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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to start this off with a shoutout to 3r1k, who I see has also started posting here on swedespeed, without his experimentation, I never would have even thought to try this.

Also obligatory: 2006 V50 T5 AWD w/ Premium Sound, your results may vary. Also I'm pretty obsessive, so it's possible the things I point out may be imperceptible to "normal" people.

The Backstory

A year ago I put a GROM in my car so that I wouldn't be limited to 6 CDs. At first I was disappointed because the GROM bluetooth module doesn't support any bluetooth codecs with a higher quality than SBC, and I could hear the compression. Moving on from that, I elected to just use the line-in functionality of the GROM.

After driving the car for awhile in this configuration, I couldn't shake the fact that the audio quality had something off about it. Most notably there were certain parts of certain songs that seemed to generate this almost imperceptible crackling sound, almost like the audio was peaking. Fortunately I was able to find a couple songs where they had a defined segment that this distortion was audible. Science, part one.

I played the same songs from a different device with the line-in, same thing, played them on speakers in my house, no noise. Source material, not looking like the issue. This still left everything from the GROM to the speakers, and everything in between.

Moving up the chain, I disconnected the GROM, and hooked the CD player back up. Fortunately I have a CD with one of my chosen "sample" songs. After hooking up the CD player, it became immediately apparent that the audio coming from the CD player was superior to that of the GROM, and no distortion was heard in the sample track that had proven to distort through the GROM.

The Options

With the GROM as the primary suspect here, I start to look around for other options (Also including the GROM in this list just as a recap):

GROM - GROM-MST4 USB Android iPhone for Volvo S40 V50 C30 C70 06+ 6-CD Radio, Bluetooth optional

- Pros​

○ Exists​
○ Can do line-in, bluetooth, or USB​
○ Bluetooth can control the source through steering wheel controls​
○ Bluetooth shows track titles on the display​
○ GROM has customer service that again, exists, in my experience, they didn't help me much, but it's more than nothing​


- Cons​

○ Expensive, starts at $290 :O​
○ Bluetooth is another $50 :O​
○ Bluetooth audio quality is garbage​
○ Bluetooth pairing is wonky at best​
○ Line-in quality not great​
○ Lose CD functionality​

Custom Bluetooth/Aux Boards - JustTech on Tindie

- Pros​

○ Limited feedback available seems positive​
○ Maintains CD functionality​
○ Cost effective​


- Cons​

○ Have to have a CD in and playing to work​
○ Don't have a company behind it to offer support​


Dension Gateway 500 - Gateway 500 | Dension

- Honestly don't know much about this one, they're hard to find and are a million dollars​

BluePower - Styling & Tuning online sedan 2006. Tryggt och säkert!

- Pros​

○ Looks really cool if it actually worked​


- Cons​

○ Everyone says they don't actually work​
○ Seriously go search for any thread about BluePower and everyone says their products are hot garbage​


FM Module Things

- I didn't get into specific units with this, but I know some people have gotten devices that hook directly into the antenna so you don't have the annoying interference normally associated with local FM transmitters. Still not my cup of tea personally, but would allow you to keep CD functionality!​

The Solution (Factory Aux)

You might be reading and saying, "Where's the factory aux at, Paul?"

Well as some may know, Volvo offered factory aux-in starting in 2007. Oh how I have yearned for a 2007 model for that feature, but alas I've been stuck in 2006.

After some perusing on a Swedish Volvo forum, because they're smarter than us, as made evident in my findings, I stumbled across a thread where user 3r1k had successfully added factory aux-in to his 2006 V50, by swapping over the ICM "Infotainment Control Module" (the screen), and the IAM "Integrated Audio Module" (the disc changer): How-to original AUX på V50/S40/C30/C70 2004-2006 (och 2007-2012) - Sveriges Volvoforum

Google Translate will work wonders on that thread and should be able to get you all the info you need, but to summarize:

Have MOST security disabled - already done if you're in the US, otherwise you're going to the dealer, paying for VIDA, or following 3r1k's hacks in the above thread.

