Bluetooth idea in non-nav KA9

Old 07-06-2019, 11:08 PM
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Lightbulb Bluetooth idea in non-nav KA9

Hello all!

I'm not an RL owner (yet! I've attempted buying two already and am in love with the car) but I've been doing a lot of research about adding Bluetooth to the stock radio and being able to maintain the steering wheel controls (I hate aftermarket anything and want to preserve the original components). My reason for posting this thread is to see if someone has gone on a route similar to this and has any input, as hopefully I'm not the only person who has been so vehemently looking into this. I have searched around on this forum but couldn't see anything on this sort of track, I apologize if I missed something and am posting something redundant.

So, I'm familiar with the kits from iSimple, USA Spec, and GTA car kits and how they replace (or augment) the car's CD changer to get the Bluetooth functionality in as clean a way as possible with existing controls. While these brands do not directly make a device that will plug into the KA9s CD changer slot to do this, I've examined some compatibility diagrams for other devices made (specifically by iSimple) to determine what would work with these RLs.

iSimple's discontinued SoundByte iPod adapter, which was confirmed to with the car, used DIP switches 1, 4, and 8 to function properly in the RL (it lists different cables for 1998-2002 KA9s though I am very certain that it is incorrect, as I believe all KA9 non-nav RLs 1999-2004 had an 8 pin mini din CD changer connector), and these same settings with the same cable were also used in Honda Accords up to the 1997 model year. So, given the DIP switches were set the same for both cars and the Changer port used the same connector, I am led to believe that any device compatible with that radio should function with the RL's non-nav radio. It also worked with other older Acuras and the Legend, so I think that there's a lot more compatibility here than has been confirmed with these manufacturers.

So, using that information and searching around for 1996 Accord Bluetooth audio kits shows that GROM Audio makes this one ( and that it comes with a cable (labeled HON92) that clearly shows a mini din 8 pin connector. If it's anything like the USA Spec install I did a little bit ago, it should be pretty easy and straightforward- exactly what I want.

While Honda had 2 very similar connectors in the early to mid 1990s (from what I can see, a Honda standard and an Alpine standard) I have seen adapters floating around that would hopefully mitigate this. Though, I don't think the RL saw as many changes throughout it's years as other models so I don't think this would come into play.

While this kit doesn't allow for the CD changer to remain connected, using a mini din 8 pin switcher to alternate between which device is connected to the radio may allow for both to be used interchangeably, with the main caveat being I'm not sure how the radio/devices would react with connections being severed and re-initiated upon switching the active DIN connection, though that's another topic for another day.

I hope this has been of interest to someone, and that someone can pop in with their thoughts. In absence of any new & notable information, this will be the first thing I try out when I can get my hands on a nice & clean RL this year.

Informative Links:
iSimple SoundByte kit Compatability Sheet:
[Redundant] GROM BT3 link:

Else, I'm looking forward to joining you all in owning this very fine car!
MichaelIZ08 is offline  
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