on November 20, 2013
I love this stereo, before this all I had was the stock cassette player in my car. So this was a giant step up for me in car stereo world. I'm not totally old school nor am I a car audio geek, but this was a breeze to pair with my Galaxy S4 and links up to Pandora and Bluetooth audio nicely. I've also used the USB and aux ports, which both worked perfectly. I should also add that making calls Bluetooth works quite well with this stereo; it comes with a microphone that you can position how you like in your car. So far I've had no complaints about the sound quality of calls. It also comes with a little remote which is a nice addition to the package, even though I don't always use it, but it's cool to have it. So in short, this is a pretty damn fine car stereo and I definitely recommend it to anyone in the market for a reasonably priced stereo with Bluetooth (for calls and music), and aux and USB ports.
on October 1, 2013
This is a really solid deck for a good price. I was looking for a fairly stripped down receiver that had bluetooth/iPhone integration and little else.
I didn't need satellite radio, I didn't need overly sophisticated EQ adjustments. Just good power, good looks, and Siri.
I researched thoroughly and came up with this Pioneer unit. It's great! It beat out a similar Alpine unit because it supposedly has superior Siri 'Eyes-Free' support.
Note: Does not have SD card slot as description says. USB, though.
I installed this along with a pair of thin Polk Audio speakers in the front of my 2007 Subaru WRX and couldn't be happier. They pair well and sound very, very good. No need for sub or rear upgrades, in my opinion. This is plenty for me and I am a borderline audiophile. I highly recommend upgrading the two front speakers in the car along with the deck or you'll get rattles and blown speakers. At least thats the case with Subarus and most non-luxury brands. With the Polks and the deck, and the fader about 70% to the front speakers, I have barely noticeable distortion at maximum volume. I used the 'powerful' EQ preset along with med loudness and 3 on the bass boost and it's great for hip-hop and house music. For honkey tonk and acoustic stuff, I'll probably turn the bass booster down but leave the rest. Yes, diversity in music taste. I run 320k MP3s exclusively. Haven't tested a CD yet. The FM tuner seems a little on the weak side but it has settings I haven't played with yet. The one AM station i listen to barely came in.
It's also much better looking than last years model both in layout and lighting. The dimmer keeps it from being obnoxious. I don't use the light effects except for when the phone rings. The fact that you can fine tune the lighting effects was a big selling point for me.
Bluetooth audio and phone conversations are perfect. I mounted the mic on my steering column. iPhone synced easily and reconnects when i turn the car on. Seems to be efficient with power compared to other bluetooth systems I've used. All contacts and track titles load on to the deck so when someone calls you know who it is.
No complaints so far. Some complain about it being too dim or too bright. Have you people had an aftermarket deck? it's always been an issue. I had a Clarion deck in my previous car, and I had to put electrical tape over the screen because it was blinding at night. Seriously, dangerous. The dimmer button gives you several brightness settings to match the situation. I keep mine turned down all the way and keep it green to match the Subaru's interior lights, and I can actually see it better in the day time than the factory unit.
I bought a 32gig USB stick, one of the tiny Sandisc ones, to pair with the deck. I plan to format it in FAT32 and load a big chunk of my library and have it dedicated for the car. This will save iPhone battery for music and probably marginally increase audio quality. I'll update the review with that info.
UPDATE: I went on a 10 hour road trip with the unit over the weekend and installed the 'SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ33 32GB USB Flash Drive.'
The flash drive in the USB slot worked great. Very good quality and the interface for finding music is decent enough. I just made sure I was orderly with the files and deleted 'The' from the names of bands. It plays continuously and picks up where you left off when you get back in the car. It was a pain to get the music on the drive in an orderly way . A lot of my older files were apple AAC (which isn't supported) so i had to manually convert to mp3 and there was a loss of quality there. Other than that, though, I'm glad i got it done. having a 32 gig dedicated flash drive for the unit is awesome.
On the road, I did notice a problem with glare. Some people said the unit is too dim for bright daytime settings, but that's not the case. It's that the screen is too glossy in the plastic and it constantly reflects. I will probably trim an iphone anti-glare screen protector for this issue. Overall, though, it didn't bother me much.
