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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All:

Sorry for the long title. That is pretty much my question. To my disbelief, it would appear that the 2008 MDX, while having Bluetooth built in, only has it enabled for voice calls only. Here's one of those situations whereby if you assume....well...you know the rest.

I just installed last Friday the wonderful bluetooth kit I bought from one of the members here, for my 2004 MDX and it works wonderfully with crisp music being played from my iPhone to the car. I even had my nine-year-old daughter install it (yeah, yeah, child labour...blah, blah...) - it was such a breeze to install, and the sound works great. I was looking forward to this functionality being native to the 2008 MDX with built in bluetooth. I am surprised to find out that I will now have to get another aftermarket kit.

So far in doing some research I found a brand called USA spec that makes a bluetooth adapter that plugs into the XM interface (may as well, since I ain't going to use it since I ain't gonna pay for it) and it retains all the factory controls and functionality for everything else (I have nav + RES on the 08). However, apparently it won't mute incoming calls during navigation and will require manual switching to the XM interface to answer the call. Not sure I am crazy about that.

Now, there is a small part of me that can feign ignorance and hope that on Friday when I pick up the car, I am totally wrong about this and that Bluetooth streaming is available on the vehicle. But in the event that it isn't - for anyone who has a 2G MDX with navigation and RES (apparently with RES, they took out the AUX jack) - were you able to find a solution to this issue? If you have, what kit(s) would you recommend or not recommend. Thank you, as always for your feedback!
 

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Also a TECH + RES owner..
I know XM can get expensive but the MDX sounds hands down the best using it.. You get HD Quality playback with Dolby Pro Logic 2 support while using XM. I never miss my iPhone music while using XM mostly because XM is already playing the latest hits on channel 2 or BPM and the 60s-70s channels get awesome DJs which are nice to listen to (Cousin Brucie is the best Classic Songs DJ, But Nina Blackwood also has great anecdotes). I guess I am used to XM since I´ve been using it since I bought my MDX but in all honesty I don´t miss my iPhone at all.. I always play my own Music in Home so its nice to randomly listen something new on XM while in the Car.

So unless you don´t wanna mess with XM the USA Spec interface is your best option for Bluetooth Streaming.
What I did for some little time was using a RCA to 3.5mm cable

But it gets old to having to set the volume on the iPhone and in the Head Unit.. Also the NAV screen only displaying AUX looks lame when XM tells you the Song/Artist and some other info which makes good use of it.. I never use the old and antiquated NAV which has an old 2011 Map, I use my Tomtom GO600 for GPS work and it works a gazillion times better with lifetime maps support so my NAV Screen gets used for AUDIO Screen 100% of the Times.. XM Interface beats a lame "AUX" Screen every time, As far as I Know the USA Spec bluetooth interface also makes use of the Artist and Song interface from the XM with your iPhone Music so it will look as nice.
 

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Unfortunately native Bluetooth audio streaming is not built in. I was pretty disappointed when I discovered this. Just one more disappointment in the infotainment system.

My '07 BMW 3-Series doesn't have Bluetooth audio streaming, either. I use a bluetooth module plugged into the Aux port. It works fairly well, but is not perfect. I bought the unit on Amazon. It's made by MPow and was fairly inexpensive. Oh yeah, your X with the RES doesn't have a 3.5mm AUX input either. You have to use the cord Skirmich posted above. The ports are on the back of the center console, where kids can easily kick it and destroy it (ask me how I know). Add it to the infotainment disappointment list.
 

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I had a USA Spec box in two different Accords before getting our '12 TSX and MDX w/ bluetooth. The switching to XM for calls was a little annoying at first but it worked. Since you already have bluetooth for calls _built in_ i do wonder if you might be better off with an aux cable using another Grom or USA Spec model. Compare GROM Car Audio Integration Kits
 

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How did the 3.5mm Bluetooth unit worked? I guess it required external power -jon-?
 

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How did the 3.5mm Bluetooth unit worked? I guess it required external power -jon-?
It works quite well. It's basically a wireless connection to the AUX cord. In the 3-Series, the AUX input is in the center armrest, next to the power outlet. I bought a 3 USB power adapter thing so I can plug in the Bluetooth module, my phone and someone else's phone. Being in the armrest, everything can be tucked out of the way. That said, I mounted the BT puck (about the size of a quarter) near the stereo so I could make easy use of the forward/backward/play buttons.

I use my car's built-in BT for phone calls and the device for music. The only downside is that my Android phone downgrades the volume for BT, so I have to turn up the radio extra when I use my phone. But the sound is as clear as the quality of the stream (Pandora vs stored music vs I Heart Radio, etc.)

https://www.amazon.com/Mpow-Bluetooth-Receiver-Adapter-Isolator/dp/B01GZT0U8Q/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1490786174&sr=8-9&keywords=mpow+bluetooth+adapter

In the X, I wouldn't be opposed to the USA Spec solution. The few times I've tried phone calls over BT, the cabin noise made it nearly impossible to use. The biggest downside to the USA Spec, if I recall when I looked into it, was cost.
 

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Man that Bluetooth add on looks legit but seeing how the AUX is on the outside in the RES and that the 12V cigar port is in the front of the shift lever it would be a mess to wire up, Cables hanging everywhere... Thank god I am basically married to XM..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Unfortunately native Bluetooth audio streaming is not built in. I was pretty disappointed when I discovered this. Just one more disappointment in the infotainment system.

