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Recomendations for a car radio
Blue Ion
post Sep 29 2013, 14:34
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Iíve been tearing my hair out lately. Integrated car radios are killing this area and I canít find variety.
Iím looking for a car radio that can play mp3s (mp4 or even ogg) through a SD card or at least from a USB stick, that costs around 70Ä.

However, I keep getting aggravated by the fact that either they donít display track names, there is no folder navigation, or has usability problems (like getting every folder and subfolder to the root or having the display far too short).
My current car radio navigates through the track by name only and can go through folders and subfolders but it is cd based, and the contacts of the display are starting to malfunction.
I thought about radios that integrate the iphone or could stream music, but my iphone has only 16 gb and I already struggle having a bare minimum of my music collection in it.

Bluetooth streaming could come in handy, though Aux-in should do it.

Any suggestions or personal choices?
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darkbyte
post Sep 29 2013, 16:05
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Hi,

I've bought a JVC KD-X250BT 1 DIN unit for my car lately. It's a cheap head unit but it sounds good considering my not too quiet car (Skoda Felicia) and still using the factory speakers (i want to replace them later). I didn't want to buy anything expensive because of the price of the car but i didn't want to use CDs or USB sticks either because it's a lot easier to organize and sync music to my smartphone. I'm using my Galaxy Note2 with PowerAMP as the music player through A2DP. It's not related to music quality but this is the first BT capable head unit i met where the talk quality was okay for me. All the others i tried had crappy microphones so the other person i'm talking to always asked me to repeat what i'm saying. With this headunit i can talk even with opened windows.

I had a generally bad experience with A2DP streaming in the past especially with Android's SBC encoder but i was surprised that the sound quality is very acceptable with this setup. Maybe Samsung did some improvements on the encoder or it's just became better with Android 4.0+ or the headunit does some DSP magic. Because SBC is considered as a week audio codec i'm not trying to make it's job harder so i'm feeding it with near lossless signal, that's why i'm using LossyFLAC extraportable right now on my phone which is still in the ~320kbps bitrate class. It seems that the battery life is better aswell with this codec.

The headunit uses AVRCP 1.3 which means you get title streaming and remote control capabilities on the headunit, however not all options are available. You can play/pause, skip tracks back and forward, fast forward and rewind, but you can't change folders or set shuffle and repeat through the headunit. Also it doesn't display the playtime. I guess it's a limitation of Android because according to the user's manual it works alright with an iPhone. Maybe once my phone gets an Android 4.3 update it will work because 4.3 has an official AVRCP 1.3 support. I had one issue with title streaming aswell. The headunit can't show the title and the artist field together. Luckily PowerAMP has an option to put the artist and album informations into the AVRCP title field so i could fix this easily.

Other than these i'm quiet happy with it so if you look for a cheap solution i think you should check this out smile.gif

This post has been edited by darkbyte: Sep 29 2013, 16:10


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eahm
post Sep 29 2013, 18:49
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http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113KMM100U/Ke...d-KMM-100U.html. WAV, FLAC support (less converting)

http://www.kenwood.eu/products/car/receivers/all/KMM-357SD/. This one reads almost everything.

This post has been edited by eahm: Sep 29 2013, 18:51


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Blue Ion
post Sep 30 2013, 09:45
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QUOTE (eahm @ Sep 29 2013, 18:49) *

Those indeed look nice, (though I can't find the first one through a spanish retailer), specially with the format array, but that is somewhat secondary (after all, you convert everything once, and never again).

However, how good are those to navigate with?
I intend to have an serious amount of music in there, and I would find it annoying if the folders are just numbers, or if it flattens the directory structure.

Do you have personal experience with those (or Kenwood in general, since I expect the firmwares to not differ much)?

Thanks for the replies anyways.
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probedb
post Sep 30 2013, 09:54
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The EU site has a link to the manual as a PDF so you can see for yourself. I'm happy or the link to this as I've been after something similar for a while, SD card + shorter footprint are good for me smile.gif
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Blue Ion
post Oct 6 2013, 16:16
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Hello again.

I've been eyeballing the Philips CE152 and the XOMAX XM-CDB612.
The last one seems a better deal, has everything the Philips one has, but keeps the CD player and is cheaper to boot.

The problem I have with XOMAX is that I barely can find information on it and its models. Amazon Spain is ok for me, but I couldn't find links elsewhere else (only German).
Is XOMAX any good, or I'm going to end up paying the cheaper unit with quality? My car's speakers are just acceptable but I wouldn't like to have to deal with a unit that gives trouble with my media or is hard to use.
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probedb
post Oct 7 2013, 08:31
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Anything wrong with the Kenwood one? I've never heard of Xomax.
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Blue Ion
post Oct 7 2013, 09:49
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QUOTE (probedb @ Oct 7 2013, 09:31) *
Anything wrong with the Kenwood one? I've never heard of Xomax.

No mayor reason actually.

I mildly disregarded the format availability since I wanted to use AAC so I could fit more music, but if I use a 16 gb sd card that I have lying around, I could fit all my mp3 CDs in there and then some more.
I just found the others to be slightly cheaper with Bluetooth support, or even CD (even though I might never use it).

As for XOMAXÖ
They seem to be German, so they may be actually good, but I canít find any proper reviews on their products.


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probedb
post Oct 7 2013, 11:22
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Well if you've decided to use MP3 then you can pretty much use any headunit out there now.
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