View Full Version : Universal Stereo Accessories?
05-27-2009, 02:38 AM
I hear so many people talk about things like getting new stereos with active capabilities, built in bluetooth, more equalization features, time alignment, etc. built into them, and most brands have HD tuners or satellite tuners, CD changers, even sometimes their own equalizers or crossovers specifically for their units, but are there add-ons for stereos for any of these things that are like universal? I know that anything universal means that you wouldn't be able to run the device through the stereo itself, but that's not important to me. I know there are tons of universal equalizers on the market, and lots of crossovers (although I have trouble finding good ones, mostly just low-pass crossovers for subs, and high pass crossovers which don't separate the mids and tweets).
I'm just wondering if anyone knows of any universal accessories that will let you play HD radio or satellite radio on almost any stereo through a headphone jack or if there are good surround sound processors, sound field processors, active crossovers, etc. that are more or less universal. Or in most cases is it more practical or cheaper to just get a head unit that has things like this built in? Seems like lists of things like this would be useful, unfortunately I can never find them when I want to. This forums needs more stickies like that!
05-27-2009, 11:02 AM
fm modulators (wired and wireless) allow you to add anything you want to a hu. the wireless ones are crap and most of the wired are as well but there are some quality units out there. i used (and still have in the garage) the sirius brand wired fm modulator and it sounded just as good as fm radio, which is about all you will get with satellite. there are tons of crossovers and processors that will work with any hu - search this forum for them. parrot makes universal bt systems that are quite good, even the cheap models, and some can be integrated into factory controls.
for ease of use buy a hu with as many features that you want built in. it will be easier to control and have less possible problems overall due to things like wiring multiple items and such.
05-27-2009, 11:02 AM
Nineball hit on the head. Using an fm modulator you can add pretty much whatever you want on to your factory stereo.
Sirius and xm actually makes their own fm modulator that you can add to any car for use with their sat's.
As for everything else, a standard fm modulator lets you do anything you can normally do with a set of preouts. Lately I've probably been installing fm mods + an ipod cable over cd decks at about a 3 > 1 ratio. Everyone just want's to listen to an ipod in their car now :fyi:
05-27-2009, 04:14 PM
What I was most interested in is the HD radio, partially because any stereo specific tuner is like 100 bucks or more anyway, and there aren't many units with HD built in. And then if you look at a brand like Alpine everything has to be added on after you buy the stereo for like 200 bucks each for HD, bluetooth, satellite, and then you're stuck using that brand of stereo if you want to keep the features.
Even spending like 600 plus on a pioneer stereo, you only get bluetooth and I think there might be some kind of crossover although not a fully adjustable active one to run mids and tweets on separate channels. Amps have simple crossovers like that built in, so if you have a 4 channel amp the built in crossovers on stereos are mostly useless.
Anyway, most interested in one unit I found, a VR3 VRHDUA100. Supposedly it works with all existing stereos but I have simply no idea how it works. I found a review on it here
But this makes it sound more like an actual stereo than a receiver. Anyone heard of this before and know if it works?
I also did find there are a lot of basic bluetooth devices that have a universal stereo mute, and if they have a headphone output they could easily be used on most aftermarket car stereos with the aux input (or even factory units with a cassette converter) We should have a list, there must be hundreds of little things like this.
I did some research on the vr3, and it connects to your car stereo through rca's. You would need to purchase an fm modulator along with in order to use with your factory stereo. Because you'll need to use an fm mod, depending on your car you might also need forward/reverse antenna adapters.It's literally a seperate little digital radio receiver.
You would set your fm station to the fm mod's station and then listen to the radio with the seperate little controller on the vr3.
It's a p.i.t.a. and would end up costing you more $$$ if all you're after is hd radio.
05-27-2009, 04:44 PM
you will not find everything you want in a single unit. period. there will always be a feature that you want that is not included. list the items you want, rank them and go from there. plan on spending $250-1000 on the hu alone to get all the things you want.
05-27-2009, 05:05 PM
I have an aux input and RCA -> 3.5 mm converter cables. Because there's one on ebay for 40 dollars it'd be significantly cheaper than the new stereo+tuner.
Anyway, I found a list of universal HD tuners on another site
Directed Electronics DMHD-1000 HD
Metra Axxess AHDT-01
Peripheral Hd Radio Tuner Add-on
VR3 VRHDUA100 HD Radio adapter
Visteon HD Zoom
I'd sorta just like HD tuning for my car because the current aftermarket stereo is really good for sound quality and I don't want to spend hundreds on a stereo then another hundred or more on an HD tuner if I can find a universal one to work with my car. Some people also just don't want to remove their factory stereo, not sure why.
And its like what you said, there's no head unit with all the features you want, so I'd rather just add on features, and its best if they're universal so if I do want to change the head unit for any reason I don't have to get all new accessories.
05-28-2009, 03:12 AM
This unit seems nice too.
JVC KT-HDP1. I probably trust the brand more than VR3, I like the look of the unit better than the VR3 because it's smaller and portable. It doesn't have an SD card or USB input like the other unit but oh well. I don't really want to mount a DIN sized unit in my car. Looking at a picture of it though
I see it says Ant in and Ant out, so does this mean that the factory antenna has to somehow go through this unit? Also, the install kit says "requires installation of an FM modulator" does that mean that the unit would have to use an FM modulator instead of the headphone jack, which I'm guessing would give higher quality signal?
I hate how whenever you ask about a product a company sells, so few know about what they sell anymore :(
05-29-2009, 03:10 PM
Anyone know of any universal time alignment or surround sound processors? Or RCA based ones?