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Buying Bmw Car Head Unit User Guide

Views: 562     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2024-06-02      Origin: Site


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For BMW fans and owners, the BMW head unit serves as the central hub of in-car entertainment and information. However, some older BMW car radios may be limited in functionality. Many older BMW radios have low memory capacity, resulting in a less smooth user experience. Some may lack essential functions or the ability to connect to phones, while others may have low screen resolution unsuitable for high-definition videos. Additionally, the original car screen size may be inadequate. This comprehensive guide will delve into different BMW car models and their corresponding radio options. It will also provide buying tips for BMW car radios.

1、How Many Models Does BMW Have?

With a history of more than a century, BMW has become a mainstay in the automotive industry, offering a variety of models to suit different tastes and needs. In this segment, we'll take a deep dive into the current BMW model lineup, exploring each model's unique features and offerings

BMW's diversified lineup includes the BMW Series family, BMW X Series, BMW Z Family, BMW M Family, and BMW i Series.

(1) The BMW series is mainly sedan type, mainly divided into the following models

BMW 1 Series:

The BMW 1 Series is the entry-level product in the BMW range. This compact car is ideal for city driving, offering agility and efficiency. Available in hatchback and sedan forms, it focuses on sporty design and cutting-edge technology.

BMW 2 Series:

The BMW 2 Series takes things a step further and includes coupe, convertible and Gran Coupe variants. This is a compact car that makes no compromises on performance or luxury, offering an exciting driving experience and a touch of elegance.

BMW 3 Series:

Perhaps the most iconic of the range, the BMW 3 Series is a compact executive sedan that sets the standard for its class. Available as a sedan, wagon or sporty M3, the 3 Series is a testament to BMW's engineering prowess.

BMW 4 series:

The BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door Gran Coupe. It builds on the 3 Series with a more focused design and performance orientation, making it an enthusiast favorite.

BMW 5 Series:

As we enter the midsize luxury car market, the BMW 5 Series stands out for its blend of comfort, refinement and technological innovation. It is a versatile vehicle that can be used as a prestigious business sedan or a dynamic family car.

BMW 6 Series:

Although no longer in production, the BMW 6 Series remains a grand tourer range that combines luxury with sportiness. The current BMW 8 Series models continue this tradition.

BMW 7 Series:

The BMW 7 Series is a flagship full-size luxury sedan that showcases the pinnacle of BMW's comfort, power and high-tech features. It is a statement of status and achievement.

BMW 8 Series:

The BMW 8 Series recreates the grandeur of the original 6 Series in its Grand Touring Coupe, Convertible and Gran Coupe models. This is a car designed for those who want performance without sacrificing luxury

(2) The BMW x series is a sports utility vehicle (SAV) and is mainly divided into

BMW X1 and X2:

The BMW X1 and X2 are subcompact luxury SAVs that offer a high seating position, practicality and the brand's signature driving dynamics in a compact package.

BMW X3 and X4:

The BMW X3 is a compact SAV that balances practicality and performance. The BMW X4 adds an extra sporty touch to hybrids with its unique coupe style.


The BMW X5 is a mid-size SAV popular with families and adventurers alike. It offers plenty of space, luxury and the ability to tackle any terrain with confidence.


The BMW X6 is a midsize luxury crossover known for its aggressive design and impressive performance. This is the choice for those who want to stand out.


The BMW X7 is the largest SAV in the range, offering three rows of seating and unparalleled luxury. This is a personalized vehicle that doesn't compromise on space or luxury.

(3) The BMW Z family belongs to the sports car category

The BMW Z4 is a luxury sports car that integrates classic convertible driving pleasure with modern technology and performance. This is a car built for pure driving pleasure.

(4) BMW M models

Such as M2, M3, M4, M5, M8 and M variants of the X series, are high-performance versions of their respective series. They are designed for track-level performance and epitomize BMW’s motorsport DNA.

(5) BMW i3 is an innovative electric car with environmentally friendly design

It’s a vehicle that pushes the boundaries of sustainable transportation. The BMW i4 is an all-electric Gran Coupe that promises exciting performance, while the BMW iX is the flagship electric SAV that offers a new level of luxury and innovation.

We can also learn from this that the bmw car touch screen stereo models before 17 years ago were relatively small, especially older BMWs. With the advancement of automotive technology, drivers have gradually become accustomed to more interactive and feature-rich information. entertainment system.

2、Which BMW Idrive System do I Have?

