HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

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HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Android Auto/Apple CarPlay Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Fri Nov 23, 2018 11:56 pm

This HowTo is on how to install a GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) interface in a 2011+ Infiniti M37/M56/Q70.

After many years and discussions of how to accomplish getting Android Auto or other such technology into our cars, GROM Audio designed a module that allows us connecting their unit to our A/V system and giving us built in functionality of apps such as Google Maps, Spotify, Waze, etc. Other companies have similar modules but they seem to all require AUX inputs, etc. which I don't believe Y51's have. This module does not use your phone or mirror your phone. The only thing it may use your phone for, if you don't get a dedicated hot spot, is for internet (via tethering).

*Disclaimer* - I am not liable for anything you do to your car. This is just a basic walk through and the steps that I followed to get this connected. Additionally, this HowTo is only for making the physical connection of the VLine VL2 unit to the car. I will not be covering how to set up the device, updating, etc. although I may invariably, due to my background in IT, provide unofficial support or tips (but don't expect that :rotflmao). If you need support on how to use the GROM unit, please contact their support team.

Task: Install the GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) interface on a 2011+ Infiniti M37/M56/Q70
Time: A couple of hours working cautiously
Prerequisite: You must remove your radio. If your radio is still in your dashboard, please follow this guide: Radio Center Console & Radio HowTo
Tools/Supplies Needed:
  • GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2)
  • A phone that can act as a hot spot or a mobile hot spot from a wireless carrier
  • Flat head screw driver or other flat tool to pry panels (I always use a flat head but I'm SUPER gentle)
  • Phillips head screw driver
  • (optional) Magnet to reach screws or get screws that will inevitably fall somewhere
  • (optional) Grabber-thingy-majig which will help removing a screw the last bit of the way as sometimes simply unscrewing doesn't actually get it out especially if there is a little bit of weight on it
Process:

1) First, please follow the Radio Center Console & Radio HowTo to remove the center console and radio. This tutorial starts by assuming you have completed those steps.

2) Once the radio has been removed, we now need to continue and access the back of the display/screen.

3) First, we need to remove the following screws:

Image


4) Next, we need to pry the trim piece at the top a little bit. I did it with my fingers but you can use your pry tool of choice. Be very gentle. Once the top is loose, wiggle it from the bottom until the clips let go.

Image


5) Once the screen bezel & clock have been removed, we can remove the screw that holds in the screen

Image


6) Next, gentle wiggle the screen out of its little cubby and tilt it up to expose the rear. We need to unplug the circled OEM connector and plug in the 4-pin WLNISUSB (mine was named slightly differently if I recall compared to what the instructions stated) into the back. Then plug the OEM connector that we unplugged into the other end of the Grom Audio harness.

Image

Image


7) We now need to route the harness nicely so that it doesn't prevent the screen from being remounted, etc. What I did here was feed the cable between the vent and the dash like so. I fed the cable into the 'behind the radio' area.

Image

Image


8) Next, we need to connect the MFCNIS9 Interface Cable to the harnesses that we removed from the radio. Find the 20-pin harness connector and the 32-pin harness connector and plug them into the MFCNIS9 harness from Grom Audio like so:

Image


9) Next, we need to route the cables from the NFCNIS9 harness and the WLNIUSB harness somewhere that you can easily access them to install the Grom Audio device. I took their recommendation and installed it in the glove box as that allows me to remove it from the car for updating purposes, etc. I picked the little 'slits' on both sides of the glove box that act as a rail. There is enough space there for the glove box to open/close and for the cables to go through.

Image

Image


10) Next, we need to remove the dash panel on the passenger side in order to work on wiring up the GPS sensor & microphone. Remove the panel shown here by using your pry tool of choice. We will be feeding the wires through the circled area into the glove box like we did for the other side (using the little 'slit' that acts as the rail for the glove box).

Image


11) Now that we have that panel off, go ahead and mount your GPS antenna in the corner of the dash similar to this and feed the wire down along the a-pillar. You should be able to flex the a-pillar enough to hide the wire without removing it.

Image


12) Next, figure out where you want to mount the microphone. I looked around for about 5 minutes and I think the best spot is on the passenger side of the mirror 'casing' as it is nice and flat. Use the provided 3M double side test to mount it like so and then hide the wire in the roof liner between the glass and the roof liner (there is a nice gap there you can feel with your fingers).

Image


13) Run the cable along the roof liner until you get to the a-pillar and then feed it into the little rubber protector that hides the gaps (you should be able to do this with your fingers but may need to use a pry tool to help).

