Customer Reviews: BOSS AUDIO 612UA Single-DIN MECH-LESS Receiver
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Style Name: 612UA|Change
Price:$27.40+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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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!
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on December 20, 2011
I installed this on a 2000 Oldsmodbile Alero and I had no issues. Just made sure that I matched the color connectors and hooked it up with the existing harness and voila, it worked. Also purchased an auxiliary cable to hook up with MP3 player and it worked like a charm. Lots of powers (200W) and could receive AM/FM signals. This unit has no CD player and is replaced by an SD Card which is fine. CD's are almost the thing of the past. All in all, I recommend this Boss 612UA car stereo/mp3 player/am/fm receiver.
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on March 6, 2012
My early Impressions are as follows

User Interface:
The UI is simplistic, but easy to understand. Most of the buttons on the receiver serve simple functions, and auxiliary functions are accessed by holding the buttons down. Their feel is hard and they click with a hard "snap" feeling every bit as cheap as the radio costs. The volume control knob is depressed to access settings, and held to turn off the unit. This is not very favorable as it is possible to hit the button when attempting to turn down the volume, forcing you to wait until it returns to normal function. The pale blue backlit display is adequate during the day, but the bright blue accent lights around the volume knob shine too brightly at night. At this price point you cannot expect a color changing display, but a dimmer would be nice.

Radio Performance:
The radio is sensitive, picking up even remote stations easily, and sounds quite good. The buttons are small and clustered on the right side of the unit - yet are somehow easy to select by feel alone. Tuning the stations is irksome, as pressing the tuning button seeks to even the weakest station. Holding the tuning button sends the radio to manual tune, which is slow to tune and returns to seek after a seemingly random period of time. I set my favorite radio stations in memory and forgot about the tuning difficulties quickly.

This radio has only simple settings for audio - Bass, Treble, and Loud. A few built-in EQ settings are present, but I favored custom settings. The radio puts out 200W peak, which is just enough to drive my 6.5" Polks. The sound quality is good, but a more customizable EQ would be nice. It has two RCA outputs on the back for an amp, but not subwoofer controls in the menu to adjust volume, crossover, phase, etc.

MP3 Performance:
Coming later - but keep in mind: no iPod control - you'll have to use the AUX input and control the iPod manually. The unit has outlets for SD card, USB flash drive, and an AUX input, so there are plenty of options for playing MP3s.

Overall Impressions:
Considering it's excellent price, despite some shortcomings this is an excellent radio. Time will tell whether it is durable enough to withstand hard use, but the lack of movable parts should help. My truck sees lots of rutted dirt roads and some 2wd offroading - so time will tell whether the CD player subtraction helps. Few people listen to CDs anymore, favoring MP3 players, so I no longer see the point of paying for all the extra moving parts. I'll be purchasing an extra SD card soon so I can keep my MP3s in the truck all the time and don't have to fiddle with plugging in my phone unless I want to play Pandora.

Odd things of note:

If I turn off the truck with the stereo turned low, when I turn the truck on the stereo comes on very loud.

This unit is only about 4 inches deep - so it should fit in even the most shallow of mounting points.

My unit appeared to be prepped from the factory for a Volkswagen - it had a VW wiring plug which had to be cut off the wiring harness, and a little VW Beetle features prominently in the center of the display. The wiring harness was easy to fix (just cut off the plug) but the little Bug in the display looks silly in the dash of my F250.
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on May 25, 2013
I bought this radio to replace a Kenwood CD player that had a USB input on the front. I used the USB port much more than the CD, so when I found out they sold media receivers such as this one I was happy. It is lighter and smaller than a regular CD player. That made installation in my GMC pickup better because of the shallow opening.

This radio does what it's supposed to do. However there are several things about it that are annoying. I agree with several other reviews that complain about the clock, or lack of view of the clock. When you hold the clock button it displays for about 10 seconds and then goes away. Very annoying because I am in my truck a lot and I constantly look over to see the time. I guess I will have to buy a small stick on clock, but how will I see it at night ?

Another annoying feature is the display. It is constantly flashing and scrolling information. Some of which is not unnecessary. This should be an option, to decide what information you want displayed. I will try to upload a video of this. I will also put up a picture of the radio installed in my GMC pickup. I use a mini USB thumb drive that only sticks out less than half an inch. I will eventually change to a SD card. The USB drive is 8GB and I have over 1000 songs in about 55 folders and it's not even half full. No more stacks of scratched CDs laying around in my truck ! This would be great for a semi too, I have tons of comedy cd's on mp3 and that could keep me entertained for hours. Not to mention downloadable podcasts that could be put on USB/SD.

