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Well I’ve had the Vline installed about 8 weeks ago along with a Blackvue dashcam.  I had it professionally installed but it is plug and play.  Instead of installing it behind the OEM unit, I got it installed off the side (passenger side near centre console).  Sufficient room and very easy to get at.  I can remove the unit in about 10 seconds for easy access to additional USB ports for charging etc and HDMI’s etc.

I considered the Beatsonic etc but wanted to retain an OEM appearance and couldn’t find anything else on the market that does that whilst providing as much functionality as the Grom Vline v2.  If I don’t mention it, no one would even know I have it installed.

All OEM controls such as the steering wheel volume etc works great with the Vline.  It comes with a GPS receiver, microphone etc.

I was hesitant at first given some of the feedback on the US forums but like any feedback, some didn’t apply to me or some people’s concern wasn’t an issue for me.

I ordered it through Chris at Cushie audio (Oz distributors).  He answered all my questions prior to purchase and it took approx 1 week to come via Fedex from the US

https://cushieaudio.com.au/product/grom-vline-v2/

$799 for the unit and $10 postage.

I use a Samsung Note 8 so can only share my experiences from an Android perspective.  The unit is a standalone unit so it does work regardless of your phone, if you leave it at home etc however many of the apps that require internet won’t work.  The vline connects to my phone via hotspot.  To save the hassle of having to enable this when I get in my car, I use an automation app called Macrodroid.  I use multiple macros and one of them triggers when my phone connects to the cars Bluetooth, disabling wifi and turning on hotspot.  When I leave the car and disconnect from Bluetooth, it disables hotspot and enables wifi ready for when I get home, work etc.

My comments are based on about 8 of usage, about 3-4 times a day it gets turned on so over 150 uses.

Touch screen responsiveness and sound quality is good (given the OEM setup).  Sound is as good to a CD, doesn’t lose quality like a FM modulator some third party connection.

Boot time is approx 7 seconds.  I use the Webradio app that is stock for Vline that I enjoy.  It connects to radio stations all around the world.  I saved some stations of the genre of music I like and it works great.  I got the unit for the Satnav and to be able to connect a flashdrive for music playback but hardly use it now with Webradio.  I have used Spotify briefly and it worked without issue

When I start my car, about 10 seconds or so and the music automatically turns on once I start up the Vline.  I hit “Audio” or the “Aux” button.  If I want to change aircon or use an OEM setup, I press the appropriate button and then hit Aux or Audio and Vline takes over again (instantly, no lag).

The unit can be used whilst driving, it has a bypass built in so I can navigate via text or voice whilst driving.  I use voice navigation often, works great.

After weeks of use I did have one issue (black screen, not responsive).  To fix this I put it into Reverse the rear camera would take over, back in Drive and the Vline worked again.

Other minor annoyance, when I take a phone call, once disconnected, the hotspot does not re-enable so I do it manually (could possibly use a macro for this) but not a big deal.

It’s currently not compatible with Android auto (but I’ve been advised the new software update) will address this.  They have also advised the OBD info will be available on the screen for viewing with later updates.

All software updates are OTA through the Vline system.

There was another issue about a few apps not appearing 100% on the screen but close.  I asked Grom and their support is reasonably quick (a day or so).  They advised as the OEM unit is low res (800x480), there can be some apps not rendering properly and it’s generally up to the app devs to work on this.  In all, most of the time it’s not an issue, all apps I use are generally ok.

Google maps and Waze works great, web radio works great, Play store to download more apps, YouTube etc.  I stream movies no problem at all, watch Avengers and the like, clean and sounds great.  Over a month I use about 4-5gbs of streaming from the Vline so you need a decent data plan (I got 16gb a month so not an issue)

There are apps like Carweb guru launcher for a new interface, can even use the Lexus logo.

Based on my own personal experiences with the unit, I would recommended this as it works great with minimal issues (cant recall any that wasn’t fixable)

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Sorry no idea why 1/2 the pics are sideways.  They appear fine on my PC and i cant see any options to rotate them here

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Good write up.  The Vline sounds good, & looks OEM.

  • Like 1

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It is tenfod better now than when I got the V1 preorder edition over a year ago. It was a buggy mess.

I still have no reverse camera though, my unit rejects the signal.

