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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2011
I bought this radio for the HD tuner, use of aux jack, and to add a powered sub. At the same time, I replaced the stock speakers in my 99 Grand Marquis. This is my first time with and HD tuner, but I've had several stereos with MP3, IPOD, and aux capability. I've only had this stereo for about a week, but have already gathered a few thoughts. My list of cons might be greater than the pros, but please realize that the things you are not satisfied with garner the most attention. Even with all the cons, I am impressed with this little stereo. The only thing that REALLY gets me is listed first under Cons.

Pros:
-Many options for what info is displayed. Some stereos only let you see clock, track, or title. This mixes those up a little and gives you more than just a one line display.
-USB track finding is simple. On a stereo I previously had, you could only go between folders and then songs sequentially. This stereo makes it simple because you can pick which folder and which song by their names all while the current song is playing.
-Even though it only has a few buttons, controls are pretty intuitive. Basically press/hold a button then turn the wheel and you can get to everything.
-Stereo reception is exceptional. The 12 year old stock stereo in the Grand Marquis was better at pulling in stations than most cars I've driven in the last 15 years. This JVC unit is even better. I'm easily getting stations that are 70+ miles away.
-EQ is pretty flexible. It adjusts in 3 categories: bass, mid, and treble with several settings in each category. I'm not even sure what some of the settings do, but I know when it sounds right.

Cons:
-By far my biggest gripe: The subwoofer output is VERY limited. I have an Elemental Designs DVC 12" hooked up to an 800W class D amp that was just plain ridiculous with every other install I've used it in. With this stereo, you get an audiophile sound. The lows to the sub are very clean, but very limited. At times I couldn't tell the sub was even on (and I even have an amp gain remote at my fingertips). Don't get me wrong, I love a well balanced system, but at times I just want to feel the bass. I don't ever want to have to pop the trunk and see if the amp is getting power. The fix: I plugged the RCAs into the rear output of the stereo. This bypassed all the subwoofer controls of the stereo, but I just use the LPF and other setting on the amp. Now the sub beats with a vengeance playing everything from Metallica to Tupac.
-Display can be hard to read at times (even with all the adjustable colors and brightness). Because it is a convex shape it also seems to collect more dust. I hope it doesn't scratch easily. Forget about seeing it through polarized sunglasses, but that's problematic with most displays.
-I wish it had some preset buttons. This is personal preference, but it's tough having to get to the right station if you have 20 presets. I would prefer a few direct tune buttons.
-It takes a few seconds to recognize an HD station (might be a symptom of all HD tuners). This is problematic if you're seeking/searching because it won't find the alternate HD stations until it recognizes the first one. So unless you wait a few seconds after every seek, you might miss some great programming.
-I have noticed that at the beginning of some of the USB tracks it skips like a scratched CD. I have some songs where it plays a second, restarts the song, and then plays the whole thing. Didn't realize digital media could skip.

I hope this is helpful. I chose this stereo over its competitors because of price, features (HD especially), and the great experience I've had with JVC stereos previously.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on April 28, 2011
I chose this model for several reasons; first, I wanted the slightly larger character size of a basically one line display. I don't drive with my reading glasses on! Then I thought I wanted to experience HD radio so it's built-in to this model. I wanted to retain a single DIN size and gain a removable face. I wanted to plug in one of the newer, tiny USB flash drives because it's cool to have MP3's play without spinning mechanisms or a wired player! I have the KS-BTA100 add-on Bluetooth adaptor plugged into the rear AUX input for hands-free calls. I thought the color choosing capability would be cool too.

I can only offer three stars for this model that I've been riding around with for about 3 weeks. Everything works pretty much OK but my main gripe is the lack of display brightness during the day. You get to choose a DAY and a NIGHT color & brightness for both the button section and the display section. The illumination changes with either of two wires in the harness connected to the car's panel illumination circuit. My Acura, like most cars these days, has a variable duty cycle panel brightness control which properly triggers the JVC's day/night switchover. However, the daytime brightness of the display section is woefully DIM even though all colors and dimming settings are set for maximum brightness. I could drive around without my sun glasses but I didn't have to do that with my previous JVC head unit. At night I have the color set to only RED to match my instrument panel illumination and that's a welcomed improvement.

HD radio? It's probably just me but I find little programming of interest. At least there's lots of it in the Houston market!

My new Maxell "ultra compact flash drive" fits neatly in the front USB jack. For USB playback navigation, you get to choose folders and then files within the folders. The display shows an assigned folder number and below that the MP3 tag data. You can cycle through several display formats. I was pleased that the time between USB "reading" and toe tappin' to the tunes was brief compared to earlier examples of car audio USB playback technology.

