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View Full Version : Head Units: Bestbuy: What makes a head Unit "good"?



boomzabit
06-22-2011, 09:07 PM
Im thinking of running over to best buy and talk to them about having a headunit installed.. Is this a decent idea? Ive always had my good buddy install me headunits..

Im looking to spend around $150, i am will look at a rather "simple" unit.. What do you guys recommend?

Just for reference ive had an alpine 9831, still have cause the RCA outlets crapped out and i know have a poineer premeir unit in my truck and im not crazy about..

whitedragon551
06-22-2011, 09:13 PM
Depends on your needs and wants. There is no best.

Bettr n' Revrse
06-22-2011, 09:15 PM
They will charge you 45 to install it...

IonRL205
06-22-2011, 09:25 PM
What car do you have? I would just put the HU in yourself. Most HU from sonicelectronix come free with everything you need (wire harness/dash kit) and you could easily do it yourself.

nateberrier
06-22-2011, 09:26 PM
Give your local shop the bucks

ejschultz
06-22-2011, 09:50 PM
They will charge you 45 to install it...

It's $45 for the install then wiring harness, cages, antenna adapater, and miscellaneous parts and whatnot. It'll end up being about $110 on top of the radio. Now, that's vehicle dependent. It's assuming your vehicle is going to require a standard wiring harness. If you have a newer vehicle that has a more complicated harness, it just goes up from there. I work for BBY. I do not install for them. I did, however, work on the sales floor for 2 years there selling computers. I would regularly get "pulled" to go back to car audio to help out. I know my fair share about the pricing of installs. In the store, yeah, I'm definitely going to sell you the install. On here, when I'm not at work, I'm going to tell you to save the $110 and learn how to do it yourself if you don't know how, or pay your buddy half that or a case of beer to do it.

Fiendstolemyamp
06-22-2011, 09:53 PM
Do it yourself.

bstran11693
06-22-2011, 10:02 PM
Do it yourself man. Go to crutchfield.com and select your car and they will give you everything you need to install. I did it and I'm a rookie with this stuff. You'll save so much money and feel accomplished!

boomzabit
06-22-2011, 11:52 PM
I usaully do buy all my head units off crutchfield, i like how they give you everything with the install including awhole vehicle audio schematics.

Maybe i should try it myself but often time i dont have the time but i do have someone that might be able to help me if i have questions.. we'll see.

BTW i have an 01 monte carlo..

i2ain2thunder
06-23-2011, 12:01 AM
strange the best buys up here all offer free install of any hu purchase over 100$

ejschultz
06-23-2011, 12:31 AM
That's probably a promotion right now. I don't know. I'm not in sales there anymore. I'm working on computers as a Geek Squad agent now. And for an 01 Monte Carlo, you're going to be looking at a pretty pricey harness. I think they can be had for about $60-80 online. BBY, Crutchfield, and local retail shops will probably be about $100 for just the harness. Crutchfield gives you a discount on it if you buy the HU from them, but that one's not free.

i2ain2thunder
06-23-2011, 12:34 AM
yeah i guess its been a while since i been to best buy and those fvcking wiring harnesses are the biggest waste of crap ever....i miss my door chime, but for 114$ i'll leave my lights on on accident a few times, all i need is a power,ground,ignition fvck ur wiring harness best buy and fvck u GM for putting ur door/headlight chime in there.

zako
06-23-2011, 03:06 PM
Bestbuy products are a little overpriced..

I personally look at these things for a "budget" head unit:

1. Built-in Bluetooth phone support.
2. One USB port that's not on the front panel because I don't like wires and usb drives sticking out of my front dash.
3. Two sets of preamp outputs (I don't care about amping rears).


With these requirements the selection of head units goes down to like 10 among what's available online. There is a cheap Clarion unit for under $150 and one JVC and Kenwood each priced at around $150-$200 online. I also like to fiddle with time alignment, so it's great if its available. If I require this, my selection is down to just three head units, the top of line Kenwood x995 or KIV900 (lesser models have broken TA), JVC Arsenal, and a Sony media player DSX300, all priced in $200-$300 range.

mclerico83
06-23-2011, 03:35 PM
mone carlo is going to need a gmos-01 adapter to keep the chimes if u still want them, id buy online, will be much cheaper and then do the install yuorself

KENWOOD EXCELON KDC-X494 CAR CD/MP3/USB/IPOD PLAYER | eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/KENWOOD-EXCELON-KDC-X494-CAR-CD-MP3-USB-IPOD-PLAYER-/390212847417?pt=Car_Audio_In_Dash_Receivers&hash=item5ada7f8739#ht_5313wt_1139)

on of the best

my fav decks for budget are jvc hd series
JVC KD-HDR60 In-Dash CD/MP3 Car Stereo w/ Built-in HD Radio & Aux (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_21991_JVC-KD-HDR60.html)
JVC KD-HDR40 (KDHDR40) Car Stereo w/ HD Radio & Front AUX Input (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_21990_JVC-KD-HDR40.html)

the jvc's will come with evrything except the gmos if u want to keep tones inside car
and the jvc rad come with hd radio which i love listening to, no static nothing. and they have 7 band eq's built in

