To those that may be interested I have a Dynavin V3 fitted at TTints yesterday.
First off I would like to say a bit about TTints themselves. First off I think that the service at TTints was very good. The staff there are very friendly, and very helpful. The installation of the unit itself took around 2 hours.
The installer then offered to show me through the functions of this unit, but having played around with many units in the past I declined this offer and made my way home. I checked around the car as I was very paranoid there may be trim hanging off in various places where the installer had removed bits to fit the various accessories. I am pleased to say they have done a very professional job, and everything appears to have been installed correctly and with care. I would have been happy to fit this unit myself, but at the same time it was nice to have it done for me,
Overall the TTInts staff were very helpful/knowledgeable, and service was very good indeed. I would certainly use them again.
Right, the unit itself. Here are some quick pictures I took today...
THE UNIT –
I am really happy with the look of the unit. If blends in great with the dash and doesn't look out of place at all. The touch screen works very well. The only small niggles I have (like others) are I prefer the button feel of the original unit (smooth without a micro-switch type click) and the illumination in the dark is a couple of shades lighter than that of the original buttons, however this can be improved by playing around with the dimmer settings. There is a noticable amount of glare in the sun in certain conditions. I am fortunate as my car was fitted with an electric rear sunblind and this has improved things massively for me. I will still be looking into getting an anti glare screen to protect the screen itself.
Overall the unit has a very OEM look which is what I was looking for, and I am very pleased with this.
I have been playing around with this for a bit since yesterday, and I will break the unit down into different sections with my findings so far.
The standard setup is not ideal (button beeps etc), but you can play around with the settings to get things how you want them. This leads me on to -
THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL –
One word... Crap. It is very basic and doesn’t explain things very well. I have discovered most things by playing around with the unit, and I will continue to do so to get the unit how I want it.
THE INTERFACE -
The interface is not too bad at all, but not as good as it could be. One thing I would like to be able to do is change the colour of the buttons to orange. At the moment the interface colour is red, and it doesn’t blend in very well with the rest of the cars illumination. The option to change the appearance would be great, and hopefully it is something DYNAVIN or software modders will be able to do in the near future. This aside it is all very straight forward and user friendly, and those that have played around with touch screens in the past should be able to navigate their way around pretty easily.
Right this is one thing I have been very pleasantly surprised by. Compared to the factory fitted unit the Dynavin is a massive improvement. I am only running standard speakers at the moment, but even with these the difference in sound is massive. The Dynavin is obviously more powerful and this really tells. Even with the standard speakers there is a much improved bass response and a greater clarity. I felt the standard setup was always the Achilles heel in the E46 with the standard sound system sounding muddy. At higher volumes the standard setup lacked any punch and distorted all over the place. At higher volumes the Dynavin sounds much clearer with a surprising amount of bass.
I have heard various different standard setups. In my old 328 I have a business CD player, in my current car I had the Professional unit installed. My friend has the Harmon Kardon setup (including 6x9 subs) in his car. The Dynavin sounds much better than any of those setups by quite a margin. I am extremely happy with the way it sounds, and it will only get better with a speaker upgrade (next on my list).
Now there is a downside to the sound in this unit. As has been widely reported the earlier units suffer from radio bleed and a hiss at lower volumes. Unfortunately this is still the case with the V3 units. I did not notice this at all yesterday when I was driving, but heard it when I was sat in my car playing around with it today. This is only audible at low volumes (between volume levels 1 and 6) and is only very slight. While this isn’t ideal, it is not a huge problem for me as when driving the volume the lowest useable volume is around level 10 and this bleed can’t be heard at all. There are reports on E46 fanatics that this issue has been resolved using a LOC, and Dynavin are currently making a new loom incorporating a LOC to eliminate this issue. For the time being I can certainly live with it.
SAT NAV –
I used this yesterday to navigate my way home from TTints to Kent. The SAT NAV works very well indeed. It has a very good signal (I only lost it when going through tunnels). TTints installed the GPS receiver at the top left of the windscreen, and this is obviously a good place to get a strong signal.
The SAT NAV software has a postcode finder which works very well. However inputting the postcode is unnecessarily awkward as you have to put a space between the first and second part (you can’t just type the postcode out in full, in one go). This confused me for a couple of minutes, but it was easy enough to work out.
The SAT NAV has turn by turn commentary that cuts the music when announcements are made. At first I found the announcements a little too quiet, but the volume can be adjusted in the settings mode to improve this. However you sometimes find yourself turning up the volume to hear the announcements only to have your ear drums blasted out when it returns to playing music. It would be nice to have more control over the SAT NAV volume, and to be able to control it completely independently. I am sure with a bit more playing around in the settings things can be improved.