My '07 BMW 3-Series doesn't have Bluetooth audio streaming, either. I use a bluetooth module plugged into the Aux port. It works fairly well, but is not perfect. I bought the unit on Amazon. It's made by MPow and was fairly inexpensive. Oh yeah, your X with the RES doesn't have a 3.5mm AUX input either. You have to use the cord Skirmich posted above. The ports are on the back of the center console, where kids can easily kick it and destroy it (ask me how I know). Add it to the infotainment disappointment list.
Well, that's good to know...because I was going to do that. Thankfully none of my kids sit in the middle but ya never know...ok, I won't go this route and will do the USA Spec kit then.
 

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I had thought about trying to wire a 3.5mm AUX jack or even an RCA jack inside the console, pulling from the AUX port on the back, but my research led me to just let it be. Seemed way more complicated than it needed to be.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One final thing to note on here and it is for Canadian owners only. Check the connector on your XM unit before you order the USA Spec unit. I found out the hard way after receiving it that Canadians do not have XM Live Traffic as an option on their MDXes with Navi, so the BT45-ACU will not work because the splitter plug does not fit. How you can tell is if your XM connector is a WHITE plug. That means you need to get the BT45-HON3 instead. This is for Canadians only.

For the US owners, if you check your XM unit, the connector plug should be BLACK. This means that BT45-ACU is what you need. But Canadians don't have the LiveTraffic option for XM and as such their units have the different white plug

My nine year old installed the unit in minutes after taking out the trunk lid

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Good Info! will USA Spec replace the unit?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
No, but the retailer gave me a refund and I just bought the other one. US Spec won't swap out units if you bought from a retailer - they just asked me to return to retailer for a refund and buy the Honda one, which I did.

Why the Canadian XM unit is different and why the Canadian units don't have LiveTraffic, I really don't understand. I don't quite get some of these country-specific configurations (like why we have the headlight washers on our MDXes).
 

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i have owned my MDX for a number of years now (bought an 09 tech+res in 2012 or 2013), about a couple of months after the warranty expired, my car would have a dead battery without daily use. months go by and i find out its the BT unit draining the battery. so my car has been without bluetooth calling for the past couple of years.

now that my kids are older, and their legs unfortunately haven't stopped growing, i constantly find my RCA to 3.5mm cable unplugged, missing, and finally now broken. afraid that eventually they will destroy this...



so i sought out to find a solution that will give me back my BT calls plus audio stream that will not break the bank.

i was going to use this...


and hard wire it, including cutting the RCA plugs off and running pins into the factory harness. here are the pins in the back of the unit.




i have yet to actually do it, as i am currently looking to find a way to have bluetooth calls, audio, and video streaming. BUT if anyone would like a DIY, i might be able to have something done by the end of next week.
 

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I'm curious to see how you hardwire the audio line in.

I went with the lazy way of using the RCA jacks but with the right angle RCA jack adaptors so they don't protrude and become a kicking target.
 

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i have owned my MDX for a number of years now (bought an 09 tech+res in 2012 or 2013), about a couple of months after the warranty expired, my car would have a dead battery without daily use. months go by and i find out its the BT unit draining the battery. so my car has been without bluetooth calling for the past couple of years.

now that my kids are older, and their legs unfortunately haven't stopped growing, i constantly find my RCA to 3.5mm cable unplugged, missing, and finally now broken. afraid that eventually they will destroy this...



so i sought out to find a solution that will give me back my BT calls plus audio stream that will not break the bank.

i was going to use this...


and hard wire it, including cutting the RCA plugs off and running pins into the factory harness. here are the pins in the back of the unit.




i have yet to actually do it, as i am currently looking to find a way to have bluetooth calls, audio, and video streaming. BUT if anyone would like a DIY, i might be able to have something done by the end of next week.
Curious if you ever ended up installing this? I'm looking for an inexpensive solution to hook up my phone for audio streaming. My RCA jacks are busted so even a cheap RCA to 3.5mm cable would have to be modified.
 

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now that my kids are older, and their legs unfortunately haven't stopped growing, i constantly find my RCA to 3.5mm cable unplugged, missing, and finally now broken. afraid that eventually they will destroy this...
Me too so finally I reversed the direction of the RCA's to feed inward towards the center compartment and now run an adapter that goes to my media center which houses all sorts of media(movies, songs) on a USB. No more carrying 5-6 DVD's when I have every kid's Pixar/Dreamworks movies on one usb stick. It may seem daunting at first but it's actually pretty easy if you have a soldering iron and a couple tools.

http://www.mdxers.org/forums/74-second-generation-mdx-2007-2013/139178-finally-modified-my-aux-inputs.html

 

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Interesting idea. The RCA jacks on my unit are broke. So my thought was to disassemble the unit and then modify a RCA to 3.5mm cable so that I can solder the leads to the the backside of the RCA jacks, run the cable out of the box and into the center console. I hope to tackle this job Friday evening. I'll report back on how it goes.
 

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Well, looks like my experiment was a bust. I tried soldering the RCA cable wires to the contacts and when I hooked it up, no sound came through the speakers. I think I might have had the positive wires on the wrong contacts so I switched them up. Still nothing. I tried making adjustments and I only buggered things up from there. The wires are super thin and there is very little room to work. And my soldering skills are lacking. I'm at the point where the radio won' even select the AUX input.

Oh well. It was worth the couple hours and $5 cable. Guess I need to bite the bullet and either get a new AUX input unit or the USAspec bluetooth module.
 

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I've already buggered up the RCA jacks so that's out for me. I wonder if attaching leads to the pins of the wiring harness would work? If I can get get a cable to them, then I can easily hook up a BT module. And I could care less about video … just want audio from my phone to the speakers.
 
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