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2 hours ago, banserki said:

It is tenfod better now than when I got the V1 preorder edition over a year ago. It was a buggy mess.

I still have no reverse camera though, my unit rejects the signal.

Havent personally used the V1, only read stories about it (not great of course).  
Regarding V2, i think they must have learned their lesson as i cant recall any OEM function that i have lost or has been affected.  I have reverse camera 100%, OEM mapping if i want to use for whatever reason, can still use the CD Stacker, radio, etc.  

All OEM functions work as before but just with the Vline now and in my 8 weeks of daily useage its been very good. Mapping, youtube, movie streaming, play store, music etc, the main things i use always work.  The mic as well, all my voice commands work no problem

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Thanks for sharing. Will watch and wait your feedback once the update comes out and there's andriod auto functionality

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Hi BLK ISF, wondering what year your ISF is? I've purchased the VLine 2 myself, I pre-ordered it at the early pricing stage. 

Mine is a 2011 ISF, so has all the facelift stuff but my SATNAV did not come with bluetooth music function out of the factory.

It arrived in June/July and since then I've not used it much due to issues with reverse cam not working, startup issues and also other little bugs like unable to access factory EQ settings (for USB as that is what the VLine 2 replaces).

Not sure if this is from the VLine 2 but I've also noticed a whirring/humming/buzzing sound coming from the driver's side of the boot area. This happened shortly after VLine 2 was installed so I'm assuming might be related to the product? Can't find much online about the noise coming from the boot, there are a few posts on the internet floating around on Lexus vehicles having a noise from the boot due to sub/amp issues on the Mark Levinson system or fuel evap?

This is a video I recorded of the noise. I originally suspected it was a set of aftermarket tail lights I had installed but it seemed to persist even after swapping to another brand of aftermarket tail lights, then back to OEM tail lights and even without any tail lights plugged in. This sound occurs once the car is turned on, both acc on or engine start.

https://youtu.be/2PWHBlle5Gw

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VpqBKYXFvJ_wxN2lWI3HXEVASRE4L7UF/view?usp=sharing

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I have the VL1 in my 2011 ISF and my reverse camera doesn't work unless I start the car with the factory CD mode on.

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14 hours ago, Montay said:

Hi BLK ISF, wondering what year your ISF is? I've purchased the VLine 2 myself, I pre-ordered it at the early pricing stage. 

Mine is a 2011 ISF, so has all the facelift stuff but my SATNAV did not come with bluetooth music function out of the factory.

It arrived in June/July and since then I've not used it much due to issues with reverse cam not working, startup issues and also other little bugs like unable to access factory EQ settings (for USB as that is what the VLine 2 replaces).

Not sure if this is from the VLine 2 but I've also noticed a whirring/humming/buzzing sound coming from the driver's side of the boot area. This happened shortly after VLine 2 was installed so I'm assuming might be related to the product? Can't find much online about the noise coming from the boot, there are a few posts on the internet floating around on Lexus vehicles having a noise from the boot due to sub/amp issues on the Mark Levinson system or fuel evap?

This is a video I recorded of the noise. I originally suspected it was a set of aftermarket tail lights I had installed but it seemed to persist even after swapping to another brand of aftermarket tail lights, then back to OEM tail lights and even without any tail lights plugged in. This sound occurs once the car is turned on, both acc on or engine start.

https://youtu.be/2PWHBlle5Gw

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VpqBKYXFvJ_wxN2lWI3HXEVASRE4L7UF/view?usp=sharing

Hi Monty,

Mine is an earlier model 2008 and definitely no bluetooth for me until now :-)

My reverse camera works perfect, never failed once and as mentioned before its my daily drive, i start the car up and stop atleast 3 times a day from work, and other activities.  Even startup for me is great.  By the time ive reveresed out of my driveway and proceed down the street, the Vline is alwady on but the hotspot connected as well.  From memory i have accessed the OEM EQ, can change all sorts of Audio paramaters, channel, treble, bass etc

My car is loud with the exhaust and headers but i have definitely never heard a buzzing sound like what you have.  Ill check later today, ill start mine up and open the boot to see if my exhaust setup is drowing it out.  That would be annoying.

