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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks,

I have a 2011 Outback 2.5i Premium with HK Stereo upgrade - but this will work with any of the models that have an auxiliary jack (mini/headphone style aux jack). This will work with pretty much any smartphone, as Bluetooth is a universal standard. It will also work in other cars, as I'm using the same setup in my BMW E92. * I understand that Subaru cars with factory Navigation may already have streaming Bluetooth capability, so this is of no use to those lucky people.

I enjoy my HK stereo and mine even came from the factory with the optional iPod control interface, but I found it cumbersome to operate and I longed for being able to control my music selection from my iPhone directly. This became especially true when I received my iPhone 5 (cause I just like touching it!). In any case, I found a simple and inexpensive solution and I'm thrilled with the results. It's called the "Blackberry Music Gateway" and it just plain works! Don't let the Blackberry name fool you, it's a Bluetooth stereo/A2DP adaptor that pairs with your smartphone and receives the music/Pandora/SiriusXM/Navigation audio signals from your device and plays via the "aux" selection on your factory radio. You control the everything on the radio, except the audio song/source which is controlled on the smartphone. For example; I select the song, pause, forward/reverse, from the phone - volume,balance, bass/treble, etc. on the radio. Works great and sounds terrific too. I was able to stream iTunes/iPhone stored music, Pandora, XM (from the XM smartphone app), and even my Navigon navigation app played through my stock radio. If you have used the stock iPod interface, you'll be glad to finally be able to select songs quickly with this setup. The sound quality is great, just as if you plugged your phone directly into the aux jack. I did not experience any static or disruption in either of my cars.

You may have Bluetooth in your Subaru already and are thinking "but it won't work if my phone is connected to the car Bluetooth for phone calls" - but you'd be wrong - it does work in concert with your OEM telephone Bluetooth. Because the phone transmits the phone and A2DP signals separately, your smartphone remains paired and connected with your cars Bluetooth, while the Blackberry Music Gateway is paired with the smartphone and receives the stereo Bluetooth signal. You listen you any audio source you desire - including streaming music - and the music pauses and phone rings as normal, which you still answer via the steering wheel controls. Nothing changes from what you are doing now. * If you do not have Bluetooth in your car now, this will still be a solution for music streaming, but will not provide hands-free calls capability - this unit is only for A2DP streaming. It does automatically disconnect and reconnect when you provide power via turning on the ignition, just as the phone Bluetooth does in the Subaru.

The unit itself is about 2"x1"x.25" so it's tiny. It comes complete with a USB-to-Micro USB cord and a mini-jack to mini-jack cord and you simply connect the mini-jack to your "aux" input and the USB to power (via an adapter, not included) and you're off and running. Paring is simple, with no code required on the iPhone, and it supports up to six devices. * FYI - If you have the factory iPod interface, the USB jack does not supply power. It does on some cars, like my BMW, but not the Outback.

I am NOT affiliated with Blackberry, nor the seller I am about to mention. I just wanted to share this as I know others want the same capability. I shopped around and these are hard to find, but crackberry.com has them and they are currently running a promotion for the BBMG & a high-power (read quick charge) car power cord - both for $60. (BBMG is normally $50 itself). The nice thing about the package is the power cord has a coiled cord with micro-usb end and another USB outlet built-in, so you can plug in your iPhone cord or whatever - and keep the BBMG powered at the same time - meaning the entire solution rests in your console with no wiring and nothing visible.

I didn't take photos, but there really isn't anything to photograph - it's a really small black box and that's it.

I hope this helps you folks to enjoy streaming Bluetooth too. Feel free to comment if it does. If you have questions beyond what I've described, I'll do my best to answer.

Regards,

Hoppy
 

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Hello,
I read your post a month ago and purchased the blackberry stereo gateway for my 2011 Outback. Worked perfectly as you stated with my Droid Incredible 2. The subaru bluetooth and the blackberry bluetooth re-paired automatically each time I started my car; never had to fiddle with any settings. BUT, I had had my eyes on purchasing an Iphone5 at the time....

So the iphone5 arrived last week - and it works for me almost as you stated. Never a problem with phone calls and the phone call bluetooth of the iphone5 pairs perfectly with the Subaru hardware each time I start the car. However, when I start the car, I have to "re-pair" the blackberry stereo gateway each time to make it work by going to Iphone5: Settings: Bluetooth and click on the "Blackberry..." line in the bluetooth devices (I never have to touch the Blackberry Gateway itself). I guess that touching the blackberry line makes it "discoverable" again. Of course I would prefer not to have to repair the Blackberry gateway each time and have the two bluetooths work just like they did with my Droid Incredible 2. Based on what you're saying, you were able to keep your Blackberry pairing working perfectly with your iphone5, so it seems like I have configured something incorrectly in the iphone5. Any tips? I can't find many Bluetooth options to change in the iphone5...but I'm a newbie.

