Pioneer DEH-P740MP CD Player/MP3 In Dash Receiver

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Form meets function...

Feb 5, 2004 (Updated Feb 5, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Sound Quality:
  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:

Pros:Beautiful electroluminescent display, Full-featured

Cons:Unable to see full list of mp3 tracks, Slow MP3 load & seek

The Bottom Line: An attractive & advanced piece of technology with the power to impress. But good luck finding a specific song on a disc of 200 tracks.


~~ Intro ~~
Your friends will think this stereo was very expensive. This was in the first wave of new MP3-capable car stereos put out by Pioneer. I think that some of today's most popular features weren't really fully explored when this one came out, but man does it look great. With a new organic electroluminescent (OEL) display and an intuitive button layout....this stereo is the entry level deck that will bring your system to a much higher level of prestige.

~~ Look & Feel ~~
If you haven't seen one of these OEL displays...you really need to witness the full 3d graphics gliding in and out of every function & menu built into the onscreen interface. The hypnotizing glow of aquamarine pictures borders on 'distracting' for everyday driving...and I only recommend this deck if you're looking to visually impress yourself or others in the car with you. There is an abundant variety of screensavers & visualizations that one can select from...anything from swimming dolphins to racing Indies. Some of these do not provide enough info about the song playing (I don't know why not)...but some of them do. It's also obvious that the button layout for this deck was very well thought-out; It is both intuitive and very simple. Although I should mention that there is an overwhelming trait of symmetry for the controls--and this actually makes it harder to remember the specific functions for all the look-alike buttons. If any of you actually need to see the words/numbers on the buttons at night--well that is not totally possible with this stereo...but I think it's easy enough to figure out just by seeing the colors and placement of the buttons. But I got past all these small control issues and once I was able to look past the beautiful display, I was able to quickly learn its huge variety of functions.

~~ Functionality ~~
I still haven't used all of the features that this stereo offers. Some features can only be found on the remote (which I don't use), and some of the more advanced surround-sound ones I haven't quite needed. A few of the more common functions (like shuffle, repeat, etc) are a bit hard-to-get-to in the menu-like interface...and the controls to adjust bass, treble and things like that are even farther away from you. But as I adjusted to the menuing system, I soon realized that I didn't use these functions quite enough to have it be necessary to have them at my fingertips. Control of MP3's is somewhat primitive...and finding a song you want in a disc of 200 is virtually not possible. Some of the newer stereos out there have a jog-dial system or something that lets you scroll through a list of songs. This one definitely has nothing of the sort. I usually ended up memorizing the track numbers of 10-15 of my favorites...the rest is just based on luck. Normally this wouldn't matter, because you could skip through the disc until you find one you like. However, that is also very difficult to do with this deck because it takes 4-5 seconds to seek (and see the next song title) from MP3 to MP3. You should note that none of these problems apply to regular music CDs. And honestly, the ability to play discs with sooooo much music on them is so valuable that I really just wrote these small problems off as a sacrifice. I think the disc I have in my car currently has three 2-hour DJ sets, a folder of classical music (for hangovers) and a folder for classic rock. That's just one disc people, think about that.

~~ A word on its value & my Conclusion ~~
I think if one looks around on the net, this deck can be found for an exceptionally low price. I think I bought mine online for $229 ( www.etronics.com ) and then had it installed for under $80. Although I mentioned a bunch of flaws in this stereo...the display and overall impact of having such a cutting-edge device in your car is clearly worth about $300. There may be a few decks that are cheaper & can still play MP3's but you get probably twice as much eye-candy with this one...and probably a better button layout. The whole package of features and appearance of this stereo bumps it a bit above the entry-level if you ask me. Once you see the display you'll feel like you saved a few hundred dollars.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 229

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