Top positive review
355 people found this helpful
Perfect for my needs. Minor issues.
on April 23, 2015
This is my first review ever, so please bear with me. I bought this unit to install in a 1990 Camry I recently purchased when not with the whole family in our gas guzzling 98 Expedition . I received this unit on Tuesday (4/14) and installed it the same night in just under an hour. (I'm pretty good with cars and electronics). Once I got the old radio out, I confirmed the aftermarket wire harness I purchased was correct, and went to work. The longest time spent was attaching the aftermarket adapter to the new radio's wire harness (I soldered them together, heat shrinked connections, and wrapped wires. Neatness is a big thing for me. The harness also allows me to put the factory radio back in if I get rid of car). Once that was done, I connected unit to car's harness, turned on the accessories and tested. It worked right away. Turned on car, no whining noise. (For those who got the whining noise, it's almost always the ground connection. Grounding the radio's negative cable to bare metal will most likely resolve that for no more money. Cutting that cable, though, is not for the faint of heart so don't do it unless you know what you are doing)! . Total spent on radio with wiring harness.....$35.
Now......for the actual review!
The size and weight of the unit makes it feel like a toy but, for the price, it's a pretty neat radio for what it offers.. Bluetooth, SD, USB, CD......oops!, no CD...but I knew that going into it. CDs only clutter your car, get scratched, get lost etc. . We converted them all to MP3.
Radio - Reception is not that great. Cuts out now and then, but still functional for the most part. An FM booster may help, but I don't listen to the radio that much anyway....too much talking and many of the same songs playing over and over and over and over and over.....;-) .
Bluetooth - has worked flawlessly! Once paired, the radio, SD, USB will mute when phone rings and comes back when you hang up. Phone is on voice command, so all I need to say is "Answer". Eyes still on the road, hands still on the wheel. Doesn't get safer/better than that.....well...... not taking calls is safer/better. TEXTing while driving has been 10000 % forbidden in our family. I hope you folks do the same. I have been using my GPS, the phone, streaming Pandora and whatever songs I have on my phone for the past week with no issue. Phone automatically connects to unit as soon as I turn on car. It's been awesome!
SD - One SD stick, hundreds of hours of music, random play, etc. I am not getting that first second of skipped music some folks have mentioned, though. I am more for quality than quantity on music, so I usually make MP3s at the 320Kb/s level. About 300-400 songs on a 2gb card.
USB - I don't think I'll be using the USB port, because, face it, who wants anything sticking out their radio that could snap off? If you think you can charge a phone on it, while using it's GPS or streaming option, think again. Today's smartphones require at least 2.1 amps. Clearly not enough power from this little thing. If the phone was off, it will charge. My guess is that it's a 1 amp charger.
CD - Oops, there I go again....no CD (Still knew that) One CD...up to 70 minutes of music..same artist....not always all good songs. SD card.....hundreds of hours of all favorite music.....need I say more?
Sound - I had installed new speakers a month ago that dramatically increased quality.....it stayed the same so that's a plus! Power output is OK. I can hear the music fine with windows opened. I am going to take advantage of the pre-amp connection on back of unit and install an AMP with a dual 6" sub box or a single 8". I think this will make it thump a little better without shaking the earth and being obnoxious. I don't need to share my music with others on the road. I also noticed that if you spin the volume knob fast, the music seems to stutter. I haven't used the remote, though, and i doubt I will. It will only get lost.
EQ - Actually works. Not sure why someone said they heard no difference. I left mine set at ROCK mode.
BASS/TREBLE - Actually works, too. Nice feature to customize how much bass you want.
If you are going to do the work yourself, I would recommend purchasing this unit. After all, you are buying it to save money, right? If you are going to pay someone to install it, and if you do listen to the radio portion a lot, then spend the extra money and go for a higher end Pioneer, Kenwood, etc. They will have more power, better reception and no need for an external AMP.
I hope someone will find this review helpful. If things change, I'll update it. If you have any questions, let me know and I'll answer as best I can!