Legendary car radio returns with modern functions
T he Blaupunkt Bremen is a car radio classic of the 80s and 90s. The new Bremen SQR 46 DAB takes up the classic look. But besides FM and medium wave, it also receives digital radio (DAB+), instead of cassette or CD, it plays music via USB, from SD cards and via Bluetooth. It also works as a hands-free car kit.
Is the new Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 DAB the perfect radio for Golf II and BMW E30, for Mercedes W123 and W124, for Audi Cabrio and Volvo 240?? “Computer Bild” has tried it out.
Blaupunkt Bremen is now a youngtimer radio
Car radios with DAB+ and Bluetooth including hands-free function are available from countless manufacturers such as Alpine, Kenwood and Pioneer. In older cars, however, their colorful high-gloss optics look out of place.
The alternative for drivers of old cars has so far been tinkering – somehow modern connections, retrofit receivers and hands-free kits can be fitted to many old radios. Whether it looks good, is easy to use and reliable is another matter.
And if the old original radio has passed away, the oldie owner is faced with the question anyway: Have a repair attempted? Buying an old original with a dubious remaining lifespan?
A brand-new car radio with modern equipment behind an old facade is just what you need. Blaupunkt keeps with the new Bremen SQR 46 DAB very closely to the templates of the 80s and early 90s.
But wait, hasn’t Blaupunkt gone bankrupt long ago?? Not quite, even though the former parent company Bosch no longer has anything to do with the traditional brand. The name now belongs, like Telefunken, to the glorious names, which licensees use for all kinds of products.
Blaupunkt also supplies bicycles and televisions from a wide range of suppliers and importers, for example. The car radio business under the brand name Blaupunkt is run by the company Evo-Sales from Hameln, according to press reports, former employees from the Blaupunkt plant in Hildesheim are also employed there.
Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 DAB in the test
The installation is easy in cars up to the generation Golf IV thanks to the ISO connection, due to the low installation depth there is enough space behind the radio for any necessary adapters. Depending on the car, an adapter for active antennas may be necessary so that FM reception continues to work.
For DAB+ a second antenna is necessary, FM sticks are unfortunately not suitable for it. Blaupunkt therefore supplies a self-adhesive windshield antenna. The is just 20 centimeters short and could therefore be well inconspicuously mounted.
Unfortunately, the antenna cable puts a spanner in the works. Because that branches off in the right angle centrally from the antenna, thereby almost inevitably an unsightly cable loop is visible.
In addition to the two antenna connections as well as the power connection and the four speaker outputs according to ISO standard, there are three cable stubs on the back of the radio: one for connecting steering wheel remote controls, one for the included hands-free microphone and a USB connection. An extension cable can be used to charge a smartphone in the center console, which is more discreet than a cable dangling freely from the USB port on the front of the radio.
Blaupunkt Bremen has good digital reception
After the uncomplicated installation convinced in the practice test the clear and interference-free receiption from Hamburg to the Baltic Sea, as one hardly knows him from UKW in this stability. Almost even more interesting about DAB+ is the extended station selection compared to FM.
Whether it’s rock stations like Radio Bob, versatile local stations or cleverly made full programs like DLF Nova, you’ll find exciting alternatives to the “Die-besten-Hits-der-80er-und-von-heute” monotony in many places. In reception holes, the Blaupunkt radio remained mute in the test and did not automatically switch to FM.
For FM, the new Bremen proved to be somewhat less powerful than an old Grundig radio. Of course, you have to get used to using the device; volume and sound settings are made simply via rotary controls, while the button assignment is not very intuitive and the menu is anything but self-explanatory. Here, it is necessary to reach for the thick, unfortunately very small printed operating instructions, in order to switch off, for example, the marrow-shaking key tone.
Very nice: The lighting color can be finely adjusted from red (e.g. for Audi) to orange (BMW), yellow (Mercedes) and green (VW and others). Pedants notice however that the colors of the display and the key lighting deviate a little from each other.
Equipment and operation of the Blaupunkt Bremen DAB
The Bluetooth connection to an iPhone worked without problems for music playback and phone calls in the test. Somewhat annoying: The volume can be adjusted independently on the smartphone and on the radio. So if the phone is turned down really low, nothing comes out of the radio either, regardless of its volume setting.
The fact that phone numbers can be stored and retrieved from the phone book is rather of theoretical use because of the small radio display. This also limits the music playback from SD cards and USB sticks. For copied mixtapes this is great, but it is hard to specifically find individual tracks or albums in a folder structure on the memory again.
But what weighs even more heavily: The Blaupunkt Bremen SQR 46 played in the test no music in AAC format, only MP3 and WMA.