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What's the latest on these aftermarket head units?

Arin@APR

GOLFMK7 Official Sponsor
Location
Auburn, Al
Car(s)
B8 S4, MK7 GSW TDI
What's the status of these aftermarket head units? They run around $100-$300 depending on processor speed / resolution, appear to run a few gen old Android operating systems, work with the backup cam and all oem controls, and options, (like modes and ESP), and feature wireless apple car play.

I have a 2015 Golf Sportwagen TDI SE. It has the Fender sound system with silver trim, tiny screen, and CD in the glove box. It's very basic. No apple CarPlay, which is what I'm mainly after.

Part Number: 5G0035844
HW: 014
SW: 0654

From what I understand, since this is the "Fender" unit, it's somewhat unique, perhaps with optical audio cables and not 100% plug and play with several of the upgrades out there. So, I'm looking for feedback mostly from people who have done a swap and have the same setup as me.

Here's what I'm after:

- Wireless Apple Carplay
- OEM controls work
- OEM backup cam works
- Decent interface with minimal input lag
- Volume dial

This would be a bonus:

- Spotify built in
- Somehow to do wireless internet so I don't even have to use my phone (happy to pay a few bucks a month for internet)

Here's a unit many were talking about, but they mostly had MK7 GTIs without fender:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256802413604510.html

Here's one that looked cooler, and had a volume control:

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803879150603.html

Really hoping to hear from some people in situation! Thank you!
 

bobloblawGTI

Autocross Champion
Location
DC
Car(s)
19 GTI SE 6MT
Honestly the 8" MIB2 screens and systems have gotten pretty cheap these days. A screen on eBay is usually around $200-$250 and the units aren't much more; I got mine from a junker for $150. Going OEM might be more practical than you think.
 

bobloblawGTI

Autocross Champion
Location
DC
Car(s)
19 GTI SE 6MT
There always seems to be a bunch of caveats to this since I have the factory fender system. Is that not the case?
As always I defer to resident expert @Cuzoe on all things MIB related, but I just upgraded my MIB2 w/ factory Fender from Composition Media to Discover Media without any issues.
 

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
Mk7 TDI will be MIB I... so you'll have to retrofit MIB II (master thread here) and then have everything activated. Fender or not won't really make a difference.
- Once you have MIB II then it's dealer's choice for screens... 6.5" matte, 8" matte, 8" glass.

You can unlock/activate (some) units on your own, @mr-fix would know about that, but (personally) I haven't found it was worth the time/effort to get into all that when you can have it done remotely by someone like @simaservis1108 without much trouble.
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
The Greater Boston Metropolitan Area
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
Dang...its almost cheap enough to just try out.

I've highly considered it. The main thing stopping me is the gaudy "AINAVI" text on the bottom of the screen/trim, and the fact that they don't have wireless android auto built in. I know about the adapters, currently have one, but if I was going aftermarket, I'd want it built in.
 

Acadia18

Autocross Champion
Location
The Greater Boston Metropolitan Area
Car(s)
2019 Golf R
There always seems to be a bunch of caveats to this since I have the factory fender system. Is that not the case?

You're missing the obvious solution here.

Get APR to produce an aftermarket unit, and offer to "test" it 😂
 

Chogokin

Autocross Champion
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
I've highly considered it. The main thing stopping me is the gaudy "AINAVI" text on the bottom of the screen/trim, and the fact that they don't have wireless android auto built in. I know about the adapters, currently have one, but if I was going aftermarket, I'd want it built in.

They have a Mk6 version that I might try out on my old Mk6 wagon. The headunit in that car has been dead for a while.

Any suggestion on which one to get? What do you think about the second one?

"A1 2G 32G"

https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256802413304575.html?spm=a2g0o.detail.1000060.1.56ec65e2lCUyNB&gps-id=pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller&scm=1007.13339.291025.0&scm_id=1007.13339.291025.0&scm-url=1007.13339.291025.0&pvid=b4b0daa4-2008-40cc-819f-7b942ab412eb&_t=gps-id:pcDetailBottomMoreThisSeller,scm-url:1007.13339.291025.0,pvid:b4b0daa4-2008-40cc-819f-7b942ab412eb,tpp_buckets:668#2846#8115#2000&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id":"12000029680928914","sceneId":"3339"}&pdp_npi=2@dis!USD!192.0!96.0!!!!!@210312f816734054487851958e1085!12000029680928914!rec&gatewayAdapt=glo2usa&_randl_shipto=US
 

Arin@APR

GOLFMK7 Official Sponsor
Location
Auburn, Al
Car(s)
B8 S4, MK7 GSW TDI

Thanks for this info!

I still think I'm more interested in going the aftermarket route, mainly because it offers things like wireless CarPlay at such a low price. That is of course, if they actually work. I can't say I've heard any horror stories, but I have seen a lot of success stories - just unsure in my exact situation.

I spoke to another member on FB and it looks like in my situation, with Fender, I would need to an optical fiber decoder box to use one of the units.

Decoder box:
https://www.amazon.com/BOOYES-Optical-Decoder-Stereo-Mercedes/dp/B089YVDTNW

Head Unit:
https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803879150603.html



This unit seems way more attractive. The interface looks nice, no logos for unknown brands, and it has a volume dial. This is their top of the line unit from the link above. I also like that it has 4G LTE - If I could eliminate the need for CarPlay all together to get something like spotify or sound cloud, it would be a ton better. Fiddling with my phone and all that every time I get into the car just isn't safe.
 

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
That is correct, Fender amp is fed audio via MOST (fiber optic) bus. The box you linked to no Amazon won't do what you need. You need something to take the audio out from this aftermarket unit and encode it onto the MOST bus in a format the Fender amp accepts. I've never heard of such a unit.

You can get rid of fender, but will require re-wiring. You will need to run wiring from the new head unit down to the Fender amp location, going directly to the speaker wiring (effectively bypassing the amp). I don't know what impedance the Fender speakers are so you would want to find that out, but probably won't be an issue.
 

golfdave

Autocross Champion
Location
Scotland (U.K.)
Car(s)
Mk7 Golf GT Estate
Last edited:

Cuzoe

Autocross Champion
Location
Los Angeles
Man alive, quick search and I can't find that most conversion box for under $300 on eBay. At almost $300 for the BT6 unit plus another $300 for the conversion box... could just MIB II and grab one of the wireless AA or CarPlay dongles.

I'm not clear on whether it supports the other vehicle controls that are integrated into the infotainment. A personal requirement, that kept me with an OEM solution, is that I still have access to all the vehicle settings. Not saying it doesn't, but they don't mention in their listing. Just a question to ask the seller before making a decision, if you care about it.
 

DangerDane2008

Drag Racing Champion
Location
Conyers GA
Car(s)
15 GSW TDI DSG
I was looking into one of those android units for mine. I couldn’t find much real world first hand experience with them except for one main thread. Guy complained about poor audio quality and poor call quality. MIB2 parts are a lot cheaper than they used to be. I compiled parts to do MIB2 with nav and imported an 8” nav matte screen for like $600-$700? I can give you a list of part numbers I grabbed. @Cuzoe was gracious enough to help me with the buying process and making sure I got the correct numbers.
 
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