Two days ago I had a special door bell ring come from the UPS man. I had no clue what it was so I opened it and load and behold there was my Alpine 9853 that I had pre-ordered two or three months ago. I quickly got the thing out and went to install it. This was done in no time and I eagerly turned my car on to see the lights on my new unit light up.
Sound: I would have to say this unit is like all other Alpine units, it sounds amazing. The crossovers have helped me stop my speakers from distorting from trying to a play a bass note they simply can not hit. When I had my stock system, a 2000 Mercury Cougar, the highs never came out well high while the bass was too much. As soon as the Alpine began playing something from the radio it seemed like my speakers had suddenly changed, they were actually playing highs like they should be. Now the bass was the same but I quickly fixed that with the crossover as previously mentioned. I have now got my stock speakers to even sound better to me thanks to the equalizer.
Equalizer Presets: The Alpine offers a lot of different preset options but I have a few complaints about them, they add a lot of bass to songs that simply do not need it and in a few cases the highs are turned down. Thankfully you can have up to 6 user customized settings saved at one time, for every style of music you listen to.
Display: The display seems to have had a huge improvement to last years models in that the colors seem richer and it is easier to see then before. It is a little to bright at night but you can mess with how dim it gets and the screens contrast which should definitely help someone that is annoyed by it.
Menus: The menus seem to have a huge improvement over last year’s models. I will say that they are easier to use then the Alpine 9831 because I do not even look at the manual anymore to adjust a curve or the frequency, nor did I really need the manual in the first place. It all seems second nature. To adjust something on the equalizer you simply hold the menu button down for 2 seconds, use the glide touch bar to select equalizer, select the equalizer setup you want to edit, and go from there.
The Famous Glide Touch: Now this is the part that people seem to be worried about and I am here to say that I do not understand where those fears come from. The glide touch seems very robust and seems like it can even take a spilled drink on it. It is sensitive which is good for that quick menu surf or station change. It is also easy to reach for at night thanks to a dull, soft, white glow. Now some believe this thing will cause an accident but just two days after having this unit and I am not looking down anymore to find a station, as my finger just knows what to do. The way the menus have been designed it makes it easy to quickly change a setting here or there and the tilting of the screen is done with a few taps of the pad.
The Final Sayings: I would have to say this product shows the quality that Alpine still has and it also brings forth some new technologies to the head unit field. Am I afraid of the glide touch flaking out? No, because it does not seem like it is going anywhere any time soon. This unit sounds amazing, is easy to use, and does not look ugly against the dash thanks to its dark color. I love mine and I will leave you with some pictures: