Most helpful positive review
33 of 40 people found the following review helpful
This unit will stall "new car lust" for a few years!
on February 10, 2013
I tend to keep cars for a long time, and always lust after features in newer ones while my car lacks the new toys. So, three years ago when I bought my car, I decided that I'd replace the factory stereo when my payments were through.
I wanted: a) bluetooth so that I can use the phone in the car, b) USB-input so that I could load up a memory stick with as much music as would fit, and c) a back-up camera (since the units I liked had screens anyway). I didn't want or need navigation, don't really care about HD or satellite radio, or anything that requires yet another monthly subscription to something.
The Pioneer AVH-X2500BT fit everything I wanted it to do. It's more intuitive than the single-DIN unit in our other car. I was able to figure out most of its features without resorting to the manual. The volume controls and forward/back track/radio advancing buttons take a little getting used to, but took just a couple of days to master. The bluetooth was very easy to set up, and works great. Playing CDs is a snap. Customizing the display to match my car's interior lighting (orange) was cool. I like the changeable display background, but it's curious that most of the designs are largely obscured by album art when playing media.
There is no on/off switch, which takes getting used to. There is a mute button and a "turn off screen" button, so pressing one after the other would effectively silence and blank the image, but to turn it off requires pressing the home button, and choosing "off" from the list of icons. The unit is designed to compliment iPhones and iPods (with the proper connections), like many audio devices. I have an Android phone, so I can't speak to the features that are made for the iUniverse. But my Android integrates fine via bluetooth, with Pandora working seamlessly, and my phone's audio content working fine as long as I have it cued up before I get in the car (which I do with the DAR.FM app on my Evo phone).
My car doesn't have steering wheel controls, so I do have a little "new car lust" for that feature. The more I use this unit, the easier it's getting to get it do do what I want, but I'm still learning. And one thing that almost everyone will have to deal with is the fact that an after-market stereo doesn't look like it came with the car. The color-adjustments help that a bit, but unless you have a car with a rectangular-shaped hole in the dash, you'll have to deal with the kits that are out there to make it fit. They're uniformly bland/ugly. In my Mitsubishi Galant, my silver factory dash was replaced with a flat black plastic kit, and a chintzy black gasket. I didn't much like it, so I came up with a solution:
I work in a sign shop, so I measured the space around the unit, measured the surrounding area, and cut a piece of satin silver applique to fit around it. It was a very easy, inexpensive solution to dress it up a little, and make the unit look less like it's after-market. (Every town has sign shops with laser CNC cutters, and self-adhesive appliques come in a variety of colors. Keep the idea in mind if the after-market look bugs you!)
I'm not an audiophile, and wasn't buying this unit for its amazing sound, but it really is pretty good, even out of my factory speakers. The depth of sound, and clarity at higher volume is much better than the factory Mitsubishi stereo, which topped out (and distorted) at ridiculously low volume, and always sounded tinny. This is much better, and will suit more casual listeners. I just know I like it, and will not be wishing I had a newer car with newer toys for a while!
NOTE: I loaded my 64GB memory stick with music, which I separated into folders for artists, and a few hodgepodge categories, but found that this unit (and most like it) puts the folders and songs in order by their creation date. Do yourself a favor if you make one of these yourself. Google "How To Make Your Songs Play in Order: Sort Your MP3 Player's Songs Alphabetically" and follow the link. It will make your song surfing so, so much easier.