I am using the latest software version on iphone5, which updated I guess a few days ago (6.0.2?).

Thank you in advance.

Christopher
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I use the iPhone 5, with the latest software too and no issues at all. Pairs automatically every time. I'd suggest you un-pair and re-pair (delete device from your iPhone, then re-pair it) and completely power down the phone after deleting, but before re-pairing.
 

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THANK YOU!

I followed your advice and over the past day I have started the car up 4 times. Each time the iphone has paired automatically both to the Subaru bluetooth and the Blueberry stereo gateway bluetooth. I'll keep my fingers crossed.... :)

Christopher
 

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A follow-up: I still find that I have to pair my iphone5 to the stereo gateway manually every week or so. Once I manually re-pair the phone by going through the iphone5-> general settings-> bluetooth menu (it remembers the blackberry gateway as an option), it works flawlessly. I never have to fiddle around with the blackberry gateway settings. I haven't quite figured out a pattern, except that the Apple support forums indicate that the "reconnect issue" seems to be a problem for certain iphone5s, but not other iphone5s. Thank goodness my iphone5 to Subaru hands free phone auto connects/discovers flawlessly each time.

One note: my phone handles company email, so it is often in the locked mode (needs pin to be entered to access phone) when I jump in my car. Some folks online say that this prevents the music bluetooth from connecting for them....hard to know whether this matters.

Anyone else have any reconnect issues with the bluetooth pairing of the stereo gateway?

Christopher
 

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Currently using android 4.1.2 with Motorola Atrix HD smart phone. I was able to BT sync with the car. I can make call using voice commands and able to stream pandora and google music. No dongle or any other piece of 3rd party HW needed.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I tried several similar products before deciding on the Blackberry Music Gateway. All the others I tried had static or didn't stay connected well. I can't remember if I tried that particular one or not.


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My concern with the Belkin unit I just posted is that it also acts as a hands-free mic set-up, which I don't want it to do, as the Subie already has one that works well. I just want audio streaming via Bluetooth.

I have found this alternative, but it comes with an AC power unit. I'd need to cobble together some way to get it powered from 5V USB....

Amazon.com: Belkin F8Z492TTP Bluetooth Music Receiver: MP3 Players & Accessories
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why not simply use the BB solution?

BTW, I do not believe the USB jack for the car (or media hub) is a powered one.

I use a car charger with an additional USB jack on it, then I plug the BBMG into that powered USB and the mini jack for audio. Works great and no static.



Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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Why not simply use the BB solution?
Oops, I just saw this after sending in my last post. I like to use Amazon.com and the BB device wasn't readily available there, at least as far as I could see. Hey, if this generic device works then we have 2 verified solutions, right? :)
 

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Currently using android 4.1.2 with Motorola Atrix HD smart phone. I was able to BT sync with the car. I can make call using voice commands and able to stream pandora and google music. No dongle or any other piece of 3rd party HW needed.
I'm also just streaming music via bluetooth on the BT-A mode. Works flawlessly, though I do wish it would display track titles on the head unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm also just streaming music via bluetooth on the BT-A mode. Works flawlessly, though I do wish it would display track titles on the head unit.
Yea, the 12's and onward can do that from what I've read. The older models didn't have that feature....
 

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Hey, neat!

Ideally it would pair to the phone when you start the car without requiring the user to do anything else.

Two Questions:
1.do you have to "re-pair" your phone to the bluetooth device each time you start your car, or does it remember the existence of your phone even after it is powered down?
2.does it power up automatically when you start your car?


I have the Blackberry Stereogateway, which generally works GREAT doing both of the above, but sometimes it decides not to pair with my phone - probably my phone's fault. Not sure why. The Iphone5 can be funny. So an alternative would be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hey, neat!

Ideally it would pair to the phone when you start the car without requiring the user to do anything else.

Two Questions:
1.do you have to "re-pair" your phone to the bluetooth device each time you start your car, or does it remember the existence of your phone even after it is powered down?
2.does it power up automatically when you start your car?


I have the Blackberry Stereogateway, which generally works GREAT doing both of the above, but sometimes it decides not to pair with my phone - probably my phone's fault. Not sure why. The Iphone5 can be funny. So an alternative would be interesting.
Not to be rude, but if you read my original post your questions are all covered.....I am using it with my iPhone 5 too.



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Hey, hoppyjr, thanks alot for posting that original post about the Blackberry Stereo Gateway. On your advice I bought it and use it on a daily basis in my Outback. I like it, thanks!

