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Best car radio for an android phone to link up with?


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#11 KSpan

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:13 PM

I want to do the same thing... the radio in my explorer works, but the CD player died. Problem is, Ford is a bitch and they make their radios hard to deal with and it's double din. So it's freaking expensive to do what I want.

I'm looking at one of these instead... anybody used one?

http://www.walmart.c...etooth/20681148


FWIW I used to listen to Pandora a good bit... but now that they play a commercial every other song or so I say fug that. I listen to Spotify at work and my own mp3's elsewhere.


What year Explorer and what options?

#12 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

What year Explorer and what options?


'03 Eddie Bauer with the 6 disc in dash changer (that no longer works) :(


#13 KSpan

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:16 PM

Personally, I'm a fan of JVC head units - they for some reason have a bit of a rep for being cheap, but I've used them for years in a number of different car audio builds and have never had a hiccup or been dissatisfied with the sound quality. Plus, they have a built-in Pandora app that allows you to change songs/stations from the radio while connected via Bluetooth. There are some other units out there with similar functionality but they're usually more expensive, which makes the JVCs a good value for me.

For the sake of time, I'm just going to post a couple of JVC radios. I'm also linking to Crutchfield because of the extra stuff they send; it's nice to get the antenna adapter, wiring harness, mounting kit, and installation directions all from one place and not have to hunt around for it. Their service has always been top-notch for me as well.

Pstall: How do your stock speakers sound? Most/all factory head units come with some baked-in EQ curves, so changing the head oftentimes makes the biggest different in the entire system. If your stock speakers aren't blown, you can spend a bit more money to get a radio with some crossovers and TA and may very well be happy with the sounds. Also, replacing stock speakers in stock locations negates a lot of the gain in a more expensive set of drivers, so I tend to put more money into a radio for this reason.

JVC unit with 3-band parametric EQ and crossovers.
http://www.crutchfie...KDR80BT&tp=5684

JVC unit with 5-band EQ, better crossovers, and time alignment. Time alignment adjusts the speakers to make them sound like they're the same distance from you and makes a world of difference in sound quality and imaging. The TA in my head unit really made my stock Subaru POS speakers sound pretty good. IMO definitely worth the $50.
http://www.crutchfie...684#details-tab


Biscuit: I did a buddy's stereo in his 03 Explorer a couple of years back and the radio is a piece of cake to swap out. The bezel around your center dash just pops off with a little bit of prying force and the radio comes out with a couple of screws... literally a 5 minute removal. Here's a YT video showing it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXs2JWFhUHQ

As far as radios go, I'll make the same recommendation to grab one with sound advanced features and see if you're happy with the stock speakers. For double-din, I am pleased as all get out with this one - I have had it in my car for over a year now and haven't regretted it for a moment. Crossovers, Pandora app control, time alignment, and 5-band EQ. If you go to the reviews, my review is actually 4th from the bottom on the last page (I'm Brian from Kansas City), and I still fully support those comments.
http://www.crutchfie...dr#overview-tab

#14 pstall

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:42 PM

stock speakers are pretty good k. can't complain.

#15 Jim Harbaugh

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 11:32 PM

Just shop around a bit first if you go with the JVC.

http://www.amazon.co...T/dp/B0079LGMYG

#16 KSpan

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 07:21 AM

Just shop around a bit first if you go with the JVC.

http://www.amazon.co...T/dp/B0079LGMYG


Things can definitely be had cheaper than Crutchfield at Amazon, Sonic Electronix, onlinecarstereeo.com, etc, but like I mentioned above Crutchfield includes any adapters, wiring harnesses, and install kits needed, which shrinks the price gap and saves some time hunting them down yourself. At that point I usually don't mind paying a little extra to a company that provides excellent service.

#17 Darth Biscuit

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:12 AM

Biscuit: I did a buddy's stereo in his 03 Explorer a couple of years back and the radio is a piece of cake to swap out. The bezel around your center dash just pops off with a little bit of prying force and the radio comes out with a couple of screws... literally a 5 minute removal. Here's a YT video showing it in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXs2JWFhUHQ

As far as radios go, I'll make the same recommendation to grab one with sound advanced features and see if you're happy with the stock speakers. For double-din, I am pleased as all get out with this one - I have had it in my car for over a year now and haven't regretted it for a moment. Crossovers, Pandora app control, time alignment, and 5-band EQ. If you go to the reviews, my review is actually 4th from the bottom on the last page (I'm Brian from Kansas City), and I still fully support those comments.
http://www.crutchfie...dr#overview-tab


That's excellent man, I hadn't really even considered doing it myself... not big on electronics tinkering of that kind. Doesn't look too bad. poo, it's broken now, how much more can I screw it up?

The stock speakers are fine... it's even got a small sub in the back, so it sounds ok, I just want to have some CD/bluetooth capability.

#18 catfang

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 09:16 AM

Things can definitely be had cheaper than Crutchfield at Amazon, Sonic Electronix, onlinecarstereeo.com, etc, but like I mentioned above Crutchfield includes any adapters, wiring harnesses, and install kits needed, which shrinks the price gap and saves some time hunting them down yourself. At that point I usually don't mind paying a little extra to a company that provides excellent service.


Question that you (or someone else in this thread) may or may not know. My car has bluetooth from the factory. Worked fine originally and then there was some glitch that kept it from pairing with devices. There was a TSB on it but I'm out of warranty now. I think the dealer wants $100 now (ridiculous for a software fix I know).

So the question is, if I were to get a new head unit with bluetooth, would the software glitch in the car keep it from working, or does the new unit provide all the bluetooth connectivity required? If I'm going to spend $100 might as well spend a little more and get a better head unit, is my thinking.

#19 KSpan

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:09 PM

Question that you (or someone else in this thread) may or may not know. My car has bluetooth from the factory. Worked fine originally and then there was some glitch that kept it from pairing with devices. There was a TSB on it but I'm out of warranty now. I think the dealer wants $100 now (ridiculous for a software fix I know).

So the question is, if I were to get a new head unit with bluetooth, would the software glitch in the car keep it from working, or does the new unit provide all the bluetooth connectivity required? If I'm going to spend $100 might as well spend a little more and get a better head unit, is my thinking.


What model and year? Generally (i daresay always) a new head unit will have its own pairing and operate independently of any OEM software.

#20 KSpan

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 08:14 PM

That's excellent man, I hadn't really even considered doing it myself... not big on electronics tinkering of that kind. Doesn't look too bad. poo, it's broken now, how much more can I screw it up?

The stock speakers are fine... it's even got a small sub in the back, so it sounds ok, I just want to have some CD/bluetooth capability.


If you can strip a few wires and crimp, or preferably solder, installation will be easy. There will be a harness that you wire to the new radio and snap into existing factory wiring, usually about an hour or two total from removing the old radio to having the new one installed and running.


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