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on June 17, 2013
Before buying the unit I searched for countless reviews. I saw mostly positive reviews and also a few negative reviews, some which I don't agree with after owning the unit and using it over the past few weeks. My car is a 2011 Subaru STI.

Install was easy, but I know my way around cars and electrical, so that helps. I used the Metra Axxess ASWC-1 harness to connect the head unit to my steering wheel controls, which programmed itself once plugged in and seems to work very well so far.

The unit itself has a lot of settings and options, which is why I suggest reading the user manual over several times. I like the GPS, it is relatively intuitive and has some nice features. I was happy with the amount of locations it found, and the accuracy, considering I am from Qc, Canada. Street name is visible on the BOTTOM of the screen when you have the map open. You can adjust the 'mute' options so that your music can mute or go down 20dB when the navigation voice guidance chimes in (I have it set at -20dB. This can be done the audio/mute settings. The same settings apply for a phone call (mute music or -20dB). Overall, I really like the GPS. I mounted the GPS antenna on top of the head unit so that it was concealed, and still gets great reception.

Pioneer is known for great sounding audio head units and they have not let me down with this one either. The head unit has very good audio EQ, some nice preset EQ's as well, and really improved the sound quality of my stock speakers (which I will be upgrading quite soon. Also has all necessary pre-outs (IE 4-channel amp, subwoofer, etc.)

The visuals of the head unit are nice, the illumination colour is easy to set how you want and to match your interior. One wish would be to change the background colour theme when you are in the 'source' menu (it is a blue-theme background and I don't think you can change it).

My iPod works great with the iPod cable, although it was pricey (paid around $66 direct from Pioneer Canada). Sound quality comes through clear, it shows all the information (including album artwork) on the screen as well which is nice. One thing I'm not sure about though is how to best scroll through/find the songs on my iPod, the search function only shows up when I am in main (top) folders and not when I get into the folders with only songs in them, but that may just be how my iPod is set up, going to try making only one main folder with all my songs on it. The cable also has a USB port so you can plug any USB into it and the head unit will read music/videos off of it.

I was having trouble uploading a custom splash screen from micro SD card, the x850bt would not read any music or see any photos on the SD card, I re-read the instruction manual and it specified to put all photos in a folder called 'photos' on the SD card, and all music in a 'music' folder in order for the head unit to recognize the photos/music and it worked perfectly.

I like that the phone button is at the bottom right corner of the navigation screen as well as the source screen, so you can get to the phone menu very easily with one touch. I also like the functionality of the phone menu, the dial pad is easy to use, and my phone contacts sync'd to the head unit very quickly and easily. My phone (blackberry Z10) connected to the head unit very easily and calls are quite clear. I mounted the microphone right on the dome light and callers say that they can hear me very clearly.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this head unit, definitely worth the price. It's also a clean looking unit, even to put in a high-end sports car.
1010 comments46 of 47 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 7, 2013
Amazon's delivery again was flawless. I also bought the Pioneer double-DIN install kit and cable adapter for my Mercedes ML500 elsewhere. The installation was done by Fry's electronics. The cable adapter was not great for the connectors in the Mercedes, so I would recommend a pro installation. After the installation, it worked great. The sound was good, but I had to add a sub-woofer amp because my ML has the Bose speakers which don't provide much bottom-end without the subwoof. The sub-woof control out of the AVIC is great for adjusting the sub-woof performance. Overall sound is terrific.

Nav is great. I forget who supplies the nav to Pioneer, but it is great, the on-screen info is just right. I have an older Garmin unit for the other car, and this nav is way better. I like the way you can adjust the nav voice volume independently of the music.

The radio receiver is better than the old Bose unit and better than the OEM unit in my other car. Pioneer always did have good receivers, and this one is quite excellent.

The output voltage control wire provides ample power to power the ML's remote antenna amplifier and the sub-woof power control pin.

BT sync to my phone was perfect. My phone is an old Nokia E71, which has shown itself to fail syncing with many BT devices, but the Pioneer did the sync just fine, first time, no problems. The mike performance is quite good, I have it mounted to the steering column. I don't know if it's noise cancelling or not, but it works well.

The screen is quite clear even in bright direct sunlight. However, at night the screen dims and changes color, and I cannot read the street names on the map (may be due to the color chosen and my color-blindedness).