Siri worked great on the road with the unit. Calls were clear and I checked NFL scores since I had to drive on a Sunday. When playing music through USB, the unit switches to the phone and back automatically for calls and Siri.
***A BIG However, if you use iPhone navigation, you have to use Bluetooth Audio for the directions to come through the car. This means that if you want that seamless fade out of the music for Siri to tell you where to go, you have to run BTA and NAV at the same time, which means your battery will last about 5 minutes in the phone. I don't fault the deck though, I'm sure it's an iPhone software thing.
Driving at midnight in the middle of nowhere in pitch darkness, the unit was still too bright even on the lowest setting. It wasn't blinding like other decks I've had, but I wish i could have turned it down a little bit more. Or, if it could be wired into the car's OEM dimmer wire that would be nice.
Overall, I'm very happy. Never had better sound on a road trip.
on May 9, 2014
For the past three months i enjoyed this stereo, it is not perfect but i trusted Pioneer and this was my second unit. Everything came crushing down last week and changed my opinion of Pioneer and Amazon. A week ago the bluetooth stopped working and the screen showed error-10 nothing that pioneer could fix since they offered a 1 year warranty. I called them (1 hour waiting) and they send me to the "nearest" service center where they confirmed it was the bluetooth module. they ask me for my receipt wich i handly gave them...entered my warranty claim and all i have to do is wait for it to be fix. Next day the called to let me know that they won't honor the warranty because they said 3 Kings Audio is not an authorized dealer. To Pioneer: This is your product it has a serial number and this model was barely a couple of months in the market when i bought it. Pioneer should honor the Warranty.
To Amazon : It should have been noted in the description of the Item that if you buy it, it will be without any factory warranties...since it's been past 3 months i bought the product im left with no recourse. This is going to limit if not stop my purchases from Amazon since Amazon allows this sellers without any disclosures. This Should be Noted on the header...i would have paid 20 dollars extra on Best Buy for the peace of mind of being an autorized dealer! Hopefully this will help some buyers before they make a big mistake and hopefully Amazon changes this practices.
Update : After enlisting Amazon Help to find 3kings phone number i was finally able to talk to them and they where able to offer me a warranty exchange...So far so good...until they just refunded my purchase! i thougt i was getting a replacement...but at least i got my money back. Time to buy somewhere else for a radio i guess.
on October 24, 2014
Pretty much everything has been covered in the reviews here but I just wanted to post my review on Bluetooth interactions and screen glare. These were my biggest concerns with this radio.
TLDR/BLUF: Bluetooth functionality is superb and the glare sucks but it's livable. Get it.. you won't be disappointed.
Setup: Took me all of 14.2 seconds to figure out how to pair, pair and start playing. No need for instructions; super easy.
Range: The range is wonderful. I can walk around 20-30 feet from the car while it's playing with no issues.
Play: So here's where you get a big delta in how head units interact with BT devices. I'm not sure if there's a setting to change this behavior but here's the way the 6600BT works out of the box:
-You are playing music via Bluetooth from your phone, ipod, etc.
-You turn the car off
-You return to the car and turn it back on
-In about 4-6 seconds your music or audio book, etc will pick up where it left off and begin playing again
Like I said, there may be a way to change this but I won't be looking for it bc frankly I like this behavior. It works exactly how I would like it to.
Phone calls: Super awesome phone operation. As your driving and listening a call comes in. Music pauses, ring tone is played and the incoming number is displayed on the radio. You can either hit the answer call button on the remote, press the answer call button on the head unit next to the volume knob or answer it using the answer button on your phone. I mounted my mic on the visor and ran the cable down to the stereo from there. Callers can hear me great and sound clarity is superb on my end as well. After you hang up, audio playing before the call resumes. If you adjusted volume during the phone call, your music will be played at the new volume setting.
For reference, I am playing music via a Galaxy s5.
Ok, so here's a fairly big one. Yes there's glare (see photo). The reflection/glare is off the interior of your car/truck obviously so it comes down to this: GLARE IN YOUR APPLICATION/CAR WILL BE DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE BRIGHTNESS OF YOUR INTERIOR. So if you have black, non-reflective seats or covers, your glare issues will be minimal. I have a medium tan leather interior with a reflective finish so my glare is considerable in the daytime. Does it suck? Why yes it does but I'm willing to deal with and here's why: I can see it well enough to know what's going on. Honestly I don't need to get that much info from the display. I stream music from my phone so I'm not using the display to navigate my music selection and volume is either too loud or not loud enough... no reason to stare at the display to figure any of this stuff out.
