2004 Acura TL
Hardwired iPod and Sirius Satellite Radio Integration

MY PRODUCT SELECTION...

AUX-IN:
- P.I.E. X-3 Auxiliary Input Converter
- P.I.E. X3-HON03 X3 Wiring Harness

iPOD:
- Blitzsafe Universal iPod Interface (connects to X-3 and provides charging)
- ProClip mount for Acura TL
coupled with the ProClip Padded Tilt/Swivel iPod holder (for my Apple 60GB 4G iPod)

SIRIUS:
- Sirius Starbase satellite receiver (to be mounted inside lower storage slot in center of dash, next to cigarette lighter.)
 

When you select XM on the audio console, you now activate the 4-way selector switch. The "CD" choice on the selector is the in-dash XM radio (to which I no longer subscribe, but it will work), then you continue to press the selector button to cycle through the 3 auxilliary input devices. In my case, I only have the two devices (iPod and Sirius).

The Sirius Starbase unit is a perfect fit in this storage slot. I've pushed the top of the unit back a bit to reveal the velcro for you. Also, When you close the door, it tends to push it back in this manner as well. The unit cannot be seated deeper into the slot due to the power outlet (cigarette lighter socket) behind it.

However, if I were to do this again, I'd probably switch the location of these two devices. It would be somewhat easier to access the mini-buttons on the Sirius control unit if it were in the upper slot, particularly when the gear selector is in Park. Thankfully, the remote control unit for the Sirius radio comes in quite handy.

I highly recommend that you do not "cheap out" on these clips...go for the one with the tilt/swivel and the cable attachment piece at the bottom. Without the cable attachment, I would not be able to simply dock the iPod in the holder...i would have to dock the iPod and grab the cable and insert it each time.

PROs:
- Hardwired sound from iPod line-out and Sirius line-out sounds great. No more relatively poor quality FM modulation or cassette tape adapters!

- I now have fingertip access to my complete music library - over 11,000 songs (54GB). Previously, I refused to use my iPod in my car given the poor fidelity and level of the FM modulator.

- I still have complete control of the iPod via it's own brilliant interface - and it's within reach of the driver and the passenger - and can tilt/swivel accordingly. I absolutely did not want to sacrifice the iPod's navigation for some hacked, convoluted, non-intuitive interface that limits me to a subset of playlists that are blindly navigated via the CD controls (apparently a'la Acura's own ipod link system). That would drive me crazy.

- The audio level/volume from the aux sources is *very* comparable to the stock sources of FM and Disc. Thankfully, I do not have to make significant changes in master volume, and I was worried about this. However, that being said, this matter is primarily affected by the source material. Some of my albums on MP3 are simply louder and/or more dynamic than others...but this is true even for CDs, tapes, etc. as not all albums are recorded identically in the studio, some are sonically superior. Then you have to also weigh in how well they were ripped into digital format. Overall I am very pleased in this regard.

- As normal, the audio for all aux-in sources is muted when the hands-free cell phone or Navigation audio is invoked.

- Blitzsafe Uii provides power and charges the iPod, no cigarette lighter adapter wires visible.

- the Uii also nicely pauses the iPod track when the power to the car is shut off. So you can pick up where you left off when you resume power to the car...although you must press Play.

- There is no RPM whine or feedback.

- I can still close the doors to the 2 storage slots.

- The iPod fits perfectly and firmly into the clip. It offers a very smooth docking & undocking action.

CONs:
- a Sirius antenna is now magnetically mounted to the roof of my car, right behind the stock "bubble" cap for XM. Someday, I will see if I can get the Sirius antennae wired into the bubble. I read elsewhere that you cannot use the existing XM antennae for Sirius due to tech spec incompatibility. I cannot confirm this.

- The iPod on the clip is beautiful, but it's in plain sight. When I am not attending the vehicle, I feel compelled to remove the iPod and store it safely out of view, otherwise I am surely inviting someone to smash my window and take the iPod. Some people may therefore wish to mount their iPod in the armrest storage area, cup holder area, or glove box.

- Most of the storage space in those two cubby holes is now occupied by the devices. However, since they are only mounted using velcro, I can still access the power receptacle (cigarette lighter) if ever necessary.

- As expected, when you have XM source selected and you are listening to one of your Aux devices, the LCD monitor and heads up display show the XM channel information...which for me is the 24 hour emergency channel that you get when you are not a subscriber. This is no big deal.

MISC:
- I did not perform the installation myself (I'm not mechanically or electrically inclined), so I wasn't able to take pictures of every step along the way, and I don't know all the technical details. They did dismount the center console area and remove the glove box in order to gain access to everything they needed. The Sirius tuner is mounted somewhere behind the head-unit area on the floor, and the PIE X3 unit is mounted behind the glove box. Installation was $150.

Follow the thread discussion on this install at the AcuraZine 3rd Gen TL Audio forum.