The add-on Bluetooth functionality is very good. Callers report excellent fidelity from the microphone in the stick-on control module and I can make the caller as loud as I need to.

Although it's new, I'm going to replace this JVC with (likely) a different brand that has fewer shortcomings and trade-offs. Like many head units, the limited number of buttons on the KD-HDR70 means you have to click through many settings to arrive at the one you want and cuss when you overshoot!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The illlumination capabilities of this head unit makes it cool even for a 40 year old like me. I love the fact that there are front rear and sub preamp outs also. As stated in another review the sub preamp out it limited. You need a good sub amp that can overcome the limited signal coming from it. In fact, I tried to drive one of those Boss audio all-in-one sub with amps. I sent the Boss back because it's junk and wouldn't see the signal coming from the JVC head unit. I hooked the sub preamp out to a Rockford fosgate R1 prime 150 watt 2 chan. amp with a 12" sub and it sounds awesome. So the problem with the sub preamp isn't a problem if you buy a decent quality sub amp and sub.
I've also had problems with this headunit with reading my usb drive. It only sees about 250 or so files. There are way more on there and they're visible on my wife's Ford sync system so it has something to do with the JVC. Not sure but it's a little annoying.
Overall I'm happy with this unit. It fits perfectly into my GTI dash and I changed the button collor to match the red on my dash buttons and the display to match the color of my instruments and it looks more stock that way. The functionality is good once you read the instructions and learn what it can do. Built in bluetooth would have been nice though but oh well.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 26, 2015
I've had this unit for 2 years and although the sound quality is very good, other issues detract greatly from my satisfaction, and now it seems to have stopped working completely (no lights, anything even after reset).

My biggest gripes are related to the confusing nature of pre-setting the unit, the insistence on tags, and the extremely poor visibility of the display during daytime conditions. If your radio placement is anywhere near the top of the dashboard (as in my 2004 Jeep) during medium to bright daylight you can't see the display without shielding it with your hand. To some this might seem a minor annoyance but to me it's a serious design flaw and something I'll look closely at when choosing a replacement.

All the nice features like HD radio and USB/Aux/CD are pretty much nullified if you can't easily use it while driving. Extremely disappointed.

UPDATE: I pressed the reset button about 50 times and the unit fired up again. So even though it's not DOA, I am still extremely disappointed in its operation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2012
I installed this in my car today and have played with it for a bit and I am pretty impressed with it. I haven't perfected the sound for me yet because it has so many settings for the EQ but I'm sure once I get it I'll know it. Another thing I am pretty impressed with is the reception. I live in Columbus so it's a rather large market however there are a lot of stations in the surrounding areas that I am able to pick up with this stereo. They aren't in HD but they pick up really well without static. In terms of the HD, I wouldn't exactly call it CD quality however it doesn't seem to have any static like it would with the analog signal. I noticed instead of the static it seems to fade in and out like the volume is gently going up and down. It's not bad and you probably wouldn't notice it unless it was pointed out to you. The bottom line, I am happy with the purchase and would recommend you give this stereo a try.
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on October 16, 2012
Good product for the most part. At first I missed having buttons to select favorite stations however after learning to count the up and down button pushes I was able to navigate pretty well. Also like the double beep when reaching the radio input when switching between all the different inputs. Keeps me from looking down. The big negative is the lame display contrast/brightness during the day. I have to use my hand to cover any ambient light over the display to confirm what station I am on or it completely washes out. It can be dangerous because my eyes are looking down and off the road longer than they should be. At night though it is very bright and the colors all around the radio, including the bluetooth attachment, are really nice but don't distract me from looking at the road.
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on December 8, 2012
This one is so good I have two. one on a motorcycle. I love everything about it. There are no drawbacks for me. I bought a more expensive other brand and had to return that one because it had only two pre amp outs. this one has it all and an easy to use remote too. I mostly use the USM play option or the Aux in. CD's are only in there for screening to make an mp3 out of. But its a great unit that sounds great even with factory speakers in my Avalon.
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on January 9, 2013
Good product easy to install and the user manual is clear.
The bad thing is that I am using in Brazil and I can not use all the functionalities for FM stations
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on August 31, 2013
This receiver works and installed with ease. The receiver sounds wonderful and has a lot of options. I got one of the last ones for it is discontinued.
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on August 18, 2015
When I finally got around to hooking it up - months after purchase - it is DEAD.
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