Which BMW idrive system do i have?

(1) According to production year

The year of production alone may not guarantee that you can determine your iDrive version with 100% accuracy, as the month of production may vary in some countries. But it will give you a preliminary understanding of BMW models.

iDrive Series/Model Timeframes
CCC(Car Communication Computer) 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 06/2004 – 09/2008
3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 03/2005 – 09/2008
5-Series E60/E61 12/2003 – 11/2008
6-Series E63/E64 12/2003 – 11/2008
X5 Series E70 03/2007 – 10/2009
X6 E72 05/2008 – 10/2009
CIC (Car Information Computer) 1-Series E81/E82/E87/E88 09/2008 – 03/2014
1-Series F20/F21 09/2011 – 03/2013
3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 09/2008 – 10/2013
3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80 02/2012 – 11/2012
5-Series E60/E61 11/2008 – 05/2010
5-Series F07 10/2009 – 07/2012
5-Series F10 03/2010 – 09/2012
5-Series F11 09/2010 – 09/2012
6-Series E63/E64 11/2008 – 07/2010
6-Series F06 03/2012 – 03/2013
6-Series F12/F13 12/2010 – 03/2013
7-Series F01/F02/F03 11/2008 – 07/2013
7-Series F04 11/2008 – 06/2015
X1 E84 10/2009 – 06/2015
X3 F25 10/2010 – 04/2013
X5 E70 10/2009 – 06/2013
X6 E71 10/2009 – 08/2014
Z4 E89 04/2009 – present
NBT(CIC-HIGH, also called the Next Big Thing – NBT) 1-Series F20/F21 03/2013 – 03/2015
2-Series F22 11/2013 – 03/2015
3-Series F30/F31 11/2012 – 07/2015
3-Series F34 03/2013 – 07/2015
3-Series F80 03/2014 – 07/2015
4-Series F32 07/2013 – 07/2015
4-Series F33 11/2013 – 07/2015
4-Series F36 03/2014 – 07/2015
5-Series F07 07/2012 – present
5-Series F10/F11/F18 09/2012 – present
6-Series F06/F12/F13 03/2013 – present
7-Series F01/F02/F03 07/2012 – 06/2015
X3 F25 04/2013 – 03/2016
X4 F26 04/2014 – 03/2016
X5 F15 08/2014 – 07/2016
X5 F85 12/2014 – 07/2016
X6 F16 08/2014 – 07/2016
X6 F86 12/2014 – 07/2016
i3 09/2013 – present
i8 04/2014 – present
NBT Evo (the Next Big Thing Evolution) ID4 1-Series F20/F21 03/2015 – 06/2016
2-Series F22 03/2015 – 06/2016
2-Series F23 11/2014 – 06/2016
3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80 07/2015 – 06/2016
4-Series F32/F33/F36 07/2015 – 06/2016
6-Series F06/F12/F13 03/2013 – 06/2016
7-Series G11/G12/G13 07/2015 – 06/2016
X3 F25 03/2016 – 06/2016
X4 F26 03/2016 – 06/2016

NBT Evo (the Next Big Thing Evolution) ID5/ID6 1-Series F20/F21 07/2016 – 2019
2-Series F22 07/2016 – 2021
3-Series F30/F31/F34/F80 07/2016 – 2018
4-Series F32/F33/F36 07/2016 – 2019
5-Series G30/G31/G38 10/2016 – 2019
6-Series F06/F12/F13 07/2016 – 2018
6-Series G32 07/2017 – 2018
7-Series G11/G12/G13 07/2016 – 2019
X1 F48 2015 – 2022
X2 F39 2018 – present
X3 F25 07/2016 – 2017
X3 G01 11/2017 – present
X4 F26 07/2016 – 2018
X5 F15/F85 07/2016 – 2018
X6 F16/F86 07/2016 – 2018
i8 09/2018- 2020
i3 09/2018–present
MGU18 (iDrive 7.0)(Media Graphic Unit) 3-Series G20 09/2018 – present
4 Series G22 06/2020 – present
5 Series G30 2020 – present
6 Series G32 2019 – present
7 Series G11 01/2019 – present
8-Series G14/G15 09/2018 - present
M8 G16 2019 – present
i3 I01 2019 – present
i8 I12 / I15 2019 – 2020
X3 G01 2019 – present
X4 G02 2019 – present
X5 G05 09/2018 - present
X6 G06 2019 – present
X7 G07 2018 – present
Z4 G29 09/2018 - present
MGU21 (iDrive 8.0)(Media Graphic Unit) 3 Series G20 2022 – present
iX1 2022 – present
i4 2021 – present
iX 2021 – present

(2) Through the interface

Most of BMW's iDrive systems have specific interfaces and it is possible to determine the iDrive version by checking the appearance of the menu and comparing it to other consoles.

