Why does Bluetooth music not work in Mercedes Benz?

This article will discuss the reason why Bluetooth music does not work in Mercedes Benz? And answer the following questions: how to connect a smartphone to the music system of the car? What is the difference between Bluetooth telephony and Bluetooth music? How to disconnect a Bluetooth device?

Why does Bluetooth music not work in Mercedes Benz?

The Bluetooth Music in the Mercedes Benz does not work due to following two reasons:

  • Software bugs
  • Fault in Bluetooth antenna

Let’s take an in-depth look at both the reasons

  • Software bugs

Mercedes Benz Audio 20 and Command multimedia systems are flashed with a standard version of the software during the production of the vehicle. Many smartphone manufacturers are constantly updating software on the phones and even launching new phones with updated Bluetooth generations.

Due to this the stock software or firmware does not communicate with some Bluetooth devices and pairing is no longer possible. It is also possible that few bugs are recognised after the launch of the model, these software bugs in the multimedia system can limit some of its features. 

Mercedes Benz releases new software updates with bug fixes and the latest software can be flashed in the authorised dealerships by connecting to the regional data servers.

The latest models with Mercedes ME Connect can even be updated with the inbuilt internet network of the 4 G sim card. The software on the smartphone is also equally important. If the phone is not updated with the latest firmware then it is worth a shot to update the phone and pair the smartphone with the multimedia system.

  • Bluetooth antenna

The multimedia systems in Mercedes Benz cars like the Audio 20 and command operating system usually have multiple dedicated Bluetooth antennas situated behind the dashboard of the vehicle.

As the Bluetooth signal has a range of 30 feet but there can be interference in the passenger cabins due to the radio signals or most of the time the Bluetooth device is kept in a bag or pocket which can affect data transfer speeds. External Bluetooth antennas help to minimise the interference and eliminate any dead zones in the passenger cabin.

The Bluetooth antenna is connected to the multimedia system via an electrical line and an open circuit between the Bluetooth antenna and multimedia system can lead to a fault in communication with the Bluetooth devices.

It is not possible to repair the electrical line or the Bluetooth antenna hence renewing the faulty part is the only available remedy.

When did Mercedes Benz introduce Bluetooth in passenger cars?

Mercedes Benz introduced Bluetooth in the passenger cars in 2007 with the launch of Mercedes Benz C Class W 204. The Bluetooth allowed functions like telephony which is answering the incoming telephone calls when the smartphone is connected to the multimedia system in the vehicle.

Playing music through Bluetooth needed a more advanced multimedia system, Mercedes Benz majorly used two types of multimedia systems called Audio 20 and command. The command multimedia system was the more advanced of the two systems and even offered features like voice commands and navigation.

To play music through a Bluetooth connection, the pairing of the smartphone is the first step and customers then need to select Bluetooth audio in the command or audio 20 settings. After selecting Bluetooth audio, the multimedia system recognises the Bluetooth device as an audio source input and plays the music through the speakers.

Bluetooth data transfer speeds are between 3 Mbps to 5 Mbps but the latest generations are even capable of transfer speeds up to 20 Mbps. The music streaming from the Bluetooth device can become inoperative due to the following issues.

How to pair a phone with the multimedia system of the Mercedes Benz car?

Pairing the Bluetooth devices with the multimedia system is very important otherwise data transfer cannot occur between the two devices. Follow the following steps to pair the multimedia system to Bluetooth devices like smartphones or Ipads etc.

  • Turn on Bluetooth in the smartphone and the smartphone must be discoverable. For a successful pairing with the smartphone, Bluetooth must be enabled and the device should be discoverable as the multimedia system scans for the Bluetooth device.
  • Select audio settings and then select Bluetooth audio. On some latest models with MBUX, you can pair the smartphone from the settings menu and Bluetooth telephony and media will be enabled simultaneously.
  • Locate the Bluetooth device from the available Bluetooth devices list. If the phone is not discovered then switch on and off the Bluetooth once more as some devices have a runout timer to save battery. 
  • Once the name of the device appears on the screen, select it and confirm the passcode for pairing. The passcode must be verified in both multimedia systems as well as the Bluetooth device.
  • If the authorization was successful a message will appear on the screen and the device will be successfully paired with the multimedia system.

If the authorization is timed out then the whole process must be repeated. Some Apple iPhone models have additional security layers that must be disabled to allow data sharing through Bluetooth.

What is the difference between Bluetooth telephony and Bluetooth music?

Mercedes Benz models manufactured after 2007 had different versions of multimedia systems installed in cars depending on the availability of the parts. Therefore, some models had Bluetooth telephony features but were unable to use the Bluetooth device as a media source. 

Bluetooth telephony

It is used to answer incoming calls on the mobile phone. The multimedia system is capable of reading up to 1000 contacts and customers can even end or answer a call by a dedicated button on the steering wheel. Two microphones are integrated into the roof trim and placed near the driver and front passenger so the voice of both occupants can be heard clearly over the call. 

Mercedes Benz models launched after 2014 have more advanced voice commands and it is possible to call anyone by simply using a voice command. Bluetooth telephony needs more access to the device it is paired with, without the access it is not possible to read the contact information in the phone directory.

Bluetooth music

Bluetooth music is playing media from a Bluetooth device connected to the multimedia system of the car. The multimedia system is not sending any data to the Bluetooth device as in the case of Bluetooth telephony. The paired Bluetooth device is only recognised as an audio source which is similar to inserting a CD or playing a song on the radio.

No special Bluetooth permissions are needed for media streaming and customers can deny any additional permissions if promoted by the multimedia system. The latest generation of Bluetooth music has LDAC support and it can play music with higher music quality.

How to disconnect a paired Bluetooth device?

Mercedes Benz multimedia systems are capable of pairing more than 10 Bluetooth devices and each time the vehicle is turned on the multimedia systems are programmed to pair with the last paired device. As the multimedia system can only pair with a  limited number of devices, sometimes it is necessary to remove old Bluetooth devices to pair with new devices.

The devices can be deauthorized from the Bluetooth devices list in the Bluetooth audio menu. Once the Bluetooth device is deauthorized, multimedia systems can be paired to new devices.

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Mercedes Benz has been using radio and Bluetooth as the main audio sources since the launch of the Mercedes Benz user experience (MBUX) multimedia system. The MBUX is part of the new telematics generation 6 and it can be updated over the air simultaneously in domestic as well as international markets. Therefore, if there are any concerns related to Bluetooth audio not working they can be rectified more quickly.