Most helpful positive review
97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
Can tell its generic, but the price/performance is nice
on October 14, 2011
So a few things with this update: I no longer have this radio; not that it became defective, but it was also stolen. Anyways, I did want to state that before I lost it, the unit was still perfectly operational, and I have a few clarifications to make since I want my review to be helpful to others so they don't waste their money. This unit really can't be compared to the name-brand high end manufacturers; there's just absolutely no way a $150 DVD unit can even come close to a $540 Pioneer Flip-out DVD unit.
The price alone should tell you a few things just like any cheap electronics:
1. More likely to get a defective unit; the unit I got was great, but there's just typically less quality control with cheaper brands, so you do take a risk.
2. Not going to sound as good as a pricier brand; I think the sound is actually decent, the built-in amp doesn't color the sound too much, but again, people are blaming the unit when they buy $30 speakers; doesn't matter what amp you get, junky speakers are junky speakers, and a better unit can give options to better adjust frequencies with an EQ and will be slightly cleaner and better sound, but again, you can't get away with cheap speakers. However, you'd be better off going with a unit without a DVD at this price point if you really care about sound.
Beyond that, all I will really say is this unit is decent FOR THE PRICE PAID. It's also a rather older unit by now, and I would recommend looking up newer models, as electronics continue to improve/get cheaper, you might find ones with better features for a comparable price.
***Updated 11/11/2011 - Added a few Pros (sound), and a few cons (remote, customization, EQ)***
First, if you have no idea how to install a car stereo unit, then don't think you can just order this and swap out your current OEM stereo, not gonna work. There are several more items you need, the two must-have's being a replacement bezel for aftermarket stereos (OEM stereos come in all shapes and sizes, where as after-markets fit into DIM or double-DIM, important to standardize the sizes); the second must have is a wiring harness (technically you don't, but for many reasons you should). Both of those can be found on Amazon most likely, and are car model/brand specific, so don't think that Pyle will include your specific wiring harness, that'd be impossible. I can find the model for my brand ('05 Civic) for around $4, so we're not talking a lot of money (some cars will also need additional adapters). You also need to know how to install it, and I'm not really gonna go into all that here, so basically, if you don't know how to do it, have a pro do it, just make sure they are either 1) really good, or 2) really cheap; its not hard to do in most cases, but you can wreck parts of your car, and they can charge hundreds for a 20-min procedure, just depends.
Onto the stereo itself: the thing's a pretty solid device; it could be improved, but I'd say for the price its worth it. I'm gonna include a few notes about quality, and hope to better organize the review later when I have time, but figured I'd get it out there. This head unit is feature packed, and is so versatile for a knock off brand, I'm glad I ordered it.
The bluetooth functionality of this unit is probably one of my favorite features; you can wireless stream audio, but I noticed it was a little scratchy-sounding compared to a pure hard-wired audio source, but the beauty of the bluetooth functionality is the ability to make calls and place it over your car stereo; for someone like me that HATES talking on the phone, this is awesome, because it sounds so much better then talking on the phone, and you can crank the volume up as well.
There are several types of connections: USB, 3.5mm phono, RCA (in the back), SD, and bluetooth, so it really can take almost everything you throw at it. I love the 3.5mm jack in front, makes it super easy to connect MP3 players or phones to the car stereo.
I tested a DVD, and the quality was pretty good, but it was a widescreen edition, and I haven't messed with it enough to find the letterbox settings, if they exist; kinda sucks if they don't, but not gonna kill the device for me, most our DVD's are 4:3. ** I've since tested a few Family Guy dvds, and they looked really good, although there were a few jittery lines on certain colors.
The screen is very responsive to touching, and has a pretty decent display quality as well.
The screen can tilt to many different angles, you have no idea how awesome that is! My dash is angled pretty significantly, around 25 degrees upwards, and at the stock screen setting, the thing was difficult to read, and really difficult to reach for pressing on the screen.
The sound quality is nice (although no EQ, see my cons); it is 80wattx4 (I'd assume 40w RMS x 4) which is slightly less than my less HU, but the output at high volumes is pretty clean. I have high-end infinity components (which have good sensitivity/power), and you can crank it almost to the point of having your ears bleed; by far louder and cleaner than any friend's cars I've been in a while; if you're really an audiophile, yes, you can get cleaner louder with an external amp, but really most will not need one.
For the cons that I can readily think of, it would be:
1) too large of a remote; its nice to have so many buttons, but makes it a beast to hold in the car for daily use; not a huge deal or anything, but a little smaller would have been perfect. The remote also lacks major functionality, as you cannot manually tune stations, yet you can change between the programmed stations (why the DVD FF/RW isn't used for this I don't know). That's just one of the many goofy items that are missing that really shouldn't be on this unit.
2) semi-noticeable fan if parked
3) wacky instruction manual; it's a good attempt, I'll give them that though. Still, I could understand most of it fairly well, and was far better then an overly-technical manual that takes a PhD to read.
4) Lack of customization/missing desired options; while parts are nicely customizeable, including a multi-colored LED scheme that can change from Red to Pink to Blue (or alternate every few seconds), its missing many basic features. Pyle would have done everyone a favor to take a solid stereo, and slap on a DVD function. Some of the features it lacks include: inability to change screen settings, such as the aux input, when the screen is up and you plug in a device via 3.5mm jack, you just get a blue-screen, can't change the display at all. You can't change the main unit's display to show the time permanently (which means you have to have the remote to see the time if not on the radio screen). You can't have a graphics display while playing an MP3 CD (stuck on an ugly folder/file display). The hard buttons on the main display are probably the least used (aside from source), no ability to skip. Can't navigate Mp3 CDs with the remote (the Mp3 CDs also take quite an obnoxious amount of time to load). Issues such as those, and there are many more that I doubt a larger brand like Pioneer would leave out, so yes, you do get what you pay for. I have my sub-woofer connected via stereo components, not the sub out, and you do not have the option to adjust the sound output, so I will probably switch it over to the sub out (not a big deal, just how I had my last setup done).
5) No graphics EQ. The "EQ" settings on this unit are pretty bogus as well, I believe they just adjust the treble/bass settings, which is completely different from actually adjusting the EQ. Ears adjust, and if you have good speakers eventually you get used to not having good EQ options, but it is something I miss from my last unit, and this having a 7-in screen, they could have really made a nice graphics EQ adjustment screen.