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    Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    I'm searching for a head unit which:
    - Double din touch screen (7" display preferred over 6.1")
    - Plays files via USB mass storage device
    - Minimum 10,000 file limit
    - Plays lossless FLAC music files
    - $500.00 or less

    I just want to plug in an external HD with all of my music to my glove box (or center console) and be done with it.

    That's it really, and I'm having a hell of a time finding it. Am I making too big a deal out of the FLAC thing? I guess I don't understand all of the people spending thousands on high-end speakers, sound deadening, etc. only to be playing MP3s. Are 320kb/s MP3s good enough? Or are a lot of people playing WAV files only?







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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    The Pioneer AVH-X4500BT has a limit of 1,500 folders/15,000 files from a USB source, but it doesn't play FLAC files. I'm also a little offput by Pioneer for making it such a ***** to bypass the parking brake setup so I can have the option to play movies without the parking brake engaged. It used to be you could just ground that parking brake wire and it would be good, but now they've made it more difficult and you have to buy or make something special to bypass it.

    The Parrot ASTEROID Smart apparently has no USB folder/file limit, but it is an Android device and I'd have to download third party software to have it play FLAC files. This seems easy enough, but I don't care for having to use an app market to download software. I have enough problems with my phone and buggy software and ads. I want a head unit that works to my needs straight out of the box. This unit also has some bad reviews on Crutchfield and Amazon (overall is average to favorable, but not great).

    I'm currently looking closely at the JVC KW-V50BT (over price range but 7" screen) or JVC KW-V30BT (6.1" screen). Both come out next month. I've searched everywhere online and there isn't any data showing the folder/file limit for USB devices.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    ur best bet may be to get a good android phone and get a UOT cable and use the phone to play flac files, i play flac through google music



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Quote Originally Posted by bradl79 View Post
    ur best bet may be to get a good android phone and get a UOT cable and use the phone to play flac files, i play flac through google music
    I'm admittedly not familiar with a UOT cable. If it works like an AUX cable, it's not what I'm seeking. I want to be able to connect my storage device (external HD or otherwise) and navigate with the head unit.

    I have a Sansa Zip Clip which holds 40GB (32GB MicroSD + 8GB internal) and it plays FLAC files, so I could plug it into a head unit via AUX and play my music, but I'd have to control it with the Zip Clip and I don't want to. That is assuming an AUX cable can provide a perfect reproduction of the audio anyway, and I'm not sure if that's the case or not.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    ahhh i see, yeah USB On the Go u control from ur phone, mmmm.... i have a clarion nx702 that plays via usb but i don't think it will play flac files, i will check it out tomorrow and let u know, but the head unit is like 700.00 though.



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    The easiest way is going to be using Apple ALAC loseless files instead of FLAC with an iPod. There arent any headunits out that support FLAC. It logically makes no difference and would be a huge waste of money.

    Every piece of a system introduces some type of distortion. Couple that with road noise you would never hear the difference between 320kbps MP3 and a FLAC file in a moving vehicle.
    Last edited by whitedragon551; 02-23-2014 at 09:04 AM.



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    FLAC plain and simple is just not popular enough for manufacturers to care




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    The newest Soundstream Ingenix SNX-771 units play FLAC. I'm not sure how well the overall unit is but it does play FLAC and has all the other features plus that you want.

    SoundStream SNX-771 INGENIX 7" Double DIN LCD/DVD/Navigation Receiver with 7 band EQ, USB/SD/MASS HDD, Bluetooth 3.0, WIN CE 6.0



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Quote Originally Posted by ace_800 View Post
    The newest Soundstream Ingenix SNX-771 units play FLAC. I'm not sure how well the overall unit is but it does play FLAC and has all the other features plus that you want.

    SoundStream SNX-771 INGENIX 7" Double DIN LCD/DVD/Navigation Receiver with 7 band EQ, USB/SD/MASS HDD, Bluetooth 3.0, WIN CE 6.0
    Might play FLAC but I bet it sounds worse than MP3's. Theres a reason nobody uses Soundstream HU's.