BMW no screen

 No Screen -1

BMW no car screen

 No Screen -2

BMW ccc system

 CCC System

BMW NBT system

NBT System


BMW CIC system

CIC System

BMW ID6 system

EVO ID 6 System

BMW ID7 system

EVO ID 7 System

(3)Find out through purchasing channels

such as online retailers, Amazon, eBay, express, Alibaba, MCX. They all have professional customer service staff who can help you identify the iDrive system version of your vehicle.

3、Why do You Need to Replace Your BMW Head Unit?

(1)The original radio android player is damaged

If your original car multimedia system bmw is damaged, the first step is to determine the extent of the damage to your BMW Car Stereo. Is it a simple problem like a blown fuse, or a more complex problem like an internal electronic failure?  If you're unsure, it's wise to consult a professional. If the damage is repairable, your best bet is to take your BMW to an authorized dealer or a reputable wireless car audio specialist.  They can accurately diagnose the problem and recommend whether a fix is possible. Check to see if your BMW is still under warranty.  If the damage to your bmw radio screen is covered by your warranty, you may be eligible for a free repair or replacement. 

There are many aftermarket radios that offer more features than the original unit.  If the damage is irreparable, consider replacing your car audio screens. There are many aftermarket radios that offer more features than the original unit, which may include modern conveniences like Bluetooth connectivity, navigation, and smartphone integration.  Aftermarket units may be more cost-effective, but may require additional accessory kits to integrate seamlessly with the vehicle's dashboard.

(2)The original car radio screen is small

Small car touch screen stereo may come with some disadvantages, a. Limited visibility. Smaller screens may make it difficult to read information at a glance, which may be distracting while driving and may be unsafe. B. Reduced functions; the space for displaying information may be limited, which means you may not be able to see all available functions or data at the same time, such as song titles, navigation maps, or incoming call details.

(3)The original car audio dvd player function is not complete

Lack of touchscreen functionality; many small screens are not touch-enabled, meaning they rely on buttons or dials to navigate through menus, which can be less intuitive and more time-consuming; outdated interfaces; often, smaller screens indicate technology Older and may not support modern interfaces and connectivity options such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or Bluetooth streaming.

(4)The original car radio resolution is low

A low-resolution screen in a BMW head unit can make it difficult to use navigation, view media, or even read information clearly.

4. What are the Benefits of Installing Android Car audio?

It can be understood from two aspects, the first is the original car android audio system, and the second is the Android system of the audio.

original BMW system

(1)Original car system

These important functions in the original car system will be retained.Keep Original Radio、Support SWC、Support I-Drive、Support Reverse Rear View、Support Original Speakers、Keep Original menu,and The original car system can be switched back and forth with the Android system. You can choose the system according to your needs.

(2)Android system

Android system functions will be added to the original car system, such as supporting the following functions:

Carplay/Android Auto/Mirror Link:

You can mirror your iphone or android mobile phone screen to the car stereo screen.

4K & Split Screen:

4K high-resolution display makes your screen clearer and more detailed.You can use and view two pages at the same time.

4G&WiFi:Supports the use of phone cards and data cards to facilitate Internet access.

360° Camera:
You can see the environment around the car 360° without blind spots through the car stereo radio screen in the car.

Firmware Over-the-Air:
You can update the system of your car head unit through a compressed package.

Video Out/in-put:
The video input connects external devices like TV, recorder, night vision. The video output connects to a display or headrest screen.

Enhance music sound quality and volume without altering car audio player.

Multiple Languages & Sleep Function:
You can switch the language of any country for easy use.You can save your car battery power.

Steering Wheel Control:

You can control your car with buttons on the steering wheel, driving safer.


Built-in Bluetooth 5.0 system, automatic connection to cell phones,using Bluetoothconnection to make and receive calls making driving safer.


High sensitivity GPS Navigation support multiple online and offline map apps.

Double system:

Keep the original car system and all features and an Android system.Both systems can be switched freely.

