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jdc311 06-28-2013 09:57 AM

Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
I'm looking for recommendations for in-dash GPS aftermarket head units to replace my 130S/RES in my 2011 Laredo. What's most important to me is GPS functionality and speed of the unit in terms of responsiveness. Other must haves are good iPhone integration and streaming audio I don't have much experience with aftermarket radios; wondering what folks have used here with success. Or even what to avoid.

Currently, I'm considering Kenwood (uses Garmin GPS), Alpine, and Pioneer radios...

subbie09 06-28-2013 11:04 AM

Kenwood Excelon DNX890hd.

RageOfFury 06-28-2013 11:35 AM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
subbie09 has a Kenwood DNX890HD and he loves it. I have an Alpine INE-S920HD and I love it.

Kenwood, Alpine and Pioneer are all top notch brands. You can't go wrong with those 3.

If you have questions regarding installation, etc subbie09 and I are here to help.

jdc311 06-28-2013 12:09 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
Thanks guys, those 2 are on my list. Hopefully it's one of those situations where I'll be happy no matter what I decide.

How involved is the installation? I do know I'd need the Metra dash kit and the PAC connector, and the ability to trim the sub-dash. How difficult is the trimming and also is it easy to run the wires, hook up antennas, etc.?

jdc311 06-28-2013 12:11 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
One last question, does anyone know much about Pioneer's Appradio? It seems to be a high tech GUI for an iPhone/Android and you can basically run apps (nav, music, etc) while your phone is connected via a cable.

Looks pretty slick and is $500 for the top of the line, most recent model....

Apps | Pioneer AppRadio 3

Tybalt39 06-28-2013 02:39 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
There is another thread around here somewhere covering that model (Appradio). Can't look now, but I may search later if it hasn't turned-up.

RageOfFury 06-28-2013 03:04 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
Yes you will need a dash kit and the PAC RP4-CH11 interface.

You will need to trim the inside of the dash with a dremel tool. Since this part of the dash isn't visible once the trim piece is back on, then there is no need to worry about how it looks.

I don't have any experience with AppRadio, looks cool, but can't say how functional it is.

jdc311 06-28-2013 03:28 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
Spent a good amount of time researching all sorts of options today. May end up pulling the trigger on this Pioneer, which looks to incorporate some of the AppRadio functions as well as still operating as it's own stand alone GPS/radio unit. Best of both worlds and the price is still a little better than the top of the line Alpine and Kenwood.

AVIC-Z150BH - Flagship In-Dash Navigation AV Receiver with 7" WVGA Touchscreen Display, Bluetooth®, HD Radio™ Tuner, SiriusXM Ready, Built-In Traffic Tuner, and AppRadio Mode for iPhone® and Select Android™ Devices | Pioneer Electroni

jdc311 06-28-2013 03:30 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
I can get it installed for about $150. Is installation easy enough to DIY, or is it worth a professional install for that amount (I know this is subjective).

For the record, I don't have car stereo installation experience, but I'm willing to give it a go. I'm leaning towards getting a backup camera at the same time and just getting it all done professionally at once.

RageOfFury 06-28-2013 08:11 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions
That's a solid radio!

Well you'll need a trim removal tool to remove the dash trim. You'll need to trim the dash with a dremel tool. You'll need to solder wiring (PAC interface harness with headunit harness). The backup camera require the removal of additional trim panels, etc.

You can check out the various headunit threads around here and see if you want to do this yourself or not.

I upgraded everything, headunit, speakers, amp, camera. Took me several weekends to get it all together.

1stJeepGC 06-28-2013 11:35 PM

Re: Aftermarket Head Unit Suggestions

For in-dash GPS headunits, as everybody here as reported, stay with the following brands: Kenwood, Alpine and Pioneer. These brands all use the Navteq maps and iPhone integration does well with the standard media apps either by cable or bluetooth. You are still locked into the existing software engine, were new features could very well not be updated in future firmware updates. In comes down to your budget.

Kenwood uses the Garmin GUI which has a very good routing logic. The different Kenwood models vary due to the built-in processors. I would stay within the Excelon line. My pick would be either the 890 or the 990. The DNN990HD is the closet thing to a tablet in a in-dash unit. The 990 is also based on Garmin's PND 3597 and the current app.

Alpine uses the IGO Primo software engine in all their units. Some folks with the forum found the routing to be decent to great. I have it on my iPhone as an app and IMO it does pretty well. The other nice thing that Alpine uses for sound quality is the Burr-Brown digital to analog converters if you are going directly into aftermarket amps.

Pioneer, finally in the 2013 model year has gotten their act together. They have improved their GPS software engine. I am not sure which version of IGO primo they use. The best place to read more about Pioneer is:

With Pioneer, you can go to ways: the dedicated in-dash units or the AVH series and use their external gps device which uses IGO primo as well. In your case, you can go with the z150 and still use the appradio advance mode to tie-in with iPhone integration. I am not sure about how the GPS works while app mode is on. The advantage if you go with the AVH-8500, you get an excellent SQ head unit and the power of the an external processor powering the GPS.

With regards to Pioneers Appradio decks, read the forum section in avic411. A lot of pros and cons with this. JVC (check their website) DVD multimedia decks have a similar function as well. This units do not operate in the traditional way as an in-dash unit. For example, listing to a music source and hearing the GPS voice instructions. You can have the GPS screen up and hear the voice instructions while the music is muted in background. The real advantage when comes to the GPS apps, they update software features a number of times per year as well as the maps. The other thing with Pioneer Appradio decks and GPS apps, check to see if they make use of the external antenna. Garmin and IGO Primo apps are top rated off line maps. TomTom and Sygic are also off-line maps and are due for a major release sometime later this year. I can not tell you about the use of online based maps such as Motion X, since I have never used them. Right now I am playing around with Sygic.

Best for now.:)

jdc311 06-29-2013 03:18 PM

Wow, thank you 1JGC, that summary is the best thing I've read on this after a solid 3 days of researching . . . especially re: the GPS. I hadn't even considered the Pioneer DVD receiver; I'm now debating that and Z150BH. I was most concerned about Pioneer's GPS, but it sounds like they've stepped up their game. And if their maps go out of date, I can always use my phone apps through the AppRadio feature. Sounds like this is the one that suits me best.

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