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Pioneer or Kenwood HU?

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by 1lowlife, Jan 22, 2020.

  1. Jan 22, 2020 at 8:43 AM
    #1
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    Back in early 2015, after months of trying to make the Entune work with aftermarket speakers (Focals) and my Alpine PDX V9 amp, I knew I'd have to go with an aftermarket HU.

    First bought a Kennwood DDX9903S and ran it for a year.

    33F770E9-EF76-4B54-9B0A-CB5F47F82489_zps_1ec6062c39b1a65f902d3c6c93f25215ea9a47ab.jpg

    I liked it, but I hated the warning screen on startup that had to be touched to cancel.
    I wouldn't time out on it's own.
    Also wireless Carplay became available so I replaced the Kenwood with a Pioneer AVH-W4400NEX.

    kghyx7hb_zps187frixw_0fa5edadc59ae915fb4c3a821634f676dd296695.jpg

    I've been happy with it somewhat.
    Screen was nicer and the menu layout was better on the Kenwood.

    So I've had the Pioneer for 18 months.
    2 months ago I noticed carplay wasn't connecting automatically.
    I had to push three buttons, and only while stopped, to get it connected.
    I repaired it over and over, but it won't connect on it's own.
    I also found that if I changed my settings (audio, beep cancel, screen colors, etc) or presets, they would revert back to the old settings and presets when I restarted the truck.
    I've restored the HU several times, using both the menu and the button on the face plate, but have the same issues.

    Emailed Pioneer and they agreed something is wrong, but it is out of the 1 year warranty.
    Kenwood has a 2 year warranty.
    Kinda bummed the Pioneer is crapping out, I started buying supertuners in 1978.

    So I'm cruzin Crutchfeild for a new HU.
    Leaning back towards Kenwood Excelon although if I bought a Pioneer, it would use the same wiring harness as the 4400.
    Both units I'm considering have all the same basic functions, crossovers, EQ, TA, XM ready (already have the tuner), etc...

    Questions to you guys:
    Which do you prefer Kenwood or Pioneer?
    Thinking about buying one without the CD player because I never use it.
    You see any advantage to the disc player?
    Current Pioneer has the HDMI input (put the plug in the dash) I was excited about, but I NEVER use it.
    Also going back and forth on HD radio, the only AM/FM station I listen to is the local talk radio on the way to work to hear traffic.

    Over the years I've owned Kenwood, Pionner, Sony, and Apline HUs.
    Kenwood and Pioneer are the only ones that lasted in the long run, until now.

    Any suggestions appreciated..
     
  2. Jan 22, 2020 at 8:50 AM
    #2
    D4x4TRD

    D4x4TRD New Member

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    I personally prefer Kenwood, but have actually used pioneer more in reality. I use the DVD player for the kids when they ride. That’s with my pioneer. Kenwood seems to last longer than pioneer. Just my opinion though. Good luck.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  3. Jan 22, 2020 at 8:54 AM
    #3
    RitcheyRch

    RitcheyRch New Member

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    I've always preferred Kenwood and Alpine.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  4. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:06 AM
    #4
    14CRWMX

    14CRWMX New Member

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    Kenwood from DDX9904s and newer , times out warning automatically.
     
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  5. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:16 AM
    #5
    ninjajay

    ninjajay Posting from the toilet

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    I’ve had better luck with Pioneer over the years, mine is 3-4 years old and still kicking.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  6. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:18 AM
    #6
    e30cabrio

    e30cabrio I'm e30cabrio, I'm a modaholic

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    I have had Kenwood & Pioneer, my last Kennwood was 9904, I liked it but preferred the sound of my previous NEX 7200 so went with a NEX 8200. I like carplay but usually just use Sirius. The 8200 sounds great.

    Honestly they are both good options.
     
    D4x4TRD and 1lowlife[OP] like this.
  7. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:20 AM
    #7
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    Thank you for your quick responses.
    I'm looking to order this today, delivered Friday, I'll install Saturday.

    I pulled the HU yesterday, going to hook it up in a few minutes and see if MAYBE the HU will reset to true defaults being without power 24 hours.
    I can't reset my XM presets and instead of coming on the last channel it was on, it always starts on FactionPunk, drives the wife insane (or more insane than usual).
    I really don't see it making a difference, and if not, I'll order one of the Kenwoods today.

    qua5hdu6_zpssjqsdutg_09c0ba4720265ddd43f9e663b41761819664b612.jpg

    Also replacing that center dash piece today, I fu(ked it up when I removed a Rokform magnet from an old phone case.

