The W204 I recently picked up was fairly loaded. To further enjoy the Harmon Kardon stereo, I wanted to figure out a way to stream music straight off my phone because the radio is garbage.
Unfortunately, in Mercedes Benz terms, a loaded 2009 car doesn’t offer an aux input, it instead offers a 30 pin connector part of the “iPod package”. The problem with that (besides the fact that I don’t have an iPod, or an iPhone 4s or older to use) is that the cable is less than a foot long and resides in the glove box, so if I switched out the cable for one capable of plugging into my iPhone 6 I would no longer be able to use my phone. No, I don’t text and drive, but it’s more convenient if I can just leave my phone in my pocket or in the center console, where I don’t have to reach over to grab it. I prefer to use google maps on my phone over the cars navigation system anyways.
I read about this product on a few different Benz forums, and it seemed to be a popular solution for those stuck with the 30 pin connector. Kinja ate my in depth review so I’m not gonna make this long. You plug this into the 30 pin connector and sync your phone to it, it only has to be done once, it’ll automatically recognize your phone which is really convenient. In the middle of your favorite song, but you’re already at your destination? Don’t worry, as soon as you turn the car back on when you finish at the grocery store it’ll pick right up where you left off. Don’t even have to take the phone out of your pocket. It functions like an OEM product, you can still see the title of the song and the artist, you can still use the steering wheel controls, and if you get a call, you can still use the MB Bluetooth to answer it hands free. It looks like high quality product and was very easy to set up.
The product isn’t perfect though, it seems to take charge of your phone. As soon as you turn the car on it’ll start playing music from your iTunes library. Not exactly a bad thing, but I usually listen to soundcloud or Spotify so I always have to switch over to those apps, nothing too bad. Some W221 owners have reported a decrease in sound quality but I haven’t noticed it. Having to always have Bluetooth turned on has led to a small hit in my phones battery life, it’s always a little lower when I drive the Benz for a day over the E90, which uses a traditional aux cord. Lastly, it cost me $89 shipped to me house. I paid $10 for the cord from Best Buy that I’ve been using in my BMW. I wish it was that easy, but the Benz doesn’t have an aux cord so I had to pay to play (unintentional pun). I like the product and would definitely recommend it, but I can’t help but think I overpaid.