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Quote Originally Posted by whitedragon551 View Post
    The easiest way is going to be using Apple AAC loseless files instead of FLAC with an iPod. There arent any headunits out that support FLAC. It logically makes no difference and would be a huge waste of money.

    Every piece of a system introduces some type of distortion. Couple that with road noise you would never hear the difference between 320kbps MP3 and a FLAC file in a moving vehicle.
    I assume you mean ALAC as opposed to the lossy AAC, but in any case, the head unit itself would need to be able to decode the ALAC files as I don't own an iPod and I want to use an external HD via USB.

    I have to admit though that I've just compared some FLAC files to 320kbps mp3s and it is tough for me to tell the difference... and music production is a hobby of mine so I have decent low-end studio equipment (good for listening and electronic music... recording from a mic isn't ideal). I have some low frequency hearing loss in my left ear, but I've read that mp3 compression affects highs moreso than lows, so that shouldn't make too big a difference. If somebody were to play random songs as a FLAC versus 320kbps mp3 test and make me tell them which was which, I don't know that I'd be able to do so with great accuracy. I think I'm overthinking this.

    I do own FLAC music files though so it would be nice to have a receiver that could play them. I looked at Soundstream but it seems a little sketch. I'll wait for the JVC KW-V50BT to come out and check the USB folder/file limit and get it if I find the numbers to be sufficient. It also has an HDMI input which would be pretty cool.
    Last edited by ktennies; 02-23-2014 at 02:16 PM.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    I've ran the Precision Power P-771NX, and like the Soundstream HU it does support FLAC. However, it has issues that make it not worth buying for someone who wants a high quality head unit. I could see the cheaper crowd maybe overlooking its flaws, because it does have a stunning screen with very good brightness and contrast.

    Most of my music collection is 256 kbps mp3s. The biggest influence on music quality starts at the source, from the studio. You can't get perfection if it was never there, and I'm willing to accept that in exchange for having a good time listening to bands I enjoy.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Quote Originally Posted by whitedragon551 View Post
    Might play FLAC but I bet it sounds worse than MP3's. Theres a reason nobody uses Soundstream HU's.
    Oh, I never said it was a good or great unit lol. I've never ran one, but almost bought it when it was first coming out.



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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    AVH-4000NEX - 2-DIN Flagship Multimedia DVD Receiver with 7” WVGA Touchscreen Display, Smartphone-Inspired User Interface, Bluetooth, HD Radio Tuner, SiriusXM Ready, AppRadio Mode for iPhone and Select Android Devices, and MirrorLink Ready. | P

    this is the new 2014 pioneer hu unit i'm waiting for. granted it's abit spendy but has support for flac files and several other on screen control features i'm looking for.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Whitedragon is spot on here. Be careful w soundstream. Cheaply made and a history of claiming that they do what they don't.




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    Re: Head Unit That Plays FLAC Files

    Quote Originally Posted by ktennies View Post
    ...I have to admit though that I've just compared some FLAC files to 320kbps mp3s and it is tough for me to tell the difference... and music production is a hobby of mine so I have decent low-end studio equipment (good for listening and electronic music... recording from a mic isn't ideal)...
    I think that if you've got decent speakers, and a decent DAC chip in the head unit, the treble and upper midrange will sound cleaner. But the environment is a automobile so its understandable that the lower frequencies could struggle for clarity.

    While it's true the upper frequencies are important for detail, the mid and lower ends are also important for imaging. I never used to miss anything in my music until I actually heard the "fullness" that an instrument should have. And I'm not referring to a bloated sound, lol.

    I have a brother in-law who has substantial hearing loss in his left ear. So I hope your able to enjoy your music well enough.

    BTW, according to the JVC website the KW-V30BT isn't able to decode FLAC, whereas the KW-V50BT model can. I'm shopping for a FLAC ready head unit myself. I listen to FLAC files in home, and I'm honestly in no mood to maintain two collections in different digital formats myself.




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