It may be that time to make a leap and replace your headunit with a soundcard. Go straight from you sound card to an amp, from the amp to your speakers.
I've had my CarPuter for a couple years but am not satisfied with the audio. I either have to use an FM modulator from my CarPuter or RCA input to the back of my stereo. Neither provide great audio.
I don't think that mt stereo has another mode or source, if it does, I don't know how to find it.
Do I need to buy a new deck or can I use what I currently have somehow?
What is the sound like when connected using the RCAs?
I'm guessing that how everything is wired could be a potential source of sound issues.
OK. This one does.Go straight from you sound card to an amp, from the amp to your speakers.
There may be a very good reason the OP wants to retain his headunit. I think there is a source of noise in the system that could be eliminated.
It would be a lot easier and a lot cheaper than installing amps (assuming there are none installed already).
lol, yeah I wasn't being literal about the soundcard and headunit there.
yeah, I see he has an M3. If its a newer model, there could be controls he doens't want to lose by forgoing the head unit. If he does have a later model M3, the other option which I'm sure an M3 owner can afford, is to add a Rockford Fosgate 3sixty unit to his system. Wire the HU to the 3sixty's aux in, and wire the computer's soundcard to the 3sixty's RCA inputs. he'll then be able to switch back and forth between HU and Carputer. Not only that, but the 3sixty will give him mega processing capabilities, all accessable through the touchscreen via bluetooth.There may be a very good reason the OP wants to retain his headunit.
The setup will look something like this.
HeadUnit /3sixty> amps>speakers
How does the stock headunit sound by itself when listening to the radio or playing a CD?
Try something easier if you haven't already. Assuming you are using onboard sound, replace your onboard sound with a good quality soundcard AND THEN try pluging it in via Aux in on your stock headunit. It will be a night and day difference IMO.
radio station that isn't used. The computer audio will play over the radio audio.
I'm not sure I explained that well. Because the deck doesn't have a separate mode for me to dedicate to the CarPuter, the audio is always on if it is plugged in. So in order me me to listen to music or anything else from just the CarPuter, I have to turn to a radio station that has no reception.
There is no reason that I need to keep my current head unit, other than I don't want to spend money unless I need to spend it.
I do use onboard sound. I'll look into USB audio, is it a problem to use one with a USB Hub?
If you're connecting via RCA interconnects, you should get the computer audio by selecting an AUX input or something similar on your headunit.
If you have to tune in a radio station, then it's FM modulation, which WILL produce less-than-ideal sound quality.
Bleah.I'm not sure I explained that well. Because the deck doesn't have a separate mode for me to dedicate to the CarPuter, the audio is always on if it is plugged in. So in order me me to listen to music or anything else from just the CarPuter, I have to turn to a radio station that has no reception.
I think i understand what is going on, then. If you're limited to an FM modulator in some way shape or form, then there isn't a lot you can do without replacing audio equipment.
Do you have the ability to tune the FM modulator to another frequency that might get better reception?
Doies your headunit have CD changer controls? It's possible that you couild connect an adapter tyhat would allow use of the CD changer port to connect an AUX audio source (like your PC). That would give you much better audio quality than the FM modulator.
Considering you drive a BMW, it may require integration int iBus. There are threads about doing just that. I don't drive a Bimmer, so I don't know the ins and outs....
AH I see said the blindman. DP is correct. Any audio running through an FM modulator is less than ideal and is limited in the quality. I still think it's combo of FM modulator audio and onboard sound. Some will be satisfied with it some won't.
If there are any adapters that allow you to get some form of auxin vs using an FM mod I strongly recommend that too.
OEM/Factory/Stock Audio Integration Products Companies
I don't think you will have good luck running an external card through a hub. Try to use a dedicated usb or firewire port. Here is a nice list
Ultimate USB, Firewire, External Soundcard List
I don't know much about BMW IBUS either but there are plenty of people on here that deal with it if it's a problem.
Then if it can be set to broadcast on a channel you have free and you make sure your govt does not find out you are pirate broadcasting you could listen to your computer anywhere within the range of the transmitter.