Image


14) Feed these two wires into the glove box like you did the other side:

Image


15) Now plug everything in where it is marked and you should be ready to test your system.

Image

Image


16) Once testing it completed, put everything back together going in reverse of how you removed it and follow the Radio Center Console & Radio HowTo HowTo to put the center console & radio back in.

17) (optional) You can use the supplied USB extension cable to run it somewhere closer to the driver for something like a flash drive or iPod but I just left it off and will connect the iPod directly in the glove box as I almost never remove it anyway.

--------------------------------

Video Review:



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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby 1BlinkGone » Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:45 pm

bookmarked. Thanks!

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Thu Dec 13, 2018 11:53 pm

It's 2AM EST and I just got done installing the VLine. First impressions are..........WOW! Grom has come a LONG way since that terrible AUX/USB device I got from them for my 07 M35x back in like 2011 or so.

Packaging of their product was professional. Manuals looks professional. Documentation was good. Everything was plug'n'play...no splicing unlike the other unit. Everything works even though the Android version running the software is quite old (5.1.x).

I'll update the HowTo over the next day or so and give better feedback but this device is a keeper. I'm thoroughly pleased. FINALLY have Google Maps and Waze in my car without using my tiny phone screen.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Fri Dec 14, 2018 3:07 pm

My HowTo has been posted. I still have to mess with the actual system and familiarize myself with it, but so far so good! I even managed to get Torque installed on it so I can view my cars systems in real-time...freakin AWESOME!

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby kmiles » Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:21 pm

Great write-up Ilya! In looking at the GROM device, this one appears to be only for Android devices. Do they also make one for iOS devices?

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Fri Dec 14, 2018 11:20 pm

kmiles wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:21 pm
Great write-up Ilya! In looking at the GROM device, this one appears to be only for Android devices. Do they also make one for iOS devices?
I saw a plugin for Apple something or other...I'd reach out to them and see. Better yet, get an Android ;).

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby 1BlinkGone » Sat Dec 15, 2018 10:21 am

Very clear guide for install. NICELY done. thanks!!

It would be nice to be able to install a bit bigger screen in the recess where the OEM one installed. Or a small iPad but that would defeat the reason for that particular module...I LOVE HOW THIS UNIT WILL INTERFACE WITH THE FACTORY SYSTEM1

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:41 pm

The more I use this thing the more I love it. This is an ABSOLUTE. HOME. RUN.

Today I loaded Plex (was able to load a TV show off my Plex server at home), WatchESPN (was able to watch a live sporting event), Google Play Music (the non-Grom version is better), Chrome, Eye In The Sky Weather and even YouTube TV. The later didn't work but I presume it is because I'm on Android 5.1.1 and need to update to 8.1 which is possible per Grom's site but I haven't been able too (have reached out to them). It's freakin beautiful. I'm able to stream BT from my phone, Apple iTunes for my iPod, Google Play Music and online radio from my app of choice (Radio Garden) so I can listen to Ukrainian radio back home.

Add in that Torque works great (I was even able to clear my CEL for my reoccuring P0420 cat. code lol), Waze works beautifully (although for some reason I can't log into my account - again, might be an Android version issue and might correct itself once I get on the newer one) and Google Maps?

Seriously guys. Home. Freakin. Run.

EDIT: The 8.1 update will be available in a few weeks I'm told.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:51 am

Thanks for these updates. I have been eyeing the Vline for a while since I got my Infiniti. Based on this, I am going to go ahead and pull the trigger. Especially since they are so expensive and currently have a coupon for $50 off.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Sun Dec 16, 2018 5:34 pm

satown210 wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:51 am
Thanks for these updates. I have been eyeing the Vline for a while since I got my Infiniti. Based on this, I am going to go ahead and pull the trigger. Especially since they are so expensive and currently have a coupon for $50 off.
Yep, the coupon helped the damage a bit lol. This is definitely a keeper, it does everything I was personally looking for and more. The only thing that is unfortunate is that when you change the temp or something it doesn't flash onto the screen. But if you hit "Status" or "Info" on the multi-switch, it'll take you out of the VLine display and you can set it and then go back.

This is a solid piece of kit. Probably one of the best $550 I've spent on any of my cars. If Waze saves me from a ticket or two, it's already paid for itself lol.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby DoN_BLaZe34 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 6:47 pm

So when do we get to see a video of this thing in action?!? You're holding out man lol.