Bottom line, you would be hard pressed to beat the price on this unit and get the features it has.
Also for reference I'm running a pair of the 6 inch Kicker speakers in the door and they sound great. Entire installation in my 98 GMC Sierra using the pocket kit and installation kits here on Amazon took about an hour. Super simple and easy install.
on January 9, 2014
I bought this car stereo because I wanted bluetooth in my car (Toyota Matrix). I had a Motorola Roadster and that was not that great. I figured a constantly powered bluetooth unit would be good.
This unit came with a microphone, which is a good thing. I pulled the wire through and it comes out to the side of the driver side visor. I have the microphone clipped on there - on the visor.
Testing out the bluetooth, the sound quality is quite good on the receiving side. In the car, the audio comes out of the car speakers, so there is no problem there.
Overall, for what I bought it for, i.e. Bluetooth, it works great.
As a stereo unit, I would say this is what I would expect. It has a lot of "features" with it, but honestly, I think those are mostly bells and whistles that does not add to the performance of the unit.
Bluetooth audio from my cell phone (Galaxy S3) played without incident. Quick and simple, just connect the phone and select BT Audio as the source. Done.
CD Audio and Radio is simple. I don't have to review these I think. This is such old technology now that they just work.
USB playback had a hiccup. I have a 16GB USB key that I loaded up with MP3s. I used Windows Media Player to sync the MP3s onto the USB key. This automatically created the folder structure on the USB key. In total, I started off with a total of about 570 MP3s within about 530 folders.
What I found was that some folders were not readable. It would report that there are no files to play within some folders.
At first I thought this meant that the player had a maximum number of files and / or folders that it could read from USB. To test this out, I deleted the folder structure on the USB key and manually copied the same folder structure back to the USB key, but a smaller chunk at a time to see if I can find the threshold.
In the end, I copied all the files back to the USB key in the same folder structure I had before and now everything is readable. I do not know why this is the case, but something funny may have happened when I used the "sync" function to copy the files in.
The panel lights need to be selected to your taste. Some colours are too bright for night time and some are too dark for day time driving. I would suggest picking one colour that works for all hours of the day and leaving it. That way, at least you can read the panel / display.
One final note about the display is that the plastic is actually quite polished. That means that it reflects the sun quite nicely. This makes it near impossible to read the screen when the sun is in the right location to shine against the display.
Overall, this unit works and is good for the bluetooth feature that I got it for. It plays my MP3s from USB, CD, radio and even BT audio from my phone. My only complaints are more cosmetic and aesthetic.
I did some further testing of the USB problem and I believe this unit has an upper limit of around 500 folders on the USB device before it starts to fail at reading the directories. I drop the number of folders (by lumping the MP3 files together in a folder) and now everthing is playing properly and can be found - consistently.
It is of course more difficult to "search" for a specific song, as the only way I can see to pick a song is by browsing the folder structure. I had so many folders because I separated the files by artist and albumn. Now I am only doing alphabetical (A - Z).
on May 11, 2014
It works well and sounds good.
Cons: The display can't be seen in the daytime even at full brightness setting 5. They say the USB reads files in alphabetical order, but it doesn't, my top tier files come up randomly. The sub-folders do sort alphabetically in some folders. I even tried numbering the folders but that didn't help. I tired downloading Pioneers MusicSphere add on for Itunes and it comes up with some strange playlist combinations, like music and comedy together. I ditched it. All the controls are done through an MC knob and at first it was a little confusing to sort out how to use it. The Bluetooth works okay but not great. If I hold the speaker near my mouth it sounds great to the caller, but when mounted in the car on the dash callers have trouble hearing me even with the car off and parked.
Pros: It has nice features for adjusting the audio, like bass boost, equalizer, loudness, S RTV or sound retriever (for compressed music) and SLA to equalize the input volumes. The colors of the display and surrounding borders can be customized to match the car's colors.