Sorry to hear you have having those issues.  Have you contacted GROM for any advice/feedback.  On the few times i have contacted them, they got back to me within the day but in my instance, the couple things i experienced worked itself out and hasnt resurfaced so touch wood all is working great for me.

Im sure yours is all wired up correctly.  Im not upto date in that space so i had mine professionally installed.

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10 hours ago, banserki said:

I have the VL1 in my 2011 ISF and my reverse camera doesn't work unless I start the car with the factory CD mode on.

Sorry to hear.  My rear camera starts regardless whatever mode im in.  I can be on Climate mode, enter Vline etc but once i select R, the camera kicks in

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21 hours ago, Slopshua said:

Thanks for sharing. Will watch and wait your feedback once the update comes out and there's andriod auto functionality

Sure will do

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17 hours ago, Montay said:

Not sure if this is from the VLine 2 but I've also noticed a whirring/humming/buzzing sound coming from the driver's side of the boot area. This happened shortly after VLine 2 was installed so I'm assuming might be related to the product? Can't find much online about the noise coming from the boot, there are a few posts on the internet floating around on Lexus vehicles having a noise from the boot due to sub/amp issues on the Mark Levinson system or fuel evap?

This is a video I recorded of the noise. I originally suspected it was a set of aftermarket tail lights I had installed but it seemed to persist even after swapping to another brand of aftermarket tail lights, then back to OEM tail lights and even without any tail lights plugged in. This sound occurs once the car is turned on, both acc on or engine start.

https://youtu.be/2PWHBlle5Gw

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VpqBKYXFvJ_wxN2lWI3HXEVASRE4L7UF/view?usp=sharing

The amplifier is in the boot on the driver side so this may be the source of the noise.

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OK apologies in advance if this is a stupid question - but i haven't been able to find out this information on the Grom website or from Googling.....can you use the Grom vline v2 if you do not have an Android smartphone? If yes, then is there any functionality you lose on the Grom unit from having an iPhone rather than an Android phone?

All the videos/reviews i have seen always have the unit working with an Android phone.

Does the phone need to by physically plugged into a USB port to connect to the unit?

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Yes it will connect to any phone with bluetooth. You get MORE function with an iPhone as appleplay works now apparently. the unit is an Android system itself and can run Spotify or anything from the Android store.

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@BLK ISF thanks, good to hear your experience has been smooth. I've been in contact with GROM and we're slowly ironing out these issues (at least I hope so, so far just a lot of sending logs/firmware back and forth). 

Are you able to tell me how you're getting the EQ up? From what I understand, the EQ settings for FM and say AUX, CD or USB are different. I say this because I have EQ settings set for FM but when I went to AUX, it's at default. In any case, I can't access the VLine (USB setting for me) EQ as that immediately enters VLine interface. How do you bring up the EQ then?

As for the buzzing sound, it comes on even just on acc on, no need to start the engine. Very likely its the amp as @_ISF said, as it went away briefly whilst doing a VLine firmware update and the unit rebooted then the buzzing resumed. However I have noticed that it no longer always comes on...suggests a wiring problem perhaps? I did the wiring myself, but I'm no stranger to wiring up car audio and have triple-checked my work when these issues started showing. 

Edit: I've had the VLine few months now, but now only actively trying to solve the issues as I'm driving the car more now. It could be the amp is faulty, I've read a few threads around the internet of Lexus Mark Levinson amp buzzing. I've arranged with Lexus of Perth to inspect the issue and hopefully replace under warranty if it's faulty (still have about 2.5 years warranty remaining). Finger's crossed they won't say the VLine voids the warranty cover!

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On 9/21/2018 at 4:50 PM, _ISF said:

OK apologies in advance if this is a stupid question - but i haven't been able to find out this information on the Grom website or from Googling.....can you use the Grom vline v2 if you do not have an Android smartphone? If yes, then is there any functionality you lose on the Grom unit from having an iPhone rather than an Android phone?

All the videos/reviews i have seen always have the unit working with an Android phone.

Does the phone need to by physically plugged into a USB port to connect to the unit?

As Banserki has mentioned, its a standalone unit so it doesnt need a phone to operate however you need a hotspot for connectivity so depends what apps you use.  i.e. Most apps need it like maps, youtube etc to function

It is Android based but not working with Android Auto at the moment, havent checked if there has been an update in the last week so who knows.  In saying that i still get good functionality out of it regarding navigation, voice commands, movies, streaming, music etc so for me personally Android auto wasnt a big deal for me (for some no doubt it will be) but they have advised with new software updates it should work so lets see.