My primary reason for getting this thing would be the ability to use Google maps so it takes traffic into account. I'm assuming the GPS antenna is for that. To use the other programs, I'm guessing you're using your phone as a hot spot to access the internet?

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm

I want to do the review once the 8.1 update drops...although I could do it now but I'm wondering if the look and feel will change at all. I'm being told a couple of weeks.

I think it still needs hotspot for Google even with the GPS antenna. But yeah, I use it mostly for Waze and Google Play music. Waze also takes traffic into account but also adds the various alert like cop, accident, etc. to warn you of dangers ahead.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:36 am

When you change the climate control does and it does not appear on the screen when on VLine mode, does the climate control still respond and change? If i want to tap the temp up or down a few degrees if it doesn't show up but still responds, that is fine with me,

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:06 pm

satown210 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:36 am
When you change the climate control does and it does not appear on the screen when on VLine mode, does the climate control still respond and change? If i want to tap the temp up or down a few degrees if it doesn't show up but still responds, that is fine with me,
It changes, just doesn't display on screen. So I usually just hit status and then info (for some reason you have to do it twice but it can't be the same button) to get to an OEM screen like tire pressure or something and then you can change it and go back. The other thing is, and I'll have to confirm, if you change the fan speed, that DOES show on the VLine mode lol. It's a weird setup but like you, isn't a deal breaker for me.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:11 pm

How is the sound quality?

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Tue Dec 18, 2018 8:21 pm

Sound quality is the same as OEM. However, most of the audio apps that are part of Groms dashboard (not ones you download from the Play Store) have a small basic EQ. I haven't messed with that but if anything it'll be an improvement. If I really want something to sound good I just use my phone via BT as my phone has Viper4android.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby paranoidjack » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:43 am

Great writeup Ilya. I'll do this when it's warm out.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 am

GROM has told me there is a beta version of Carplay on the VLine. Have you found it or used it?

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:39 am

kmiles wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:21 pm
Great write-up Ilya! In looking at the GROM device, this one appears to be only for Android devices. Do they also make one for iOS devices?
The Grom unit itself is an android device. Basically like having an android tablet mounted in your dash. You download apps like you would your phone onto it. You use the wifi hotspot from your phone to provide internet to the Grom unit so you can stream music, download maps etc.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:50 pm

satown210 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:39 am
kmiles wrote:
Fri Dec 14, 2018 10:21 pm
Great write-up Ilya! In looking at the GROM device, this one appears to be only for Android devices. Do they also make one for iOS devices?
The Grom unit itself is an android device. Basically like having an android tablet mounted in your dash. You download apps like you would your phone onto it. You use the wifi hotspot from your phone to provide internet to the Grom unit so you can stream music, download maps etc.
Correct.
satown210 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 am
GROM has told me there is a beta version of Carplay on the VLine. Have you found it or used it?
For those with iPhones...there is Apple iTunes and Apple CarPlay plug-ins available default with the unit so you don't need to download anything. Just plug your iPhone in per the instructions and you should be able to use it just fine. I don't use Apple products other than my iPod but my iPod worked fine using the Apple iTunes plugin.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby armybrat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:00 am

Ilya wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm
I want to do the review once the 8.1 update drops...although I could do it now but I'm wondering if the look and feel will change at all. I'm being told a couple of weeks.

I think it still needs hotspot for Google even with the GPS antenna. But yeah, I use it mostly for Waze and Google Play music. Waze also takes traffic into account but also adds the various alert like cop, accident, etc. to warn you of dangers ahead.
Hey man very nice write up! I looked at both this model and the other one that uses the phone mirroring. I also use the Waze and was just wondering if the mirroring option would be a good choice as well. I'm on the old Verizon unlimited data plan, so I believe I can use my network to access the internet instead of relying on tethering. I have to purchase the Chromecast dongle in order to make it work.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:16 am

armybrat wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 5:00 am
Ilya wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:07 pm
I want to do the review once the 8.1 update drops...although I could do it now but I'm wondering if the look and feel will change at all. I'm being told a couple of weeks.

I think it still needs hotspot for Google even with the GPS antenna. But yeah, I use it mostly for Waze and Google Play music. Waze also takes traffic into account but also adds the various alert like cop, accident, etc. to warn you of dangers ahead.
Hey man very nice write up! I looked at both this model and the other one that uses the phone mirroring. I also use the Waze and was just wondering if the mirroring option would be a good choice as well. I'm on the old Verizon unlimited data plan, so I believe I can use my network to access the internet instead of relying on tethering. I have to purchase the Chromecast dongle in order to make it work.
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the other unit because it has no audio. So you won't hear the audible 'police ahead' or 'hazard ahead' messages although you'll be able to see them on the screen. Also, another thing I noticed with that device was that the screen seemed to suffer instant temporary image retention. That doesn't happen with the Grom Audio.

