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2006 GS450h ML Audio Bluetooth Revisited


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Well I posted a thread a while back regarding this but never sorted but after spending a load of money getting the batteries and engine sorted I want to finally get my phone connected to the car to listen to music and podcasts via Bluetooth
 

So what is the latest recommendations to do this? I do love the look of the Grom Audio Vline VL2 with apple CarPlay but it’s out of my price range. 
 

I have seen the Vais unit which is much more affordable. 
 

Are there any other options available?

My car is a 2006 GS450h with Mark Levinson Premium Audio. 

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Am I wrong when I suppose you will need to connect the Bluetooth interface to your ML audio with USB or some other kind of wired connection?

If so, a far cheaper (and better) option is to connect the phone to the audio with a line-in cable.

If you want Bluetooth the newer the system is the better and more reliable with regard to sound quality, but so far line-in is superior to wireless (sure Bluetooth will continue to get better and some day maybe equal with line-in.

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Unfortunately the ML audio doesn’t have any Aux or USB input from what I can tell. I already have the old style IPod connection that was available as an option that works through the head unit via the additional disc option and that could only play drop iPod playlists. 

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I've just joined the forum - just so that I can say I've found the Vaistech SLsb-L works superbly in my '06 LS460. As with your car, it has no aux or USB inputs, so Bluetooth was the only option. Playing mp3s and streaming internet radio from my phone sounds excellent to my old ears, plus the info is shown on the CD screen too.

I'm using an Android phone, but I believe that with an Iphone you'll get more info on the screen (the track running time for example), but I can't verify this.

IMG_20210901_165710.jpg

IMG_20210901_165803.jpg

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9 hours ago, MJB18 said:

I've just joined the forum - just so that I can say I've found the Vaistech SLsb-L works superbly in my '06 LS460. As with your car, it has no aux or USB inputs, so bluetooth was the only option. Playing mp3s and streaming internet radio from my phone sounds excellent to my old ears, plus the info is shown on the CD screen too.

I'm using an Android phone, but I believe that with an iPhone you'll get more info on the screen (the track running time for example), but I can't verify this.

IMG_20210901_165710.jpg

IMG_20210901_165803.jpg

I'm guessing it doesn't work with the buttons on the steering wheel however?

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Hi,

I've a BT kit from GTA Car Kits (https://www.gtacarkits.com/) in my GS450h with ML. It will connect to a free CD changer port and the ML system thinks it is a CD player. And the steering wheel buttons do work (play/pause, change track).

Time to time the BT connection fails in startup, but otherwise it has been working nicely...

BR.Sami

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6 hours ago, Steven Lockey said:

I'm guessing it doesn't work with the buttons on the steering wheel however?

Mostly. It'll play, stop, track up/down.

Also, I use "Open radio" to listen to streamed radio stations, and the track up/down buttons will move through your favourited stations.

But if you're playing mp3 albums from your 'phone you can change track but won't be able to change albums, which I believe you can do on later systems e.g. android auto.

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3 hours ago, Sami Tilander said:

Hi,

I've a BT kit from GTA Car Kits (https://www.gtacarkits.com/) in my GS450h with ML. It will connect to a free CD changer port and the ML system thinks it is a CD player. And the steering wheel buttons do work (play/pause, change track).

Time to time the BT connection fails in startup, but otherwise it has been working nicely...

BR.Sami

 

Hi Sami

I had looked at them but couldn't find the correct one that i needed. Can you link me to the one you have?

When you say connects to a free CD Changer Port is that an extra socket on the rear of the unit? I am not sure if i have a spare port unless that is what the old ipod connection is using. 

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Hi Paul,

I've this one: "1 x Pure Bluetooth Kit for Toyota and Lexus - 2 Gen (PBT2-ToyotaNav)", at least that is what is written on my order... I ordered that about 3 years ago, and got it shipped from UK (that was one of the reasons I ended up with this product)

When I was installing the GTA Car Kit, I found some strange IPOD-adapter from my car (using the same CD changer port). Probably the previous owner has installed one, so I just removed it and replaced with GTA kit. Installation was very easy thanx to the nice videos on YouTube: 

One note still: I did not install any mic as I'm using the car's original BT for handsfree phone calls... AUX was not needed either as the 2008 model has AUX already.

BR.Sami

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Great, Thanks Sami. I have emailed them and see which version they recommend. By the looks of the website this is the one i need. Bluetooth and iPhone/iPod/AUX Kits for Lexus GS 2006-2011 – GTA Car Kits

Not a bad price either. I am not interested in the mic either as i am very happy with the built in hands free kit. 

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I have just received a message from GTA and they confirmed that is the correct kit. Currently showing at $154.99 and $17.00 Shipping from UK Warehouse. Looking at the video its also nice and easy to fit so looks like I will get that on order. 

He did mention though that when the phone is paired to their Bluetooth Module and you are playing music it will not pause and swap to the OEM bluetooth hands free kit hence the need for the additional MIC.

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You will have two BT connection: one to the OEM handfree and one for BT streaming. And these are active at the same time (this might be the reason the GTA BT connection setup fails time to time, as the phone needs to setup two connections about the same time). Anyway, the car will do the switching (it does not even know that there is another BT connection, it sees that as an ordinary CD player). Works at least on my android phone, where you can select the correct BT profile for each BT device separately (allow only "media audio" for the GTA car kit, no "phone calls").

Another note: if you use your phone's navigation (e.g. Google Maps), you need to switch to the BT streaming music to get the vocal guidance audible...

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Interesting, I thought only one source  device could pair with a device at a time. I will report back when I have received and fitted after I have received my car back from Lex-Tech and the engine work is done and the car is MOT’d. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
On 9/6/2021 at 11:06 AM, ZXSpectrum said:

Yeah it looks like I can do that with my iPhone. Will update when I get my car back and get it fitted. 

Hey Paul, how have you managed to split the two BT profiles? (streaming and phone)

Also, how's the GTA BT system working for you?

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1 hour ago, zurdyo said:

Hey Paul, how have you managed to split the two BT profiles? (streaming and phone)

Also, how's the GTA BT system working for you?

Unfortunately my car is still at Lex-Tech. Looks like they have now sorted the issue and the car is currently being tested. Hoping that I will be able to pick it up this week. Looking forward to getting it back and the GTA kit fitted. 

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  • 1 month later...
On 10/31/2021 at 12:28 PM, zurdyo said:

Hey Paul, how have you managed to split the two BT profiles? (streaming and phone)

Also, how's the GTA BT system working for you?

Finally received my car back the week before Xmas and I have just fitted the kit. I did have to fit the cable for the mic as I was having issues with it cutting off the call straight away wether I called someone or they called me I tried all the settings that were available to no avail. 
As far as the kit is concerned it seems to work ok but I do get some random connection and stuttering issues. After googling it does seem to be Bluetooth Cache issues  as when I forget this device and then reconnect it works fine. 
I also connected my old school iPod classic using the aux cable and USB. The audio quality isn’t great but might just need the eq settings adjusted or maybe a different/better cable to the unit might sort it. 
 

So all in so far, not seamless and a couple of bits were a bit tricky (feeding the mic cable through under the drivers dash was a pain for my sausage fingers. 
 

I will update again when I have used it for a while. 

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