Pioneer DEH-P5200HD (DEHP5200HD) CD/MP3 Car Stereo w/ HD Radio (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_22377_Pioneer-DEH-P5200HD.html)
over all though this would be my choice, has everything, hd, 5 band eq, usb, aux in, pioneer quality,


either way you will need

NEW Axxess GMOS-01 Onstar Interface for GM 2000 - 2010 | eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-Axxess-GMOS-01-Onstar-Interface-GM-2000-2010-/180686476509?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2a11c0d4dd#ht_2994wt_905)
if u want to keep your chimes, also allows you to use the stock harnes and plug directly in to keep chimes. if not the standard free harness fron sonic is the wy to go. I dont care about the chimes in my car. some do

mclerico83
06-23-2011, 03:37 PM
Pioneer DEH-7300BT CD/MP3 Car Stereo w/ Bluetooth, Aux, USB/iPod (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_31079_Pioneer-DEH-7300BT.html)
JVC KD-R810 (kdr810) In-Dash CD,MP3, WMA Receiver w/ Built-in (http://www.sonicelectronix.com/item_21996_JVC-KD-R810.html)

if u want built in bluetooth, this would be my option

boomzabit
06-23-2011, 04:19 PM
I have just a regular Ipod Nano.. i dont really need a USB input but an AUX is a must.. The first Pioneer deck is basically the same deck i have in my truck, but mine was almost $300 off crutchfield and is a premier series.. I really dont care for it. I would like a much simplier deck. I like the old alpine's and the simple settings they had. Sony used to make some pretty simple decks as well

boomzabit
06-25-2011, 05:40 PM
Is this Kenwood KDC-MP245 any good?

http://www.crutchfield.com/p_113MP245/Kenwood-KDC-MP245.html?tp=5684

Sony..
http://www.crutchfield.com/p_158GT350M/Sony-Xplod-CDX-GT350MP.html?tp=5684

Another Kenwood

http://outlet.crutchfield.com/p_613KDCX494/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X494.html?cc=01&tp=5684

morespl
06-25-2011, 05:54 PM
Install it your self I install headunits in 15 minutes unless it's a double din or the dash is a pos I you already have a alpine installed buy a alpine and just pull the old one out and plug the new one in :hapydanc:

cf2004
06-25-2011, 06:22 PM
check this unit out

kenwood kdc-x395 Kenwood Excelon KDC-X395 CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature (http://www.crutchfield.com/s_113KDCX395/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X395.html)

highlights are: 4volt front, rear, sub. usb, 3 band eq. price is 140 USE CODE 3a825 and get $20 off.

so 120 for a nice deck and all install great. can beat that. am thinking about getting it

boomzabit
06-26-2011, 01:11 AM
Id look into that one for sure. What does anyone else think?

ejschultz
06-26-2011, 05:31 AM
I'd go with the KDC-X494 for the price. It looks almost identical to the 395 but it's got a 24 bit DAC. I know with Kenwoods, you're able to pass the iPod through the DSP so it's worth having the better DAC for practically the same price. There's also nothing wrong with factory refurb items. Whatever was wrong was fixed and they are all hand tested to ensure proper function. Refurbs often undergo more quality control checks than NIB items off the assembly line.

boomzabit
06-26-2011, 01:16 PM
If i only knew what your talking about.. ha. Ill take your word for it though.

That makes sense on the refurbished items.. So it that x494 a good one to buy? I will spend up to $200 i just need anything to "techincal"

zako
06-30-2011, 10:15 PM
What makes a good head unit? In my view,

Bluetooth phone support
Time alignment (which you can setup yourself, some kenwoods only have preset settings)
2 RCA outputs (4v or 5v, don't care about amp for rear speakers)
A good selection of crossovers frequencies and slopes. Better be in 10Hz increments from 50 to 100Hz.
USB input, and hopeful not right smack on the face plate of the head unit..

From my experiences, the realistic price for this is around $230-$300 depending on where you buy it. If you remove TA feature, several head units priced near $150 exist, but in my view SQ makes it worth it to have TA.

GAMEOVERCCA
06-30-2011, 10:30 PM
Im thinking of running over to best buy and talk to them about having a headunit installed.. Is this a decent idea? Ive always had my good buddy install me headunits..

Im looking to spend around $150, i am will look at a rather "simple" unit.. What do you guys recommend?

Just for reference ive had an alpine 9831, still have cause the RCA outlets crapped out and i know have a poineer premeir unit in my truck and im not crazy about..

dont feed bigbox retail bro, and best buy cant do anything with out screwing it up somewhere, please go to your local shop not bestbuy, help the little guy, not the retail monster eating his business

hispls
06-30-2011, 10:46 PM
check this unit out

kenwood kdc-x395 Kenwood Excelon KDC-X395 CD receiver at Crutchfield Signature (http://www.crutchfield.com/s_113KDCX395/Kenwood-Excelon-KDC-X395.html)

highlights are: 4volt front, rear, sub. usb, 3 band eq. price is 140 USE CODE 3a825 and get $20 off.

so 120 for a nice deck and all install great. can beat that. am thinking about getting it



That's a decent HU. I'm running one at the moment. Really HU won't last 2 years these days so IMO it's silly to spend big bux on them.