isimple vs costar bluetooth
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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, isimple vs costar bluetooth in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Thanks to this great forum, I have learned that the Isimple ISGM575 is the best choice for getting my IPhone ...
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    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    isimple vs costar bluetooth

    Thanks to this great forum, I have learned that the Isimple ISGM575 is the best choice for getting my IPhone hardwired into the factory system...that, I also want bluetooth. The Isimple bluetooth ISBT21 does not seem to get very good reviews. I have read that the connectivity is an issue. One reviewer said that once the bluetooth is active, the phone will use that versus the hard wired cable to play music. I also saw a couple different places were the controls for the bluetooth can be wonky. What is nice is the price of approximately US$ 70.


    The other bluetooth option I have seen is the Costar. This unit converts the outdated Onstar hardware in the car to be bluetooth. It uses the factory mic and the onstar buttons on the mirror as well as the steering wheel are active. This unit gets great reviews for user friendliness as well as call quality. The downside is it carries a cost of US$ 280...

    I would rather spend less cash, but if the Isimple will be a constant PITA, the saving will not be worth the saved cash.


    I am leaning toward the Costar, as I like the fact that it uses the existing mic and hardware from the obsolete Onstar system and gets great reviews. Anybody have experience with either of these two products?

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  3. #2
    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90limited
    Thanks to this great forum, I have learned that the Isimple ISGM575 is the best choice for getting my IPhone hardwired into the factory system...that, I also want bluetooth. The Isimple bluetooth ISBT21 does not seem to get very good reviews. I have read that the connectivity is an issue. One reviewer said that once the bluetooth is active, the phone will use that versus the hard wired cable to play music. I also saw a couple different places were the controls for the bluetooth can be wonky. What is nice is the price of approximately US$ 70.

    The other bluetooth option I have seen is the Costar. This unit converts the outdated Onstar hardware in the car to be bluetooth. It uses the factory mic and the onstar buttons on the mirror as well as the steering wheel are active. This unit gets great reviews for user friendliness as well as call quality. The downside is it carries a cost of US$ 280...

    I would rather spend less cash, but if the Isimple will be a constant PITA, the saving will not be worth the saved cash.

    I am leaning toward the Costar, as I like the fact that it uses the existing mic and hardware from the obsolete Onstar system and gets great reviews. Anybody have experience with either of these two products?
    I have the isimple Bluetooth with my media gateway and haven't a problem(knock on wood)
    Plus the iPhone has a audio choice setting in both the phone and music apps I haven't had a issue except that sometime the volume on my phone will be different(it don't remember for some reason)
    The controls work great for me I use the iPod connection a lot(pretty much every time I drive) and no problems with it.

    My suggestion to you is try the media gateway/Bluetooth setup if you don't like using it that way you can return the bluetooth add on and get the costar and just use the media gateway for the music playback.

  4. #3
    mikedyk43's Avatar
    mikedyk43 is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    I started with a Bluestar (now Costar) and it worked well for Bluetooth phone, but that was all it did. I also did the iSimple media gateway which worked well, but I didn't care for interface and how the info was displayed on the stock unit. I then went with a Parrot mki9200 and found that even though it did everything I wanted, the volume difference between it and the factory radio was drastic and not able to be adjusted any more without severe distortion. My final purchase was an aftermarket radio. In my opinion, it is the only way to get what you want without having to compromise somewhere. The factory nav unit can be sold for the amount of money you would spend on everything you would need to install an aftermarket unit with working steering wheel controls.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedyk43
    I started with a Bluestar (now Costar) and it worked well for Bluetooth phone, but that was all it did. I also did the iSimple media gateway which worked well, but I didn't care for interface and how the info was displayed on the stock unit. I then went with a Parrot mki9200 and found that even though it did everything I wanted, the volume difference between it and the factory radio was drastic and not able to be adjusted any more without severe distortion. My final purchase was an aftermarket radio. In my opinion, it is the only way to get what you want without having to compromise somewhere. The factory nav unit can be sold for the amount of money you would spend on everything you would need to install an aftermarket unit with working steering wheel controls.
    Mike I have used the media gateway on both stock radios and the non nav isn't bad but it cuts off some info now the number of a incoming call showed(which wasn't bad but I'd prefer it showing in the DIC like the onstar does but that's just me)
    Lately I haven't noticed if it shows different on the nav unit(as I just hit the preset to answer the call and rarely look at the screen)
    My only flaw is that the audio level sucks for the Bluetooth it's either so loud it distorts or isn't loud enough(this is for calls only) the audio streaming is at the same level as the iPod cable

    But the point is true most factory add ons have there pluses and minuses but it depends on what you want to compromise me I can't use most of the radio on the rear seat controls unless the head unit is off but I ain't complaining about that.

