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Customer Review

on April 28, 2011
I chose this model for several reasons; first, I wanted the slightly larger character size of a basically one line display. I don't drive with my reading glasses on! Then I thought I wanted to experience HD radio so it's built-in to this model. I wanted to retain a single DIN size and gain a removable face. I wanted to plug in one of the newer, tiny USB flash drives because it's cool to have MP3's play without spinning mechanisms or a wired player! I have the KS-BTA100 add-on Bluetooth adaptor plugged into the rear AUX input for hands-free calls. I thought the color choosing capability would be cool too.

I can only offer three stars for this model that I've been riding around with for about 3 weeks. Everything works pretty much OK but my main gripe is the lack of display brightness during the day. You get to choose a DAY and a NIGHT color & brightness for both the button section and the display section. The illumination changes with either of two wires in the harness connected to the car's panel illumination circuit. My Acura, like most cars these days, has a variable duty cycle panel brightness control which properly triggers the JVC's day/night switchover. However, the daytime brightness of the display section is woefully DIM even though all colors and dimming settings are set for maximum brightness. I could drive around without my sun glasses but I didn't have to do that with my previous JVC head unit. At night I have the color set to only RED to match my instrument panel illumination and that's a welcomed improvement.

HD radio? It's probably just me but I find little programming of interest. At least there's lots of it in the Houston market!

My new Maxell "ultra compact flash drive" fits neatly in the front USB jack. For USB playback navigation, you get to choose folders and then files within the folders. The display shows an assigned folder number and below that the MP3 tag data. You can cycle through several display formats. I was pleased that the time between USB "reading" and toe tappin' to the tunes was brief compared to earlier examples of car audio USB playback technology.

The add-on Bluetooth functionality is very good. Callers report excellent fidelity from the microphone in the stick-on control module and I can make the caller as loud as I need to.

Although it's new, I'm going to replace this JVC with (likely) a different brand that has fewer shortcomings and trade-offs. Like many head units, the limited number of buttons on the KD-HDR70 means you have to click through many settings to arrive at the one you want and cuss when you overshoot!
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