Where can I find a good CD head unit for my new car?
February 16, 2006 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find a good CD head unit for my new car? I'm having trouble finding good reviews for current products online. I'm looking for sites with reviews or recommendations of actual head units.

I've already checked epinions, ecoustics, and several other (lackluster) review sites. I'm looking for something in the $300-$500 range. I'm not interested in any kind of video. My needs are pretty basic, but I want a high-quality player. I need CD Text. I would like a pause feature. MP3 playback would be nice, but I think most players have this now.
posted by raddevon to Shopping (7 answers total)
Crutchfield's search feature lets you limit searches based on criteria like CD Text, MP3 playback, aux-in, etc etc.

Good luck finding something, and please report back on whatever you get. Looking at head units for the last few weeks has been making my eyes bleed.
posted by bcwinters at 12:53 PM on February 16, 2006

Pause? I just hit "power" when a passenger is on the phone or whatever and "power" again when they hung up - there's really no reason to keep the cd spinning while it's not playing.
posted by aubilenon at 1:50 PM on February 16, 2006

anecdotal - but I just spent a hair over $200 on an Eclipse unit and I love it. The quality is execellent, sounds really good with my small 2-channel amp. Has everything you mentioned. Email me for details...
posted by TeamBilly at 3:12 PM on February 16, 2006

Alpine 9857 looks nice. I have owned the CDA-9847 and have been very happy with it. I can hook it up to my iPod in addition to using Sirius satellite radio.

But it has the basic features that you're looking for. I use mp3 CDs all the time. And it has a pause button. ;)
posted by drstein at 3:52 PM on February 16, 2006

Response by poster: aubilenon,
All I want is to be able to stop the music immediately and make is start again immediately. A power button would work for that in most cases, but I had a JVC with a power button that had to be held for three seconds before turning off. Three seconds isn't that big a deal unless you're trying to answer a cell phone. I know some players have a short delay in powering up which would be a minor nuisance. If I purchase at a B&M, I can test the power button, but, if I purchase on the Internet, I won't have that opportunity.

Thanks for all the input so far. I'm leaning toward Alpine since I had an Alpine in the vehicle I traded toward this vehicle. I used it for five years with virtually no problems.
posted by raddevon at 7:50 AM on February 17, 2006

So long as you go with a decent brand, you'll be fine. Sony, Alpine, etc, so long as you recognize the name, I wouldn't worry too much. I have an odd sized space, so I really only had about 2 options besides ordering from the factory. Not much need to search around.

Crutchfield is definatly the place to get it online. Reasonable prices, excellent install instructions, and often free extended warranties. I havn't had to use their phone support. I bought a head unit a year ago or so from them. Installed it myself, nice and easy.
posted by Phynix at 12:20 PM on February 17, 2006

I've been happy with Alpine.

Be sure to have it installed by a professional place -- i.e., one that uses the manufacturer's mounting kits and screws/bolts things together. El cheapo places use hot glue, which turns loose after a few months. (Don't ask how I learned this.)
posted by KRS at 2:18 PM on February 17, 2006

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