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Car technology and upgradable options continue to grow with every new year. Most new cars have so many bells and whistles; they look like the cockpit of an airplane. Features such as a built-in touch screens, which manage GPS navigation, audio inputs, and climate controls are becoming standard. Not surprisingly, much of this technology is becoming the norm due to the changing tech market. More and more individuals are buying smart phones that have apps that can do practically anything from traffic alerts to managing your music playlist. However, for some people who have older vehicles or chose not to pay the extra money for upgrades, those extra features are unavailable. That is where the Pioneer brand touch screens come into play.

Pioneer is a leading manufacturer of audio equipment including speakers, subwoofers, and touch screen audio technology. They have been around since 1938 and are known for excellent products. These touch screen units allow car owners to upgrade their older model vehicle with GPS navigation, hands-free telephone connection, and a visual audio playlist for a fraction of the cost. With a variety of options, car owners are sure to find something that will fit in their current ride and also provide them the features they seek. This is a look at several different models Pioneer offers and some of the strengths and weaknesses of each unit.

 

AVH-290BT Multimedia DVD Receiver

This is one of the newest Pioneer models and it comes with a 6.2 inch touch screen with LED backlight. It is compatible with the iPhone/iPod and Android cell phones and includes a USB hook-up for direct connections. Additionally, it includes Bluetooth hands-free calling and a built-in DVD player. It is priced from $200-$240 depending on where you buy it.

  • Strengths

A major strength of this model is the hands-free Bluetooth pairing option. This allows for hands-free calling, which is a great safety feature for drivers who did not have that functionality previously. It does include an audio microphone as well that is long enough to be run up the driver’s sideboard to a convenient place. Additionally, the Bluetooth feature allows the user to scroll through their music playlists once paired with the appropriate device. An added bonus feature of this model is that it has the capability to handle a separately installed back-up camera.

  • Weaknesses

This does not work with all older model cars. You will need to check with the manufacturer before purchasing and may have to buy additional parts to make the unit adaptable to your current ride. This model also lacks GPS functionality. Customers also complained of issues relating to the Bluetooth connectivity dropping in and out for some model phones.

 

AVH-200EX Car Audio Double Din

This is another new model that has a 6.2 inch touch screen with LED backlight. It comes equipped with built-in Bluetooth and is compatible with both iPhone and Android devices. The AVH-200EX also has a disc player, which is capable of playing CDs and DVDs. This unit costs about $190-$200 depending on where you purchase the device.

  • Strengths

A nice feature of this unit is that it allows you to customize your display colors as well as background colors to match your car’s interior lighting. The AVH-290BT only has the ability for three color options even with the added cost. This model includes the Bluetooth hands-free calling option, which contributes to safe driving along with allowing the user to scroll through their playlists visually. This unit also has the added bonus of being compatible with a separately installed back-up camera. There are some kits online that include a waterproof, night-vision capable back-up camera for the same price as the unit by itself. Additionally, the unit has an RCA video output, which allows users to hook up other devices and separate monitors. This is a nice function to have if you want separate DVD displays for children in the backseat.

  • Weaknesses

Since this model is relatively new, there were not any major complaints noted. The only downside that customers complained off was that the display could be hard to see during the day with glare. This unit is also not GPS capable.

 

AVH-2300NEX Multimedia DVD Receiver

The AVH-2300NEX is quite a step up from the other two models discussed in many ways. It has a larger touch screen at 7 inches and includes additional audio streaming capabilities such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and AppRadio Mode+. Additionally, this unit is Sirius XM capable and works with Pandora and Spotify streaming services. With the extra added streaming capability, this unit also is compatible with several external speaker hookups for optimum sound quality. It also includes a built-in DVD player. Pricing varies widely on this one from $320-$500.

  • Strengths

The major strength for this model is the additional audio streaming capabilities. Whether you have an iPhone or an Android, this unit has got you covered for audio playlists. It includes direct connectivity to your devices just like the other two models, but has a more enhanced user interface that works more like your smart phone. The AVH-2300NEX also has the capability to customize the display as with the AVH-200EX. Another added feature is GPS navigation functionality; however, this requires a separate unit to be installed along with this device.

  • Weaknesses

No complaints have been noted at this time and customers all seem to be happy with this unit and all the added features.

 

MVH-AV290BT In-Dash Digital Media A/V Receiver

This smaller Pioneer model is a double DIN in-dash media receiver, meaning it has a wider front face. It has a 6.2 inch touch screen display, which is fingerprint resistant. The MVH-AV290BT includes USB and Aux inputs along with being compatible with most iPhone and Android devices. It also has built-in Bluetooth functionality for hands-free calling and music streaming. The price for this unit averages about $185-$200.