    Ps mike I am getting the replacement DVD player tomorrow autozone finely came through after a bit of threatening but it worked.

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    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: isimple vs costar bluetooth

    So... I went to Crutchfield and picked out a Pioneer AVH-P2400BT. By the time I added everything I will need to make it work, I am at US$ 450 ish. Lets say I can get the I simple stuff for iphone and bluetooth for $150 and sell factory non-nav headunit on fleabay for $150 it will only cost me $150 to get a new head unit, that has more capabilities and will let me add a backup camera at some point... Seems like the new unit is the way to go.

    I hope you guys are happy... Now I will spend all weekend doing more research...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 90limited
    So... I went to Crutchfield and picked out a Pioneer AVH-P2400BT. By the time I added everything I will need to make it work, I am at US$ 450 ish. Lets say I can get the I simple stuff for iphone and bluetooth for $150 and sell factory headunit on fleabay for $150 it will only cost me $150 to get a new head unit, that has more capabilities and will let me add a backup camera at some point... Seems like the new unit is the way to go.

    I hope you guys are happy... Now I will spend all weekend doing more research...
    Keep in mind that you will lose the rear seat audio controls and DVD player along with the factory xm tuner.
    Also the cd changer won't work if you go aftermarket

    Or you can stay stock get a aux in adaptor(I have one I ain't using) and add a second radio you would just have to either relocate the cd changer or remove it as that spot would be occupied by the second radio with no need of extra stuff

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    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    Keep in mind that you will lose the rear seat audio controls and DVD player along with the factory xm tuner.
    Also the cd changer won't work if you go aftermarket

    Or you can stay stock get a aux in adaptor(I have one I ain't using) and add a second radio you would just have to either relocate the cd changer or remove it as that spot would be occupied by the second radio with no need of extra stuff
    The rear dvd still works just fine, however you would need to run cables to it from an after market unit if you wanted video/audio control from the head unit.

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    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedyk43

    The rear dvd still works just fine, however you would need to run cables to it from an after market unit if you wanted video/audio control from the head unit.
    True

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    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: isimple vs costar bluetooth

    Well, studied the isimple, the parrot and bluestar options. I also compared them with replacing the non nav factory headunit. I decided to go with the Isimple ISGM575 and the ISBT21. This was the most cost effective option. it also seems liket Isimple has added volume controls to the bluetooth to address some of the issues. Like Cadillac Man said, it I do not like it I can return it...

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90limited
    Well, studied the isimple, the parrot and bluestar options. I also compared them with replacing the non nav factory headunit. I decided to go with the Isimple ISGM575 and the ISBT21. This was the most cost effective option. it also seems liket Isimple has added volume controls to the bluetooth to address some of the issues. Like Cadillac Man said, it I do not like it I can return it...
    Let me know if you have any issues installing it

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    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: isimple vs costar bluetooth

    thanks...

  13. #12
    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: isimple vs costar bluetooth

    Well... I have the isimple gateway installed and love it. I also installed the Isimple bluetooth and have since boxed it back up and will be returning it. I did not like the fact that the radio had to be on XM for the bluetooth to work. If you were listening to FM and recieved a call, the bluetooth would not work until you switched to XM. I will start looking for a Costar after the holidays...

  14. #13
    the cadillac man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90limited
    Well... I have the isimple gateway installed and love it. I also installed the Isimple bluetooth and have since boxed it back up and will be returning it. I did not like the fact that the radio had to be on XM for the bluetooth to work. If you were listening to FM and recieved a call, the bluetooth would not work until you switched to XM. I will start looking for a Costar after the holidays...
    I meant to tell you about that I mainly use my iPod so the Bluetooth works automatically when I get a incoming call

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    90limited is offline Cadillac Owners Fanatic
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    Re: isimple vs costar bluetooth

    Quote Originally Posted by the cadillac man View Post
    I meant to tell you about that I mainly use my iPod so the Bluetooth works automatically when I get a incoming call
    no problem... at least half the time I am in the truck, I do not even have the radio on... That is one of the reasons I will try the Costar... Merry X-Mas...

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by 90limited

    no problem... at least half the time I am in the truck, I do not even have the radio on... That is one of the reasons I will try the Costar... Merry X-Mas...
    At least the gateway worked out for you merry christmas and a happy new year

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