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Old 09-15-2020, 03:34 PM   #1
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Wanted - your practical feedback on double DIN head units

I like to listen to tunes on the old iPod Classic, but I'm getting tired of not being able to see the song info on that tiny little screen. I've thought about sticking with single DIN to keep the original vibe, but I can't find anything with a screen that isn't just as useless as the iPod.

So it looks like it's time for a double DIN conversion, even though the old Classic is no longer supported (sob). So here's what I want, and hopefully there'll be some feedback from those of you that have been there and done that.

Some things I'd like: no CD/DVD player, customizable background and colours, quick startup time.

Screen type - capacitive vs resistive.
Apparently the capacitive screen has much less glare than resistive and will support gestures (e.g. swiping for volume control). Any user observations on the differences? Especially glare? (I wear polarized sunglasses.)

Volume control (knob, gesture, buttons).
Now I'm on the volume knob all the time, which I can easily grab while keeping my eyes on the road. Knobs seem to have gone the way of the dodo on new units, leaving us to be constantly searching for the volume touch points. Has that been your experience? Has anyone had any luck with the gestures some units have (ignoring the Apple Carplay / Android component)?

# of USB ports. Any real need for more than one?

Feedback much appreciated...

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Old 09-15-2020, 04:07 PM   #2
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I have a pioneer 2400 NEX and have been happy with it. Upgraded from an older kenwood. This model has a larger screen and glare is much better than the kenwood.




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Old 09-15-2020, 04:50 PM   #3
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I went from an expensive but older Kenwood double din unit that was in my car when I purchased it a couple of years ago to an inexpensive Pioneer unit without GPS.
The Kenwood was so slow to boot and then actually start playing the radio. I'd bet is was 30-40 seconds to boot to the home screen and then another 10 to play the radio. I know it sounds trivial but it really bugged me that modern electronics would take that long to boot. Also never successfully kept my iPhone paired with this receiver. Even when it did work, I never got it to answer calls.

The Pioneer was about $150 or so and boots to music in about 5 seconds. I've paired my phone once and it works effortlessly streaming music or making/receiving calls.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:54 PM   #4
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I just installed the Alpine Ilx-w650 and it does everything well for $300. BUT I realize I want a knob for volume. The swipe doesn't work with android auto, not sure if it does with Apples carplay.

The boot up is not blazing fast. I can check when I get home and send you a note.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:01 PM   #5
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I was thinking of the Alpine but it doesn't allow custom background or colours. And the swipe gesture doesn't work when using Carplay.
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Old 09-16-2020, 06:22 AM   #6
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The double-din head unit that I installed is a Xtrons brand that I found on e-Bay. It runs plain vanilla Android so it's easy to make a OEM looking background and even makes it easy to change the load screen to a animated Porsche crest. It doesn't have the Xtrons brand logo on its face so it's not so obvious that that it's a aftermarket unit. It has three USB inputs and has the ability to display a back up camera image. I like it a lot. Although a volume knob is a handy feature I wasn't able to find a head unit with a knob that looked like it belonged with the Boxster's other controls so I made a point of getting one without.

You can see my install here; https://rx19jones.wixsite.com/projectboxster/projectboxster-3


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Old 09-16-2020, 02:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kboggs View Post
I have a pioneer 2400 NEX and have been happy with it. Upgraded from an older kenwood. This model has a larger screen and glare is much better than the kenwood.




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How do you find using buttons to change volume as you're driving? That's a resistive screen so I assume you wouldn't be able to use gestures.

And what are you using in the two USB ports?
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Old 09-16-2020, 02:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by clickman View Post
How do you find using buttons to change volume as you're driving? That's a resistive screen so I assume you wouldn't be able to use gestures.

Im not saying its easier than a knob, but with the raised buttons on the bottom left once your used to it its not a problem at all for me.


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Old 09-16-2020, 02:38 PM   #9
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The double-din head unit that I installed is a Xtrons brand that I found on e-Bay. It runs plain vanilla Android so it's easy to make a OEM looking background and even makes it easy to change the load screen to a animated Porsche crest. It doesn't have the Xtrons brand logo on its face so it's not so obvious that that it's a aftermarket unit. It has three USB inputs and has the ability to display a back up camera image. I like it a lot. Although a volume knob is a handy feature I wasn't able to find a head unit with a knob that looked like it belonged with the Boxster's other controls so I made a point of getting one without.