Grab from a 2007, mine came out of an S40:

- ICM - apparently MUST be 2007​
- IAM - can allegedly be 2007+, though I grabbed from a 2007​
- Plastic tray with aux that goes behind the waterfall (bonus: this piece is way deeper and more useful than the little tray that came on my 2006)​
- "Mode" button, this is kind of extra, but nice, and you're there​
*Also of note, my IAM and ICM actually came out of two different cars in the junkyard, so it doesn't appear the modules have to come from the same car as long as they both have premium sound.

I snipped the wires to the 3.5mm jack as close to the main harness as I could, then snipped the wires for the IAM as well, since the harness on the newer IAM will have 3 extra wires in it for the 3.5mm jack. I then de-pinned those three wires and slotted them into the connector already in my car, then you just need to join them with the wires you snipped on the 3.5mm jack.

Honestly, I didn't think it would work. I know these cars are pretty finicky about having modules swapped around, so I was really doubtful. In-fact, when I first put in the new ICM, it was showing the display for manual climate control, as that's what the donor S40 had. I thought I had lost my auto climate, but after a few seconds, the display updated itself and showed the auto climate head-explodes. Also this solution maintains the CD player functionality, just as the factory Aux would have.

The Audio Quality

The factory aux audio quality is vastly superior to my ears than what I was getting through the GROM. I also don't have to turn the volume up as much on the unit, which could be a contributing factor.

Pro tip: don't adjust the "aux volume" in settings, all the way up. That's how mine was set initially from the donor, and I the stereo was actually compressing the dynamic range in the music. You could hear it lowering the volume when the music got louder. My guess is that it's some sort of protection device. Lowering that setting (that you will now have in the menu after this swap), resolved that issue for me.

The Cons

You lose the ability to change "Car Settings". So the "flash lights when unlock", etc. settings no longer work for whatever reason. My car maintained the settings it previously had, and these aren't things I really change outside of my initial set up, so I'm fine with that, but good to note. You could also always swap ICMs back and change settings if you really wanted to, it's a pretty easy swap, the IAM is the more involved of the two.

Godspeed everyone, I hope this works for you as well as it worked for me! If it doesn't, well then you can buy my old GROM.
 

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Good write up! I’ve been in the process of switching over my ICM and also found out the hardware that you can imo longer change car settings. Not sure why this is, but hey! I’ve noticed issues with my GROM recently too so might try this!


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Awesome. I was considering this a month ago. I’m at the junkyard weekly and keep seeing the setup and just thought maybe I should grab the whole setup and see what happens. All the parts listed are less than $50. I’m gonna do it and do a full write up.

Thanks thanks thanks for sharing.


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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Good write up! I’ve been in the process of switching over my ICM and also found out the hardware that you can imo longer change car settings. Not sure why this is, but hey! I’ve noticed issues with my GROM recently too so might try this!


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Used GROM market about to be flooded lol. I'm still within warranty so I'm trying to convince them to give me a refund, doubtful it'll happen though.

Awesome. I was considering this a month ago. I’m at the junkyard weekly and keep seeing the setup and just thought maybe I should grab the whole setup and see what happens. All the parts listed are less than $50. I’m gonna do it and do a full write up.

Thanks thanks thanks for sharing.


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Yea unfortunately my yard charges an arm & a leg for anything with a screen, so the ICM alone was $50. Jokes on them though, they forgot to charge me for the disc changer! Or maybe they were just being nice, who knows, I got out of there for $50.
 

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To add explanation, the ICM has to be programmed across individual cars so be careful when you do this, as stated above. The part numbers on the ICMs HAVE TO BE THE SAME/COMPATIBLE for the pre facelift cars. A newer facelift ICM WON’T WORK in 99% of the cases. You’re going to end up with the settings from the donor car because that’s what the module is programmed to work off of. So like stated above, make sure it’s a 2007. The CCM (climate control module) is separate from the ICM so it will update itself accordingly based on what you have.

Also, if you do have a wrong part number, even if you get lucky and it works, VIDA may detect it’s wrong and won’t let you update software on your vehicle. I know this from experience with ICMs :p
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To add explanation, the ICM has to be programmed across individual cars so be careful when you do this, as stated above. The part numbers on the ICMs HAVE TO BE THE SAME/COMPATIBLE for the pre facelift cars. A newer or older ICM WON’T WORK in 99% of the cases. You’re going to end up with the settings from the donor car because that’s what the module is programmed to work off of. So like stated above, make sure it’s a 2007. The CCM (climate control module) is separate from the ICM so it will update itself accordingly based on what you have.