    2tl1abho_zpsgvtemgyl_20c15b1620bbb3c47d18206b93eff81e472823be.jpg
     
  8. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:33 AM
    #8
    ninjajay

    ninjajay Posting from the toilet

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    Now’s your chance to replace the center dash piece with a black one out of the SR
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  9. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:45 AM
    #9
    truefunk

    truefunk New Member

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    I always liked Pioneer, had a Pioneer HU in my 2013. I like the fact it had the option to,play flac files of an SD card. In the same spot right now that I’m looking to add a HU and speakers in my 2020.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  10. Jan 22, 2020 at 9:58 AM
    #10
    Trooper2

    Trooper2 Premium Lone Star Member / SSEM #13

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    Guessing most of the HU MFGs are making them as "Affordable" as they can which could lead to shorter life spans. It seems to me that with the touch screen, software and so many extra features today, there will be something more prone to failing.

    Over the years I have had several single DIN units from Pioneer, Alpine, Sony and Kenwood. They all worked with no issues.

    I am on my 1st Double DIN, a Pioneer NEX 8100 that is still working great. I actually got it second hand from a co-worker who used for about 2 years.
     
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  11. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:00 AM
    #11
    Jengel451

    Jengel451 Misanthropist

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    timely. I'm growing more and more pissed off at my Kenwood HU. mainly the Android Auto not launching. And the thing locking up even with not tethered. I think they all pretty much suck anymore, especially for the price points.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  12. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:08 AM
    #12
    truefunk

    truefunk New Member

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    Is keeping the Toyota HU any better, with the hiss and dirty signal and additional cost of dsp ? That’s my issue right now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2020
  13. Jan 22, 2020 at 11:14 AM
    #13
    Trooper2

    Trooper2 Premium Lone Star Member / SSEM #13

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    TSS 20's with Cooper ATP ll's, N Fab 3 Step Nerf Bars,, Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX, Masters Tailgate Replacement Latch with Camera, 1" Maxtrac Shackles, LED Interiors/Brake/Reverse/Cargo/Fog Bulbs, Fumoto Drain Valve, Toyota Aluminium Oil Filter Housing, TRD Shift Knob, Courtesy Door Projector LEDs with Toyota Emblem, Console Tray and Lower Divider.
    With no experience with the 3rd gens, I would lean towards keeping the stock HU if possible until it goes out or gets flaky. I just wouldn't be real excited about replacing it on a newer truck unless I had to. Just my .02
     
    10TundraSR5 and 1lowlife[OP] like this.
  14. Jan 22, 2020 at 12:21 PM
    #14
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    Good point about the SD card.
    Another thing is if I keep with Pioneer, I wouldn't have to swap the bluetooth mic.

    I've also learned it is much easier to load a custom startup image with the Pioneer.

    rmnanme3_zpszwid0zd9_d3857f17dbed74890be7ef98e3b47373349cf9fc.jpg

    It can be done with the Kenwood, but the image has to have exact parameters and you have to enter a secret menu to install it.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=cha...me&ie=UTF-8#kpvalbx=_ka0oXrDgEoWIsQWJpLyQBQ15
     
    truefunk[QUOTED] and D4x4TRD like this.
  15. Jan 22, 2020 at 12:24 PM
    #15
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    My first to attempt to keep my 2014 Entune with the Alpine amp was using an AC LC6i.
    It sounded OK, but not as good as an aftermarket HU.

    556E7DB2-BB3A-43F6-B9A3-5305C43F3143_zps_647c91292dbce6e4ecda654b9a8ecb9a338521be.jpg
     
    truefunk likes this.
  16. Jan 22, 2020 at 1:08 PM
    #16
    ninjajay

    ninjajay Posting from the toilet

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    stock HU is trash, poor quality screen, bad output

    I would keep it around to put back in for reselling/trading the truck but that’s it
     
  17. Jan 22, 2020 at 1:25 PM
    #17
    19TurdPro

    19TurdPro New Member

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    I have no experience with Pioneer, only Kenwood.
    It does some things that are highly annoying. It may or may not bother you but to me, I'm considering switching.
    If anyone who has a Pioneer is willing to chime in on this and let me know if the Pioneers are the same, please do so.

    1. Backup camera has a huge "check surroundings warning" that doesn't go away unless you tap it with your finger.
    2. You cannot scroll thru Sirius XM stored presets with the steering wheel control, only channels. You can on the HD radio, but not Sirius.
    3. Garmin GPS does not get its traffic info over the air, but via a companion app on your phone that does not work.
    4. Takes forever to boot. Again, has a warning logo that you have to tap to make disappear, or wait 10 seconds. In the meantime the steering wheel controls are unresponsive.
     
  18. Jan 22, 2020 at 1:34 PM
    #18
    14CRWMX

    14CRWMX New Member

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    Upcoming pioneer head units with 10 inch floating screen would be definitely worth switching.
     
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  19. Jan 22, 2020 at 2:16 PM
    #19
    JMB

    JMB Not new, just a little old.

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    I've got a DDX271 that is quite a few years old. 1 doesn't annoy me that much, it annoys me more that it took me a year to figure out that you could turn it off. 2-4 I don't have those features. When I researched, every model had the same audio specs, the price went up for added features that I'd never use. It has gotten a little quirky in the past year, the ipod will disconnect or start at the beginning in alphabetical order every couple of months. I don't know if it's the hu or the ipod. And I know, nobody uses an ipod anymore, my 30 yo daughter told me that in a tone that dripped with "OK boomer".

