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Thread: R1200RT blue tooth question

  1. #1
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    R1200RT blue tooth question

    My BMW dealer has told me that the BMW blue tooth headset for the R1200RT (2011-2012) will only work with a Schuberth helmet. Additionally I was told that the BMW-Garmin GPS will not cut in on the audio system. The suggestion was that I use the GPS without blue tooth. What blue tooth actually works with the BMW audio system and the the BMW-GPS? Also, I don't feel that I actually need a $600.00 helmet to use the BMW blue tooth system. Suggestions please.

  2. #2
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    The Schuberth helmet is designed to accept the BMW Communicator but if you can get it to fit in another helmet with some creative helmet modifications there isn't any reason it wouldn't "work". You would have to find room for the battery pack and circuit board (separate items) which in a Schuberth fit in spaces moulded in the foam inner shell.

    I have a Zumo 665 so can't speak directly to the BMW Nav IV but there is a connector on a radio equipped RT for mono audio in (one of three, the other two are audio out and power) which I believe the Nav IV harness directly connects to. I connected my 665 audio out to this connector and GPS audio definitely does attenuate the RT radio audio.

    I had a Schuberth SRC system but switched to the BMW Communicator after getting the RT since the SRC doesn't work reliably with the RT Bluetooth (it always seems to "pair" but many times there is no audio, it always worked properly when BT directly to the Zumo). I also have a Nolan N103 with N-Com and a Multitech with a J&M BLU277 and both reliably receive the RT audio but only the BMW Communicator provides bike volume control functionality.

    After getting the BMW Communicator I found that Zumo audio can be heard a second way (rather than wiring Zumo audio out to bike audio in). The helmet can be paired to the RT and also to the Zumo. First priority is RT audio (A2DP stereo) and any Zumo audio (key press beeps, nav instructions, phone calls, XM audio, weather alerts, etc.) interrupt the RT audio and RT audio resumes when Zumo audio stops. The downside is the Zumo audio then uses the headset profile (rather than A2DP) so the audio quality isn't great. It's fine for nav instructions and phone calls but lousy for Zumo XM/MP3. Better XM audio is provided by the wired method but it's still mono rather than stereo. The loss of decent Zumo MP3 audio is a non-issue since the RT radio has iPod/iPhone, USB stick and aux audio inputs. Mid 2011 and later RT radios have built in Sirius (my RT is an early 2011 without Sirius) so lower quality satellite radio audio may also be a non-issue.


    Hope this didn't confuse things too much
    Tom
    2013 K1600GT

  3. #3
    Registered User mneblett's Avatar
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    I have a Zumo 660 and a Nav IV, with the BMW Communicator Bluetooth headsets.

    I installed my headsets -- I agree with the above comments, with one clarification: The BMW headset's microphone is mounted on a plastic plate which is formed to neatly use the structure at the inside of the Schuberth helmet to position/hold the mic boom. You'll have to cobble together a way of mounting the mic boom in a non-Schuberth helmet.

    On the GPS comms --

    I have the Nav IV on a K16GTL; the audio system is similar to the recent R12RT's.

    I have the headset paired to the bike's radio for stereo audio from the bike.

    I have the Nav IV paired to the headset for GPS instructions and cell phone into the helmet.

    I have my iPhone 4 paired with the Nav IV.

    The GPS audio has priority over the bike audio, which is muted when the GPS "speaks."

    I have never tried to get audio from the microSD card in the GPS to the helmet (I use the GTL's built-in USB/iPod interface for mp3 input via the bike radio). I don't know whether stereo audio from the GPS will get to the BMW headset, but I highly doubt it -- I believe when used in the BMW audio system the Nav IV connects via a non-A2DP (i.e., a mono, not-stereo) link, as the stereo link is already occupied by the bike's radio (the BMW headset is very limited for the number and type of simultaneous connections it can maintain -- not one of its strengths).

    If you want to say away from the BMW Bluetooth headset, I'd suggest looking into the Scala Cardo G4. I used this with good results with my 660 and iPhone, and to a limited extent with the GTL.

    Of course, the No. 1 drawback of not using the BMW headset with the R12/K16 audio system is there is no Bluetooth headset out there (at least as yet) which permits volume control using the Multicontriller wheel on the left grip. My experience was that having to control volume using the helmet-mounted Bluetooth device volume buttons was a significant pita -- that is one of the primary reasons I popped for the BMW Bluetooth headsets (I already had the C3's, so the decision wasn't that hard).

    HTH!
    Mark Neblett
    Fairfax, VA
    #32806

  4. #4
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    Comments on the comments to my comments

    Agree that the microphone boom installation in other than a C3 could be a bit of a challenge, I should have remembered to mention that.

    I don't think the Cardo G4 would be suitable, the internals are the same as the SRC (they make it). There are rumors of a future Cardo/SRC update to address the issues connecting to a BMW radio but I gave up waiting for it.

    One more advantage with the BMW communicator, the Multicontroller also controls the volume level heard from a BT connected GPS (and obviously the GPS audio heard from a wired connection). The BMW Communicator seems to maintain both the A2DP and Head Set channels simultaneously and just mutes the A2DP audio when presented with GPS audio.
    Tom
    2013 K1600GT

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