Also, if you do have a wrong part number, even if you get lucky and it works, VIDA may detect it’s wrong and won’t let you update software on your vehicle. I know this from experience with ICMs :p
FWIW, the part number is different on my 2007 ICM than my 2006. Apparently there's enough similarity in the 2007 software that it works. You're probably right though, I doubt VIDA will let you update software on it, nor would I even try.

Though with the GROM hooked up, I couldn't update software related to the audio system either, so six in one...
 

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FWIW, the part number is different on my 2007 ICM than my 2006. Apparently there's enough similarity in the 2007 software that it works. You're probably right though, I doubt VIDA will let you update software on it, nor would I even try.

Though with the GROM hooked up, I couldn't update software related to the audio system either, so six in one...
Oh, really? The ICM in my friend’s 2011 S40 got moisture in it and the screen gained those little orange crack lines. We replaced it with one from an older car and he lost everything (USB, AUX, BluetoothETC). I assumed that it wouldn’t work either way, but it sounds like that newer ICMs programmed with more features will work, and older ones without that programming won’t. Good to know.

Yeah our VIDA rejected the car because part numbers aren’t right. Could be an issue if you ever have to program a new SRS module or reload a module.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Oh, really? The ICM in my friend’s 2011 S40 got moisture in it and the screen gained those little orange crack lines. We replaced it with one from an older car and he lost everything (USB, AUX, BluetoothETC). I assumed that it wouldn’t work either way, but it sounds like that newer ICMs programmed with more features will work, and older ones without that programming won’t. Good to know.

Yeah our VIDA rejected the car because part numbers aren’t right. Could be an issue if you ever have to program a new SRS module or reload a module.
When I had the GROM in, I was able to do the full CAN upgrade, it was only the (IAM? ICM? I can't remember) that failed.

Surely I'm getting greedy...but I wonder if you could go full-hog and get bluetooth with a much-newer module.

Ah yes those orange lines! That's why I grabbed the ICM from a different car in the yard, they're not super obvious at first, but they were definitely there. That's a moisture thing?
 

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When I had the GROM in, I was able to do the full CAN upgrade, it was only the (IAM? ICM? I can't remember) that failed.

Surely I'm getting greedy...but I wonder if you could go full-hog and get bluetooth with a much-newer module.

Ah yes those orange lines! That's why I grabbed the ICM from a different car in the yard, they're not super obvious at first, but they were definitely there. That's a moisture thing?
That’s what I read online. It would periodically go away and come back in different places with no rhyme or reason so we assumed it had to be.

Bluetooth may require some additional stuff since it would add wireless capability, perhaps like the USB/Aux in the storage compartment but I’d love to see this tried. Worst case scenario, you swap it back.


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To simplify the shopping list and confirm the procedure....

Parts:
The lcd display screen
The disc changer unit
The plastic storage bin behind waterfall with the aux jack
The waterfall button module containing the “aux” button where the precious have the “cd” button

The procedure. Swap everything and make sure you have a clean connection between aux port from storage bin to where it connects.....where?


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Discussion Starter #11
To simplify the shopping list and confirm the procedure....

Parts:
The lcd display screen
The disc changer unit
The plastic storage bin behind waterfall with the aux jack
The waterfall button module containing the “aux” button where the precious have the “cd” button

The procedure. Swap everything and make sure you have a clean connection between aux port from storage bin to where it connects.....where?


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For the button you only need the actual single button cap, you don't want to swap over the whole waterfall (CCM), you're just popping off one piece of plastic that says "CD" for another that says "MODE". You don't even have to do this, just completes the look.

Aux port connects into the gray connector that goes into the IAM.

Technically the aux jack and storage bin aren't even "required", but they'll make things a lot easier and cleaner, plus once again, they're there. The only issue I could see is if the bin you found didn't match your interior color and you wanted to just tuck the aux jack somewhere else.

I actually left my 3.5mm jack up in the dash since I need to use a 3.5mm -> USB C adapter anyway, this way I could hide all that in the dash and just have a single USB C cable come out that charges and plays my phone.
 

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Even better. So you could just do the adapter to whatever phone you have for aux and charge?


