Author Topic: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?  (Read 700 times)

jeromedawg

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Hey all you techie car folk,

Looking for suggestions on a budget multimedia receiver for the car that supports: bluetooth/hands-free calls, navigation with Google Maps (not requiring for my phone to be physically plugged in or connected), steering wheel control integration, streaming music from my phone audio/Google Play via Bluetooth or whatever, and backup/reverse camera support with adjustable assist guidelines.
Anyone who has installed their own or recently gotten a unit have suggestions on some good ones to look at? I've come across the ATOTO A6, Sony XAV-AX100 and Pioneer AVH-2500 in recent searches but I don't know a ton about multimedia receivers in general. Just looking for something where I don't have to end up buying a separate GPS receiver and other crap. I am comfortable DIYing as I've installed my own single-DIN radios in cars in the past.

TIA!

Khaetra

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2019, 06:26:28 AM »
Hey all you techie car folk,

Looking for suggestions on a budget multimedia receiver for the car that supports: bluetooth/hands-free calls, navigation with Google Maps (not requiring for my phone to be physically plugged in or connected), steering wheel control integration, streaming music from my phone audio/Google Play via Bluetooth or whatever, and backup/reverse camera support with adjustable assist guidelines.
Anyone who has installed their own or recently gotten a unit have suggestions on some good ones to look at? I've come across the ATOTO A6, Sony XAV-AX100 and Pioneer AVH-2500 in recent searches but I don't know a ton about multimedia receivers in general. Just looking for something where I don't have to end up buying a separate GPS receiver and other crap. I am comfortable DIYing as I've installed my own single-DIN radios in cars in the past.

TIA!

Well, you want it to do a lot :).  I am looking for something similar (without the GPS) and may go with the Pioneer AVH-2550NEX.  Do be aware that you will need the Maestro kit for your car (extra), wiring harnesses (extra) and any other stuff you might need (camera if you don't have one already).  Not mustachian by any means, but upgrading a radio makes driving a much more fun experience.

I honestly would avoid using built-in GPS, as updating them can be a bitch and your phone will be more accurate.

BikingEngineer

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 09:53:04 AM »
Look at the sale stuff on Crutchfield.com. They have a ton of info and documentation for the installation of everything, include pretty much everything you need (the Maestro box is extra, but proper mounts/wiring/etc is all included), and will provide knowledgeable technical support for the life of the product. I got my Kenwood Android Auto receiver from them earlier this year to replace a dead factory headunit, and it was very straightforward (though I did have to basically take my whole dashboard apart, the instructions were clear and all of the parts fit without issue). If you want full plug-and-play, they'll even wire up the receiver's plug to the factory wiring harness plug kit for $25, and do a much better job than you probably would have done.

Wireless phone integration will be quite a bit costlier than a wired connection. Looking at their selection right now a wired receiver can be had for $250, while the least expensive wireless receiver is $370 (and wireless Android Auto only). Standalone GPS starts at $600.

WSUCoug1994

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 10:25:28 AM »
I just put a Pioneer AVH-4500NEX in my truck.  To the earlier comments - very few manufacturers put GPS in their decks anymore as they are inferior to the one in your phone plus you have to run that stupid antenna to the top of your car.  Even in my wife's car where we have built in GPS/Traffic - we always defer to our phones for better navigation, updated routes and better traffic visibility.

This is a great deck - mine came with a back-up camera and it has the assist guidelines.  My truck is a 2004 so I didn't do the steering wheel controls or the video override (to watch movies while in motion).  I will tell you that I love everything about this deck but mine for some reason it won't pick up terrestrial radio.  I have checked the antenna three times but it won't pick up a single station.  I think something is likely wrong with mine but I haven't had the time to worry about it.  It also will hang up from time to time and reboot itself.

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 01:21:23 PM »
Hey all you techie car folk,

Looking for suggestions on a budget multimedia receiver for the car that supports: bluetooth/hands-free calls, navigation with Google Maps (not requiring for my phone to be physically plugged in or connected), steering wheel control integration, streaming music from my phone audio/Google Play via Bluetooth or whatever, and backup/reverse camera support with adjustable assist guidelines.
Anyone who has installed their own or recently gotten a unit have suggestions on some good ones to look at? I've come across the ATOTO A6, Sony XAV-AX100 and Pioneer AVH-2500 in recent searches but I don't know a ton about multimedia receivers in general. Just looking for something where I don't have to end up buying a separate GPS receiver and other crap. I am comfortable DIYing as I've installed my own single-DIN radios in cars in the past.

TIA!

Well, you want it to do a lot :).  I am looking for something similar (without the GPS) and may go with the Pioneer AVH-2550NEX.  Do be aware that you will need the Maestro kit for your car (extra), wiring harnesses (extra) and any other stuff you might need (camera if you don't have one already).  Not mustachian by any means, but upgrading a radio makes driving a much more fun experience.

I honestly would avoid using built-in GPS, as updating them can be a bitch and your phone will be more accurate.

Right, the GPS/nav I would just want the app (Google Maps) for but where it's using the phone for data or can access offline maps, etc. Definitely not going to buy one with built-in GPS or one requiring a stupid external module.
What is the Maestro kit for exactly? The steering wheel controls?

