Got off work early today so decided to use the time for research and planning. I stumbled across this but it's not new news.. I don't know much about this device but certainly simplifies stuff. Programs steering controls for your vehicle and devices like android/apple.
I make an appearance every 50 yrs...sure seems like it. Here are some latest updates. I had to replace my front bumper. That is complete and here's my video about that adventure.
Next step is to upgrade the grill to billet style but that may not be the next thing.
I ordered the digital audio processor for my tablet. The DQ-61 by AudioControl. I should be receiving it on Wednesday. In my past projects I had one of those mini floor amps. Those served their purpose just fine. This time I'm kicking it up a few notches and den some. It will be a similar logic as before though: Tablet --> DQ-61 --> Car speakers
Initially I will lose the bluetooth handsfree calling functionality from my factory setup since I am replacing the factory stereo. I have a plan for addressing that later.
So here are my next steps. Some items may be done around the same time. I already completed the tablet mount a loooong time ago. That's been ready.
I received my DQ-61 in today and plan to have it installed this weekend. I'm excited because it's getting closer. This unit will be replacing the factory radio. The plan is to connect the tablet to this. I will not be installing the tablet yet though. This is just to get it in place. I will connect with my smartphone in the meantime which is the only thing I use anyway with my factory radio. I want to upgrade my main car battery and install an accessory battery first before installing the rest of the goodies.
So the DQ-61 will not be the best option for my project so I am reviewing some alternative options. I am selling my DQ-61 on ebay if anyone is interested. I never used it but after some discussions with my local car audio shop this will not work for what I am trying to do. If you plan on keeping your factory radio or other aftermarket headunit or you already have an amp then this is good.
So now I am on this journey to check out the RE BT 900.4 amp. It really seems ideal for our type of application. It takes rca input but also bluetooth. My original project used bluetooth and it was quite convenient but at some point got annoying because you have to wait for the connection. I prefer my music to be instantly ready. The good news is I can get this set up primarily for bluetooth should I go that route but additionally set up the RCA as a backup if I want.
I stumbled across this excellent YouTube video that provides a great overview of it. Check it out. This is my new plan.
So...I broke down and purchased the REAudio bluetooth amp I mentioned in the last post. I also upgraded my factory speakers (8 interior). They were installed today and I had a chance to test them out using the bluetooth from my phone. Superb! The connection is stable also. I did not have issues with intermittent disconnections. I will note that I do not have a digital processor installed inline with this. I really wanted to see how simple I can get this set up and still provide decent audio. With that said the sound from your smartphone or tablet is going to depend on many factors. No doubt if you are all about sound quality, an audiophile at heart, you know what you need to do. You probably want local music in an uncompressed format. For those of us like myself that desire convenient, great audio quality yet understanding that the typical music is mainly online streaming and mp3 (major compressed) then you are able to settle for the best available considering the music format. Additionally, your music app or equalizer app is going to fill in the gap for boosting audio sound (not simply loudness) but bass and other frequencies. I tested the google play app streaming my online library which was ok but not the best..though convenient. I tested Poweramp (android app) and I still say this is still the best android music app which is why it was worth purchasing years ago. Poweramp cranked my music like I had a crazy aftermarket headunit. The REAudio amp was well worth purchasing and you can't beat the price for it sound quality and convenient features for this type of project.
A little more about the amp hookup. The amp has an antennae for the bluetooth connection. It pairs very simple without any code. It is also a fairly compact unit You can still manually adjust front and rear gain and frequency. You cannot connect RCA or use Bluetooth. I am using bluetooth at the moment. The manual states that it can "intelligently" switch between the RCA and Bluetooth. I am going to test the capability this weekend. Another important note. This amp only seems to support A2DP and not HFP. If you have your phone connected and you receive a call it will not connect to the amp over bluetooth. The music will pause but the call audio will go through the phone and not amp. Therefore, I be still researching an aftermarket bluetooth HFP solution and I do already have one in mind.
Stay tuned for my upcoming YouTube video with details around this set up and my plans with my tablet.
Here are some teaser pics of the amp.
This is the amp installed on the back of the rear passenger seat.
the bluetooth amp is a neat idea - i hadn't seen that before.
lanzar makes a couple bluetooth 4 band half-DIN equalizers, i had considered getting one so i'd have fade control as well as the EQ, and the built-in BT simplifies wiring. they don't support APT-X though so i ditched that idea for now.