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Discussion Starter #13
I mean once you have a means for the 3.5mm to be fed into the factory system, the world is your oyster. You could hook a bluetooth adapter to it, you could set up a dongle with some power routed to it (what I did), you could stick an iPod that just lives in your dash and loops the same song over and over and over again, the next step is all yours.
 

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For the button you only need the actual single button cap, you don't want to swap over the whole waterfall (CCM), you're just popping off one piece of plastic that says "CD" for another that says "MODE". You don't even have to do this, just completes the look.

Aux port connects into the gray connector that goes into the IAM.

Technically the aux jack and storage bin aren't even "required", but they'll make things a lot easier and cleaner, plus once again, they're there. The only issue I could see is if the bin you found didn't match your interior color and you wanted to just tuck the aux jack somewhere else.

I actually left my 3.5mm jack up in the dash since I need to use a 3.5mm -> USB C adapter anyway, this way I could hide all that in the dash and just have a single USB C cable come out that charges and plays my phone.
My car came with the aux stock (2007) and I’ve never considered moving it but it’s just a box with a connector, so you’ve got me thinking... I need to order a new aux box anyway because one of the metal securing clamps is bent on mine and I think that’s the ground because mine buzzes when nothing is plugged in or if I wiggle it a ton.


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Discussion Starter #15
My car came with the aux stock (2007) and I’ve never considered moving it but it’s just a box with a connector, so you’ve got me thinking... I need to order a new aux box anyway because one of the metal securing clamps is bent on mine and I think that’s the ground because mine buzzes when nothing is plugged in or if I wiggle it a ton.


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It's the sort of thing I probably never would have rigged up if I had aux stock, but I rigged this system up when I had the GROM, so it only made sense to carry it forward with this new setup. Plus it's just so much cleaner than having dongles flying about the cabin
 

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It's the sort of thing I probably never would have rigged up if I had aux stock, but I rigged this system up when I had the GROM, so it only made sense to carry it forward with this new setup. Plus it's just so much cleaner than having dongles flying about the cabin
The aux cable in the storage tray is a bit annoying, especially with the manual cars because my hand is always in the area the cable runs since I have a dash mounted phone stand. There’s nowhere easy to put phones and such in the car since I’m not going to be reaching for my phone and unlocking it while driving so my cable runs behind my shifter up the dash to my phone which is an eye sore sometimes.

Also, I don’t know if I’m just rough on them but that upper plug in position where the cable plugs in facing down and it always bent seems to destroy my aux cables. I’ve had 5-6 of them since owning the car.


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Muppetman, love the name and I assume the love for the Muppets, especially the Muppet Christmas Carol. I also share the love for music SQ. My previous V50 had the premium sound system and I had the Gateway 500. The Gateway is quirky but the SQ is pretty good. Unfortunately that V50 got totaled by a suicidal deer and my present V50 came with the... cough cough Performance sound system. I would be pissed if I paid 30K for this car in 2005 and it had this crap sound system. I have made many strides to upgrade with some success. I have the DynAudio amp and speakers from a 2008 but not the sound controls (EQ and Dolby ProLogic). I'm locked into the single CD player and it's crappy DAC that is very grainy. My quest goes on....
 

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Muppetman, love the name and I assume the love for the Muppets, especially the Muppet Christmas Carol. I also share the love for music SQ. My previous V50 had the premium sound system and I had the Gateway 500. The Gateway is quirky but the SQ is pretty good. Unfortunately that V50 got totaled by a suicidal deer and my present V50 came with the... cough cough Performance sound system. I would be pissed if I paid 30K for this car in 2005 and it had this crap sound system. I have made many strides to upgrade with some success. I have the DynAudio amp and speakers from a 2008 but not the sound controls (EQ and Dolby ProLogic). I'm locked into the single CD player and it's crappy DAC that is very grainy. My quest goes on....
The sound systems have software packages. If you get the premium amp and the modules, maybe an upgrade would work?


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I can grab probably about 5 of the bones a month. I have 9 pick a parts within 10 miles and there is an s40 and v50 or three a day hitting them. Only a handful 2007 but I think I can stock everyone with the guts.



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Also to confirm. The harness behind the dash/stereo is an actual harness?... not a simple 3.5 in? Meaning there will be some wiring/crimping?


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