We just picked up my brother's 2008 Mazda CX9 with stock radio. We have the stock radio/unit in our Rav4 as well but just use one of those Anker Roavs for hands-free calling over radio. I have a mount for our phones in it. I figured for the bigger CX9, maybe just splurge a bit (since we are getting a pretty good deal on it) and update the stock radio to something that's a bit more usable. I personally hate having to mount my phone somewhere every time and would much rather have something that's built-in.

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 01:33:10 PM »
I just put a Pioneer AVH-4500NEX in my truck.  To the earlier comments - very few manufacturers put GPS in their decks anymore as they are inferior to the one in your phone plus you have to run that stupid antenna to the top of your car.  Even in my wife's car where we have built in GPS/Traffic - we always defer to our phones for better navigation, updated routes and better traffic visibility.

This is a great deck - mine came with a back-up camera and it has the assist guidelines.  My truck is a 2004 so I didn't do the steering wheel controls or the video override (to watch movies while in motion).  I will tell you that I love everything about this deck but mine for some reason it won't pick up terrestrial radio.  I have checked the antenna three times but it won't pick up a single station.  I think something is likely wrong with mine but I haven't had the time to worry about it.  It also will hang up from time to time and reboot itself.

Crap - $500+! I guess you get what you pay for with these things but sheesh. I guess the 4500 is one of the few ones that supports wireless carplay right? And I'd assume that most of the other wireless carplay units out there are probably in the same price range...

Khaetra

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 02:15:44 PM »
I just put a Pioneer AVH-4500NEX in my truck.  To the earlier comments - very few manufacturers put GPS in their decks anymore as they are inferior to the one in your phone plus you have to run that stupid antenna to the top of your car.  Even in my wife's car where we have built in GPS/Traffic - we always defer to our phones for better navigation, updated routes and better traffic visibility.

This is a great deck - mine came with a back-up camera and it has the assist guidelines.  My truck is a 2004 so I didn't do the steering wheel controls or the video override (to watch movies while in motion).  I will tell you that I love everything about this deck but mine for some reason it won't pick up terrestrial radio.  I have checked the antenna three times but it won't pick up a single station.  I think something is likely wrong with mine but I haven't had the time to worry about it.  It also will hang up from time to time and reboot itself.

Crap - $500+! I guess you get what you pay for with these things but sheesh. I guess the 4500 is one of the few ones that supports wireless carplay right? And I'd assume that most of the other wireless carplay units out there are probably in the same price range...

Oh yeah, you can spend a bundle on car stereo's, speakers, etc.  Gotta be careful :).

The Maestro is a universal kit to connect your wheel controls to the stereo.  It runs about $100 but you can find them on sale at Best Buy for much less.  For what you're looking for you'll spend anywhere from $400-$600 for the head unit.  I echo the above poster who said to check out Crutchfield.  They have a good selection, excellent customer service and all the parts you need for your specific vehicle.  I plan on getting one installed at Best Buy (they have free installation) because even though I have done installs on previous vehicles, trying to put one in my Fit looks like a nightmare and I don't want to mess anything up.

Tester

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 04:05:40 PM »
I installed avh 2400 in a 2009 Honda Odyssey.
Installation took one hour of effective work after several hours of watching youtube videos.
Got everything from Crutchfield, all fit fine.
If you want wireless Android auto it will cost quite a lot more.
What I did not do yet is install the backup camera. I just tested it but I need 2-3 hours of work to get the wires inside the car and I could not find the time. Watched the video several times though :-).

If you plan to install by yourself first search for videos for your car and you might find exactly what you need

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2019, 08:46:13 PM »
I installed avh 2400 in a 2009 Honda Odyssey.
Installation took one hour of effective work after several hours of watching youtube videos.
Got everything from Crutchfield, all fit fine.
If you want wireless Android auto it will cost quite a lot more.
What I did not do yet is install the backup camera. I just tested it but I need 2-3 hours of work to get the wires inside the car and I could not find the time. Watched the video several times though :-).

If you plan to install by yourself first search for videos for your car and you might find exactly what you need

Where do you plug the phone in exactly? Is there a USB port on the front of the unit itself or do you essentially have a dongle or port that you had to drill out a hole for somewhere else?

Khaetra

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2019, 04:56:46 AM »
I installed avh 2400 in a 2009 Honda Odyssey.
Installation took one hour of effective work after several hours of watching youtube videos.
Got everything from Crutchfield, all fit fine.
If you want wireless Android auto it will cost quite a lot more.
What I did not do yet is install the backup camera. I just tested it but I need 2-3 hours of work to get the wires inside the car and I could not find the time. Watched the video several times though :-).

If you plan to install by yourself first search for videos for your car and you might find exactly what you need

Where do you plug the phone in exactly? Is there a USB port on the front of the unit itself or do you essentially have a dongle or port that you had to drill out a hole for somewhere else?

Depends on the unit.  Some have the ports in the front so no drilling necessary, some have the wires that you'll need to find a place in the dash to drill and install (as close to the unit as possible, they aren't very long).

