Wanted: Car stereo with simple aesthetics and aux input
July 14, 2008 2:30 PM   Subscribe

Car Stereo Recommendations: must have an aux input. Must have zen-like interface simplicity, and mostly pushbutton operation except for the few things for which knobs really make sense. A manual should be all but redundant for operation of this device. Would be nice if it has bluetooth built-in. Satellite radio is a plus. What am I looking for?

Here's an example that I don't think is good: the Eclipse Cd7200 MkII. The buttons are small and the labels are small and probably difficult to see. The most prominent control is a knob which is great for volume but I'll be the designers use it for other stuff for which it was never intended. 7 band EQ and gold-plated connectors and Das Blinkenlights are also overkill and really not preferred. And stuff with neon accent lighting is way way to common.

I almost think what I'm looking for will have the aesthetic of a basic built-in factory stereo -- big buttons, simple controls, radio + a few other things. I think I've seen stuff like this in high-end rental cars (Chrysler Sebring). Hell, even this random honda unit gets at the simplicity, even if it's really not all that great looking.

But I'm starting to think that every aftermarket car stereo is designed by 12 year old boys (God bless 'em). Hope me, Metafilter.
posted by wildblueyonder to Technology (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Best option would be to go into a car stereo retailer and playing around with the stereos. Also, pretty much all car stereos have aux input, and simplistic interfaces. (Playing CD's and changing radio stations isn't that complicated).
posted by wongcorgi at 3:04 PM on July 14, 2008

Of all the aftermarket car stereo brands, Blaupunkt and Alpine might be the least 12-year-old-boy-looking. Maybe put Pioneer on that list too.
posted by box at 3:10 PM on July 14, 2008

I went with Alpine specifically because they tend not to look completely stupid.

Also, you should be looking at the lower-end stereos if you want simplicity of interface. The more money you spend, the more useless buttons you get.
posted by Netzapper at 4:09 PM on July 14, 2008

This Sony has a big dumb knob and little pushbuttons. Bluetooth too. Reburb price is pretty good.
posted by damn dirty ape at 5:27 PM on July 14, 2008

Check out the Pioneer DEH-P4000UB. I had and older version in my old car and plan to get this one for my next car. It plays mp3 discs, you can plug in USB devices, it has an AUX in, and the faceplate is about as tame as you can get. There is also a Bluetooth module you can get for your phone and it is Satellite ready. The best part, though, is the remote control. I really got used to the remote control on my old one and consider it a valuable safety feature. It's also relatively cheap.

Other similar Pioneer Models.
posted by Yorrick at 5:38 PM on July 14, 2008

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