  • Strengths

The major strength of this model is the Bluetooth compatibility, which is a feature most buyers are looking for. It can also hook directly up to your steering wheel controls if your car has that capability. This feature allows for more hands-free music scrolling and is a nice safety option to have. Additionally, it can handle a separate back-up camera input.

  • Weaknesses

Like the AVH-290BT model, it only allows for three color display options. Additionally, this unit is only capable of audio options and does not come with a DVD player or the capability to do large scale audio streaming like the AVH-2300NEX. This unit is also not GPS navigation capable. A common complaint for this unit was the poor Bluetooth functionality.

 

AVH-X490BS In-Dash DVD Receiver

This model is very similar to the AVH-2300NEX and includes a 7 inch touch screen display with LED backlight. It has built-in Bluetooth and is also iPhone and Android device compatible. In addition, this unit has the AppRadio functionality, which allows the user to hook up their devices and share the same display on the touch screen. This unit also includes a remote and is priced from $300-360.

  • Strengths

Similar to the other high end model, the AVH-2300NEX, this unit can play Pandora and Spotify streaming options and it is Sirius XM capable. It also is navigation ready, but just as with the AVH-2300NEX model; it requires a separate GPS receiver device. It has a built-in DVD and has excellent sound quality. The built-in Bluetooth device maintains the safety features that other units have also included.

  • Weaknesses

No complaints have been noted at this time and customers all seem to be happy with this unit’s features and the price.

 

AVH-X4800BS Motorized DVD Receiver

The AVH-X4800BS is another upgraded unit similar to the AVH-2300NEX and the AVH-X490BS models. It also has a 7 inch touch screen display and is capable of reading both DVDs and CDs. It includes the built-in functionality for iPhone/iPod and Android device compatibility. The AVH-X4800BS also includes some of the upgraded audio streaming features such as Pandora and Spotify. This unit is priced from $300-380 depending on where you buy it.

  • Strengths

It has all the same strengths as the AVH-2300NEX and the AVH-X490BS models including Bluetooth supportability. This allows for hands-free calling and audio playlist scrolling. It has the added AppRadio One connection feature, which allows for the user to display their phone features right on the touch screen. An added feature of this unit over the other models is that it does have voice recognition capability such as Siri utilizing the Bluetooth functionality. The AVH-X4800BS has a customizable display as with other units and includes a remote. Another bonus feature is that the display is motorized so that it moves up and out of the way when you want to play a DVD.

  • Weaknesses

This unit seemed to be fairly popular amongst customers overall, but had some noticeable complaints compared to the other high end models. More specifically, customers complained of issues with the outputs going bad after only a few months including the Bluetooth connectivity.

 

AVH-280BT In-Dash DVD Receiver

The AVH-280BT is very similar to the AVH-290BT, but is an older model. It has a 6.2 inch display and includes all the same features as the newer model. The only major difference is that is not compatible with newer model iPhones and Android devices such as the 7 and 7 plus. This unit costs about $215 from other users as it is an older model. We have chosen to include it for comparison value to other models.

  • Strengths

It has all the same strengths as the AVH-290BT.

  • Weaknesses

A common customer complaint with this unit is the Error-10 message, which effectively renders this unit inoperable. Users are better off buying the more updated unit that has updated firmware.

 

AVH-X7800BT DVD Receiver

This is another high end unit that compares with the AVH-X490BS, the AVH-2300NEX, and the AVH-4800BS. However, this model is not Sirius XM capable as with the other units. Another significant difference with this model is that it is 1-DIN meaning it has a smaller area display that must be flipped open for user compared to the in-dash options. This unit is priced around $350-$500.

  • Strengths

As mentioned, it has all the same features as some of the other upgraded models except for the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features that are standard on the AVH-2300NEX. However, it does include the AppRadio One functionality that allows for users to display their phones on the screen. Additionally, it includes the voice recognition feature that allows for further hands-free driving. It also includes a remote.

  • Weaknesses

This unit had high marks as with the other upgraded units, but customers did repeatedly complain about Bluetooth connectivity options and inoperable USB connection. Another large complaint was that this unit is not compatible with iOS 11 functionality, which degrades the AppRadio functionality.

 

This list was intended to provide you with a comprehensive look at various Pioneer Touch Screen units. As with most large purchases, we suggest you verify that the unit you are interested in is compatible with your vehicle or that it comes with a list of other parts necessary to make it compatible. The best way to determine that is to call the company directly. Most of the units are DVD and Bluetooth capable, but some units are audio only and that may not be what you are looking for. Each unit listed has unique features available so it is up to you to determine your needs. A nice feature of most Pioneer models is that they are compatible and capable of supporting other systems such as GPS navigation and back-up camera functionality. However, keep in mind that most of these add-ons do not come include so if you are interested in those features, it is best to price out those units separately to determine the overall cost impact. Additionally, we always recommend that you look over any online reviews for the units as most can indicate the major issues a unit might have before you spend the money.

 

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