Alpine ILX W650 Mech-Less Car Stereo Receiver Review

The Alpine ILX W650 is a relatively unassuming looking car stereo receiver.   

At first glance, you’d think that the Alpine ILX W650 was just a slightly more modern version of the Alpine headunits of the past. You know, those ones that aren’t nearly as good as the stock head units that come with most automobiles manufactured within the past year or so. But, don’t let its slim and compact profile fool you, this is a technologically-advanced head unit we’re talking about.   

Kudos to Alpine for coming up with such an impressive car stereo receiver.   

Combining a sleek user-friendly interface with an attractive price tag combined with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Alpine ILX W650 caters to both younger and older audiences at the same time.   

Read on more below to find out our thoughts about the Alpine ILX W650 

What Makes the Alpine ILX W650 So Good? 

Simple Swipe Control Interface 

Not all touchscreen head units are lauded. In fact, a lot are criticized for being counterintuitive and cumbersome to use.   

The engineers over at Alpine must have known that. This is because they designed the ILX W650 specifically for ease of use. Case in point, the two-finger swipe motion lets you handle pretty much all of the necessary functions of the ILX W650.

This includes moving left and right or up and down, as well as controlling volume or skipping tracks.   

Alpine ILX W650

The best part? You don’t need to swipe on a specific location to do the two-finger swipe.  

The entire area of the touch screen is part of the swipe control interface, which means that you won’t need to take your eyes off of the road.  

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Compatible

Perhaps the best feature of the Alpine ILX W650 is that it’s compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.  

For Apple CarPlay, only iPhone 5 and later models are supported and there needs to be physical connection via the Apple lightning cable. However, that’s better than nothing. This is especially when most other head units with this kind of feature cost far more. Not to mention, it also supports Android Auto, as well as Google Assistant, which needs both Bluetooth and a USB connection to work.  

Either way, whether you’re an Android or an iOS user, rest assured that you’ll have access seamless hands-free functionality of your smartphone even while you’re driving. 

Sleek and Shallow Design  

Thanks to its sleek and shallow design, the Alpine ILX W650 will fit seamlessly with most 2DIN-compatible vehicles.   

Measuring just 2.4-inches deep, the chassis is great for vehicles that have minimal depth on their dashboards. As an added bonus, this shallow depth makes the ILX W650 compatible with the separately sold KTA-450 Power Pack Amplifier for Alpine.   

Purchased together, the ILX W650 and KTA-450 Power Pack Amplifier make for a potent award-winning combo that will make your daily drives a lot more enjoyable.  

PROS

  • Top-tier features for a mid-range price 
  • Easy to install 
  • The user interface is responsive and easy to use, even for those who’ve struggled with touch screens in the past 
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto 

CONS

  • There’s no way to customize the background or colors 

Is the Alpine ILX W650 Worth Buying? 

The Alpine ILX W650 is a dream for anyone looking to upgrade their stock head unit.  

For older cars still rocking those ancient car stereo receivers, the ILX W650 is an easy fit that can be installed with no professional help in an hour or two. It might even take less time if you know your way around your dashboard.   

More importantly, the ILX W650 comes with a variety of features.   

In addition to what we’ve already mentioned above, the ILX W650 has: 

  • Pandora® Music for iPhone® and Android™ phones  
  • Rear camera input support 
  • FLAC/MP3/WMA/AAC/HE-AAC music playback via USB 
  • SiriusXM-Ready™ (SXV300 Connect Vehicle Tuner Kit sold separately; SiriusXM® subscription required 

Simply put, the ILX W650 packs so much in a relatively affordable and slim package.

Conclusion 

Is the Alpine ILX W650 perfect? Of course not. Although we describe it as relatively affordable, it’s only because of its premium features.   

When compared to other budget-range head units, the ILX W650 isn’t quite cheap. But, then again, you’re not getting budget-range features either, which kind of explains why it warrants its price and why it’s such a steal at its price point.   

With that said, we do recommend the Alpine ILX W650  

Younger folks will love the modern functionality of the head unit. More importantly, older folks will cover the ILX W650 because of how user-friendly the interface is.  

Last update on 2020-10-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API