry if this has been asked about many times on here before, but I just got a new car (2009 Mazda Axela) and still pretty newbieish to the whole car audio thing.

 

 

 

The car came with the standard Japanese entertainment unit (see pics) and from what I gather this is pretty much useless apart from the  CD player and radio (which has Japanese frequencies.)
The Bluetooth doesn't even stream audio, only acts as a phone.

 

Click to see full size

 

Click to see full size

 

Click to see full size

 

So this has lead me to upgrade/replace the head unit with something that will do everything. I'm hoping to get one with Android Auto (but if that too troublesome to get then I can live without.)
Happy to spend a couple of hundred on a decent unit (car has amazing Bose speaker system which I want to utilise as much as possible too!!) as I plan to keep this car for a while.

 

Also would be nice to have a reversing camera setup, not too sure if my car has one because the screen just goes blank when I put it in reverse.

 

 

 

Can anyone recommend a good head unit for purchase in NZ (online or in a store) or overseas if it'll work? What kind of things do I need to look out for while buying? (Already figured I need a 2 DIM one.)
Also can anyone recommend an installer in the Wellington region? 


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  Reply # 1648318 10-Oct-2016 09:06
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Yep, Double-Din - there are a few around.

 

You can either got he Chinese ebay/Ali-X route (cheaper) or get a Kenwood/Pioneer/Sony/JVC unit here. I think Kenwood do some reasonable units with CarPlay and Android Auto. Pioneer have at least one.

 

Regarding the Bose speakers in the car - you may find that the new unit wont drive them properly. I had a Nissan (import) with a Bose system in it. When the previous owner (may have actually been the importers) replaced the Japanese unit, they had to do some jiggery-pokery (I think, just disconnecting it and joining input cables to output cables) with the Bose amplifier (which was under the parcel tray in the boot). I think that most of these Bose systems have a Bose Amp/Processor which feeds the Bose speakers - the Head unit does no amplification. Also, often the Bose speakers are a very low impedance (which makes them loud, but could kill your amp/head unit). If you can find out how the speakers in your car are being driven, it may give you clues on what you'll have to do.

 

I'd agree that it would be nice if you could just continue to use the Bose system in the car - I have the previous MY Axela (2007 - BK) with a Bose system in it, but as it doesn't have the screen/GPS etc a band expander and 3rd party bluetooth addon was all I needed, and the system sounds good.


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  Reply # 1648331 10-Oct-2016 09:18
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Just saw this on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnSsZtXvNMw

 

Guy who adapted new stereo to go to a Bose amp - the amp needs inputs from the speaker level outputs on the Head Unit (he calls them Lows).


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1648349 10-Oct-2016 09:37
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Check out oemaudio.co.nz. They don't have Android Auto units but do have 2 way MirrorLink ones. Better in some ways than AA because it lets you operate what you want while driving, not what Google thinks is appropriate. While they may not have exactly what you're after, their videos are pretty good at showing what is possible.
Your question is exactly why I started the "Make your dumb car smart" thread.




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  Reply # 1648385 10-Oct-2016 10:09
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Dingbatt: Check out oemaudio.co.nz. They don't have Android Auto units but do have 2 way MirrorLink ones. Better in some ways than AA because it lets you operate what you want while driving, not what Google thinks is appropriate. While they may not have exactly what you're after, their videos are pretty good at showing what is possible.
Your question is exactly why I started the "Make your dumb car smart" thread.


This sounds exactly what I want/need!! Mirrorlink seems like a better and cheaper way to use my phone in the car.

Thanks, I'll have to make some enquiries and contact them (the website says cars with the Bose audio system should discuss with them first)

Heh it is a smart car... Just not in this country or with my limited high school Japanese skills lol

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  Reply # 1648419 10-Oct-2016 10:59
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These Eonon ones look good (US$ pricing) but built for the Mazda 3's. They are android based, so will play nicely with your phone I think.

 

https://www.eonon.com/Android-Car-GPS/Vehicle-Specific-GPS/GA6163F.html

 

Work with the Bose systems as well. Hooks into the cars CanBus so retain steering wheel controls and integration.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1648455 10-Oct-2016 12:02
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The eonon units look awesome. I have an Audi A3 and looks like they have a fully compatible unit for not to bad a price.





