Kiran Parmar tells us all about the excellent Eonon car stereo, fits one and gets you an exclusive discount.
When my car-mad cousin was about six years old, she asked me with great curiosity, “Where is the screen in your BMW?” referring to the lack of ‘i-drive’ and infotainment found in all modern cars nowadays. “My papa has a screen in his BMW…” she stated in typical six year old fashion pointing to her dad’s newer BMW 3-Series e90 model.
Much to my cousin’s bewilderment, I tried to explain to her that my car was much older and cars didn’t come with big screens ‘back then.’ To be fair to my car, the e39 generation dates back to 1997 and ended in 2004, my car being an ‘end of the run’ model.
My 2003 BMW 5-Series came with a BMW Business Stereo from the factory incorporating a radio, cassette player and a six CD changer in the boot. The CD changer stopped working a few years ago and I didnt bother trying to repair it. So it was just a working radio and cassette player for many years. The sound quality from the BMW Business Stereo was pretty poor to be honest. Reading through e39 forums, other owners felt the same way. BMW did in fact fit some decent quality speakers but the head-unit was really not much to write home about.
This year marks the twentieth birthday of my BMW and I thought it is about time to give it a treat. A decent stereo should bring the car up to date also.
We decided to replace the now ancient BMW Business radio with the brand new Android 12 stereo from Eonon, the E39A12S which is specifically made for the E39 generation. We were delighted to form a partnership with Eonon who sent us a model we could review. We carried out our very own DIY installation and documented it in a series of photos and videos. The Eonon is a seriously sophisticated piece of technology, so we made another video demonstrating the key features of the stereo. (See links to video below.)
Let me tell you a little about the stereo; it features a seven inch QLED touchscreen display, with 1024 x 600 resolution and 178 degree viewing angle. Wireless and wired Android Auto and Apple Car Play with “Hey Google” voice command for hands free operation, bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi, GPS, and screen mirroring.
The stereo is powerful and fast thanks to 64 GB ROM, 6 GB RAM and an 8 Core Processor. Steering wheel controls continue to work as normal thanks to the e39 Canbus module that comes with the kit, I was also very impressed to learn that the telephone button on the steering wheel now also works which never worked before as you would have needed an BMW telephone installation as a factory fitted option back in the day.
Other features include FM and AM radio with advanced RDS functions (some radio stations such as Classic FM broadcast the current song being played which is a handy feature). A DAB module is available as an extra.
Three USB ports fit neatly into the glovebox which can even play lossless CD quality music via a USB stick. Through Android Auto or Apple Car play you can stream music services such as Spotify or Amazon music.
You also have the option of inserting a sim card so you are connected to the internet all the time or you can turn on your phone’s mobile hotspot which will be picked up by the Eonon Wi-Fi antennas.
The Eonon unit has four channel audio output and one subwoofer output if you want to fit a subwoofer. A front and rear parking cameras are also available options if you want to add them to the stereo.
The installation can be done in a weekend but will take longer if you want to run a reverse parking camera which I didn’t bother with. The hardest part of the installation in my opinion is removing the original BMW radio cage which involves removing the lower dashboard. My biggest advice is to take your time and not to rush. Take photos and videos as you are going along so you remember where everything goes back. Create a ‘screw-board’ out of cardboard with a diagram and insert each screw into the board as you remove it from the car so you know the exact location of where it came from on the car.
I have been using the stereo for over a week now, and I must say that I am very impressed overall. The sound quality has improved vastly; lossless audio files sound brilliant. You can fine tune the sound to your own liking using the built in ‘amplifier’ app.
I downloaded and installed the TomTom Go Navigation app directly to the Eonon unit using the Google Play app. This brilliant app downloads the maps to your device’s internal hard drive so you can navigate offline without the need for Internet connection. The GPS antenna is very powerful and picks up lots of satellites. This app definitely feels like you are using a proper sat-nav device and you can listen to your music in the background.
I could go on about the very many features for several hours, so I better stop now and encourage you to take a look at my two videos below. Oh, and to my dear cousin; I now have a screen in my BMW!
If you are interested in purchasing an Eonon stereo, take a look at their website and use coupon code ‘FREECARMAG’ at the checkout for an £10 total discount. Eonon makes bespoke stereos for BMW, Mazda, Volkswagen, Skoda, SEAT, Chevrolet, GMC, Buick, Honda, and Toyota as well as universal stereos. Visit their website using this unique link: https://tidd.ly/3PJzQR4