With the indash navigation car receiver war heating up, this is JVC’s second contender to enter the fight. Their earlier model, the NX5000 is a single DIN unit but the NX7000 is a double DIN with a 7” Touchscreen. It’s a strong competitor with its nice features and plenty of expandable options.

Basic features
7” Touchscreen LCD
Fully Detachable face
Flash memory based Navigation
Plays CDs, DVDs, MP3, WMA, ACC, DivX, MPEG, JPEG
3 sets of 5v preouts (sub out is mono)
USB port and SD slot
1 A/V out, 1 A/V in
iPod, HD Radio, Bluetooth, Satellite Radio, Backup camera ready

*Note: My experience was with the unit, an 80GB laptop hard drive for music/video storage, and the Bluetooth add-on only. I don’t have an ipod, the HD radio or satellite radio add-ons so I cannot comment on their performance.

I believe this is the very first double DIN unit that has a fully detachable face. A very nice feature if theft is a concern of yours. A padded a carrying case is included for the face. However the piece of mind does come with the inconvenience of having to carry a very large and fragile faceplate with you. Also be careful when detaching and reattaching the face because it’s quite bulky so I strongly recommend using both hands to avoid dropping it.

User interface
The OS this unit is running is Windows Automotive. Not sure if that’s good or bad but so far it hasn’t crashed on me yet . After it shows the JVC splash screen you are then taken to a disclaimer message. It’s the usual, do not use unit while driving blah, blah, blah warnings. There is no way to disabled this and you will have to press OK to continue. For those of you who are concerned on boot-up times:

Power on to Nav - ~7 seconds (if you press OK to the disclaimer screen right away)
Power on to USB music: ~30 sec
Power on to USB video: ~45 sec

The main interface isn’t as “pretty” as other units I had before but it’s responsive and easy to use. Top left corner is the button for the Source Menu and lower left corner is the settings button. File/track information is shown in the middle of the screen. If you’re using USB or a SD card the unit will assign folder numbers and track numbers to all files and this is shown above the file/track info. By touching the folder number it will list all the folders on that storage device. Touching the file number will show the files in the same folder as the song that’s currently playing. You can also get to these lists by going to Settings and to LIST. Skipping between folders is done with the arrows on the top and bottom of screen. The arrows for skipping tracks are on the left and right edges. Gapless playback does not seem to be supported (3 sec gap).

You can select from 4 different backgrounds (cannot add your own) which are pretty boring if I might say and numerous interface colors.

To get to the navigation section just press the MAP button on the lower physical buttons. I thought it was kind of strange that you cannot select it through the Source Menu. It is flash memory based so no need to swap discs and routing calculations are very quick. It has an impressive 12 million POIs available, text to speech in several different languages, lane guidance (shows you which lane you should be in to be ready for the next turn/exit), and speed limit (shows the speed limit for the road/freeway you’re on and notifies you if you exceed it). The route guidance is excellent and lets you know well in advance of the next turn or exit. Accuracy is spot on as well. Text to speech still needs improvement as some phrases sound like a female robot. The voice doesn’t seem to be changeable either.

Traffic reporting is available through FM radio but you’ll need a subscription (3 month free trail). With the info you can set the navigation to reroute if there is congestion on the road.

If you’re planning on using the internal amplifier it packs 20w RMS to all 4 channels. You can easily add external amplifiers with the 3 set of 5volt RCA outputs. The subwoofer output is mono though. There is no built-in center channel decoding and all DD and DTS soundtracks are downmixed. However there is a digital output if you want to send a digital signal to an external digital processor or amplifier(s).

Sound processing comes in the way of a 7 band equalizer with several factory presets and 3 user presets. A simple low pass crossover with 3 frequency cutoff (80, 120, 150) is available for the subwoofer. Documentation isn’t too detailed on this but I’m assuming anything below the cutoff is sent to the sub and everything above goes to the front and rear preouts. There are no separate crossover settings for the front and rear.

Overall SQ is good with no noticeable hiss or background noise.

To get Bluetooth you will need to get the add-on BT module (sold separately). This attaches to the unit’s CD changer port and the mic attaches to the module. Most phones should support phonebook, last numbers dialed and direct dialing. If your phone has voice activated dialing you can do that through BT. Reading SMS messages is supported but will depend on your make and model phone. You can also store 6 numbers to the auto dial presets. While in Navigation mode you can call the PIO you’ve just searched for if a number is available. Bluetooth audio is supported as well.

To make a call you’ll have to manually switch to Bluetooth Mode either by touching the phone icon by the Settings button or within the Source menu. When doing this all other functions are switched off. For example if you’re listening to music or watching a video, they will stop playing. Also after finishing the call it will not resume where it left off. You will have to manually go back to whatever source you were using before. Same thing happens when you receive a call, unit turns off all other sources and switches to BT phone mode. It’s pretty annoying if you’re using a USB device because it has to re-index the device when you switch back to it after a call (~15-20 sec).

Detachable face
Plays audio and video through USB and SD Slot
Flash memory based Navigation for quick calculations and no disc swapping
Shortcut icons for commonly used settings

Can’t use your own wallpaper
USB and SD Card has to re-index after switching sources