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USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface

Connect a music player to your 1998-up BMW factory radio!

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  • USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface

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Item #: 581DFBMW
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface

by Tim Sprinkle
USA Spec

Enjoy maximum possible sound quality when you play your portable music player through your BMW's factory radio. USA SPEC's innovative DF-BMW adapter lets you connect your portable music player directly to your compatible 1998-up BMW factory radio. Just plug the adapter cable into your radio's CD changer input, mount the interface box, and you're ready to listen to your tunes.

And the news gets better — if you also have another sound source you want to hook up to your BMW's sound system, the DF-BMW provides a second set of connections for an iPod, satellite radio tuner, or DVD player. You can switch between sources with your factory radio controls. Warranty: 1 year.

Please enter your vehicle information or call a Sales Advisor at 1-888-955-6000 to find out if this adapter is compatible with your vehicle.

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What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Auxiliary interface adapter
  • 8" CAS-BMi cable (has a 9-pin connector on one end and a round 8-pin connector on the other end)
  • 4 Self-tapping screws
  • Owner's Manual

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features

Compatibility: The DF-BMW allows you to add two auxiliary inputs to the factory radio in select BMW vehicles. The adapter plugs into the factory system using the supplied cable, avoiding wire splicing and modifications. Since the adapter is controlled by the factory radio, the available controls should be described in the factory manual.

Note: The adapter is not compatible with vehicles that have factory navigation and DVD systems. The adapter takes the place of the CD changer, so you cannot have a CD changer and the adapter connected to your vehicle at the same time.

Mounting: The adapter can be secured to any flat surface using the supplied mounting screws.

Connections: The adapter has two auxiliary inputs (Audio Input 1 and 2) on the left side panel. Each input consists of left and right RCA audio jacks. On the right side panel, the adapter has a round 8-pin jack that interfaces with the supplied CAS-BMi cable. The cable's round 8-pin connector plugs into the adapter, while the rectangular 9-pin connector plugs into the factory changer cable.

 
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USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface Reviews

Average Customer Review:

8 people say:

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5 out of 5

Just what I needed

Written By Andy, Manchester, CT on Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Easy installation: just plug it in. As one reviewer noted, the only challenging part is running the cable into the cabin so you can have your equipment right there with you. I found a series of instructional videos on YouTube that explained how to get at the CD changer plug in the trunk, how to route an audio cable into the cabin, how to remove the rear seats for threading the cable, etc. which helped a lot.

I mounted an input jack below the armrest in the little tray just forward of the change holder, routing the audio cable from the trunk under the rear seats, through a channel I found in the "hump" and into the center console. The final result is great but there was a lot of sweat (and home-made wire-fishing tools made from coat hangers) involved in pulling the cable through (but that's not the interface's fault).

I was happy with the amount of volume I got with my mp3 player, which has a fairly low output level. Bottom line: I am very happy with this purchase and with Cruthchfield's excellent customer service (as usual).
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1 out of 5

Did not work - at all

Written By Kamil, Boston MA on Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I have ordered this unit to use on '02 525iT. I've actually ordered two of them - long story. I've used similar USA-SPEC units on a Honda before w/o any issues.

I have received the first DF-BMW, connected it as per instructions (very straight forward)... does not work, my head unit either does not see it or the display is wrong - "CD_-_" as opposed to "CD 1-1", no audio coming from the satellite radio connected to it. Got on the phone w/ USASPEC and after some trouble shooting (verifying voltage on my CD changer wires and colors of wires) they have asked me to send the unit back.

In the mean time, I ordered another one as I wanted to listen to Howard. Second unit comes in, I connect it... and things get weird. The display from my radio disappears completely but radio (FM in this case) keeps playing. No CD display or audio of any kind from the "CD changer" (aux input). I unplugged it before I did any damage.

So... both units did not work, the connections on my car (voltage and wire colors) seem correct, I don't know what to think.

-Kamil
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface

Written By peter434445, Mount Holly, NJ on Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Had problems using the FM modulator from my satalite radio, the signal was not strong enough. Bought this product for my 2006 Mini. It works great, the only issue is when I change over from radio to satalite there is a fast static burp. Instalation of the unit was easy, it mounts in the back of the car behind a panel; I used really heavy duty velco to mount it to the inner fender. The only issue is it takes a 17 ft cable to run from the satalite radio to the aux interface. The car is not that long. I like it enough that I will order one for my Mom's Mini to hook up her satalite radio.
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4 out of 5

USA SPEC Auxiliary Interface

Written By Kevin, Pasadena, Ca on Thursday, October 11, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This thing was very easy to plug into the CD changer area. Just follow the instructions that was included in the USA SPEC auxilary interface box. I just use zip ties to hold the unit in place. Only thing bad is that the volume of the device input is really low. So i would always have to crank up the volume of my mp3 player and also the volume of the headunit. But other than that it was easy. Took less than a minute to install the AUX unit. Took a lot longer to run the AUX wire into the cabin though so I could have the mp3 player in the cabin with me.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

works great

Written By Jeff, Orange, CA on Saturday, November 18, 2006
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This little guy works great in my wife's 2000 323i. The only thing I would do differently is make it a bit lower profile, so it was not so thick and bulky.
4 out of 4 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Quick & Easy install, sound quality questionable

Written By scott, Boston, MA on Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I installed this in my 2002 330xi and am pretty happy with it. Installation was very easy, and sure enough it worked as advertized. However, I'm not so sure about the sound quality. I'm using 4-channel monster RCA cables to run up to the front of the car, where I connect to my ipod and to my satellite radio. I notice a little bit of signal degradation - the signal seems to have a little bit of extra bass to it and not enough of the mid range. It may be the long cable, but like I said I'm using quality cable.

Still, the sound is better than using a tape adapter or those silly FM transmitters, and the price is right, so I'd recommend it.
7 out of 9 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Easy solution

Written By Gener, Portland, OR on Monday, August 01, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I just installed it over the weekend in an 01 325ci, super easy, just plug-n-play, no cutting or splicing. Zip-tied it temporarily since I did not have a drill handy for the self-tapping screws. Unit does get hot so place it away from other wiring, etc.

Since it has 2 aux inputs, I bought 2 7-ft RCA to 3.5 mm cables (Belkin) and 3 6-ft. extensions (also Belkin) separately --one for my iPod which routed to the euro-tray (in place of the cupholders) and another for an XM tuner (which I intend to place in the glovebox) You can use Monster cables but the wires will be huge and difficult to route. Car is prewired and CD changer plug is in the left/rear of the trunk.

I routed the wires under the rear seat, under the driver's door sill, and under the driver's seat into the center console (wiring all hidden) Works great, sound quality is good, and it's inexpensive. This unit won't charge you iPod so bring along a separate charger. Cannot control iPod from steering wheel (except for volume) however it is handy just having it in the euro tray. Set up your playlists and go.
23 out of 25 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

It is a great product

Written By Bill, Oregon on Wednesday, May 11, 2005
 
It was very easy to hook up once I found the pre-wire for the cd changer. I was just getting ready to start dismantling the dash when my 16 year old son pointing it out wrapped in tape right under the Harmon Kardon box in the compartment in the back right of the boot. There is no convenient way to mount it to the car frame so you will have to improvise. Getting the connection to the iPod to the front of the car also requires some improvisation. But all in all a better solution than the fm modulator.
29 out of 34 people found this helpful
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