BMW function comparison chart

BMW function comparison chart

5. How to Buy Audio for Your BMW/ What are the Purchasing Channels?

When purchasing a new car head unit (car infotainment system) for your BMW car, you can do so through the following channels:

(1)BMW authorized dealer

This is the most official channel, where you can get the original bmw head unit or a third-party head unit approved by BMW. These car multi media player will be fully compatible with your vehicle and installation usually does not affect the original factory warranty.

(2) Professional car audio shop

These stores specialize in touch screen car stereo and entertainment systems, and they typically carry multiple makes and models of head units, including ones designed specifically for BMW.

(3)Online retailers

Websites such as Amazon, eBay, MCX and specialized automotive electronics sites offer a wide range of automotive hosting options. For example, MCX has professional pre-sales staff to answer all your questions. You only need to inform your year, model and original touch screen car head unit to ensure that the selected product is compatible with your BMW model.

(4)Auto Parts and Modification Exhibition

At these shows you can find the latest automotive technology and accessories, including car audio media player for BMW. These shows are also a great opportunity to communicate directly with suppliers and obtain offers.

(5)Second-hand market

If you are concerned about budget, you can look for android car head unit on the second-hand market. But be aware that second-hand products may come with certain risks, such as lack of warranty, uncertain usage history, and potential compatibility issues.

(6)Social media groups and forums

Social media groups and forums for BMW owners and enthusiasts can be a great place to find recommendations and deals. Members may sell their old consoles or recommend their trusted purchasing channels.

(7)Buy directly from the manufacturer

Some automotive OEMs allow consumers to purchase products directly from their official websites. This ensures you're getting original authenticity and direct support from the manufacturer.

(8)Local auto parts store

Some local auto parts stores may stock android car headunit suitable for BMW models, and you can go to the store to select and purchase them in person.

6. How to install the purchased BMW Radio Screen?

After purchasing a new car double din head unit (car audio system), you can install it through multiple channels. Here are some common installation channels:

(1) Nearby car audio store

These shops usually have professional technicians and the necessary tools to provide you with professional installation services. They will professionally install it based on your vehicle and the car audio multimedia model you purchased, and will be able to handle any compatibility issues that may arise.

(2)BMW 4s store

If your vehicle is still under warranty, or you want to maintain the consistency of original parts and services, you can choose to go to the original vehicle dealer for main unit installation. They usually know all the technical details of a specific car model and can ensure that installation does not affect the original warranty.

(3)General Motors Repair Shop

Some comprehensive car repair shops also provide installation services for car electronic products. Their services may be more economical than professional touch screen car dvd player shops, but when choosing such a shop you need to make sure they have the experience and ability to perform this type of installation.

(4)DIY (do it yourself)

If you have certain technical knowledge and hands-on ability, you can choose to install it yourself. You can learn the installation process by purchasing an installation kit and reading online guides or watching tutorial videos. Please note, however, that do-it-yourself installation may void your warranty and may cause damage to your vehicle or new head unit if installed incorrectly.

(5)Mobile installation service

Some service providers offer home installation services, where they send technicians to your home or place of work to perform the installation, which provides convenience to the customer.

(6)Electronics retailers

The store where the console is purchased, such as a large electronics chain, sometimes also provides installation services. It is a good choice to ask the merchant whether it provides this service when purchasing.

(7)Online platform

On some online platforms, such as eBay, Amazon or Alibaba, there are also sellers who provide car host installation services. They may provide installation instructions or recommend nearby installation services.

When choosing an installation channel, consider the following factors:

Warranty Impact: Make sure the installation process does not affect your vehicle’s warranty.

Technical ability: Choose an installation service provider with excellent technology and good reputation.

Price: Compare prices from different channels to ensure you get reasonable service.

Convenience: Considering that installation may take a while, choose an installation site with a convenient location and efficient service.

No matter which installation channel you choose, make sure the installation is done by experienced professionals to ensure safety and proper operation of the equipment.

7. Conclusion

A car head unit is more than just a car gps radio systems;  It is at the heart of BMW interiors and is the centerpiece of connectivity, entertainment and navigation on the road.  Upgrading your BMW android bmw car head unit isn't just a luxury, it's a necessary step to ensure your vehicle remains at the forefront of automotive excellence.  It's designed to enhance every aspect of your driving experience, from the sound quality of your favorite music to the ease with which you can make hands-free phone calls.  In a world of ever-changing technology, don't let your BMW fall behind.  Instead, let it set the pace with an upgraded head unit that keeps you connected, informed, and entertained—no matter where your road takes you.

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