Overall the software is very good. One of the features I like is when you don’t have any direction changed to make for a few miles the SAT NAV goes to 2D mode giving you a better idea where you are on a Motorway for example. However when you are a couple of miles away from the next turn it changes to 3d mode making it clearer what lane you need to be in etc.
However I have always used TOM TOM’s and I have become accustomed to this software. In the future I would like to change the software over to TOM TOM. This is not a criticism against the IGO software, it works very well. If I had never used the TOM TOM software I am sure I would be more than happy using it.
Not much to say on this really. I tested the DVD player using the MATRIX. It does exactly what you would expect, it plays DVD’s.... The picture quality is more than watchable, and it sounds pretty good to. You can change the picture settings from widescreen to fill the entire screen etc. It is a nice feature to have, but not one I will find myself using too much.
The radio works very well. I get a very good signal, and it is very clear. It is very easy to tune the radio in etc, and you can store plenty of stations. The interface displays the station name when tuned into it. The issue I have is when recalling the saved stations it does not display the radio names. You just get a list of the frequencies. It would be nice to have the stations names listed.
The only other thing of note at this time is the steering wheel controls. They work fine, but I would like to be able to cycle through the saved stations, and I don’t seem to be able to do this at the moment. When pressing up or down on the controls it tunes into the next station, not the list I have saved. This again is only a niggle, and I will see if there is a way this can be done.
CD playback -
Again everything works great. I have played CD’s and CDR’s containing MP3’s and WMA files. It plays everything without a problem. The unit reads CD’s very quickly and it displays the artist/track names when it plays. Navigating to different folders on an MP3 CD is straight forwards and easy enough to do.
As I covered before the sound quality is excellent, and much improved over the standard unit. I am very pleased with this.
I haven’t played around with the TV too much at the moment. It picks up plenty of Freeview channels so there is plenty to watch. However the signal is a bit hit and miss. I sometimes get a very strong signal and other times none at all. This is obviously to be expected. TTints have placed the aerial at the bottom of the windscreen out of site. The signal may be improved by moving it up to the top of the windscreen, but to be honest I will probably not bother. If there is something I need to watch I will be at home watching it. If I am not watching it I will be recording it...
The interface in the TV section is easy enough to use with the remote, but not great when using the touch screen. The software seems a bit antiquated for the TV. When you want to scan for channels, change channel etc, you get a very nasty linier green display over the top of the TV. This reminds me of being back in the 80’s using an old Amstrad (for those old enough to remember!). Still, the software works and does what you need it to do.
I have connected the DYNAVIN to my iPHONE 3G. They both connected to each other without any issues, and I have made and received a few calls using the DYNAVIN. The Bluetooth works extremely well. When talking the sound is muted and I can hear the person at the other end of the phone very well, and in turn they can hear me very well. TTints have place the microphone above the centre mirror and stuck it onto my interior light. This is obviously something I will change, and there are plenty of mounting options available (I will probably mount mine next to my sunroof switch).
The issue I have with the Bluetooth is regarding my phone contact list. The DYNAVIN does pick up the contact list from your phone, but it doesn’t display it in alphabetical order. It also takes forever to scroll through your contact list on the DYNAVIN. To make a call you really need to type in the phone number manually, or dial from the phone. I would like to be able to store my contact list on the DYNAVIN itself so you can dial out effectively using the DYNAVIN screen. Also when receiving a call the DYNAVIN doesn’t display the caller’s name from the phonebook, it only displays the number. It would be nice that if you are receiving a call from somebody you know their name was displayed on the screen. Hopefully I will be able to find a way to store my contact list on the DYNAVIN...
STEERING WHEEL CONTROLS –
These all work great. The volume works and the up/down buttons work on all modes. The R/T and voice buttons also work. The R/T button terminates a call, and the voice button works in two ways. If you tap it it will mute the stereo, but if you hold it when a call is coming in it will answer the call (if you don’t have auto answer on).
RELOCATION UNIT PART NUMBERS -
Right, I had a nightmare trying to get a relocation unit from BMW. It took three orders to get this right, so I will try and clarify this for anybody that might want to get one.
There are two types, the 18mm (with individual switches) and the 16mm (with the long switch box).
The part number for those with individual switches (18mm) is
The part number for those with the long switch box (16mm) is
These part numbers are for the relocation units with the smokers package (ashtray and cigarette lighter in cubby hole).
Overall I am very happy with this unit. It blends in very well with the rest of the car, and has so many useable features. The most important things I wanted from a head unit was good sound, Bluetooth capability and SAT NAV built in (I hate having a TOM TOM stuck to the windscreen). As I have mentioned earlier the sound improvement is massive, and it will only get better when I add better quality speakers. The SAT NAV and Bluetooth features also work very well. I personally do not regret buying this unit.
If anybody has any further questions fire away and I will do my best to answer them!