Top positive review
259 people found this helpful
Good price for the features offered, know it's limitations!
on November 15, 2011
Pros: price, both USB & SD(HC), id3 tag display, and sound quality. Cons: crappy docmentasen [sic;], warranty will cost you, and the mp3 read order. I did the research and knew what to expect for the price I was willing to pay. The unit therefore meets my needs; the sound exceeded my expectations. I was pleasantly surprised that it takes 8GB SDHC media. Not so happy that it did not have standard mounting screw holes, in fact no mounting holes; easy to fix. One of my dislikes is that mp3 files are read in the order written to the USB/SD, not in alpha-numeric order. It therefore requires a bit of planning when putting a larger number of folders (albums) on the device (and even more planning for Mac users...hint rsync really helps!). Nice ability to skip forward & backwards by ten songs or by an entire folder (album), and doesn't have a problem with nested folders, but remember it plays files in the order written, not in the order your file system might show them to you! The other dislike is no illumination control (for night driving).
I did have the problem others reported of the volume reseting...only really an issue with the radio, not so much when I use an SD card or USB. I don't know about issues with the randomize feature since I generally listen to albums or pre-arranged playlists. FM seemed to pickup the few stations I listen to as well as my old radio did. I was very pleased with the fidelity; 320kbps mp3's sounded clear with full dynamic range, 128kbps I could hear the drop-off. Did not hear any distortion as I turned to volume up to what I consider "too loud to enjoy" or ~30 on the unit's scale of 40 max. Mounted in a 2005 Prius - stealth mode - can finally listen to mp3 on USB/SD or iPod via AUX in my Prius at a fraction of the cost of other solutions. Note: warranty requires you to ship the unit with $20 (thus loss of a rating star for just that).
I would recommend this for the budget minded (e.g. unemployed), mildly techno person. I would not put in my wife or daughter's car!
-- Update --
Five months in service and working fine. There have been a few times where I have turned the volume all the way up to 40 for some soft classical passages, and no distortion or hum noticed. One problem that another view noted and I am now seeing: it is resetting the volume to level 15 every time I start the car. Generally this not an issue with SDHC or USB (the volumes are fairly low at 15), but if the radio is selected, you will be quite wide awake when you take your road trip!
-- May 2016 Update --
It died. Not the fuses, just dead. That's 5 & 1/2 years life for $30 (at the time I bought it) which is to me quite a deal! Still maintain my recommendation as an inexpensive stereo where you want aux + USB + SD input, although will try to find a replacement that remembers the volume setting when I turn it on every morning!