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Tuesday, 29 January 2019 13:14

BMW Enhanced Bluetooth Explained

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BMW Enhanced Bluetooth BMW Enhanced Bluetooth

Did you know that the first vehicle with Bluetooth was released in 2000? (No, it wasn’t BMW, just a Chrysler). And 18 years later this technology is still one of the most important means of bringing your phone’s features into your favorite car.

In BMWs there are two types of features you can get depending on the package or on the vehicle configurations you choose: 1) Basic Bluetooth & 2) Enhanced Bluetooth (EBT).


Please keep in mind that the EBT features strongly depend on your model, your phone and even the network operator. Some cars equipped with Basic Bluetooth may have more options than they're supposed to have, and some BMWs having Enhanced Bluetooh may be limited to a smaller number of features than generally assigned to this functionality. In order to know for sure what you will get with the EBT package, follow the link.


Now let’s see what’s the fuss around EBT is all about.



Basic Bluetooth

Enhanced Bluetooth

Hands-free calling



Access to the phone’s contact book



Pairing two phones


Connecting iOS devices through the USB cable

❌ (possible with the Y-connector)


Music streaming


Playing music from a phone through a USB port


Album art covers


Office (reading/sending SMS, calendar, tasks, notes)



What Happens When Your Pair Two Phones with Bluetooth

When you connect two phones to your iDrive via Bluetooth, it means, for example, that one of them can be used for streaming music, and another one for making calls which is pretty convenient. But please remember that if two devices are simultaneously connected as telephones, both of them can receive calls, but only one can make them.

BMW Bluetooth Audio Streaming

If you BMW is equipped with the CIC / ENTRY iDrive system, you will only be able to skip to the previous or next song. The NBT & NBT Evo head units provide the possibility to browse the playlist and choose any song to play.

USB Activation

Unlocking Enhanced Bluetooth in your BMW also activates the USB port for playing music from the phone, allowing for digital audio.

It doesn’t mean that without EBT, the USB port doesn’t work. With the Basic Bluetooth and S6FLA option, it is possible to play music via USB, but only from a USB stick with MP3 files.


Some Myths Busted

Enhanced Bluetooth doesn’t add features to your car that it isn’t supposed to add.

Many people on the forums may state that unlocking EBT you also get BMW Assist feature, which is not true. This functionality depends on the telematics module. It also doesn’t add a wireless charging module or BMW apps which are completely different products.


Software Activation or Hardware Upgrade? That is the question!

So, if you finally decided that your BMW needs all the EBT functions, they can be added in one of two ways:

1. By installing a Combox retrofit

How to determine what your car requires? The easiest way will be to write an email to [email protected] with your VIN and our specialists will tell you for sure. If you want to make your own small investigation, here is the info that will help you.

Model & Head unit

Type of activation

BMW 5-Series E60/E61 & 6-Series E63/E64 + CIC

Combox retrofit

BMW 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 before 09/10 + CIC

Combox retrofit

BMW 3-Series E90/E91/E92/E93 after 09/10 + CIC

Cable coding activation


Cable coding activation


Cable coding activation

BMW F-Series + NBT/NBT Evo

USB/cable coding activation


* BMWs with the ENTRY iDrive system can sometimes require the Combox retrofit or even an additional head unit swap.

In case you want to know whether your BMW is compatible with USB or cable coding activation, type in your VIN here and the website will give you the answer.

Read 12136 times Last modified on Tuesday, 10 September 2019 08:46
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