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  Reply # 1648484 10-Oct-2016 12:43
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+1 for Oemaudio - I bought a Nissan Leaf Gen2 and they put a nice little NZ head unit in it. Now have full NZ navigation/maps, full bluetooth control, and NZ radio frequencies etc.


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  Reply # 1648510 10-Oct-2016 13:13
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geekiegeek:

 

The eonon units look awesome. I have an Audi A3 and looks like they have a fully compatible unit for not to bad a price.

 

 

 

 

Shocking (ie. none) after sales support. Won't fix bugs in the units etc. I had one and so did a friend (in fact one of the Mazda 3 specific units). It wasn't good. Don't do it. You might as well choose the cheap Aliexpress route instead of Eonon.

 

 

 

Cheers - N

 

 




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  Reply # 1648525 10-Oct-2016 13:50
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Yeah even though the Eonon looks good and the price is great too, just a bit unsure with buying from overseas (support, warranty etc)
At least if I get a local supplier to buy from and install for me then I'd be covered by things like consumers guarantee act etc (I'm treating this car like my child now lol)

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  Reply # 1648566 10-Oct-2016 14:59
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I delved into the Chinese Android head units when I was looking to make my dumb car smart. I discovered they have very limited 'android' capabilities. Since they operate with an MCU that sits outside the Android portion of the system and controls the radio, Bluetooth, CD, volume, reverse camera input, etc, they don't operate like an android phone or tablet.
Explained quite well in this XDA blog

http://forum.xda-developers.com/wiki/Generic_Android_Head_Unit/MCU_Explained

In the end I replaced the whole car.




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  Reply # 1649063 11-Oct-2016 11:49
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I contacted OEMAudio who gave me to contact details of an installer in Wellington/Hutt.

However they said cause I currently have a Bose system that install cost could be up to $400 as they need to install a new amp to bypass the Bose system abd power the sub/speakers)

Would this need to happen anyway if I decide to replace the head unit, could someone help confirm?

If there's a way to have the current system worm with Bluetooth audio then I'm happy, but from reading online these systems on pairbwith phones for calling and not music.

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  Reply # 1649067 11-Oct-2016 11:54
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The GTA car kit I linked to in my post above works with Music.

 

I have one in my 07 Mazda Axela. Works fine with music. Steering wheel controls work to answer call and change tracks. I have the microphone at the top of the A pillar.

 

To make it work, I just change the input on mine to CD, and because this unit is connected to the previously vacant CD changer input, it just works. Doesn't display track names etc, but sound comes through fine.

 

Here is the version for the 2010 Mazda 3/Axela

 

 

 

Edit: I am not actually sure this will work with yours, as you have a multimedia system already in your car (rather than the 'built into the dash' type these kits look like they are made for).

 

I posted a Youtube Video above of the guy installing the Eonon - he is talking about the modifications he needed to do to make it work with the Bose. I'd assume this will work for any stereo? (ie., the Low Voltage (line) outputs). It's either try that, or pay an installer, or get four new speakers (and a Sub/Amp).




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  Reply # 1649107 11-Oct-2016 12:13
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I'm willing to pay an installer to do it all for me, I pretty much have no idea when it comes to wiring things and would be afraid of blowing a fuse or something lol.


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  Reply # 1649120 11-Oct-2016 12:36
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At least you are lucky that your heater controls/display are separate from your radio. They weren't on my Nissan, which is why I gave up on an integrated solution.
Something to watch as well with aftermarket replacements is the rake angle of the front face of the unit. I have seen some really ugly installs where the screen of the radio juts out at the top and is really recessed at the bottom. Unless it is designed for a particular car's panel, it will be vertical. Yours maybe okay as it seems to have a surround that minimizes that problem.




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  Reply # 1649264 11-Oct-2016 15:07
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The guy at OEM Audio said that below to me.
I guess I really need a professional installer to take a look at it, only reason I was looking at the OEMAudio is because it seemed like the easiest option to get full usability of a multimedia system using existing speakers, if an aftermarket amp isn't going to be too expensive then I would keep with it, but if things are going to start getting pricey for rhe OERM option (and I need a new amp anyway) I might aswell look at a new/different head unit which is cheaper.

 


 
The Bose system is really hard to get sound to come through clearly as in there’s a terrible feedback POP sound when the units are powered up or turned off also a fizzy feedback sound constantly when the unit is on it can only be heard at low volume but can be very annoying.
Bypassing the system and fitting an aftermarket amplifier is the best option to keep the great sound and bass the Bose system has


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