If you’re a fan of Twenty one pilots’ hit song “Car Radio” then you already know that you can’t really stay sane without one. Jokes aside, a car radio or stereo is now considered to be the center piece of any car which is why it’s almost impossible to find a car without a car stereo. However, factory-installed car stereos aren't for the most part anything to write home about. So, you’re left with two choices: live with it or upgrade.
We’re here to talk about the second option : “upgrading” because, personally speaking, I can’t be in a car for hours on hours with a lame stereo. I don’t want to overestimate this but I don’t want to underestimate it either, because although it is not a matter of life or death, a good car stereo can make a huge difference in my day to day life and that’s worth the investment.
Now to the most important step of upgrading your car stereo system: the choice. Choice is big and that goes for pretty much any product out there. You want to find the best quality item that doesn’t go over the budget you have devised for it but that’s still a lot of research. So, let me make that easier for you and introduce you to the Pioneer AVH-4200NEX.
First thing that we look for in a product is a big name because it usually means good quality and this double DIN car stereo has that all figured out. Pioneer is as old as history, seriously this brand has been around since 1938 and through all this time, it has been developing, upgrading and growing to reach people all around the world. That being said, Pioneer is undeniably a trust worthy name in the car audio industry but should you trust this product just because it carries a reputable title? Not really because this product can pretty much stand on its own even if it weren’t a Pioneer head unit. Let me explain:
First things first, the Pioneer AVH-4200NEX is a double din car stereo. It’s 7” wide x 4” tall x 7” deep which makes it much more attractive but at the same time a lot easier to read when you're on the road compared to a single DIN stereo system. The reason behind that is that this double DIN receiver has a large touch screen that you can customize to match your car's dashboard. The button layout on this double DIN receiver is conveniently on the bottom of the screen and the design is discreet and simple.
But don’t be fooled. Not only does the AVH-4200NEX look slick but it’s also a beast performance-wise and that is due to the abundance of features which makes it one of the best car stereos out there.
- Android auto and Apple car play: This is one of the best features of this device, allowing you to cast the interface of your Smartphone onto the screen of your stereo, basically using it as an external touch screen. Now if this isn’t cool, I don’t know what is. This feature will allow you to take your eyes off your phone but still control it with a quick glance at your large display and prevent accidents. Don’t worry, this won’t consume your battery any faster but it will make the experience much smoother and safer, so that’s something to look forward to.
- Built in HD-Radio: This is the future of car radios because to be honest; there’s nothing more annoying than the static noise and disturbance you get from a regular car radio but no more. With HD radio, you can enjoy your display as if you’re play digital music from your library: no bumps, no noise, no disruptions, just clean high definition broadcast.
- Siri® Eyes-Free: An interactive operator is not so uncommon nowadays in the latest cars but only a few reach up to the level of Siri operators. Siri is a voice control operator which is common on apple mobile phones and is now available on the AVH-4200NEX to guarantee you get a smoother experience with your device. This feature will allow you to navigate through the options on this Pioneer hands free which is fun but also very practical when driving.
- Bluetooth: The AVH-4200NEX like most nowadays car stereos comes equipped with Bluetooth so that it enables you to connect your phone to the system and play the music you wish from your phone. This feature is extremely useful on the road as it also allows you to answer your calls with your hands on the steering wheel.
- Satellite Radio: It is common amongst Pioneers to come with a satellite radio feature and that is for many good reasons. The most obvious reason is that you don’t have to worry about driving too far away from signal because you’re always within range no matter how far you get. In other words, you can be travelling from one state to the other and you wouldn’t have to worry about losing signal and that’s epic.
Additionally, this double DIN headunit features USB direct control for your iPod and iPhone. It also has a rear auxiliary, rear A/V input, two rear USB inputs, HDMI input, as well as dual rear-view camera inputs.
And as for audio shapping controls, you can make the most of your music with this Pioneer's 13-band EQ. Just swipe your finger on the touchscreen to dial in the curve that brings out tones you're looking for. The digital media alignment and the Auto-EQ on the other hand will also allow you to better fine-tune your sound and compensate for your vehicle's acoustics.
As for cons, it's really difficult to think of any. However, as with most high-end double DIN car stereos, the AVH-4200NEX head unit is quite pricey.