I just went to a local shop and demoed an Alpine CDA-9887. 'Bout time Alpine got them out. I'm sure some of you are eager to hear about it.
First of all, of course it sounded good. I wouldn't expect anything less from a really expensive Alpine deck.
Perks: Nice, easily readable display, clean looks, not too many buttons, good sound quality, and the SQ features are back. Yay! 3-way xover, time alignment, parametric EQ, low/mid/hi attenuation, and all those other goodies. Thank you, Alpine, for bringing those back. It's about time. I didn't check the iPod connection, but IIRC, it is full speed. I'm not completely sure, but I think the preouts are 4v.
Not so perky: Alpine has managed to make another unit that is a complete pain in the *** to use. I will say it is a hair easier than my 9855, but it still pales in comparison to my Clarion. Why can't they just make a button that does exactly what it says it does? The menu button doesn't even say menu! When I was in the T/A menu, and I wanted to get out, I went "Oh, I should press the ESC." I did, the unit beeped, and nothing happened I had to hold it for a few seconds. Why do I have to hold the escape button? The Xover is confusing as hell to use because the correlation between the buttons and their functions are unmarked.
Oh, and you can't attenuate the low/mid/hi independently for left and right. -10 for that.
Overall: Nice unit, Alpine. Thanks for bringing back the SQ features for us enthusiasts. But please, hire someone who knows how to make a unit easy to use. A kindergartener might could do better. It should neither take an Alpine Tech, or a complete reading of the manual to know how to use the deck.