3 Sept 2014

How To Get DAB And Bluetooth In Your Car Without Changing The Head Unit

My 2005 Audi TT has the stereo that was fitted in the car when it left the factory yet it plays DAB digital radio and streams music from my phone via Bluetooth, and displays info on the car's original cluster screen.  

That's because I've had various bits of kit fitted by JustConnect who specialise in upgrading a car's sound system to modern standards whilst leaving the look of the car completely original.

The Mk1 TT's stereo is hidden behind a flap.  When closed the car's interior conforms to the Bauhaus inspired aesthetic intended by designer Romulus Rost.  When open some of this purity is lost.  When an aftermarket head unit is fitted the flap often doesn't close.

This is where JustConnect comes in.  The company fits digital radio, Bluetooth streaming, USB input and can now offer text in whatever display the vehicle was fitted with.  All of this is invisible so the original look of the car remains.

My car doesn't have steering wheel mounted controls but if it did I could control the JustConnect system from them.  The TT's DAB radio is accessed via the FM button and channels selected by a small remote control.  I only ever listen to Planet Rock so the remote stays in the glovebox.

My iPod functionality is accessed by the CD multi changer buttons.  The car can't now play CDs but who cares, CDs are old.

When streaming music I previously had to change songs and playlists via the phone itself but now JustConnect has fitted its very latest tech (the JustPLAY Dension AC1) and all this functionality can be accessed by the now defunct buttons beneath the head units display.  Playlist and song info is displayed in the cluster screen.

All this is very clever but the great thing is that it's completely hidden.  Sound quality is fantastic as the TT has a Chorus head unit and BOSE speakers.  These all remain as standard.

The JustConnect system is comparably priced with aftermarket head units (take a look at the various products here) and they'll fit it at your home or place of work. In my case it they spent a couple of hours in my drive.

The tech they can fit is comparable with that available in new cars.  For me, it's a brilliant system.

Note: This isn't an advert. I paid for the original system.  There was some audible interference so JustCONNECT came to my house and fixed it and fitted the JustPLAY Dension AC1 at the same time.

By Matt Hubbard