I'm not being paid to say this, but the Grom unit is far superior.

Also, using your Verizon unlimited data is the case for both devices. I have Cricket unlimited data and do the same. Both units required me to turn on 'mobile hotspot' on my phone.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby reggiebrown40 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:29 am

satown210 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 am
GROM has told me there is a beta version of Carplay on the VLine. Have you found it or used it?
Carplay is unlocked once you purchase the unit, apparently. The AI bot says that Grom does not advertise the fact that they can do Carplay because they are not licensed to do so. It also said that they've been trying to get licensed for about a year. Apple is pretty strict about their licensing so I can't risk buying something that could be bricked in the future. If you're an Android user I think this unit works out fine for you.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:39 am

reggiebrown40 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:29 am
satown210 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:38 am
GROM has told me there is a beta version of Carplay on the VLine. Have you found it or used it?
Carplay is unlocked once you purchase the unit, apparently. The AI bot says that Grom does not advertise the fact that they can do Carplay because they are not licensed to do so. It also said that they've been trying to get licensed for about a year. Apple is pretty strict about their licensing so I can't risk buying something that could be bricked in the future. If you're an Android user I think this unit works out fine for you.
Freakin Apple...switch over to the dark(better) side folks...

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby armybrat » Thu Dec 20, 2018 3:27 pm

Ilya wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:16 am
Honestly, I wouldn't recommend the other unit because it has no audio. So you won't hear the audible 'police ahead' or 'hazard ahead' messages although you'll be able to see them on the screen. Also, another thing I noticed with that device was that the screen seemed to suffer instant temporary image retention. That doesn't happen with the Grom Audio.

I'm not being paid to say this, but the Grom unit is far superior.

Also, using your Verizon unlimited data is the case for both devices. I have Cricket unlimited data and do the same. Both units required me to turn on 'mobile hotspot' on my phone.
I was referring to the other Grom unit for our cars - the VLite:
Image

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Thu Dec 20, 2018 8:33 pm

Ahh, go for it and create a HowTo :).

For those who are curious, I did confirm that the maps will still work with just the GPS signal from the provided GPS antenna. You DON'T need to have hotspot turned on and the unit connected to WiFi to get that to work but you won't be able to search anything and you won't be able to see traffic, etc. without it.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:29 pm

Google Maps app also allows you to download maps for offline use.

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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby DoN_BLaZe34 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:34 am

Man Ilya, you have me really thinking about getting one...

If though I use an iPhone, as I mentioned previously I really want this for the ability to have Google maps and NOT have to use/drain my phone by using the app on it...this sounds like it'll enable me to do so, even if I don't use the CarPlay the module has..

At some point down the line I plan on getting the refreshed Q70...the coolest thing about this investment is you should be able to use it in there as well..

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Ilya
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Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby Ilya » Fri Dec 21, 2018 8:38 am

satown210 wrote:
Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:29 pm
Google Maps app also allows you to download maps for offline use.
True.

satown210
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Car: 2012 Infiniti M37
2005 Nissan Xterra Off Road

Re: HowTo: Install GROM Audio VLine VL2 (NIS9VL2) Interface (2011+ Infiniti M/Q70)

Postby satown210 » Fri Dec 21, 2018 9:51 pm

Well I got my Grom in and....... I don't like it. I find it very cool but not very useful or efficient. Every app is different on how to get back to the Home screen. Some you hit the menu bar and then back to home. Some you have to touch the bottom of the screen and minimize and then hit a Home key. Others require lots of navigating just to get back to home. Carplay does not work. Grom doesn't offer support for it since it isn't supposed to be there. Spotify keeps crashing giving me weird error messages. Bluetooth audio is very buggy. Sometimes no audio. I downloaded updates and current apps instead of the weird pre-installed ones. But the final kicker for me was the reduction in sound quality. Spotify now has about half the treble and a third of the bass it had when I just USB in with the factory setup.

I see a lot of potential but I don't like the cumbersome nature and how much I have to take my eyes off the road to navigate screens and menus. The sound quality is a deal breaker for me. PLus with the $600 price tag plus now having an additional tether cost it's a no-go for me.


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