Most helpful critical review
44 of 59 people found the following review helpful
A cool invention that falls short of potential
on October 9, 2010
Metra's ASWC adapter is easy to install (just connect one wire, ground a second, and solder one or two more), conveniently programs itself automatically, and even lets you remap the buttons manually if you feel like it. It mostly works as advertised, restoring use of the steering wheel buttons that would otherwise become sitting blanks after a stereo upgrade. And according to most user reviews out there, this is the first product on the market that does it right, and reliably.
But one slip of logic made it through the design process. You know those arrow buttons on your steering wheel? Well, Metra gives you the choice of making those buttons work as 1. a combination of STATION SEEK (in radio mode) and TRACK CHANGE (when playing CDs) or 2. a combination of PRESET CHANGE (radio) and FOLDER CHANGE (CDs). Most people prefer the arrow buttons to work as PRESET CHANGE and TRACK CHANGE (which is how they always come from the factory), but that combo's a no-go, at least with Pioneer stereos. As a result, those of us who listen to radio and CDs equally can only use our steering wheel buttons about half the time. Sigh.
More annoyances: the volume button now ignores the first press of your finger -- SOMETIMES (it's not consistent). Also, Metra could have done a better job writing instructions, and placing the vehicle-specific wiring info where people can actually find it instead of burying it in some obscure nether-region of their website. Finally, they could have issued a courtesy warning that for this device to work, your stereo needs a 3.5mm jack in the back -- something usually only found on higher-end models (over $160 in Pioneer's case).
2013 update: just 2.X years later, this device is already malfunctioning -- pressing the volume button now sometimes changes the radio frequency. This product sucks.