Most helpful positive review
83 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2013
Why haven't more manufacturers figured out that this is the direction people are heading? I haven't bought a CD in over a decade, and burning MP3 media feels... archaic. Anyhow, I'm writing this review to answer some specific questions I had while evaluating similar head units.
File organization is handled by default by folder, and within folders files are played in alphabetical order unless shuffle or repeat mode is active. This is a big deal for me. I'm used to folder-based navigation and wouldn't have things any other way.
Equalizer exists, but is limited to bass/treble only. Presets are limited, but I never use them anyway. Has a loudness setting to three levels. Playback seems to emphasize low-frequency bass regardless of your settings, sacrifices midbass a bit. This might be my speakers, but I doubt that.
When playing continuously-mixed tracks there is a brief (~0.25sec) delay between tracks, which is not ideal, but not bad. I've had head units from upper-tier manufacturers that did this, too (Sony).
I've had success with the following data sources: SD cards up to 16gb, microSD cards in SD adapters up to 16gb (I don't have any 32gb cards, sorry), USB drives up to 32gb, and my phone (rooted Galaxy SII in MSC mode).
You have to hold the power button a few seconds to turn the unit off/on. I've no idea why. You can't skip back to the beginning of a track, instead you skip back to the previous song. The display is hard to read in direct sun, and doesn't really display much useful information. I'd prefer a simple folder name & track number display to the scrolling filename and folder name display the unit uses. I put the music on the device. By golly, I know what I'm listening to, just help me navigate!
Installation & tech points:
Install-wise this goes in like any other din-sized head unit. Comes with a DIN sleeve and the usual keys & screws and wiring harness. No dimmer, but I find the brightness just right for me at night. They claim 4x60 watts, but the total output power is probably more like 30-40 watts. Mind you, this is enough to operate the two 6.5" and two 6x9" speakers in my car to a reasonable volume level. My speakers are rated at 91 and 92dB, if yours are less-sensitive, you may not find the volume level as reasonably loud enough. In my car, there is obvious amp clipping (the 'static' others have complained about) above volume level 33 (the max is 40). Kind of upsetting, since there's a simply massive amount of space in the case for a bigger amp stage, but at this price point, adequate is the name of the game...
Overall, this is an unbeatable value, since one must pay more than twice the price for a device with a USB port from any upper-tier manufacturer. I'm hoping the line-out on this unit is free from the static low-frequency bass boost that plagues (and limits the volume) of the speaker outputs. Even if it's used as nothing more than an MP3 player that fits in the dashboard to feed 4-channel power amp, it's still a great deal.