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E46 radio Alpine Business CD

e46 radio alpine business cd

Alpine Business CD

e46 radio alpine

E46 radio Alpine unit is the top of Business CD line and offers much better sound quality than Siemens/VDO version and is higher priced. Most models on market are early ones, which reads only standard audio CD and works with cd-changer. During the years it became AUX compatible and MP3 from CD reading nice piece of audio.

Visually this radio is very similar to Blaupunkt, but there are few differences, which will help you to recognize this model.

Characteristic features of E46 Alpine Business CD front panel:

  • unlike Blaupunkt, Alpine has MODE option on the button next to SCAN
  • upper edge of disc loading slot is slightly curved
  • Alpine has has small lights at both sides of disc loading slot
  • “eject” button is more narrow than in Blaupukt

If radio fulfills these four criteria, it is for sure manufactured by Alpine.

Now you can find out if it’s AUX capable, or maybe even MP3. To know this, you need part number of the unit. Just like at Siemens/VDO, you will find this number on the sticker placed on the bottom of body. If you don’t have radio in your hands, ask seller for picture.

All it is about the last three digits of the part number. These are highlighted red on this picture:

e46 radio alpine aux sticker


And here is table, which tells you how to identify features of your E46 radio Alpine:

Last three digits of part number: 241, 711, 072, 963 902, 903, 505, 506 429, 430, 215
  features: CD CD, AUX CD, AUX, CD MP3


Now it is all clear for you.

There is one more way how to recognize most desirable version of Alpine, which is capable CD, AUX and MP3, without knowing part number: only these models has the black radiator, which you should see on the top and left side of the casing. Every non-MP3 version of Alpine has standard, silver radiator.

However be careful with this method, because you never know if someone in the past did change the radiator only for some reason. It isn’t possible very much, but always could happen, so I recommend to use this radiator-color criteria only as a form of confirmation of Alpine version you are dealing with if you checked the part number and it has correct last three digits.


That is all about E46 radio Alpine Business CD53. If you have any questions, feel free ask in comments section. I will reply.


You know now much enough about regular 1DIN Business CD line do hunt for well-equipped version, but maybe you also are interested in top of the top? If so, go to next post, where I describe  E46 radio Harman/Kardon (Becker) Professional CD. It was the center of optional and quite expensive high-end Harman/Kardon sound system.


  1. Anonymous

    Great site and really informative, thanks.

    I am contemplating un upgrade to Alpine to get access to aux and also better quality sound. Before I take the plunge can you tell me if all these alpine models have LW radio? I will love listening to my iPod but not if I lose Test Match Special on the radio.

  2. German

    Hello and thank you for this wonderful site! I’m re-building 330Ci model to max OEM condition and before I found your site I’ve already purchased several e46 radio units 🙂

    Now I’ve finally got Alpine with black radiator and ending numbers 429. I disassembled it before install and noticed that under black radiator it has only 3 chips, compared to my old Alpine with ending number 072 which has 4 chips, I assume these are amplifier chips.

    My car has Harman Kardon music, so my question is why it has less chips and IF my new unit will actually sound worse? Maybe my old unit was made specifically for Harman Kardon system and this one isn’t?


  3. Marko

    great guide!

    I’ve read online that 430 are refurbished 429 units, that “had problems and were factory recalled”.
    Does anyone know what were these problems with 429 units?

    • e46

      As far as I know issue was proper MP3 format support. Probably most of 429s are correct now – not every single had to be rebadged.

  4. German

    I bought 429 from Canada, shipped to Europe through US 😀 Changed button as it was broken and wire between front panel and radio itself, connected to Bluetooth module and sounds great!

  5. German

    As far as I understood – 429’s had issues but all of them for these years were either refurbished or were not affected from a start

    • e46


      If it meant to be a question then no, Alpine with 711 doesn’t support AUX. See the table for details

  6. Stephen

    Thank you for this page. The three digits on my Alpine Business CD are 241, which your chart tells me my player is not Aux ready, disappointing but let’s move on. As a workaround I’m wondering if I can add an AUX cable to any if the rear ports, with a 12-hole AUX plug, if I remove one of those already there. The phone was physically cut out of the console before I bought it, so perhaps switch the phone input? Maybe a naive question but I want to look at every avenue. Thanks

  7. Neil heron

    Good morning I have a e46 2005 with a alpine 429 made in hungry
    After finding your fantastic website and buying a aux cable (pins 4,8&9)it has made my car feel like new fantastic!!!!
    But now I have 2 questions
    1. What do the other 7 pins do
    Can I make more add-ons? car also has a WiFi telephone control unit in the boot (I have the PIN number also)but when pressing the multifunction steering wheel p/r button it says no phone
    The car also has a phone button in a phone cradle in the center console and I have tried holding it down for 3 seconds then switching the ignition waiting 3 seconds releasing the button but the radio does not go into Bluetooth pairing mode
    On the wed people say pins 1&19 with a cable can act as the button also tried this still no BT pairing
    What can I do ?
    Please help
    Many thanks

  8. Matt

    Hi, you seem like the right person to help me with this, can’t find any solution! I’ve connected aux to my e46 business radio, can find the aux mode when cycling through fine. Only problem is that the aux sound is terrible in comparison to the radio or cd. Basically no bass and really weak, it’s also much quieter than the other modes. I’ve read that there’s a way to correct this but I can not find it. Any advice??

    • e46

      Hi. Sound quality is one, but big disadvantage of Aux input these days in BMW. You are right, there is significant lack of low frequencies, most probably due to aux cable schematic. There are capatitors in the circuit, which most probably work as a high-pass filter for audio signal. Maybe there is some space to tune this circuit a bit using bigger capacity than 0,22uF, but I’ve never tried such mod.

  9. Dejan

    Is it possible for my Alpine CD player BUSSINES CD53 (last 3 digits 072 only CD) to unlock aux output with diagnostic ? Do i have a software that is aux Lock

    • e46

      Nope, AUX support is not the matter of software. Versions without AUX lacks one chip on the mainboard dedicated to this option.

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