Single-DIN Stereo Recommendation?

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Erik the Awful

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I'm fairly sure that a year or so ago I asked for a stereo recommendation and got some good responses, but for the life of me I can't find the thread. I need a stereo for Way Cool Jr., and the factory setup is a no-go with me.

Requirements:
Clean, easy to use interface with no tiny buttons or too-small-to-read text. Simple controls rule. I'm turning 50 this year, and although I don't want to act my age, the struggle is real.
Single-DIN I have a single-DIN opening in my dash, and I'm not going to do the work to go double-DIN or factory-style separates.
RCA output - At least one pair of RCAs. I'm not planning on an amp yet, but it's a consideration.
Bluetooth to Android, and no janky bluetooth. Nothing ****** me off more than spending money on technology that doesn't work.
Hands-free calling with a decent microphone.
No motorized flip-up screens. I want something that will last twenty years.
Available. If I order it this week, I'd like to be able to install it before the end of the month.

"It would be nice":
Not look like it was designed by three teenagers binge-watching anime while hopped up on energy drinks. Classy is preferred over shiny lights and funky buttons.
CD player. This was a requirement in the past, but I can slide a bit. Any CD player must play MP3s, though.
Backup camera - since it's single-DIN, this isn't high on the list at all.
 

Frank Enstein

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I shoved an ancient Alpine in Frank. It works really nice. I believe it was a bottom shelf 5-10 years ago. I'm hearing subtle things in my MP3's that never came across before.

I had used Pioneer almost exclusively for years. They didn't sound anywhere as good.

I got a JVC for my wife's Astro and it can't compare.

I was looking at Android 10" removable screen head units but I might just keep the Alpine.

So I'm thinking an Alpine that has the features you want.
 

AK49BWL

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Alpine CDE-HD149BT covers all of those bases very well I think... That's what I have in mine. Good working Bluetooth with music playback control so you can control your phone's media player with the head unit, and nobody seems to have problems hearing me when talking through it. It's one of the few out there that doesn't look like literally everything else out there. Setup is fairly simple, but if you want, it features a 9-band EQ and 3 sets of RCA outs. CD/MP3 player. USB and Aux stereo in.

I tried a Pioneer DEH-80PRS but was not as impressed with it, and the bluetooth on the one I got didn't work for anything so I ended up sending it back. As for all the models out there that all look pretty much the same, I haven't even spared them a second look.
 

slovcan

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Erik, this is what I put in mine https://www.crutchfield.ca/p_113KMBT328/Kenwood-KMM-BT328U.html . I also got the install kit for $16 that even included the harness adapter. Plug 'n' play, simple and fast install. Great phone sound. I put the mic in the lower right corner of the gauge cluster and adjusted the mic gain to +4. I didn't want the CD, but they do have other ones with all the same features AND CD. Nothing for 8-Track or cassette, though ;) . I use the USB with a miniature USB drive with 800 or so of my favourite songs. My phone syncs up automatically and never drops. I don't use the Garmin GPS anymore. I use google maps on my android phone and stream from my phones media player when I do the directions thing. It automatically pauses the song to tell me to turn left or right and when. Nothing fancy about the display. I use one of the green colours to match the original radio/dash lighting pretty good. The display has nice big letters. Except the clock. It displays under the big song & artist display and is too small for my liking. And it has a volume knob. That was a must have for me. I have stock size Pioneer speakers and the stereo has more than enough power to feel the music and is always clean and crisp.

I don't think you would go wrong with that or an Alpine. Various colours to choose from for the display is a really important thing to watch for.

Cheers,
Glenn
 

DerekTheGreat

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Look into a Sony single DIN. I'm not sure if they even still make them any more, but about seven years ago I put one of those in my '88 Town Car. I didn't want an obnoxious disco display and also wanted legacy buttons as I feel much older than my birth certificate lets on. I forget which model number mine is at the moment, but it allowed me to match the display colors with the cars interior lighting, gave me a seven band equalizer and preouts like you want along with front and rear USB inputs as well as 3.5mm input as well.
 

Erik the Awful

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The Alpine CDE-HD149BT is discontinued and not available. The 172BT keeps popping up when I search, but it's a hair over $200.

The Kenwood KMM-BT328U looks like a good option, and the price is nice at $110. The Kenwood stereo I had in college was rock solid and easy to use.

...but I'll wait for Wh4t3v3rs' input. I think he's who gave me a good recommendation last time. Doh! I promise, I'm buying today.
 

AK49BWL

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The Alpine CDE-HD149BT is discontinued and not available. The 172BT keeps popping up when I search, but it's a hair over $200.

The Kenwood KMM-BT328U looks like a good option, and the price is nice at $110. The Kenwood stereo I had in college was rock solid and easy to use.

...but I'll wait for Wh4t3v3rs' input. I think he's who gave me a good recommendation last time. Doh! I promise, I'm buying today.
Oh wow, so they finally quit making it.... That sucks, I was going to buy myself a second one for my other truck. Now I don't know what I'm gonna get.
 

OB1214

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When I bought my XJ I took the aftermarket stereo out and replaced it with a touch screen. When I bought my 400, there was no radio, Just a gaping hole where the radio goes, so I installed the head unit I took out of the XJ which is a Pioneer X6600BT. It's not had and it takes CDs too. I think the head unit was produced in 06 and is an older model so it might be able to be found for a cheap price
 

Wh4t3v3rs

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The Alpine CDE-HD149BT is discontinued and not available. The 172BT keeps popping up when I search, but it's a hair over $200.

The Kenwood KMM-BT328U looks like a good option, and the price is nice at $110. The Kenwood stereo I had in college was rock solid and easy to use.

...but I'll wait for Wh4t3v3rs' input. I think he's who gave me a good recommendation last time. Doh! I promise, I'm buying today.
There's a couple things I look for when I buy a radio and Kenwood seems to check those boxes for me. For me its a 4-5v pre-amp, an EQ (not just bass and treble), crossover, Bluetooth, and android auto.
I have a Kenwood Exelon and love it! The Bluetooth always links automatically and can remember 2 phones. It has some bells and whistles to it if you're into that. I flush mounted my microphone into a blank on the dash and have had no problems! The menu is super easy to navigate and the titles are to the point!! NO GENERAL settings. I hate that ****!!! Give me an idea of what the category contains! AND I believe the Excelon comes with a two year warranty.
Anyways, I've sold and installed just about every radio brand there is at some point in my career, and unless you wanna spend $600+ on a SQ unit, I'm gonna point you to an Excelon. Juat my opinion though!!!!
 
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