Mercedes wanted 1500 to repair the OEM unit, so this one was $600 + $100 install + $99 sub-woof amp w/install, and is obviously a far superior choice. I would recommend this unit to a friend, and am trying to figure out a way to install one in my other car which does not have a double-din slot.
33 comments11 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 4, 2013
This is a great product from Pioneer. If your looking for a navigation unit with a lot of bells and whistles, this is it.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 21, 2013
I installed the unit the next day after delivery, and never really tried everything for a few days.
The radio (AM/FM) has good reception, and the sound is much better than the factory radio.
The DVD player works good, and it plays music (MP3 etc.) from a CD just fine.
Problems: When you first turn it on and it's in radio mode, there is a Phone icon in the bottom
right hand corner, and when you touch it...the GPS map shows instead of the phone.
If you go back to radio mode and then touch the phone icon a second time; it works.
It kinds takes away from the hands free since you have to fiddle around while driving.
I also don't really like the Navteq Maps...A lot of the street names don't show up, and it doesn't
show the house numbers while you drive like my old Igo maps did in my china Nav unit.
I found that was a great help when your driving, so you know your getting close to the address
your looking for.
Also...I can not get it to play videos off the SD card...only music (it say's "video not supported)
But with the exact same video put on a DVD...it plays fine...Hmmmm
I have tried many formats that it say's it supports, like H:264 - MPEG4 - WMV and even DivX
I contacted my local Pioneer dealer, and at first they told me videos won't play off the SD card,
but after telling him to look at page 185 in the manual, he said it must be a wrong format.
But after telling him the same video played from a disc, he said to bring it in for repair.
Taking it back out of the vehicle is easier said than done, so up to now I am living with it.
I just ordered the USB cable (not supplied) and I want to see if it will play video off a flash drive.
One more thing...you can change your Splash Screen from your own JPGs off your SD card, and
that is nice...but if you can view those JPGs while changing backgrounds...why didn't they make
a Picture viewer option, because it obviously is able to view them.
I always wonder if the people who design things really use their own products
All in all...Not that impressed by this brand name unit for the price.
11 comment23 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 24, 2014
im 38 years old, computer guy, I would say myself handy man.
I love machines and electronics.
I have been using this close to 1 year now. 2008 Hummer H3.

Bluetooth with my phone - works fine as it is supposed to.
I use phone (Samsung Note2), listen music, I don't use apps.

Navigater
after 2-3 month, it stopped working.
when it works, I used to use this navigator with google together to compare.

For example,
Google - in 1000 ft, turn right on Sepulveda Blvd on the second from the right lane to prepare left turn blah~
AVICX850BT - TURN RIGHT~!

simple enough, but This never says the street name so sometimes I missed where to turn only with this Navigator.
Screen shows the street names - I couldn't check the screen while im driving alone. Can you?

DVD
I tested it, it works.
I don't usually use DVD, no detail to explain.

Overall, I would NOT recommend this product.
For this money, you can buy another far better unit with no Navigator functions.
Or I would spend more money to buy navigator function.

It was a stupid mistake that I bought this one.
I trust Pioneer but NOT this product.
Giving 2 stars because Bluetooth phone and music is working fine and also sounds good too.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 1, 2013
i bought this item about two weeks ago and installed it to my 2013 Z-370. i love everything about it. radio works great, gps is amazing and up to date. just make sure on the control that is set for the country where you are at. my device was set up for canada and it took me and my wife few minutes to figure it out. right after we switched it to usa status worked magnificent. furthermore my Bluetooth work great also sound clear and was easy to recognize my Samsung galaxy. it is so cool that when im listening to my music and im getting a call; right away my music volume lowers down. i also have the option to pause my music or continue listening with my call. i thought that was cool for pioneer to have that option. make sure if you purchase this item to buy special hook up cord to connect to your iphone or androids. regular usb cord would not work. i was glad to do research before installation and it worked out great for me. im still learning about the device, however so far i am static with it.
0Comment3 of 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 13, 2014
This an excellent upgrade from my stock radio, but need to improve the speaker quality later on. I like the why it can wifi off my notebook and play music from it. However when using my phone through it, I pick up some interference from other phones.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 6, 2014
I really like this head unit. It really made the factory speakers and sub in my 2011 F250 Lariot really come alive. The sub now performs so much better and with more response than it ever did with the factory head unit.
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on May 21, 2013
The only thing this is missing is HD radio. You have to by a satellite radio adapter and iPhone cable to get the whole experience. You won't be sorry if you do.
11 comment5 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 31, 2014
The receiver is great and I like the UI. Sometimes the Bluetooth doesn't pick up my phone (Lumia 920) right off the bat but does 95% of the time. I'm very happy with the navigation and features even without an iphone and android setup.

You can install this on your own fairly easily. I've only installed one receiver in the past and was able to do this in 4 hours in one evening. Well worth the cost and time.

When doing installation, make sure to research the parking brake bypass. Not sure if I'm allowed to say whether it should or should not be bypassed and installed differently than the instructions say, but type 'AVIC parking brake bypass' on youtube and you can draw your own conclusions. As it is, you must have the parking brake on to put in destinations I believe. I don't know for sure as I modified my setup so I can work the phone pad and directions whenever I want.
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