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Thread: DYNAVIN N7 Review

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Marietta, GA
    Posts
    2
    My Cars
    2005 E46 M3

    DYNAVIN N7 Review

    Hello,
    I have completed the installation of Dynavin N7 in my 2005 M3 Convertible with OEM navigation system.
    Below is my review.

    First, I would like to give big thanks to Jeff and Britney from J&T Distribution for excellent customer service.

    I purchased the N7 unit, rear-view camera and iLink module. Based on various online reviews I concluded that Dynavin N7 is the best choice on the market, so went ahead and ordered it with all the options.

    Shipping: 5/5: I paid $50 for expedited shipping but the product arrived later than promised and Jeff refunded the $50 (it was USPS’s problem).

    Packaging
    : 5/5: nice and secure.

    Installation
    : 3/5 The installation of the unit itself was fairly easy, but adding a camera and iLink made it less than ideal:
    • To install the camera you have to splice into the backup light cable (no nice plugs provided)
    • To activate button illumination you must splice into some other cable (in my e46 this could have been avoided through a special plug onto the old cables)
    • No standard way to use existing microphone (Probably it can be done, but I did not want to tinker with it)
    • iLink comes with its own microphone, so you are installing 2(!) identical microphones side-by-side (!).
    • iLink takes up AUX input, so if you want to still have a regular aux input, you need to buy a piggy back cable


    Sound: Great. I am not an audiophile, but I had no issues whatsoever with the sound quality

    Operation
    :
    iLink: 0/5 – This is my biggest gripe: iLink module is a LEMON, especially considering the $300 price tag.
    • The audio quality is poor.
    • The microphone quality is horrific (unable to have a speaker phone call)
    • The video quality (projection of iphone screen on the unit’s display) is horrific: colors are all washed out and image is blurry.
    • If it was a $40 part, I could deal with it, but for $300 I think manufacturer should be ashamed to sell it.
    • I sent it back and got reasonable refund


    General operation of the unit 5/5. It is responsive enough, doesn’t freeze, reboots, etc. I usually use it in Radio, Bluetooth and iPod modes. I also have a backup camera that activates and works without issues. With direct sun in the convertible the screen is still visible.

    Navigation: 3/5. As with most offline navigation software products, iGo feels like a blast from the past (what, I can’t just say “Go to Home Depot” or “Navigate Home” ?). It is at times laggy, difficult to enter destinations, does not consider traffic, and costs over $100 to upgrade the maps! So, basically its only redeeming quality is that it is always there, even if you are stuck without coverage, your phone died or broken. I live in Atlanta where I often rely on GMaps’ ability to navigate around traffic and on Waze to warn me of men in blue (I do drive M3, after all). So there are very few scenarios when iGo is my primary map software. It does do a good job of displaying and voicing directions, so I can see using it on a road trip (but then again, I won’t be able to easily find Krispy Creme on the way or whatever).

    Backup camera: 3/5. For $50 you will get the same camera you can get for $10 anywhere else and you’ll be wondering how to seamlessly install it (answer: you can’t). After realizing that I am about to ruin the awesome look of my car’s behind with this generic chineseum camera, I ordered another one from Amazon for $37 that comes with license frame and night vision (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I am pretty happy with my choice, but it is also not seamless. For seamless look consider the camera that is built into the license plate light (also on Amazon).

    Radio: 4/5. Works and sounds great. My only complaint is that when you save the channel, it grabs the first 10(?) characters of the broadcasts’s name, whatever it happens to be at the time. For example, my NPR channel scrolls something like “Atlanta’s choice for NPR … blah blah blah” . So when I save this station, the button receives label “ATLANTAS” and so on with other stations. So I have no clue which station is under which button. I wish there was a reason to simply have frequency name as channel name. But it is not a big deal for me.
    Also, radio does NOT work when you engage Android link as I often like to do. For example, let’s say I want to run Waze on the unit’s display while listening to radio – I can’t do that.

    Physical buttons: for a premium unit, I think the buttons on this unit are subpar. If you press the button on the center of it… nothing happens. You HAVE to press buttons on the inside corner in order to activate them (!!!). How this passed QA I have no clue. So the buttons on the left side of the unit must be pressed on the right corner of the button. And buttons on the right side of the unit must be pressed on the left corner of the button. Otherwise the buttons are sturdy.

    Other: My car had an OEM navigation unit that allowed me to change display units (F/C, MPG vs 100Km/L, 24 hour vs 12 hour time display). With installation of DYNAVIN I lost some of these options. Specifically I can no longer change fuel economy units and time display format. Not a deal breaker for me and perhaps I can figure out how to code it in the future.

    Bluetooth connectivity: 5/5. No issues, sound quality is great.

    Summary and recommendations:

    1. My overall score for the unit 4/5. If you bought the car to drive and not tinker with some cheaply built and poorly supported Android head unit, Dynavin N7 is for you.
    2. Customer service: 5/5
    3. Do NOT buy iLink module. It is a lemon
    4. Buy a better rear-view camera elsewhere (they are all compatible).
    5. I would recommend panel mount USB + aux (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1). I installed mine in the little tray under the center arm rest. Looked nearly OEM and RCA to 3.5mm Female Jack Audio Cable (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1) since the unit does not come with 3.5 audio jack.

    Alex

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    18
    My Cars
    '99 323i, '03 540i MSpt
    Thanks for posting this review @aparfeno. I just installed the N7 in my E39 but am waiting for the iLink for Apple CarPlay and your comments are definitely worrying. I also installed BavSound stage 1. I agree with you comments above in general and would rate the sound improvement as "OK". Frakly, I probably could have done without the new speakers as the N7 improved audio by itself pretty dramatically.

    It is worth mentioning that my E39 is DSP equipped which makes my experience likely different than in an E46. (Posting here as I also own an E46).

    My N7 has a strange issue with the volume knob in that it reats very slowy, taking many turns to change volume. Steering wheel control is fine though. Jeff is working to figure this out with DynaVIN. Really hope I don't have to return the iLink! I was counting on that working well as it is a key feature for me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    1
    My Cars
    2004 325 iT
    GotF1 - How is your iLink working for CarPlay? I recently purchased a N7 and iLink and using the phone function over CarPlay is not good at all. The caller on the other end gets echos. Doesn't meet my expectations. Just curious to see how your system is working in comparison.

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