Tester

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2019, 09:22:59 AM »
In my case mvh 2400nex (had the wrong model before) I drilled a hole in a compartment right below the unit.
That is the thing  I would try to change- find an unit qith the usb port in front.
I just went for the cheapest Android Auto with good reviews...
Until now I am happy, after more than one year.

dcozad999

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2019, 11:04:25 AM »
How are the touch screens on the models you all have listed?  It appears that there are only a few head units out there with capacitive touch screens.

I detest resistive touchscreens, however perhaps they have improved in the last several years?

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2019, 04:23:51 PM »
How are the touch screens on the models you all have listed?  It appears that there are only a few head units out there with capacitive touch screens.

I detest resistive touchscreens, however perhaps they have improved in the last several years?

I think most of the newer models have capacitive? I'm not 100% sure but that's the general idea I had.

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2019, 10:00:23 AM »
I just put a Pioneer AVH-4500NEX in my truck.  To the earlier comments - very few manufacturers put GPS in their decks anymore as they are inferior to the one in your phone plus you have to run that stupid antenna to the top of your car.  Even in my wife's car where we have built in GPS/Traffic - we always defer to our phones for better navigation, updated routes and better traffic visibility.

This is a great deck - mine came with a back-up camera and it has the assist guidelines.  My truck is a 2004 so I didn't do the steering wheel controls or the video override (to watch movies while in motion).  I will tell you that I love everything about this deck but mine for some reason it won't pick up terrestrial radio.  I have checked the antenna three times but it won't pick up a single station.  I think something is likely wrong with mine but I haven't had the time to worry about it.  It also will hang up from time to time and reboot itself.

Crutchfield is saying the 4500 won't fit our Mazda. I'm wondering if it's because the screen is too wide? Anyway, I'm eyeing the 2550 at this point... we'll see. I'd have to figure out the USB port install - wonder if it would make more sense just to mod the existing aux in port (in the middle storage compartment) and retrofit a USB port into that since we don't use the AUX port anyway.

skiersailor

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2019, 01:54:08 PM »
I installed an Alpine iLX-107 and a backup camera in a 2011 Nissan a couple of years ago.  This was the first receiver in the market with wireless CarPlay, so I didn't have much choice.  If I were you, I would use Crutchfield to find a few compatible models and then try to find a local retailer with those models on display so you can test the controls.  The iLX-107 has a capacitive touchscreen, but I don't like it very much.  It requires a lingering touch to get a response, and the hard buttons on the unit don't work very well either.

Keep in mind that wireless CarPlay (or Android Auto) is really only good for short drives because it drains your phone battery pretty quickly.  If I'm driving longer than about 20 minutes I'll plug my phone in to the USB port to avoid battery drain.

Regarding USB ports, you may be able to find an aftermarket replacement for your AUX-In port in the dashboard that combines AUX-In with USB (search Amazon for "USB dashboard").  I did, and it fit my vehicle perfectly so I didn't have to drill any holes in the dash.

BikingEngineer

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: October 03, 2019, 10:31:13 AM »
Crutchfield is saying the 4500 won't fit our Mazda. I'm wondering if it's because the screen is too wide? Anyway, I'm eyeing the 2550 at this point... we'll see. I'd have to figure out the USB port install - wonder if it would make more sense just to mod the existing aux in port (in the middle storage compartment) and retrofit a USB port into that since we don't use the AUX port anyway.
It's likely due to the depth available behind the dash. Most units will be decently deep, and there may be wiring/ducting/structure in the way.

For the USB ports, you could mod the existing AUX port, run something to the glove box, or just leave a dongle hanging somewhere accessible just under the dash and plug a cable straight into that. The first two are more work, but will look a lot better.

jeromedawg

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Re: Technical advice/recommendation for car - Android Auto suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: October 05, 2019, 06:54:28 PM »
Crutchfield is saying the 4500 won't fit our Mazda. I'm wondering if it's because the screen is too wide? Anyway, I'm eyeing the 2550 at this point... we'll see. I'd have to figure out the USB port install - wonder if it would make more sense just to mod the existing aux in port (in the middle storage compartment) and retrofit a USB port into that since we don't use the AUX port anyway.
It's likely due to the depth available behind the dash. Most units will be decently deep, and there may be wiring/ducting/structure in the way.

For the USB ports, you could mod the existing AUX port, run something to the glove box, or just leave a dongle hanging somewhere accessible just under the dash and plug a cable straight into that. The first two are more work, but will look a lot better.


Ah that makes more sense - I can see that being a big factor. Surprisingly, the 2008 CX9 doesn't have much of a glove compartment considering the fact that it's a larger midsize/crossover SUV - the glove compartment in our 2009 Rav4 is nearly twice as big!

Modding the aux in would definitely be cleanest. I'm just not sure how I would go about doing that and figuring out what would fit best. Likely would need the Dremel and potentially some of the Automotive GOOP I recently bought to keep it held in place (unless there are secure tabs on the usb/aux-in module). Potentially something like this though - https://www.amazon.com/VAFCAM-Universal-Volkswagen-Vehicle-Motorcycle/dp/B07T65385B