    But after reading this thread I researched some newer hu's just in case I find myself needing a new one. Much to my dismay nothing available from Crutchfield supports ipod classic?!?!?! I love my ipod. It has 5+ days of music on it and is less than 30% full. I searched for ipod compatible Kenwood models and the only ones I found were Russian or European, and one Pioneer that the website was in Japanese. Does anyone make an ipod classic compatible car stereo anymore?
     
  20. Jan 22, 2020 at 2:27 PM
    #20
    19TurdPro

    19TurdPro New Member

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    I use an iPod touch, and will continue to as long as they are supported. It makes it really easy to update my library since it's always on and connected to my WiFi.
     
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  21. Jan 22, 2020 at 3:15 PM
    #21
    JMB

    JMB Not new, just a little old.

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    I've seen some currently available stereos that support the touch. I'm the same with my classic, and it's not supported anymore, but I'll keep adding to it and use it until it doesn't work anymore. Then I don't know, maybe I'll add a turntable to the truck?
     
  22. Jan 22, 2020 at 3:55 PM
    #22
    ifishinxs

    ifishinxs New Member

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    This is why I bought a Pioneer AVH W4500NEX. A friend of mine runs a an audio video business. He recommends Pioneer HU and although Kenwood has some great features, you have pointed out the Cons that steered my away from the Kenwood. Having said that they are both great HU’s.
     
    1lowlife[OP] likes this.
  23. Jan 22, 2020 at 3:58 PM
    #23
    glowblue

    glowblue From time to time

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    I just installed the Kenwood
    DMX906S. It’s not bad. Menu setup is a little goofy. It has rebooted a couple times only when running wireless CarPlay. It seems to have settled down - why I have not idea.


    It really did make my stock speakers come alive - which made me realize how much a POS the stock HU is!
     
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  24. Jan 22, 2020 at 4:20 PM
    #24
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    Thank you all for so much input in only one day.

    I ended up ordering the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX, pretty much the new year model of what I have.
    All I'll have to do is unplug everything from the 4400 and plug the 4500 in.
    Same power harnesses, same bluetooth mic, probably the same flash for the Idatalink Maestro.
    The backs of the radios look identical, same chassis.
    I called Crutchfield and she confirmed they use the same plugs.

    The Pioneer 4400 worked fine for 16 months, maybe I'll have better luck with this one.

    I got the Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX from Crutchfield as an open box item for $140 off the reg $695.
    Should be fine, I don't need any of the accessories, still have Crutchfield's 60 day return policy and the 1 year Pioneer warranty.

    Should be here Friday, I'll swap them out Saturday or Sunday...
    Shouldn't take but 15 minutes.
     
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  25. Jan 22, 2020 at 4:32 PM
    #25
    Trooper2

    Trooper2 Premium Lone Star Member / SSEM #13

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    Try selling the old one, disclose any issues, recoup some money. :thumbsup:

    Does Crutchfield.com offer any EW?
     
  26. Jan 22, 2020 at 7:31 PM
    #26
    1lowlife

    1lowlife [OP] Toxic prick and pavement princess..

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    Gonna see if the new one works OK.
    Make sure I don't have the same issues.

    I'd have a hard time selling the one I have now with it not being 100%.
    Going top swap them out, bench test the one I have.
    I'll figure it out.

    I've never known crutchfield to offer ext warranties.
     
  27. Jan 23, 2020 at 6:26 AM
    #27
    Jbehredt

    Jbehredt Burgeoning member

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    Similar experience last year with a glitchy Pioneer 4400Nex in my wife’s 4Runner. Replaced with a Kenwood 906s and she loves it. Good news was since she had the pioneer less than a year cartoys gave us credit for the full purchase price.
     
  28. Jan 23, 2020 at 7:07 AM
    #28
    Elduder

    Elduder New Member

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    Ive ran both KW and Pioneer. Biggest complaint for Pioneer was that they have such a lag on screen response until you get into the $600+ units. Other than that, they seem very "no frills", but do what theyre made for.

    The Kenwoods respond faster, allow more screen customization, are clearly more SQ oriented (higher pre amp voltage on Excelon units, more tuning parameters). The Kenwood I had allowed me to get a much better final sound after tuning it, without a DSP.

    For me I wont consider a Pioneer unit again, simply because I feel that the Kenwoods are a better value. Ive owned at least 3 units from each MFG over the years too, so I do have some history with both.
     
  29. Jan 23, 2020 at 7:12 AM
    #29
    truefunk

    truefunk New Member

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    Might be a dumb question, anyone know if I change the HU, is the information in the center between the speedometer etc. lost? Like the lane departure digital speed info etc?
     
  30. Jan 23, 2020 at 7:12 AM
    #30
    Elduder

    Elduder New Member

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    No, but the radio info screen may not display the same info
     

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