DAB Radio option added
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    1. #1
      Junior Member
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      Jan 2014
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      Olde England
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      DAB Radio option added

      I get plenty from this forum and it's members in terms of help and advice. So as I go and time allows, I will add something back where I can : )

      My XC90 has the High Performance audio system, but no Digital Audio Broadcasting.

      I found reception in the UK to be hit and miss as I travel from one end of the island to the other. So decided on DAB as an option.
      Price was a bit of a priority as was function and form.

      A full head unit wasn't going to happen : (
      So I looked at alternative options on the market, for around £100 to £150.

      The PURE Highway 300Di took my fancy. Mainly because I recently read, Volvo where offering it as an aftermarket kit.
      Luckily (imo) I stumbled across something better. That being the "Alpine EZi DAB".

      The Alpine unit is exactly the same in looks and performance as the PURE kit.
      Where the Alpine excels, is that the back light for the buttons can be changed between Blue, White, Green and Amber.
      The main display is a white colour like the 2012 on XC90 LCD Audio display.
      The "PURE" unit is a kind of amber display as are the button backlights and no option to change the colour.

      When the unit powers up you get the nice "ALPINE" logo appear.
      The Alpine kit was £25 cheaper than the PURE units and Alpine included the windscreen aerial too, whereas PURE didn't. So total saving was around £55 in all. Win win really.

      So here is the install + Pics

      First up was to remove the OE Audio unit from the dash, the front cup holders tray, the gear selector trim, the amp under the seat and the tunnel panel trim on the left hand side.



      The O.E. AUX socket easily detaches from the cup holder mount, two lugs hold it in place. I wanted this removed from it's original location as the Alpine kit uses this as one of the options, to pick up and supply music through the OE system.
      So once you plug in the supplied Alpine lead, you cannot close the lid of the cup holder. Even with a 90 degree connector it is not possible with the AUX socket in place. But all is not lost as you will read later.







      Whilst you have the cup holders out, dis-assemble them. I was surprised to find a few coins and other trash in there. I had read the lid can get jammed from coins etc, so it was worth checking.



      I decided that the main black box for the unit would go down between the carpet foam and the tunnel on the left hand side. I'm sure this is where Volvo fit the bluetooth phone box or similar. It's an ideal place for the wiring to naturally locate, with no need to extend cables. In addition routing cables from the Amp for the supply and ground where easy from this location too.





      Once the main unit is in place and the wiring tidy, it's a neat hidden job that doesn't bulge the carpet etc at all.



      The screen mounted antennae was placed initally with masking tape to get the clearance correct. It has to be a minimum from the "A" Pillar and roof line. Once mounted and all the tape removed it isn't anywhere as obtrusive as I had imagined. Bear in ind this is a RHD car, so it will be on the other side for you guys.





      The O.E. AUX socket is foam taped to the centre console tunnel and the wires tidied away. Once the lead from the Alpine unit terminates here, there is no need to go back in there again. You can see it next to the VOLVO sticker.





      The Display head unit comes with a swivel mount or the option to "flat mount" on the dash. I chose the latter as a fitting option. It comes with a nice strong double sided adhesive pad to mount the base. Be sure to clean the dash with an alcohol wipe first though.

      The masking tape was get the centre point right. Once that sticky pad is on the dash, it ain't coming off for re use. The wire leading to the base is a good quality, flat sheathed affair, so running it behind the top of the radio hides it just nicely and little to no chance of damage, to either dash or the wire itself.



      In addition to having Digital radio, the Alpine kit provides USB and MP3/Ipod support. I mounted the USB lead and memory stick inside the roof of the glove box. (double sided foam tape)



      The hole where the O.E. AUX socket used to be, well I used that for the MP3 cable. I left the little rubber flap for the AUX socket in place, so it looks neat when the cable comes through that hole. Also no probs closing the lid now. It will get little use, but it is in a convenient location for plugging in an MP3 player / phone or whatever.





      A pic or two of the "Alpine EZi DAB" head unit in place. It is removeable (slide on / slide off) so great for added security if needed.





      All in all it's a quality piece of kit. It doesn't hinder the use of the vent closure reels in the mounted location, (might be a prob if you have the SOS thingy).

      The LCD display looks clean and sharp, it scrolls the broadcast info and can provide the info on the USB files (artist sound track etc).
      It has a lot of other options such as backlit intensity and duration for dimming etc, you can pause and rewind live Digital audio broadcasts, so next time you go to fill up and yer fave song comes on the radio, you don't have to miss it anymore.

      Sound quality is like A CD through the O.E. system, in fact I'm going to be bold and say actually, it's better.
      Yeah the aerial can lose a signal in the depths of a valley, but what it provides in normal reception and station tracking from one area to another, far outweighs that negative for me.

      It might look a lot of wiring to some, but in reality it only needs an ignition live feed, a permanent live feed and ground wire.
      The rest is just plug and play from the kit to the AUX socket, antennae, MP3 cable and the dash display controller.

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    3. #2
      Moderator itwontstopsnowin's Avatar
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      Not sure if you knew this, but Volvo offers DAB radio simply by changing out the CD player module and doing a software download. That said, that's an awesome installation. Also, please let me be the first to say, I'm completely jealous of your manual transmission.
      2008 Volvo S80 V8 | Ember Black | All Options and Packages | Mods | 317,000 Miles
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    4. #3
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      Jan 2014
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      Olde England
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      Hi IWSS, thanks for the kudos on the install.

      I never knew Volvo offered a DAB as fitment by changing out the CD player. Going to google it and see what that is. Sounds an interesting option, after all if you use USB then CD is redundant in my book.

      Yeah that Manual trans is a peach on the D5 (diesel) engine. Coupled with a DPF gut removal and an engine remap by a very reputable Comapny, has it kicking out 205bhp with smooth linear power. Mind, I would jump at the chance to try an Auto v8 Stateside. Likely I wouldn't return home either

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    6. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by itwontstopsnowin View Post
      Not sure if you knew this, but Volvo offers DAB radio simply by changing out the CD player module and doing a software download. That said, that's an awesome installation. Also, please let me be the first to say, I'm completely jealous of your manual transmission.
      Oooh, now this is interesting.

      Where can I find out more about this?

      R.

    7. #5
      Junior Member
      Join Date
      May 2020
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      9
      Did anyone ever find out more about this? I was under the impression that DAB required a while new unit under the boot floor. This would be a great option!

    8. #6
      I fitted the Nextbase DAB kit. The tiny display goes on the centre console behind the shifter, the audio gets sent to the aux input, and the antenna hidden on the screen behind the top tint. All cables hidden from view, works splendidly for very little cash. If I knew how to upload photos I'd show you all what it looks like.
      2009 XC90 D5 185 R Design Premium, Summer, Winter and Comms packs.

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