One of the greatest head units on earth!!
Mar 7, 2011
Review by nerys71
Rated a Very Helpful Review
OK I found this gizmo at walmart for $40. I absolutely positively love it.
Recommend this product?
First lets get the bad out of the way.
The overall fit and finish is actually very good. My only complaint is the spin dial. its feels flimsy and worse "missings" turns a lot of you try to turn it too fast. such as turning it up and it goes down instead unless you slow down. Not often but enough to be annoying.
although it feels flimsy I am pretty abusive to it and it has NEVER failed so its clearly not "that" flimsy. Just feels like it.
all the buttons feel very nice and firm with well defined edges. with so few a number of buttons its easy to do what you want without looking.
I do not like the dual function power and source button. it means I have to HOLD the button down to turn the radio off and thats is annoying. minor but would have preferred if they use another button for source.
USB port. I like to use it to charge my phone but it also wants to READ my phone. I wish I could put it in "charge only" mode Thats a pretty minor nitpick though. It also read's mp3's from anything mass storage compatible as well including in subfolders.
The screen is too stinking bright. I might just be hyper sentive to bright blue lights in my face at night but I usually get aggravated enough that I keep 4 wawa cups in the center cup holder I installed because 4 of them are tall enough to block the screen. I really really wish I could "DIM" the screen at night to like 1/50th its normal brightness. I am thinking about putting "window tint" over it but fear it will be hard to then read in the daytime. we shall see.
This unit has a LOT of pro's though.
its VERY small. less than half the depth of a normal stereo (no cd player) just am fm and mp3. also has a front aux jack.
this also means it produces very little heat and consumes very little power (important in my car)
the power output of the power outs is not that great but good enough. the quality is very good. sometimes it will "baulk" on an mp3 file but very rarely. it even tends to handle VBR ok (many others I have used choke on anything VBR a lot)
It also has low level pre amp outs. I run these into my logitech X540's I installed in the car so I have the 4 stock speakers going and the 5.1 logitech surround sound going.
in a geo metro it sounds VERY good with a nice solid thump from the subwoofer in the hatch :-) In fact too much base I usually have to turn it down :-)
the SD card is full size and in the front so no panels to slide or swivel. very simple straight forward and NOT expensive looking so people leave it alone.
it looks like a decent but "cheap" radio but performs like much more expensive radio's
no real display just numbers and time lapse etc.. but thats ok. My desire was a simple digital radio unit and that is exactly what this is and the price rocks.
I only had a few problems. one my sound tends to be "back heavy" but when I shift the fade front it "cuts out" the preamp outs which cuts out my 5.1 which is 80% of my sound quality. I fixed this easily by reversing the front back speakers wires.
so when I fade BACK I am not actually fading FORWARD and I don't lose my 5.1 surround.
it also sometimes "won't turn on" it might be the radio might be my car. when I start the car I turn the key on the radio turns on but when I keep turning the key to start the engine it cuts out power to the radio momentarily and this is where it gets stuck. I have to turn the power off (physically) and then turn it back on. SO I have a momentary switch inline with radio power. if it does this I just hit the switch to cut power to the radio momentarily to "reset" it. I rarely have to use it but its nice to not have to clutch and restart the engine while moving to get the radio going again :-)
I am leaning toward this being a power issue in my car (wiring) since I ran new power to the radio and used a relay on the "stock" power wires for reliability I have stopped having this problem I mention it incase it is the radio. very minor issue but worth mentioning.
after over year now some of the buttons are starting to "wear" where you can tell your going to lose the labeling but its not bad. better than a lot of other radio's I have used.
I love being able to load my music onto an SD card and just pop it into the stereo and it just starts playing don't have to do anything else.
The line in jack is nice when I want to listen to podcasts on my ipod or phone.
and the radio is a good but hardly used backup :-)
This radio just does very little but exactly what I want and it does it perfectly.
reduce the brightness of that screen and it would be as close to perfect as your going to get for under $100
if you desire a SIMPLE very very simple stereo that is lower power low heat low maintenance worry free that has a memory card slot and a line in and radio this is PERFECT and it looks good too.
Amount Paid (US$): 40
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