It took me over a year to get a new head unit for the M3, but I finally did. For the longest time, I was very insistent on getting a unit that matched the style and color of the rest of the interior. The BMW is a classy ride after all. But that’s a tough one these days with units that have silver faceplates with chrome highlights, full color motion displays, and tacky, odd-shaped buttons.
The one unit I liked is the Nakamichi CD400. It’s very old school looking with some of the best CD playback available. It’s also nearly $400! Nonetheless, I was so focused on matching the interior, I nearly bit until I realized it doesn’t play mp3’s. A little too oldschool it turns out!
Then I searched the Crutchfield catalog for something that might look appropriate and found the Sony I ended up buying. Crutchfield lists the unit for $269, and I found it at a discounter for $139 after rebate! And yes, it supports mp3 playback. Suddenly I wasn’t so concerned with the perfect aesthetics, and now that it’s installed, I’m very pleased. Installed all by myself I might add!
After a month with the unit, my only complaint is the screen is IMPOSSIBLE to read with direct sunlight shining on it. Luckily, the sun is only out for a portion of the year here in Oregon and it looks great in any other lighting. And God damn is it nice to listen to tunes of your own choice for any drive lasting over 10 minutes, LOL!
Next up, those speakers have to go. They’re the originals and they’re painful to listen to at any kind of volume. And to make matters worse, the mids in the doors and the plate speakers in the deck are all proprietary sizes. So I’ll likely go with 5.25 separates up front and skip the mid, and then convert the deck to some 6×9 coaxials.