Even though this probably supposed to be a step “down” from my Pioneer, this runs much better.
I love having the voice option button I can press to get to Siri at any time. This is in case the volume from the speakers is too loud, or if there is a lot of sound in the cabin.
I’ve noticed Siri works better when pressing the voice button, however, this appears to be on the Apple side after iOS upgrades as I noticed the same issue with my Pioneer.
Some might consider this a drawback, but you cannot access the settings unless you are in park with the parking brake on. However, if you download the tune it app, you can adjust all the audio settings there such as the EQ, and most everything else related to that without having to use the brake.
I would HIGHLY recommend going on YouTube and learning the user interface before buying this unit so you know what to expect. I’ve owned several Alpine units in the past, all single DIN, and this is a more time consuming user interface than I’ve dealt with before.
At this price point it would be nice for most people to have more than nine bands for the EQ, but it also lets you adjust the Q level to how much you want it to adjust the surrounding frequencies. Most head units don’t offer that. For ease of use, I’d recommend using the tune it app where it will categorize the nine bands into bass, mid, treble. It also lets you choose different frequencies instead of being stuck at one frequency like most head units. This is a parametric EQ as opposed to a graphic EQ. The difference is in the eye of the beholder and there are lots of online forums and videos that go over the differences.
I use a separate Alpine H800 DSP/EQ and found I needed to adjust the bands on it more for this unit than the Pioneer, but the Pioneer I replaced was one of the worst car audio investments I’ve made in almost 15 years. I sent it off for multiple warranty issues at once after only a few months of ownership. On the warranty site, they give a list of specific issues to pick from and my unit had more than one of the specific issues. So, I’ll take that trade off.
CarPlay is excellent and easy to see. I mean, CarPlay is a standard interface regardless of the unit, but some manufacturers take longer than others to navigate through the menu. I’ve noticed after having mine installed that I have to wait until after the unit finishes booting before I can hook up my phone and have it switch into CarPlay mode. Otherwise it seems to just charge it. However, disconnecting and reconnecting the cable fixes that. There may even be a firmware update available or down the road that addresses that.
I like how the physical buttons on the head unit are simple to know the functions of. Alpine has made some improvements over what they have done in the past where there were so many buttons that it would involve a higher learning curve to figure out what they all do. This unit includes a button that brings you directly to navigation mode within CarPlay (or Android Auto if you use that). That’s a big time saver.
Even with the identical back up camera installed, that’s a vast improvement over my 8200nex. The picture is clearer and it doesn’t cut out.
Make sure you read the description and specs for this head unit. This doesn’t come with an optical drive for CDs or DVDs, but the Lightning to HDMI adapter more than makes up for that.
I’ve had no issues with glare at all even with full sunlight. Not blinding at night either.
I had this installed by Geek Squad as part of the package deal.
I didn’t have the tech install the satellite radio, so I can’t speak to that feature for this specific unit. Long story short, the AIFF files from my iPhone 7 Plus sound better since it isn’t an over the air source and they won’t drop out during bad weather. I don’t want to potentially relive the bad customer service of satellite radio I had in years past.
I had used Alpine almost exclusively until someone recommended the Pioneer and I’ll never go back.
An added note, before the 8200nex, I also had a 4200nex that had identical issues, and also ran slower. From my personal experiences, it could just be that whole year of that NEX series had issues as other reviews mention it as well. They may have improved the performance within the alphabet soup of the names of newer models. But when the flagship model became a sinking ship, I decided I was done throwing away money on the Pioneer units and was ready to go back to ole reliable. But, at this price point, I’d recommend getting the protection plan regardless of what brand you buy.