High Quality Head Unit Help

Alexandros Stefanidis

CarAudio.com Newbie
Jun 13, 2019
Hey! Just trying to pick my next head unit, narrowed it down to 6 really and just want expert advice now! 

So the 6 are

Alpine CDE-HD149BT
Pioneer DEH-80PRS
Sony MEX-GS820BT
Kenwood KDC-X702


Pioneer DEX-P99RS
Sony RSX-GS9

Now i realize the last two are significantly more expensive than the others, which is why I grouped them separately. 

My priority is really sound quality, so in general higher preamp voltage and more EQ bands and a wide frequency range and ability to play high res types like FLAC. That being said, of course I would like some convenient features such as bluetooth, xm radio, ability to play ipod classic, front facing usb.

I originally started with over 50 different single din head units and narrowed it down to these 6 as being my favorites, but this is as far as my knowledge and research takes me so I'd love to hear your opinions on them!




Jun 8, 2018
Saint Marys, GA
What do you mean by active networks exactly? 
Passive Crossover - Is a crossover that would typically come with a set of component speakers. Signal is coming from the amplifier or head unit into the passive crossover then the signal is split inside the passive crossover and sent to the woofer and the tweeter. This type of crossover typically has a specific crossover frequency for the woofer and the tweeter and usually have very little adjustment if any at all. These are also usually limited on the amount of power they can handle.

Active Crossover/Network - The audio signal is adjustable for each speaker typically allowing the user to select crossover frequencies and slopes (crossover types) for each speaker. Furthermore, you may be able to EQ each speaker or channel independently. These signals are then sent to the amplifiers and then to each individual speaker. Usually you will need more channels of amplification with an "Active" setup. The rewards with this setup are usually much cleaner and more accurate sound if done properly.



Gunz That Turn on Nunz
Feb 5, 2013
South Coast Metro, CA
What do you mean by active networks exactly? 
What thxone said.  When you buy typical components, you are left to the mercy of your vehicle acoustics and how it interacts with the speakers and crossover points set on the passive crossover, literally like a lottery if you get good sound or not off the batt.

Meanwhile with Active networks, you have full independent left right tweeter and midrange control to get levels matched perfectly then crossover points are set based on your vehicle acoustics so you get a perfect blend between mid and tweeter. Not to mention you also get to time align the tweeter  and mid separately so all the sound waves hit your ears at the same time creating a pinpoint perfect soundstage.

Literally what you are focusing on with the FLAC files is utterly useless compared to a proper sound system design and SQ tune. A 320kbps bluetooth stream done on a well designed setup will sh*t all over a noob setup with lossless files. 



Senior VIP Member
Mar 5, 2014
Covina CA
I have to agree with the Pioneer HU. I like mine. FH-S701BS it is a double Din but, looks by your choices you looking for a single Din.
It was affordable and has all the bells and whistles. I had a Clarion for many years then few years back got a Kenwood HU for little over year. Then the Pioneer because it played High Res files.

Don't know if it matters but something you mite want to keep in mind. The Pioneer's have good HU and features and a over all good line of stuff righ now. But as many of us know Pioneer has sold the Car audio business last year to a China company. I had asked a few Pioneer dealers recently if they heard anything about this new company and maybe cheeping out the Pioneer brand like so many car audio brands had done in recent years. When i read the business websites I found out that Pioneer Japan was loosing money of there business and the car audio business and that is why the sold it. I even asked one of the tech people on Crutchfield if they heard anything, being they are a big Pioneer dealer and all. They new about the sale but don't know what is going to happen down the line. They said for now the Pioneer line is very good, and you can probably be assured of good quality for now. In the near future they don't know if this new China company will cheap out the Pioneer line of car audio. So basicly buy your Pioneer stuff now before that cheap out may or may not happen. If anyone has an update or more info, please inform us all Thanks.
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