Not bad for the price.
on April 24, 2014
I have had this for about 3 or 4 weeks now and I'm very happy with my purchase. I have owned about 7 or 8 different stereos since I started driving 12 years ago. But I've only owned 2 brands pioneer and JVC. I liked the JVC but I have always been a huge fan of pioneer head units. I've never had any issues with them at all. And this 1 is just as good as the others I've owned.
It took about 20 mins to install. I love the option to change the button colors and the text colors. Some of the text colors were hard to see in the sun so I have the text set to green and the display is set to always Change colors. Which everyone who sees it comments on how cool it is. The menu and everything is very simple to navigate. The blue tooth is awesome. That's 1 of the reasons I picked this model. I have no complaints at all. But I will say I wish the equalizer had the simple bass and treble options. Instead of changing every HZ. I don't understand that stuff at all. And there's only about 4 different presets. Luckily I can just stick with 1 of those. But if you have a sub woofer it has lots of options to make it sound great. And tons of audio options. It has enough for the picky folks and isn't too much to scare off the basic listener's. And last it has enough power that it makes my factory speakers sound like an aftermarket sound system. I'm totally impressed and 100% happy with my purchase. And have already and will continue to recommend this and pioneer products in general. (SO SORRY FOR THE LONG PARAGRAPHS, I'M USING A Phone)
on August 5, 2014
I really like this unit. I wanted the double din version they have, but it won't fit in my dash (2001 ford explorer sport). This radio works great for all the things I want to do with it. I can hook my android phone up through the AUX port and listen to tunein, I can listen to mp3s from a usb stick and the way the radio sorts music actually makes sense. It goes by folder instead of every other ridiculous mp3 player out there that apparently doesn't know how to deal with a basic file structure and instead wants to sort by artists. So I can set up my file structure the way I want it and listen to my music in the order I want to. Such a simple thing that other players fail so hard on.
The illumination is nice as well. I just set it to green and forgot about it. Having a remote is handy and the unit sufficiently powers my aftermarket pioneer speakers. All in all, I'm happy with the purchase.
on January 1, 2014
Do your self a big favor. Get a unit with bluetooth. This one has it. I love it. This unit is packed with features. I have not tried them all yet. I selected this unit based on features, and the external microphone. There was a unit one step down that had a built in mic instead of the external mic. It got 50/50 reviews on performance. All I can say is the external mic works great. It was very easy to install. I love that it launches pandora. I love that it plays whatever your phone can play. Pairing was easy. This unit does a lot more than a factory installed radio on my 2013 vehicle. I will echo another reviewer’s disappointment that it does not brighten and dim with the car console.
on July 29, 2014
I bought this to replace the stock 6-CD changer in my 2007 Dodge Dakota. Along with the radio, I purchased a RP4 SWC and the antenna, from a very reputable online audio dealer (hint: used if you have a broken leg - meadow).
The installation was a little tricky, as I had never done one of these before.. so on a few occasions, I either called or emailed the seller with simple questions. The biggest issue I had, was getting the cell phone to work on the receive side. I could transmit through the microphone with no problems, but could not hear anything. Fortunately for me, the seller has a great tech support group that was more than happy to help out. After re-wiring the RP4--> Pioneer connections, the cell phone started working both ways. Otherwise, I was able to pair my Android - HTC One without issue. Pandora or any other BT device setting works very well.
The radio itself has all the features you would want while on the road. The CD works fine, the USB has worked flawlessly since day 1, and I the output sounds very nice with my stock speakers.
Flawless BT connectivity with my HTC One.
USB connection has recognized every thumb drive I've plugged in.
Setting up the radio was straightforward.
Who needs a 6-CD changer when you can plug in a 16gig thumb drive with 4000 mp3 songs
Random play with USB thumb drive or CD
Cell phone connectivity sounds very strong. The connect-disconnect function on incoming calls is great.
Multi-Color faceplate choices - Dimmer
Mixtrax (which I turned off).
Antenna reception not as clear as my stock radio/antenna (for stations further out).
Pioneer Installation guide is too basic.
FYI: I do have directions from the seller on re-wiring, should you have issues with the cell phone receive side. Would be happy to share them.