2012 BMW X3: Bluetooth Screaming
February 10, 2012
Normally, Bluetooth streaming audio is my last choice for audio sources. There are plenty of cars I've driven that have this feature, and most of them sacrifice some sound quality for convenience. Not our BMW X3, though.
I've been using Zee Avi's Concrete Wall and Smokescreen by Willis as test songs lately. Both have really strong bass with lingering highs, which for me, is an important component of a sound system's capabilities. Both were crystal clear through the iPod cable, but to my surprise, they sounded equally great via Bluetooth streaming.
A lot of times with Bluetooth, the bass starts to fall apart or the highs get scratchy; then there are the occasional signal cutouts. In our X3, none of these issues surfaced. The only problem I experienced was a random bout of unresponsive buttons. Twice on my drive home, the skip track buttons failed to work. I worked around this by switching sources and back, which seemed to reset it.
I'll still be using the iPod cable, since it charges my phone and allows for searching for songs, but the Bluetooth streaming is certainly a worthy substitute if the cable is missing.
Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor