View Full Version : Need advice: Kenwood or Sony radio?

04-23-2009, 11:35 PM
I am a total novice and can use any advice you can provide! Which brand would you recommend Kenwood or Sony?

I bought and installed a Sony CDX-GT130 car radio from Best Buy. But the sound is really muffled and flat, so now I'm having second thoughts. I'm thinking I should have bought the Kenwood KDC-MP242. Should I exchange? Will the sound quality be better?

Which is the best brand of car audio for an entry-level buyer? What do I need to look for?

I have a 2002 Toyota Corolla. It's an older car with subpar speakers, so I didn't want to spend a lot, but I still want it to sound halfway decent. Please any advice would be amazingly helpful. I've been reading posts on here, but am still a bit confused how you can tell which radio to buy since you can't test it in the store beforehand. Thanks.

04-23-2009, 11:38 PM
panasonic is what i would go with, you can get a very nice one for 200ish new. its all i run. i have the 9801, 9701, and 8803. all are great.

04-23-2009, 11:39 PM
Only alpine I would ever go with

04-23-2009, 11:40 PM
i'm another panasonic person.

04-23-2009, 11:44 PM
I have had sony, kenwood, pioneer, and alpine and all I have to say is after I got my alpine I will never go to any other head unit company.

04-23-2009, 11:49 PM
I have heard a lot about alpine, from reading the posts here and other threads. Why are alpines so good and are they expensive?

04-23-2009, 11:52 PM
Kenwood's are really nice i prefer then over pioneer, haven't hear an alpine for a while but they are good to.

04-23-2009, 11:55 PM
Alpine are a little extra money because they better built and better processing power inside them. Also give you more control over your system. You get what you pay for.

04-24-2009, 12:30 AM
pioneer is the way to go

04-24-2009, 12:31 AM
Kenwood, Eclipse and Alpine are top notch IMO. you could get something similar to my kenwood for under $200 for sure, you'd be very happy with it im sure

04-24-2009, 12:33 AM
Ok, I am getting the impression that Sony isn't well liked then? I have heard panasonic, pioneer and kenwood so far...and of course Alpine.

I had never paid attention to this kind of thing much before, but it's actually pretty interesting. There's nothing like a bad radio sound experience to turn a person into a potential audiophile. ;)

04-24-2009, 12:36 AM
I also vote for alpine never will i go back to pioneer or kenwood.

04-24-2009, 12:37 AM
I'm definitely considering switching out the Sony for the kenwood! I would have to pay to have it reinstalled, but I'm thinking it would be worth it...

But before I do I'll have to look into Alpine. I don't remember seeing those at Best Buy.

04-24-2009, 12:55 AM
I found some Alpine on Best Buy's website. How is the Alpine CDE-102? It is on sale for $160 (double the price of the Sony that I just got, but it sounds like it would be worth it).

04-24-2009, 12:58 AM
It's good only thing is it only has 2 sets of outputs for amps. If its the one I am thinking of.

04-24-2009, 06:24 PM
Alpine are a little extra money because they better built and better processing power inside them. Also give you more control over your system. You get what you pay for.

Are you serious? Yeah, because we all know bass and treble controls are sure a lot of control. I love Alpine's look for their HUs, but you can get more features for your money elsewhere. Kenwood, Eclipse, Clarion, Pioneer, and other companies all offer comparably priced HUs with more features like BT, more EQ bands, etc.

I wouldn't mind getting the 9887, but that doesn't even have USB built-in.

OP: Upgrading your speakers would likely provide you a much better listening experience.

04-24-2009, 06:28 PM
I found some Alpine on Best Buy's website. How is the Alpine CDE-102? It is on sale for $160 (double the price of the Sony that I just got, but it sounds like it would be worth it).

thats what i paid for my pany 9801 new shipped:laugh:

04-24-2009, 06:29 PM
just another panasonic person here. If you are spending around 200 or so panasonic is great. I have had a few of them and they are all still working in other people's cars. over 3-400 maybe check out others and to bad panasonic is leaving the car audio game. I will miss them. sony can eat a **** except for those old copper ones

04-24-2009, 06:32 PM
this is like asking what is your fav color.

everyone likes somehing diffrent for some reason

I myself like Pioneer and Kenwood, never really liked Alpine

04-24-2009, 06:35 PM
well i got lucky cuz cheapest i can find them is 275 shipped now. here is one that is nice and not expensive.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Panasonic-CD-MP3-HD-Radio-Receiver-CQ-CB8901U-XM-Ready_W0QQitemZ130297933066QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCar_ Audio_In_Dash_Receivers?hash=item130297933066&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A3%7C294%3A50

04-24-2009, 06:36 PM
Here's a couple decks that aren't too pricey and have nice features:


04-24-2009, 06:37 PM
ooooh, wait a minuite. found the deal for ya man.

http://cgi.ebay.com/PANASONIC-CQ-C9801U-IN-DASH-CAR-CD-MP3-RECEIVER-RADIO_W0QQitemZ320361127151QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCar_ Audio_In_Dash_Receivers?hash=item320361127151&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1234%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C 240%3A1308%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A5%7C294%3A50

look at all the specs and find something close to it for 200 or less new. lol.

04-25-2009, 12:28 AM
as far as absolute best eclipse is the way to go IMO

05-05-2009, 08:26 PM
i'd also have to agree with alpine fans i have an old cda 9811 i love the hell outta that thing,if i had a bigger budget i would've had alpine's top indash cd/dvd player sony just seems bland to me like theres no excitement when you look at it or turn it on.Unlike Kenwood Apline and Eclipse and some Pioneers.Ya look down and your like YEAH. I also like pioneers as well pretty decent radio's.Go down to best buy and play with a couple H\U's and speakers.Bring your ipod or favorite Cd and test a few out first. learn your way around the H/U before it makes it way into your car. then that way you can keep your eyes on the road, that you can set and forget it. Make your decision and grab the best one that works for you. Changing speakers will also help....ALOT. And your right bad audio quality has turn me into an audiofile too so dont feel lonely.I cant drive if stereo sounds like crap it more annoying than tailgaters