You can see my install here; https://rx19jones.wixsite.com/projectboxster/projectboxster-3


Nice job - I like how you ran a USB to the rear storage cubby. How do you find using buttons to change volume as you're driving? Is the Xtrons screen resistive or capacitive? How's the glare?
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Old 09-19-2020, 05:59 AM   #10
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My head unit was installed a couple of years ago so so, of course, the specific model that I have is an oriental antique. The Xtrons web site shows the current version is nearly identical cosmetically but has better performance and Android 10. It does have a capacitive screen and glare is not a problem on mine.

Adjusting the volume with the touch control is not that big a deal for me, at least after I got used to it. I'll admit to ejecting the CD and/or turning the unit off when trying to adjust the volume every once in a while until I climbed the learning curve a bit. Touching the little volume control on the side makes a big volume slider appear on screen. Easy to use while driving.




The ability to use the GPS speedometer is the best reason to get a head unit that runs Android. The OEM speedo always reads 3 to 5 mph fast. I ignore that and trust the GPS speed instead.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:15 AM   #11
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Have you considered this stereo? I know you asked about double DIN units but I am considering this single DIN with a fold out screen and volume knob. It also seems to have basic functionality when the screen is closed: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_130AV3500/Pioneer-AVH-3500NEX.html
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:39 PM   #12
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I installed the Alpine Ilx-w650 with piggyback amp. Mostly happy, the volume buttons could be better. I think it pretty good fits price point.
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Old 09-30-2020, 02:47 PM   #13
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If you want to stay with the single DIN, try one of these Alpine units. Alpine designed them specially for iPods.

I had one in the Lotus Elan I used to drive, and it was great.

I've been using a double DIN in the Boxster ever since I got it. That was pretty much the first mod I did, and I've stuck with Pioneer, though I've had to live without there being volume know -- just buttons. Since the first double DIN unit I put in it was a Pioneer, and then I moved that one to my truck when I wanted to upgrade, so both the Boxster and the Truck have the Pioneer harnesses in them, so I've just stuck with Pioneer. Right now I have an 1400NEX unit I really like, and I've just installed a wireless charger and a CarPlay2 Air wireless CarPlay adapter.

As for having more than one USB, there's no reason for the stereo, only for additional charging if you have another device that needs it. I replaced the cigar lighter with a built-in Dual USB charging port, and in the round blank opposite that, I put in a USB and Aux jack which I connected to the rear USB and Aux outputs on the head unit. You can find both of those on Amazon pretty cheap.

For one with a volume knob, which seems important to you, and I think is definitely convenient, I would maybe go with Sony. Most of theirs have a knob. Like this one.

Last edited by Tweetdriver63; 09-30-2020 at 05:30 PM.
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Old 09-30-2020, 07:15 PM   #14
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I went with this Sony due to the fact it has a volume control. Has both Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well.



Last edited by Goldenzrule; 10-12-2020 at 04:21 AM.
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Old 10-01-2020, 03:30 AM   #15
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I went with this Sony due to the fact it has a volume control. Has both Android Auto and Apple Carplay as well.


Could you enlarge those pics so those of us with poor eyesight can make out the details? Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2020, 09:30 AM   #16
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Could you enlarge those pics so those of us with poor eyesight can make out the details? Thanks!
Or I could just delete them and not share. I posted them from bed last night direct from my phone, which is how it sized them.
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Old 10-01-2020, 10:44 AM   #17
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Or I could just delete them and not share. I posted them from bed last night direct from my phone, which is how it sized them.
I bet your selfies make quite the impression on the ladies.

Looks like I need a new phone.
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Old 10-05-2020, 12:00 PM   #18
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I have the Kenwood DDX-9903 that supports Apple Car Play and Android Auto. It boots really fast, the touch controls are responsive and the menus are quick. It doesn't have the built in GPS but I get that from the Android auto, so it's not an issue. The main thing is that the sound quality is amazing, and that's generally the whole reason you get a stereo, right? Adjusting the volume with buttons was easy to get used to as the buttons are in a very intuitive location. The 9903 is not available anymore (it's a few years old) and I think the DDX-9907 is a little pricey, but they sound great and now they support wireless Carplay and Android auto (which mine doesn't). Something to think about.
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Old 10-10-2020, 04:54 AM   #19
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i went down the Android route. Mainly because i like to tinker with Android stuff, and my phone is android too so compatibility wise it would be ideal. Im yet to design my interface but as standard its absolutely fine, i just want to jazz it up a bit when i get a chance.
It has native android, Android Auto or Carplay depending on what you fancy.
Its an Atoto S8 so i guess its cheap Chinese stuff in reality but its a hell of a good unit, was like 400 or something. GPS, 2x bluetooth, wifi, connects to a bluetooth OBDC adapter all the time for real-time stuff, rear view camera, the whole works.

Photo is a bit crap but you get the idea.


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