Yet to try it as i use Android but with a gmail account, you can download apps from the playstore or most likely (as with any Android unit), ensure apps can be downloaded from unknown sources and most likely download apps from Chrome etc and bluetooth to the device for install

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17 hours ago, Montay said:

@BLK ISF thanks, good to hear your experience has been smooth. I've been in contact with GROM and we're slowly ironing out these issues (at least I hope so, so far just a lot of sending logs/firmware back and forth). 

Are you able to tell me how you're getting the EQ up? From what I understand, the EQ settings for FM and say AUX, CD or USB are different. I say this because I have EQ settings set for FM but when I went to AUX, it's at default. In any case, I can't access the VLine (USB setting for me) EQ as that immediately enters VLine interface. How do you bring up the EQ then?

As for the buzzing sound, it comes on even just on acc on, no need to start the engine. Very likely its the amp as @_ISF said, as it went away briefly whilst doing a VLine firmware update and the unit rebooted then the buzzing resumed. However I have noticed that it no longer always comes on...suggests a wiring problem perhaps? I did the wiring myself, but I'm no stranger to wiring up car audio and have triple-checked my work when these issues started showing. 

Edit: I've had the VLine few months now, but now only actively trying to solve the issues as I'm driving the car more now. It could be the amp is faulty, I've read a few threads around the internet of Lexus Mark Levinson amp buzzing. I've arranged with Lexus of Perth to inspect the issue and hopefully replace under warranty if it's faulty (still have about 2.5 years warranty remaining). Finger's crossed they won't say the VLine voids the warranty cover!

I checked with the engine running, just on accessories and ingntion etc and i hear zero feedback from the boot/amp etc.  No humming noise whatsover.

I just want to clarify when you say EQ do you mean any of these pics attached?

Good luck with the amp and possible warranty.  You'd like to think logic prevails in that if its faulty/hardware, what the hell does plugging anything into matter but lets see.  The Vline doesnt even connect to it does it?  I saw the installer for my car now and then and he was always working up front, centre console etc.

I did have an issue today, for some reason for a 30 min drive, it couldnt connect.  i.e. I could still use USB audio and the maps appeared (Waze and google maps) but no connection so couldnt use the nav function.  Hotspot definitely connected (never done that before so hoping its the first and last lol).  OEM map and phone mapping still worked so not a big deal at this stage

 

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@BLK ISF yep, all the wiring is up front, never touched anything in the rear.

That is the exact EQ I'm referring to, the first to pictures of OEM EQ settings. The 3rd pic looks like VLine Android settings? Anyhow, I've tried following the manual instructions of long-press DISC key (or something like that). But my unit doesn't exactly have a DISC key. How did you bring yours up? 

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To get to the EQ settings i exit out of Vline mode.  I hit the Disc-Aux button.  Once in OEM mode you'll see the 2 buttons bottom left of screen

Ps No long press needed, just a simple press like any other button

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@BLK ISF hitting AUX launches VLine for me, so can't get to the EQ buttons. DISC doesn't seem to do anything. It must be some sort of difference in the navs, not sure if someone can chime in on whether these OEM headunits changed over the years. Its odd because I've tried explaining this to GROM as well and they can't replicate my issue. I think they too used an early model nav.

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15 hours ago, Montay said:

@BLK ISF hitting AUX launches VLine for me, so can't get to the EQ buttons. DISC doesn't seem to do anything. It must be some sort of difference in the navs, not sure if someone can chime in on whether these OEM headunits changed over the years. Its odd because I've tried explaining this to GROM as well and they can't replicate my issue. I think they too used an early model nav.

Like Banserki mentions, press cd so it changes over to the CD stacker.  Based on what youre saying it sounds like since Vline you cant revert to playing CD's if you wanted.  Are you sure its wired up right then?

I ask because i have 100% useage of all OEM functions such as radio, maps, climate and cd stacker if i want but also can switch to Vline.  So pressing the CD button definitely should make a difference and change modes

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Did you manage to get the reverse camera working? I have a feeling RHD cars will have an issue as no americans have come up with this problem.

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