Before Buying Aftermarket BMW E90 Radio Stereo Upgrade – What You Should Know?

If you are going to install an after market head unit to replace the factory CD player and radio for your BMW E90,  the first thing you should know is which radio upgrade unit can fit and work for your car.

There are so many different aftermarket BMW e90 radio upgrade  in the market, some are with good quality while others are not. The BMW E90 navigation with good quality is specific for the 5th generation of BMW 3 series including BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 320i, BMW 320si, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 328i, BMW 330i, BMW 335i, BMW 316d, BMW 318d, etc.

Below you can see a top quality BMW E90 radio upgrade with navigation.

Latest Android 10 system 32GB+4GB RAM Android head unit for BMW E90 is available here:

android bmw e90 head unit

The dashboard including the factory bmw e90 radio and air conditioning system is more or less the same. Some E90 comes with automatic air conditioning, while others come with manual air conditioning system, so the panel frame to relocate the a/c unit is different.

As for the seat heating buttons below the air conditioning unit, these buttons are no longer be installed anymore unless you can find a place to relocate them. It doesn’t matter, you can control the seat heating in settings of the BMW E90 navigation.

This is the dashboard picture with factory car radio and CD from BMW 2008 328i.

dashboard Bmw 2008 328i convertible

if your dashboard is the same as this, you can install this new BMW E90 navigation unit because it can fit this dashboard. As this BMW 08 328i comes with automatic air conditioning system, so it should use a relocation kit special for automatic a/c.

While if the dashboard is the same as below:

dashboard BMW E90 2007 323i
Factory radio and CD player from BMW E90 2007 323i

As you can see, it’s with manual a/c, so the panel frame is special for manual a/c to relocate the air conditioning. That’s not a difficult job for a professional installer, and you don’t need to modify the power plug, just use the special plug to connect the factory plug.

Note: If your dashboard is the same as below, this BMW E90 radio upgrade unit does not fit because the dash is different.

2009 BMW 320i (RHD) dash

Once you confirmed the stereo upgrade unit which can fit your car, the next step is to check if your BMW E90 has fiber optic amplifier.

All after market navigation units don’t support the fiber optic amplifier, so if you install it in a car with fiber optic amplifier, there will be no sound after installation.

There’s a solution to get sound from the unit, you can connect the 8 speaker wires with your car’s 8 speaker wires for each car door speaker directly and by pass the fiber optic amp, which means the fiber optic amp will not work anymore. And there’s another solution, you can install this unit with another non-fiber optic amplifier, but firstly you need have such amplifier.

The last question is, how can I know if my BMW E90 has fiber optic amplifier?

It’s necessary to to let more buyers know this information before buying the e90 navigation unit. Well, the best to confirm this is by asking your local BMW dealer or service, they are professional and know exactly which parts your car has, they should be able to tell you.

If you don’t want to ask them, there’s another method, you can try to take the original CD/radio out, and check the back plug to see if there are 8 speaker wires from this plug, if yes, the car does not have fiber optic amp, if not, it does have fiber optic amp. You can check the below pictures for further checking.


bmw e90 with fiber optic amplifier



If your car has fiber optic amplifier but don’t want to modify wires for installation, you can replace the fiber optic amp with a non-fiber optic amp. If you still have a question about BMW E90 stereo upgrade, just feel free to contact us.