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Premium Member
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150 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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I really want to replace this radio with a DAB radio, is there a best in breed and a fitting guide to make this easy for a 2006 R53 Cooper S.

Anybody done this, keen to learn the pitfalls and best way to do it.

Thx

Scott
 

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Premium Member
2003 cooper S 218bhp
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282 Posts
I’ve gone 2 different ways with my cars, I’ve cut the dash on the R53 and fitted a flush mount double din but that will wreck your dash if you decide to take it out, that one is a Sony

the R52 I have again fitted a double din but it is a floating screen so I can have DAB and apple play, nav, Spotify etc, that is a pioneer evo62 which I recommend, far superior sound to the Sony and a lot more tuneable

prior to those I had single din dab units in both cars, now I’m a big alpine fan but I found the various pioneer units I had to be better sound wise

one thing to be sure of is get a decent aerial, ive got basic amazon stick to the windscreen types in both my cars and I get good reception all the time, I’ve fitted a different type of, almost bunny ears aerial to my wife’s car which has an alpine in and the DAB reception is abysmal, I’ve got to swap it out for a stick on type when I can be bothered to take the head unit out!

you can get splitters that enable you to use your existing Aerial as the dab antenna but as I discovered with my wife’s VW not all will actually work and they need to have a single supply
 

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2006 R53 Hyper Blue/White Cooper S
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335 Posts
Hi Scott....I didnt fit mine, think Halfrauds did it for the previous keeper but they did a pretty good job of it IMHO.

I have a Sony unit....I like it because it isnt all flashy like most nowadays and fits well with the cars interior.....it has every which way adjustable colour illumination too so have managed with some tweaking to get it to pretty much match the orange dash lighting which makes it all the better. I've personally always been a bit of a fan of Alpine so if this one ever gives up the ghost I'd probably look for a suitable mechless DAB Bluetooth model.

I believe all you really need on these is a dash bracket so that the car can take a generic single din unit and also a wiring loom to match the factory wiring to the aftermarket unit. You are probably 99% there already and probably just need to do a straight swap.

Mine has a stick on powered DAB antenna on the passenger side windscreen, pops out from behind the a pillar and has been quite nicely done...tho heat and moisture has gotten to the sticky pad that holds the antenna box onto the screen so much of the time it's only the little sticky metal antenna that keeps it held to the screen. I believe mine is actually powered from the head unit itself rather than having a direct 12v feed (my antenna supports both but guess it was easier not to wire it in and just use the power from the HU).

I have a mic for the bluetooth car kit that sits just to the right of the rear view mirror clipped onto the head lining....I figure the cable runs across the inside of the head lining and down the passenger A pillar trim into the dash. In my old R50 I had a Kenwood mom DAB but Bluetooth unit and had the mic on the drivers side a pillar and it was neater but it doesnt bother me greatly.

I only really use DAB and Spotify so I'd really struggle without it, also handy for occasional phone calls..... 110% worth going to the trouble of having Bluetooth as well IMHO if you dont already have it.
 
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