-Light and small
-Easy to install
-USB and SD slots
-Display is bright
-Volume knob is large and easy to turn, not small like some radios

-Clock and display annoying
-Navigation could be easier, changing folders for example requires long pressing buttons
-No remote (for less than $40 I guess that's ok)
-Sound quality is not as good as factory stereo, but acceptable
-The included wiring harness has a confusing extra plug. Had to clip it off to use my Scosche connector for my truck. Not a big
deal if you are a little technically inclined.

For less than $40, it's ok. I wanted something cheap to put in my older truck that would play mp3's. I might upgrade it to a better name brand someday, or if I buy a newer vehicle, but for now it does the job. I was very happy to find out that they were making media players for vehicles.
If you are looking for something to play USB/SD cards and don't want to spend $80 plus, I would recommend the Boss media receiver.
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on January 15, 2012
I threw this into my winter beater since it was only five bucks more than what the junkyard wanted for a factory unit. I gotta say, this thing is worth the money as long as it lasts (only had it for a week). The tuner pulls in stations as well as a factory GM unit, and will even fill your presets automatically if you wish! Aux, SD and USB all work great. It took a 8 gig SD with no problem, which I have problems with my other mechless reciever in a different car. The clock is tricky to set, but at least you have one, unlike my other mechless unit. Since the manual is worthless, this is how to set the clock: /// 1)Hold the mode/clk button for about two seconds and clock will appear. 2) Release button and immediately press again for two more seconds; clock will flash, release button. 3) use volume knob to adjust hour. 4) Depress volume button, and minutes will flash, again use the volume to adjust minutes. 5) Clock is now set. //// However, I have not discovered how to constantly display the clock. You have to hold the mode/clk button for two seconds every time you want to see the time. My other mechless reciever is the Dual XR4110, and it will be replaced with one of these come spring time as long as everything keeps working well. This thing is awesome, love it!
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on January 29, 2015
The whole time i thought this was a BOSE stereo system until i actually received this product and started reading the user manual lmao! I felt like such an idiot! How could i of read BOSE from BOSS. Maybe a psychological marketing technique...anyways, this stereo was super easy to install along w/ the installation kit from metra in my 2007 350z base model. I was so bummed that it wasn't an actual BOSE stereo but wow this BOSS system worked surprisingly well! A hell of a lot better than the OEM CD/radio stereo in my z! I know that this is on the lower end of stereos but for the price, well worth it! I could care less about the horrible OEM speakers in my z and I'm probably not ever going to get a better sound system so thats why i chose this cheap(price) stereo. At least i could listen to my music on my phone via AUX cable.
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on May 29, 2015
This functions exactly as described. Great sound, great features. Not very customizable, but as long as you're ok with the color blue then that's ok. AUX in, SD slot, USB slot. Extremely easy to install with no previous experience installing car stereos.

You will need to buy a new harness for your car, and also I recommend buying a wiring adapter so you will not have to splice into the factory wires. I also recommend the POSI crimp connectors.

If anything breaks, I'll update this review.
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on June 2, 2013
I am surprised at how cheap this was, Works like a champ. Radio is clear in Chicago, audio quality is excellent and very easy to install. Wires had little tags that tell you which wire it connects to. Easy to use. Connected a 16GB sandisk cruzer fit flash drive that is almost flush with the stereo, and Sd card that goes all the way inside like a digital camera where you push the card to take it out. With the SD and Flash drive almost flush with the stereo i have two different playlists. Have the 3.5mm input for my phone or others who want to connect their phones.

Love it, i would buy it again if i had another car.
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on July 16, 2013
I would recommend this Boss 612UA MP3-Compatible Digital Media AM/FM Receiver to anyone who is a fan of music but does not want to spend alot of money on a stereo. It works well, volume nice and consistent even when the volume is all the up to the max, which I hardly ever do because it's nice and loud. Overall 5 stars
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on October 19, 2012
Hey! I Just Bought This Not Too Long Ago 10/18/12, Its A Good Radio For Your Car, If Your Getting It For Your Mom Or Dad, But If Your Planning On Putting Subs In Your Car, Or Just An Amp For Your Speakers DON'T BUY THIS! It Doesn't Come With A "Blue Remote Wire" It Only Comes With A Blue Auto Antenna, But Its A Good Buy For Its Money!

P.S If You Don't Know What The Blue Remote Wire Is, Its The Wire That Sends A Signal To Your Amp For It To Turn On!
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