I remember you took the time to try to help me sort of the auto-pairing problem - thanks for that in addition. To recap, normally my iphone5 and the stereo gateway auto-pair when I turn on the ignition. It’s a beautiful thing. About once a week they do not, and so I have to push the black button the gateway a few times, and eventually they connect. Having used it for the past few months, I guess I see a failed pairing about once a week. Compare that to the amazing 100% pairing record of my iphone5’s phone calling functionality and the 2011 Subaru Outback premium built-in hands free/Bluetooth phone system….never once failed to pair in 5 months to make phone calls. Quite impressive, but I respect that other folks have mentioned problems in pairing. YMMV.

I took your advice in the deleting and re-pairing, but the problem didn’t go away, too bad. I then dug a bit deeper on Macrumors and all those iphone discussion boards cuz I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive. There is a HUGE discussion of this and weak Wifi/reception in the iphone5, evidently….and at the same time I was digging into the Subaru wandering at high speed issue…and the similarity in the dialogues was stunning. You know…ranging from those that think it’s the fault of the user…to those that think that Apple/Subaru should be shutdown and pillaged….to those who (rather rationally IMHO) want to try to make their iphones/subarus as good as they can with a reasonable effort….and to those who eventually swap their iphones/subarus because of this one issue. For me, in the end, it’s what I would classify as a “first world problem,” (not a big deal); I positioned the gateway such that I can push the black button without taking my eyes from the road when it doesn’t auto-pair with my iphone5. Good enough for me.

At the same time I value the contribution of other members here (as we all should) who suggest other devices of similar functionality (thanks !), since we never know how long blackberry will continue to manufacture this, and I occasionally look for other devices that might pair more consistently. Perhaps my own iphone5 is quirky, who knows. My ipod and my Motorola Bluetooth headphones have pairing issues once a week as well…so maybe that’s just par for the course.

Thanks for your help!

-topher
 

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Have 13 OB ltd with nav and iphone 5. seems that whenever I'm using the nav for directions and the voice directions come on my BT music streaming cuts out and stops and doesnt resume and I have to hit play again on the phone but only happens when phone is in the little cubby hole under hvac controls or by gear shift. If its on my lap its ok.
Am I going nuts or is there a reason for this??
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hey, hoppyjr, thanks alot for posting that original post about the Blackberry Stereo Gateway. On your advice I bought it and use it on a daily basis in my Outback. I like it, thanks!

I remember you took the time to try to help me sort of the auto-pairing problem - thanks for that in addition. To recap, normally my iphone5 and the stereo gateway auto-pair when I turn on the ignition. It’s a beautiful thing. About once a week they do not, and so I have to push the black button the gateway a few times, and eventually they connect. Having used it for the past few months, I guess I see a failed pairing about once a week. Compare that to the amazing 100% pairing record of my iphone5’s phone calling functionality and the 2011 Subaru Outback premium built-in hands free/Bluetooth phone system….never once failed to pair in 5 months to make phone calls. Quite impressive, but I respect that other folks have mentioned problems in pairing. YMMV.

I took your advice in the deleting and re-pairing, but the problem didn’t go away, too bad. I then dug a bit deeper on Macrumors and all those iphone discussion boards cuz I’m a bit obsessive-compulsive. There is a HUGE discussion of this and weak Wifi/reception in the iphone5, evidently….and at the same time I was digging into the Subaru wandering at high speed issue…and the similarity in the dialogues was stunning. You know…ranging from those that think it’s the fault of the user…to those that think that Apple/Subaru should be shutdown and pillaged….to those who (rather rationally IMHO) want to try to make their iphones/subarus as good as they can with a reasonable effort….and to those who eventually swap their iphones/subarus because of this one issue. For me, in the end, it’s what I would classify as a “first world problem,” (not a big deal); I positioned the gateway such that I can push the black button without taking my eyes from the road when it doesn’t auto-pair with my iphone5. Good enough for me.

At the same time I value the contribution of other members here (as we all should) who suggest other devices of similar functionality (thanks !), since we never know how long blackberry will continue to manufacture this, and I occasionally look for other devices that might pair more consistently. Perhaps my own iphone5 is quirky, who knows. My ipod and my Motorola Bluetooth headphones have pairing issues once a week as well…so maybe that’s just par for the course.

Thanks for your help!

-topher

Glad the info helped you Topher :)

Actually, my BBMG sometimes (rarely, but does happen) fails to connect to the phone, but somertimes my Subaru hands-free does the same thing. When it occurs I turn off the car, then restart and all connects fine. Bluetooth, like WiFi, is great but all wireless technologies have connection issues on occasion.

Take care,

Hoppy
 
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